It’s hard to put a clear label on the style of music Australian duo Antonio Paul make. Hailing from Bunbury, Marc Antonio and Michael Paul create a sound that slots somewhere between indie-rock and synth-pop, branching across the sound with a variety of influences to make their music indefinable. Released in the UK last Monday, this five track offering is hard to compare to any other artist, purely for its controlled yet eclectic style. You can find out more about the duo in our featured artists list, here.
The way that the pair have mingled in a plethora of influences shines through in how easily each track leaves you thinking, “that sounds like a cross between…”, these mixes spanning from the likes of Vampire Weekend to Pharrell Williams. A common trait in every track is the modern edge to the music, the electric pops and synthesised backing forming a musical firework show to accompany the infectious lyricism.
Mixing a typical trance/dance sound with more “real” instrumental, opening title track creates a solid mix of the synthesised and computerised backing and the echoey yet dominant vocals, which fade in and out of clarity like a readjusting telescope. The effect hones in on certain lines, “I ease the pain by smoking my dreams away”, being a key one, and adds another level to the track, as opposed to the frivolous dance music it suggests at first glance. A lul in the track comes from a short piano solo akin to that which opens Childish Gambino’s Heartbeat, before the vocals form an instrument to wind up the track.
Not surprisingly, Vampire Weekend frequently spring to mind whilst listening to this EP, and the most notable point of this comes at the opening of second track, Ariel. With a drum intro that shows similarity with that in Finger Back, the song breaks into desperate and rippling vocals, muffling over a few of the more forced lyrics – “I’ll stay around tonight, until the sun does rise.” The eclectic influences are prominent again in Coloured Screens. With a repeated “ha” rather like the “yeah” from Pharrell Williams’s Come Get It Bae, and lyrics that are up to date enough to eventually become outdated (various references to social networking), this track seems like a slowed down but up-to-date version of Calvin Harris’s Acceptable In The 80s. The futuristic sound of the backing perfectly matches the lyricism, making this a personal favourite off the EP – though in this case, I think I have five “personal favourites”.
Made In China opens slowly and deliberately, before the choppy and bouncy vocals lead the track in every direction – and wonderfully so for it. As though running along hot coals, this track is buzzing and fuzzy with electricity, all wrapped up and sounding like Two Door Cinema Club’s Undercover Martyn. The final track of the record commences as though it intends to develop into a remix of something off Twin Atlantic’s recent record, before the catchiest lyrics off the EP kick in, wind the record to its abrupt but fitting close.
In short, this EP is like Calvin Harris, Pharrell and Vampire Weekend remixed something off Great Divide and got Two Door Cinema Club to do the vocals – wonderful, fun, vibrant. As Britain’s summer closes, it’s clear Australia’s ha only just begun!