Off The Edge Of The Earth And Into Forever, Forever (Vinyl)
"It's about it being bigger than yourself," says Art vs Science's Jim Finn of their epic new album, 'Off The Edge Of The Earth And Into Forever, Forever.' "About appreciating the insignificance of life, and so appreciating life more – stepping away from the mundanity of everyday existence and looking at the bigger picture."
Grand words for a trio of Sydney dance-pop nerds. But as Art vs Science — Finn, keyboardist and co-vocalist, drummer Dan Williams, and frontman and multi-instrumentalist Dan Mac — have proven profoundly adept at harnessing the power of a collective.
Since Art vs Science's 2009 debut EP spawned major hits "Parlez Vous Francais?" and "Flippers," the band has been eagerly embraced as radio and festival favourites, with an uncanny knack for unifying the masses with their feelgood live-dance rock. That love has crossed over: "Parlez Vous Francais?" was voted in at #2 in triple j's 2008 Hottest 100 poll, while in 2010 single "Magic Fountain" came in at #9. With two EPs, Art vs Science and Magic Fountain, going platinum, their gleefully schizophrenic debut LP, 'The Experiment,' debuted at #2 and went on to win the band an ARIA for Best Independent Album in 2011.
But it's only now, on the long-gestating follow-up to that whirlwind, have the trio discovered that with success comes great responsibility - to tether the communal to the personal. "It's a podium from which to say your perspective on life," says Finn of the band's status. "So hopefully you've got a good one."
That sense of all-inclusive communication is key to 'Off The Edge Of The Earth....' - Recorded in home studios, loose jam sessions at Bondi Pavilion, and with ARIA-winning producer Paul McKercher at Sydney's Oceanic Studios, the album celebrates their absurdist streak with the excitement of three musicians in renewed control of their talents... and emotions.
"I think on 'The Experiment' we were a bit snotty - punky almost," says Dan Mac. "So with this one there was always a friendly intention." The others back it up. "We want people to feel good rather than be told to feel good," says drummer Dan Williams. "We already did the yelling at people thing," agrees Finn. "Now we're yelling with them… as we guide them towards the party."
Leading people to the party has never been a problem for Art vs Science. 'Off The Edge Of The Earth...' flags the band's pedigree with, "In This Together," a monstrous opening statement of good intent behind lyric, "No time to think / just music". The breezy grooves of "Chosen One" and "Stars Pt. II" conjure French house inflections, while "Unity" and "Tired Of Pretending" channel sophisticated art-pop; the bouncy "Diana" unites '70s psych-discovery with giddy indie, and the synth funk of "You Got To Stop" and loony tune disco-chant of "Bongo Plan" push the record into cosmic territory. Where Art vs Science band once flipped wildly through disparate ideas, 'Off The Edge Of The Earth And Into Forever, Forever' proves wild ideas can be unified under the command of Art vs Science.
This rare ability echoes a recent internal achievement. Before the album took shape, the band considered breaking up. "It got to a point where we weren't sure if we were going to keep playing," admits Finn. "Not because of the songs, but we just didn't feel unified in our approach to what we wanted." Despite appearances, the trio had become too serious about fun.
The turning point was simple – they began saying yes to each other. "Rather than think about whether an idea was good or not we'd let it become self-evident," says Williams of the creative discovery. "We learnt to just let each other's ideas flow and not stop them," says Finn. "It allowed us to enjoy the songwriting more, to come up with another option rather than a roadblock." And rather than sink them, the shadow of disbanding proved a powerful motivator. "We became reinvigorated," says Finn. "We'd been thinking too hard about what our songs should be, rather than saying ‘Let the song be as it is.'
"It's a cliche," says Dan Mac, "but it was about letting go of preconceived ideas about who we are." But it's precisely this cliche — the heroes' journey; their call to adventure, the challenges, rebirth and now transformation...the spectre of "into forever, forever"—that pushed them to new heights. "It's so exciting," says Finn of this new version Art vs Science. " I can't wait."
No time to think - just music.
|Primary Format - Music||Vinyl|
|Artist||ART VS SCIENCE|
|Label||Magellanic / MGM|
|Music Genre Primary||Alternative|
- 1. In This Together
- 2. Chosen One
- 3. Tired of Pretending
- 4. Unity
- 5. You Got To Stop
- 6. Stars Pt. I
- 7. Diana
- 8. Stars Pt. II
- 9. Bongo Plan
- 10. When It's All Over
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