Album Review: Collarbones ‘Die Young’

There are only so many ways you can work with electronic music. Artists have come and gone leaving their listeners with the thought that they’ve just endured one half hour track rather than hearing an entire EP that was intended to display a series of songs. Because, let’s face it, this type of music has a tendency to all sound the same.

Thankfully, this is not the case with COLLARBONES.

Sydney based Marcus Whale (aka Scissor Lock) met Radelaide’s Travis Cook (aka Cyst Impaled) over the Internet back in 2007. They constructed an album through clicks and buttons as they sent each other material – the grand outcome being their debut album Iconography released via Two Bright Lakes.

Since then, they’ve worked on and finished their sophomore LP Die Young and are finally ready to release it this Friday! Get excited – it’s very, very good.

The boys have proven that they are fantastic at what they do. Die Young is super versatile. Place it next to Iconography, as well as their remixes and mixtapes [that can all be found on their Soundcloud and Bandcamp] and you are presented with the artistic minds of an extraordinary duo.

Die Young is not just an album, it’s a tribute to the “modern mythology of youthful desire” as it was inspired by teenage love and all the experimenting and awkwardness that comes with being an adolescent. It also mourns the loss of our late idols. In a way, it’s a coming of age story but at the same time it’s not.

Collarbones have been known to match up their cover art with certain aspects of their music. This is noticed through the clip for ‘The Ghostship’ as director Justin Mclean created it to complement Lucien Alperstein’s album artwork for Iconography. This idea has been aesthetically explored again as Die Young‘s cover art works collaboratively with the short film that is to be released with the album. Created by Paris-based artist Michael Salerno, the trailer should solidify this viewpoint as it breathes down your neck in all its eeriness. Having said that, it’s visually stunning.

With Iconography creating moods predominantly through sounds, Die Young pays more attention to lyrics.

Their current single ‘Hypothermia’ opens the record. An extended version to what you’ve heard on your radio, the track consists of a bunch of layers, repetitive beats, Whales’ soothing vocals and clever rhythms. Just by this one track, you can already expect very different things from the entirety of Die Young as opposed to their fantastic Iconography.

The title track is quite a beautiful composition as the synths create the illusion of violins being played throughout, backing a slowed down beat. If you’re attentive enough to the lyrics, you can hear Whale telling the story of what this record is about. Collaborating with HTML Flowers, the track introduces rap to Die Young.

‘Missing’ delves into the more haunting corner of the record. The focus on the vocals are painfully good. Personally, I think this track resonates with the concept of youthful desire the best. This is probably one of many reasons as to why it was picked as the album’s first single.

If you’ve watched the trailer to Die Young‘s companion film, you’ll notice that ‘Soul Hologram’ is what plays underneath the narration. It’s breathy and fragile, yet you get the feeling it’s building up towards something, which it does. Not for long though. This is an intriguing and unexpected track.

‘Red’ finishes in the same way it begins. It’s long, chilling and concludes quite a promising and hypnotic record. Expect heavy, almost distorted instrumentation, as well as a level of intimacy through lyrics such as, “I can feel your bones moving” and “This is the air of my body come breathe it.”

Die Young is to be co-released via Two Bright Lakes and Remote Control on Friday 28th September. To celebrate, Collarbones have announced four Australian shows for the launch of the new record. They’re also on the bill for Sydney’s OutsideIn Festival at the Factory Theatre Saturday, 10th November as well as Newtown Festival the following day at Camperdown Memorial Rest Park.

COLLARBONES ‘DIE YOUNG’ ALBUM LAUNCH TOUR

Friday, 28th Sepetember
Liberty Social, Melbourne
With guests I’lls, Oscar Key Sung, Major Napier, TBL DJs
Tickets available at www.moshtix.com

Saturday, 29th September
Out The Back, Brisbane Festival, Brisbane
With guests Outerwaves
Tickets available at www.qtix.com.au

Friday, 5th October
Rocket Bar, Adelaide
With guests Gold Bloom, Brokers
Tickets only available at the door

Friday, 12th October
The Standard, Sydney
With guests Naysayer & Gilsun (more TBA)
Tickets available at www.moshtix.com

Words by Hannah Galvin

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About:

An avid fan of Sydney’s jazz and found sound scene, as well as eating peanut butter from the jar.