Harmonic are Proud to present…
ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI
Live @ The Button Factory -April 15th
Tickets on sale now!
You may not have expected it, all the way from Melbourne, but the first great modernist pop album of 2011 is here. Four years on since their last album, Architecture In Helsinki return with the hook-laden, magnetic and lush “Moment Bends” released on April 15th. It sounds like the album they’ve waited their whole lives to make, retaining the fizzing immediacy of its three predecessors and re-moulding with a more sophisticated, grown-up touch. To coincide with this release they will be performing at The Button Factory this April 15th. Tickets are €18.50 on sale now through Ticketmaster and other usual outlets nationwide. Booking Line: 0818 719 300.
In large parts, Moment Bends is in dialogue with the dance floor without being a slave to any particular rhythm. So imagine a sound equal parts Italia 1982, California 1979 and Melbourne 2011, glued together with a dynamic electronic bounce and a compelling romanticism.
Moment Bends was recorded over two years in the band’s studio, Buckingham Palace, named after the huge photo mural of Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham that the band hung on the wall. “His hair was massive and his stare piercingly intense and mysterious,” Bird recalls of the man he calls, “a long-time spiritual influence.” Buckingham’s meticulous and mysteriously intense take on summery pop appears to have infiltrated Moment Bends highlights such as “Contact High”, ‘Everything’s Blue” and “Escapee”. But most of the album’s inspiration came from within the AIH camp, with Bird joined as usual by co-vocalist Kellie Sutherland, Gus Franklin, Jamie Mildren and Sam Perry. The quintet released the That Beep single in late 2008– the lithe and skittish track won its rightful place on Moment Bends – but the follow-up to 2007’s Places Like This album took its time to emerge.
“We started writing in mid-2008,” Bird recalls. “We had a love-hate relationship with the creative process. We wanted so bad to make a record that we didn’t have to make excuses about, that we wouldn’t cringe when we listened to it in ten years.” To ensure they didn’t spend ten years making it, the band enlisted long-time friend Francois Tetaz to produce the new tracks. Bird says that Tetaz broke them out of their routine; “we were going over every single sound and inflection and ghosted note with a fine tooth comb, and at the same time it needed to feel effortless and not overworked.” Job well done, then, going by how the percolating synths, dovetailing vocals and charged beats merge in a flurry of excitable hooks.
Take the deceptively carefree mellow gold of “Sleep Talkin’”, which Bird admits is, “about embracing our inner California, just layer upon layer of Stratocaster. We wanted to make a sense of intimacy but also a sense of grandiose opulence without the ego. We wanted to make an ‘arena’ feeling out of an intimate sentiment.” “W.O.W” also takes an unapologetic spin on intimate soft-rock with Sutherland at the helm, releasing her inner teen queen. “The idea was to make it minimal as possible, strip it back to the essence,” Bird explains. “Kellie has such a warm and inviting voice that you truly believe everything she’s singing. Honesty is so important in pop music and we always strive for it. We wanted to make something super-pop and crystalline and modern but aim for a kind of timelessness.”
The same mindset colours the Caribbean lilt of the opening “Desert Colours”, the rampant joy of “Yr Go To”, the spacious “I Know Deep Down” and the serene closing shot of “Everything’s Blue”, where Bird’s announcement of “waves crashing down on me” could be a moment of bliss or of panic. Moment Bends is built on a series of similarly shifting sands.
“We wanted to consolidate what was great about everything we’d done in the past, both in ideas and production, and then make that bigger, stronger and more focused,” Bird concludes. “It needed to have an intensity and depth that took you on a journey.”
Architecture In Helsinki are…
Cameron Bird – Vocals, Synthesiser, Guitar, programming
Kellie Sutherland – Vocals, Synthesizer, Programming
Gus Franklin – Synthesizer, Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Drums, Programming
Jamie Mildren – Guitar, Synthesizer
Sam Perry – Bass, Programming
Architecture In Helsinki Live @ The Button Factory on April 15th. Tickets are €18.50 on sale now through Ticketmaster and other usual outlets nationwide.
Booking Line: 0818 719 300.