Five artists that have shaped World Champion & their ‘Skyline’ EP
With their second EP out today, Sydney trio WORLD CHAMPION are coming in all guns blazing. Their Skyline EP spans seven tracks, pairing galactic synth pop and fuzzed-out slacker rock for a sense of contemporary nostalgia that ripples throughout.
The hopeless love of ‘Gun’ and the defiant assertion of ‘Callisto’ open the record, serving up psychedelia on a silver platter. The title track ‘Skyline’ delves deep into indie-rock territory, serving Campion‘s floating falsetto vocals atop chirping guitars and a crisp drum line.
Track four, ‘Nevermind’, takes indecisiveness and rolls it into a sun-drenched, slacker-rock anthem. ‘Pillow Talk’ is up next, a velvet-smooth deep-dive into such influences as Roberta Flack. Plucked straight from a retro movie screen, it’s the perfect midway between sexy and downtempo.
‘Heart Of Gold’ serves up a frenzy of synth-pop, weaving Campion‘s voice through warped synths and one hell of a bassline. And finally, ‘Toucan’ serves up pulsing pop a la their smash single ‘Avocado Galaxy’. Pairing steel drums with a dancing guitar line, it’s an all-encompassing journey through the colourful minds of World Champion.
To celebrate the EP of the release, Julian & Will of the group put together a list of five artists that they grew up listening to that have influenced World Champion and the EP. Take a read below:
Julian: Each of these artists have an anti-establishment sentiment and that’s a prominent theme on the record. There’s also commonalities of stream of consciousness writing; it’s quite cerebral music but tries not to be too self indulgent. We wanted to do something punk, but melodic, not too abrasive and I feel all these artists achieve this really well.
1. LCD Soundsystem
Will: Writing this record we were hugely influenced by dance-punk bands like LCD Soundsystem, Liquid Liquid and Death From Above. We’ve always been enamoured by artists that manage to mix the raw energy of punk with danceable rhythms of funk and disco. Jules’ first band toured with LCD Soundsystem on the Big Day Out circuit. Needless to say, it left a big impression on him.
Julian: My first band did the Big Day Out tour the same year they played. They took a punk rock ethos and applied it to live dance music. It was original and nailed the sentiment of the collective consciousness at the time. The best pinger music ever for kids that like bands.
2. The Avalanches
Will: There’s also no denying the effect that pop party animals The Avalanches had on us growing up. Since I Left You is so woven into the fabric of our collective conscious I don’t think there’s any way to avoid being influenced by it! There’s nostalgia and loss ingrained in every bar of their music. With our latest EP, we really wanted there to be a sense of loss to the songs as well as longing. We set out to write pop songs, but beneath the surface the subject matter is often dealing often quite dark.
Julian: Crazy collage-based music born out of Australia. When I discovered them it was cool knowing something so forward thinking was Australian born.
3. The Velvet Underground
Will: The Velvet Underground were also an important ingredient in our listening history. They blended the energy of rock with the sonic adventurism of the avant-garde and also introduced a new kind of sexual kinkiness to their songs.
Julian: O.G punk rock. Kinda makes you feel cool even if you’re just sitting at a coffee shop.
4. Roberta Flack
Will: Another great artist who has undoubtedly shaped our music is Roberta Flack. ‘Feel Like Makin’ Love’ has to be one of the smoothest, sexiest and most satisfying songs ever written. ‘Pillow Talk’ on our EP was inspired by her.
5. The Strokes
Julian: First band I loved after an obsession with hiphop and dance music. Made me want to start a band.
Words by CAITLIN MEDCALF
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