‘Free Your Mind’ finds Cut Copy turning to ’90s dance for inspiration
By Shawn Gakhal
To think that Cut Copy has been pumping out dance hits since the early millennia is incredible.
Formed in 2001, Cut Copy—the pride of Australia—released their debut, “Bright Like Neon Love,” amidst the post-punk revival in 2004. While their indie-rock contemporaries like Franz Ferdinand, Modest Mouse, and the Killers experienced meteoric rises, Cut Copy flew under the radar, playing at underground scene shows and gaining their indie credibility along the way.
In 2008, the band broke through in their homeland with their sophomore album, “In Ghost Colours,” which peaked at number one. Such singles as “Lights and Music” and “Hearts on Fire” were hits in the land down under.
“Zonoscope,” their third LP, saw the talented group reap the benefits of a steadily growing fanbase, as they charted at number 46 on the Billboard Top 100 in the U.S.
“Free Your Mind” finds the musical collective fusing 1990s’ dance with their already eclectic synth-pop repertoire. This, in effect, produces a pacific atmosphere accompanied by whirling keyboards, refined synth-play and even a bongo sighting. This track will, most likely, be a crowd pleaser, as it seems to compel listeners with the urge to dance.
Dan Whitford, lead singer of the ensemble, croons about love on “We Are Explorers.” He says, “Can you tell me a story/From the end of the night/Girl you tell to break the ice/And the love will go fine.”
Brimming synths and lush keyboards complement his impressive voice, which is sure to become a staple for Cut Copy fans in the future.
“Footsteps” has the traces of the dance era written all over it. From the manic, rhythmic dance beats to the pounding bass lines, the band does a terrific job of paying tribute to the 1990s—forever the electronic decade. The real star here is the insanely catchy chorus, which finds the pace ratcheted up for good measure, replete with flare synths sonically firing everywhere on all cylinders.
“In Memory Capsule” features glistening synths echoing in reverb, dominating the song in the onset, which creates a charming type of ambiance.
“Dark Corners & Mountains Tops” changes the pace, as the ballad removes itself from the dance floor. Ethereal acoustic guitars spark a cool melody, and drums reverberate into thick walls of sonic sound, as it bridges the gap between psychedelics and disco.
“Free Your Mind” is, essentially, a romantic ode to a dance-filled era that seems to be so far from our young minds. It isn’t “In Ghost Colours” or even “Zonoscope,” and that’s fine. It’s not trying to be, anyways.
I believe that cuts like “Footsteps” and “In Memory Capsule” make the album worth getting. Cut Copy has been slowly evolving over the years, as they are trying to be more than just an ’80s band.
Are there a few songs that are filler? Sure. However, in my opinion, Cut Copy shows on “Free Your Mind” that their current evolution as a true electronica band is only the beginning of what looks like a bright future.