As catalogued before on this very site, I am a nut for Australian bands. A recent find is New Navy, a duo from the Sydney area (as opposed to the far-away Perth, home to the Tame Impala/Pond/endless associated projects scene). Their sound is close to Two Door Cinema Club, though it leans more acoustic.
I don’t think New Navy will make a big splash any time soon, though I hope I’m wrong for their sake. They just aren’t different enough from their more successful sonic peers to make an impression live or on radio.
“So why are you writing about them?” you ask. One reason: they covered Télépopmusik’s “Breathe.”
“Breathe” was my teenage years. It’s minimal, funky house was (and remains) the ultimate song to drive, smoke and fuck to. And growing up in Los Angeles, I did plenty of driving 😉
It isn’t often that a Scottish folk singer-songwriter living in California pairs up with a live-performance French house trio to produce a global hit, especially one so utterly different as “Breathe.” Even now, you won’t hear anything like it on your local radio station (unless it’s a college station or KCRW, which all EMPT readers should be listening to online on a regular basis).
New Navy’s cover stays true to the original’s roots as a chiller, but is otherwise a complete pop-rock update. Tropical guitars flutter over a cowbell-driven beat as the vocoded vocals maintain their proper place in the background, and you can’t help but nod your head and reach for your sunglasses.
If you dig, I recommend checking out New Navy’s label mates on the Future Classics label (including EMPT favs Flume and Jagwar Ma). Labels like FC are responsible for most of the good music you hear these days, as the big boys are focused on paydays above all else (see: ArtPop controversy). Some other fantastic labels: Ninja Tune, Stones Throw, Modular Recordings, Friends Records, Fort Knox Recordings…I could go all day.
But I’ll stop here, so you can get to listening.