Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Live: Cut Copy
Cut Copy can get a crowd moving. Having recently seen them in Montreal, I can attest to their powers. Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, the foursome have three steller LP's under their belts. Their freshman effort, Bright Like Neon Love, feels like a midnight joyride through a futuristic NYC. This is manifested in the album art: a model's face and futuristic sunglasses that reflect a nighttime New York skyline. Its standout opening track, "Autobahn Music Box," features swirling synths layered under accessible lyrics such as, "I watch the sun go down and up again and think of you / You're just too busy seeing red when all I see is blue / I'm sorry baby, for what I did to you." Their second LP, In Ghost Colours, is decidedly more electronic. It's songs build momentum and erupt euphorically, running together as a cohesive set of beats, yearning motifs, and synth layers. Check out the cheesy video for the track "Hearts on Fire" below. Their latest album, Zonoscope, sees the band maturing, not only writing more obscure lyrics but also exploring darker, more pulsing synth patches.
From the album opener "Need You Now," to the fifteen minute synth-epic closing track "Sun God," the album finds Cut Copy in a more grounded and yet ambiguous place. Aiming squarely at the nostalgic '80's resurgence that acts such as Twin Shadow and Toro y Moi are a part of today, Zonoscope is a thumping yet delicate electronic soundscape. The LP shines live, where bass can be felt and attendees are able to vibe off of and dance with those around them. Dan Whitford, the lead singer, is energetic and expressive. He beats his chest and reaches out towards the crowd longingly. At first this came off as contrived, but soon I was won over by the energy he puts out. Tim Hoey, guitarist and backing vocals, was animated and talented, at one point convulsing as be beat his guitar with a drumstick and eventually handing it into the crowd to hammer sounds out of.
Cut Copy are a well versed band with a polished stage presence. They have hit songs that crowds look forward to. They know how to make extended synth-jams feel fresh and important. With lyrics like, "House is burning, she is so cold / Hands of steel, they're hands of gold / Rising from a pyramid / To take you where the pharaohs live," it's impossible not to enjoy a Cut Copy song, but I can attest to the fact that it is even harder not to enjoy them live.