Slick Melbourne duo Slum Sociable have finally dropped their self-titled debut album, and it’s a non-stop treat of irresistible funk, soul, electronica and angst.
We’ve been anticipating this one for a while, since their 2015 debut EP TQ to be exact, and the drip feed of delicious singles this year has only made it harder. The tease started with the release of closing track ‘Don’t Come Back Another 100 Times‘, a delicate groover stained with tangible regret, which paved the way for sinister single ‘Castle‘, haunting and glitchy ‘Moby Bryant‘ and introspective pop piece ‘A Hearing‘. These tracks stand out for their bold combinations of electronic and acoustic instruments, varied influences and emotional lyrics, but they don’t leave the rest of the album tracks in the dark.
Each song vary in mood but hold on tight to their unique and catchy hooks. Emerging from the darkness of album opener ‘Moby Bryant’, second track ’14 Days’ is filled out with bright, funky guitars, melodic synths and a crispy beat, which take turns in the spotlight, highlighting Edward Quinn’s impeccably sharp production. ‘Treated Like The Weather’ is similarly upbeat, as Miller Upchurch’s soaring vocals lay down some honey-coated groove over the silky, RnB-infused track.
Eighth track ‘Hand It Over’ is led by a fearlessly eclectic beat, combining gritty soundscapes with Upchurch’s flawlessly pure voice to create some serious soul. Honest lyrics such as “Making it out like it’s good, is not always what to do” are typical of the whole album, which explores deep feelings of regret and sadness with with such humble authenticity that anyone can relate. When combined with the silky production styles of Quinn, the angst-groove tracks become therapeutic.
Before reaching the heartbreaking hush of closing track ‘Don’t Come Back Another 100 Times’ we hear anthem of sorrow ‘Outrunner’. The aching track about not being able to outrun your fears is filled with a beautiful mix of morose guitar melodies, dark edgy synths and dripping percussion, providing a sophisticated soundscape for all the angst we thought we’d left in our teens. Slum Sociable’s sublime debut captures the fragility we forget we have, and melds it into a mesmerising collection that gains complexity with every listen but makes perfect sense.
Slum Sociable are launching the album across the country this December, find the details to these special shows here.
Words by Hayley Franklin.