Melbourne's Cut Copy always seem to discover new ways to fine-tune their inclusive dance music and keep it sounding fresh and vibrant. The science behind their songwriting and production to date has been to focus on melody first and foremost, then dress it up in a variety of influences. With each album, they present a cohesive new theme — on In Ghost Colours, they championed noisy, effects-laden guitars, while Free Your Mind opted for the squelchy synths of the Acid House era — without losing sight of their core identity.
Haiku From Zero makes those routine modifications, this time incorporating various sounds from Africa and the Caribbean. Opening track "Standing in the Middle of the Field" establishes its hook by fiddling with the kalimba, while "Counting Down" surfs a tropical guitar riff and "Airborne" frolics with some Remain in Light funk.
It's not all about relying on novel sounds, though; the Aussies have found their ear for melody again. The stomping "No Fixed Destination" is once of their strongest indie-dance anthems yet, and "Living Upside Down" is the catchiest DFA 12-inch that label never released.
Cut Copy have survived the pitfalls of belonging to blog house, nu-rave and even EDM, and somehow maintain their relevance in 2017. Haiku From Zero is another strong effort by a band that continue to celebrate the power of dance music, but as closer "Tied to the Weather" demonstrates, they aren't opposed to feeling the comedown effects, either. (Astralwerks)