Band of the Day

2011.10.14

Cut Copy

Australian electro-pop spliced with rapturous French house and rock energy
One thing that I just can't conceive, is how to let you go. And if you will stay with me then we will always know.
lyrics from Far Away

Cut Copy is an electropop group from Melbourne, Australia that formed in 2001 as the solo project of singer-songwriter Dan Whitford. The group was solidified in 2004 when Whitford recruited Tim Hoey (guitar, sampler), Ben Browning (bass) and Mitchell Scott (drums). Cut Copy, whose influences range from French house, new wave and psych; has a synth-based sound boasting dance beats and heavy basslines. With international indie acclaim, they have toured the world with notable groups such as Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party and Daft Punk. Cut Copy has steadily released records through Australian based Modular Records, beginning with their debut 2001 single from I Thought of Numbers. Bright Like Neon Love, Cut Copy's debut LP, was released in 2004, while in 2008 they released the LP In Ghost Colours - which soared to #1 on the Australian charts and #167 on the US Billboard 200 chart. In 2011 the Zonoscope LP was released to a #3 position in Australia and #2 on the American Dance/Electronic Albums chart. Throughout Cut Copy's tenure they have released remixes of tracks from, among others, Maroon 5, the Kaiser Chiefs and Ladyhawke.

Of all the dance-rock hybrids emerging from Australia in the past few years (there are quite a few), Cut Copy may be the most widely adored, and for good reason. Heavily influenced by disco-house gods Daft Punk and synth-poppers like New Order and the Pet Shop Boys, Cut Copy's music is made for dance parties. They're masters of twisting house music into 4 minute pop songs, combining banging dance beats, synths, guitars, and Whitford's indie heart-throb vocals into with a verse-chorus-verse structure. The result is versatile pop gems that are perfectly at home playing in a club, at a barbecue, or in your headphones. Cut Copy began as a solo project of Melbourne DJ Dan Whitford in 2001. By 2004, Whitford had expanded the band to a 3-piece and released their debut Bright Like Neon Love. The band rose to prominence on the back of their stellar 2008 release In Ghost Colours, which debuted at number 1 on the Australian charts. In Ghost Colours is a dreamy mix of vocoded vocals, subtle psychedelics, guitars, and the sorts of lush house synths that light up clubs around the world. The album is filled to the brim with highlights, but Cut Copy is at their best making heartfelt, even angsty club anthems. “Hearts On Fire” builds tension with icy arpeggiated synths until the beat drops and Whitford's vocals come in. “Out There On The Ice” is propelled by a disco beat, glittering techno synths and Whitford's call and response vocals. A glow-stick waving synth freakout halfway through leads to Whitford's rousing chorus of “If that's what it takes, then don't let it tear us apart, even if it breaks your heart.” Cut Copy's 2011 release Zonoscope keeps the French house influences and dance vibes, but brightens the mood; it's day time jams to In Ghost Colours' 2am anthems. “Pharaohs & Pyramids” is a minimalist disco-house track with steel drum-like synth bleeps that recall NYC electro collective Hercules & Love Affair. “Take Me Over” has a bouncing bass-line often compared to Men At Work's “Land Down Under” (Cut Copy say if there's a resemblance it wasn't on purpose), but it's a feel good track with an irresistible synth chorus and tribal beats. There's no bad place to start with Cut Copy, the band's discography is packed full of anthems, chilled out lounge tracks and summer bangers.