This is just second music-related post I’ve written for my blog and it’s already the second post about an up-and-coming band from Australia. Last week I wrote about the debut album from Australia-based synth-pop rockers Atlas Genius, and today Gold Fields released their debut album, Black Sun. It doesn’t take long to notice the similarities between these two bands, and their debut albums, don’t end at their Aussie roots.
Gold Fields, a quintet of old school buddies, formed in 2010 and released their self-titled EP in 2011. In addition to extensive touring in 2012, they made an appearance at SXSW, and released “Dark Again (Lights Out)”, the first single off their debut, full-length album.
Black Sun opens up with “Meet My Friends”, which immediately smacks you in face with a pounding drum beat, fierce, vibrating synth, and wailing background vocals. After the first smooth, flowing verse, the song moves in to mesmerizing, chant-like chorus. Listening to this song whilst sitting still is nearly impossible, and I was was fighting the urge to get up and dance in my cubicle at work.
The second track, “Dark Again (Lights Out),” from their self-titled 2011 EP, is the track that most will likely be familiar with. It begins with a hypnotic, pulsating beat that can be best described as an audible strobe light, before bursting into an undeniably 80′s pop jam with a big flashy chorus that’s easy and fun to sing along to. It’s a very poppy song, which I’m generally not a fan of, but this song (and album, for that matter) feels very crisp, fresh, and not at all cheesy.
Much like the Atlas Genius record, this album is heavily influenced by that poppy, syth-laden 80′s sound we’re all familiar with. Think “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astly, and that’s a good way to start describing Gold Fields’ sound. But they go further than just repeating some 30 year-old musical tricks. They’re able to take those tricks and make them sound fresh and new.
Gold Fields’ Black Sun is an extremely well put-together record. Every song flows naturally in and out of each other, making the album one cohesive unit. At the same time, each song is very unique and distinct from the tracks that preceded or succeed it. The one knock I had on the Atlas Genius album was that I felt like somewhere in the middle of the record, the tracks started to blend, and I really had to concentrate on what I was listening to. I don’t get that sense with this album. Any one of the eleven track could stand alone as a single while still fitting in perfectly on the whole album.
Black Sun is stunning debut album from Gold Fields. Each track will make you want to get out of your seat and dance. I’m not one for the club scene, but I can see this album getting a lot of play from DJ’s around the country. When I listed to Atlas Genius last week I really dug their sound and style, and the same goes for this record. I don’t know that I’m ready to proclaim that this album is better, but Gold Fields’ sound is very similar, and they pull it off at least as well as Atlas Genius.
This album will appeal to fans of 80′s and 90′s music in general, but specifically bands like Depeche Mode. It should also appeal to fans of modern alternative bands like The Naked and Famous, Two Door Cinema Club, M83, and Foster the People. If you haven’t heard the record yet, it’s out now, so go pick it up. Enjoy!