Australia has been hot (accidental pun alert) for the past few years, sending a wave of artists across the blogosphere and into festival lineups the world over:Tame Impala, Empire of the Sun, Gotye, Nick Cave and more.
The distinguishing factor that unites Aussi exports is “uniqueness.” These bands all sound different from anything else in their genre (you know I hate that word…) and stick because of it.
The Presets are an electronic music duo that swing from emotive power pop to metal-tronica in the span of a few tracks. Their evolution over eight years and three albums is remarkable, with a completely new sound that is still pure Presets. Live shows are required for people who like to dance. Basically, they fucking rock.
“Ghosts,” the lead single off their most recent album “Pacifica,” is unlike anything the band has ever put out. It is a twisted ballad, a military dirge with an uncertain message, that rides on a bed of soft synths. If that sounds like a dissonant match, you aren’t wrong, but it works here.
“Once I was a very young man, and very young men are none too clever
Sailed across to faraway lands, and faraway towns of tin and terror
Ran amok in a strip called love, lost my mind in streets of neon
Now, I’m coming on back
Help me up move right, left foot forward.”
The Preset’s unique quality comes via singer Julian Hamilton’s vocals, which are truly unlike anyone else gracing the airwaves, and producer Kim Moyes’ insistance of building unrelenting tension that never leads to a drop. WAIT WHAT NO DROPS? WHAT WILL THE KIDS THINK?
This is electronic music for the intellectual, albeit the intellectual who wants to fight hordes of moshers in a strobe-lit pit. No drops, no jokes, pure power.