Honestly, what can’t Australians do? Its hard to argue that the Australian music scene isn’t among the strongest and most diverse in the entire world over the past few years. They’ve owned the modern psychedelia scene with Kevin Parker’s Tame Impala, and his buddies in Pond. Punk rock? Oh yeah, big time. Bands like DZ Deathrays and Dune Rats are among some of the brighter spots in that aging genre. And of course, we cannot forget the wonderful world of dance music. Artists like Flume and What So Not have helped put Australia back on the electronic map, but there’s another noteworthy artist in the Land Down Under that’s making tunes sweeter than a Vegemite sandwich – that group, mates, is the alternative dance group RÜFÜS DU SOL.
Tryone Lindqvist, Jon George and James Hunt started RÜFÜS DU SOL back in 2010, while Lindqvist (lead singer, guitar) was studying at an audio engineering school. Taking from Aussie indie/dance processors like Cut Copy and Empire of the Sun, the trio began making rock-tinged electronic music and quickly released a couple well-received EPs on small Australian labels before dropping their full-length debut, Atlas, on Sweat it Out! Records in 2013. Atlas was a hit Down Under, claiming the #1 spot on the Australian charts thanks to a fresh, new take on the dance genre. While still a bit rough around the edges, Atlas laid the foundation for RÜFÜS DU SOL’s phenomenal sophomore follow-up, Bloom, by showcasing the traits that make the band special – catchy, sleek melodies delicately layered over atmospheric, downtempo beats.
2016’s Bloom is, quite simply, one of my favorite records of the past several years. The threesome’s chemistry is profound, each instrument and lyric blanketing the others in perfect synergy. The album is full of punchy, synth-riddled bass-lines, while Lindqvist delivers soulful lyrical hooks on nearly every song. Despite having plenty of dance-worthy jams (“Like an Animal” & “You Were Right” in particular), the overall ambiance of this album is laid-back, perfect for some after-party toe tapping or a nice, nighttime drive. The reverb-heavy guitar and synthesizers are smooth, the production is equally crisp. However you wish to slice it, these guys are just cool and you will be too if you throw on Bloom the next time you’re burdened with DJ duties at a party.
Much to my dismay, I arrived about a year later to the RÜFÜS DU SOL party than all of my hip friends here in Chicago. Therefore, the group is still, sadly, featured prominently on my “must-see” list of artists. Unlike some of their contemporaries in world of electronic music, these guys can actually play instruments, and have created a strong reputation for putting on terrific live shows. The band is one of the new wave of musical acts whose members are able to alternate between several instruments, depending on the song. Gone are the days of the traditional guitar/drum/bass lineups, groups like RÜFÜS DU SOL have slowly become the new norm, mixing guitar with synths, keyboards, mixers, and whatever other sound machines these guys are messing with up there. So I’ll be patiently waiting for these dudes to finally come back around these parts, as well as what’s guaranteed to be a sensational third LP. In the meantime, I’ll keep Atlas & Bloom on repeat, and keep running back episodes of Summer Heights High to keep my Aussie accent strong.
RÜFÜS DU SOL will be playing at Bonnaroo music festival this summer among others, check it out here
Suggested Tracks: “You Were Right” “Brighter” “Sundream” “Rendezvous”
Oddities: The group was forced to change their name in North America from simply “RÜFÜS” to “RÜFÜS DU SOL” due to copyright issues.
Photo Credits: Weownthenitenyc.com, EDMtunes.com