Album Review: Cut Copy-Free Your Mind

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Cut Copy are a band like no other. They took the whole void left by The Avalanches, DJ Shadow, Boards of Canada and filled it with disco-tinged tribal beats. Whereas there was a whole ‘new rock’ scene exploding with the likes of Jet, Interpol. The Strokes etc. who’ve gone on to do great things such as break up, or release a series of semi-mediocre records to fund their drug habits, Cut Copy have continued to refine and expand their sound to extraordinary levels of amazing. Every album is consistently better than the one it precedes, with a different sound, and more energetic approach. Dan Whitford and his cohort of electronica superstars are like an ever-changing ball of mysticism, like the crux of the plot of a 70’s low-budget horror film, or the next Indiana Jones movie (R.I.P originality).

The sound that Cut Copy have decided to re-invent themselves with this time round is the deep-house and acid-jazz scene that hit its peak in the mid 90’s. Yep, they’ve done the Amazonian explorations in ‘Zonoscope’, and the disco-tinge is basically a thing of the past, so Mr. Whitford has donned his leopard spandex and tye-dye pom-poms, picked up his glowsticks and paid a visit to the seedier areas of town.  Droplets of Detroit, Bristol and Manchester can be found throughout the record, and it wouldn’t be totally amiss to think of the guys in Cut Copy all dropping a shit load of ecstasy in some dingy-lit cavernous rave.

Listening to ‘Free Your Mind’, its a hard thing to pick the best, or even favourite song of the bunch. They’re all just so fucking fantastic. However, its kinda my job to pick the best of the bunch, and explain why these are the cream of the crop, so here goes, no matter how painful a job it might be. The title track is pure bliss, a tropical cocktail soaked escape to paradise, where parrots serve you Balinese spirits in the skulls of your enemies, and Ketut from the AAMI commercials is an overlord. ‘Let Me Show You Love’ engages that weird, psychedelic mix of going down a rabbit hole after listening to trance for way too long, and ingesting way too many drugs, the result being an unsettling but alluring trippy experience that indulges your more primal sensual senses. Basically, I’m saying ‘Let Me Show You Love’ is porn for your ears.

‘Footsteps’ is another track of mental escapism, however the house is strong with this one, poison tinged female ‘ooos’ infecting the track with a luscious beauty, like if Heather Locklear were to wrap her tongue around your brain whilst the most dangerous concoction of  unhinged electronica played (SCHWING!). And ‘Meet Me In A House of Love’ brings an 80’s cheese vibe to the sex party, however its weirdly acceptable. It would be like if Prince rocked up at your house, and told you he was going to make love to everyone you’ve ever had a crush on…strangely, you’re totally okay with it, and you don’t know why, but it’s secretly sort of awesome.

Almost all fourteen of the tracks on ‘Free Your Mind’ are near, or over five minutes long, and the ones that aren’t are weird little interludes (I’m not dissing the interludes-they give the album a more measured pace, and more feeling and personality. And they’re nothing like those fucking horrible skits you’ll see on hip-hop albums). All the ‘songs’ on the record are incredibly well thought out, and executed to perfection. Each track has a different feel but flows to the next song with an exuberance and ease that you will not see in the majority of albums. Every track dances in front of your eyelids, like when you stare at the sun for too long, and the smooth, not-happy-not-sad vibes of every song make your heart melt down to pure, childish pleasure. All you can think about when listening to the album is how much you love Cut Copy and want to be inside the mind of Dan Whitford and co.

There’s a reason that Cut Copy are one of the most lauded and loved Australian bands of recent memory, and that is because they can’t put a foot wrong. They’re eclectic music tastes that combine into one slippery dip of deliciousness, the constant reinvention and progression of their music, its just too much to handle at times. The concept of freeing ones mind is so well implemented, and received, that you can’t help but let your brain disconnect into the field of Cut Copy’s beautiful music for that short while that the record is playing. On ‘Free Your Mind’, there isn’t a single terrible song-every track glistens and glows with a sticky longing, attracting the listener like a snowball rolling down a hill picking up various sticks and leaves (in this simile, the snowball is the record, and the sticks and leaves are the various steps in your drastically escalating plot to kidnap Cut Copy for personal use).

‘Free Your Mind’ will be out on November 1st, through Modular. You need this record more than you need a beating heart, I’ve never been more serious about anything in my life. This record is total perfection, and it would be a shame to be the only guy on the face of the Earth to not own a copy. So get one, and watch yourself become a better person.

Cut Copy will be coming back to Australia very soon for Future Music Festival, on the 8th of March. However, if a sweaty crowd of fake-tanned, singleted/naked twenty somethings who are trying not to act like they’ve taken way too much ecstasy is not your thing, then Cut Copy will be doing a show at Golden Plains Festival, which goes down March 8th-10th, and features a stellar lineup of Public Enemy, Flying Lotus, Yo La Tengo, and a diverse bunch of other greats.

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