The gradual synthpop revival of the past few years has spawned a
ton of superficial, faux-nostalgic records that have justifiably led to
an automatic degree of cynicism being attached to anything labelled
with the tag.
New York trio The Ballet have produced something that fits the template whilst still being of genuine substance; they’ve managed to draw upon a diverse enough Ballet
range of influences to make a record that does something new with a genre so firmly rooted in the past.
The lush, sweeping ‘Is Anybody Out There?’ has more than a hint of The Magnetic Fields about it, while closer ‘All the Way’ evokes the spirit of The Jesus and Mary Chain’s ‘Just Like Honey’.
Bound to prove divisive, though, is the use of auto-tuned vocals, which are almost ubiquitous, and more often than not add a disjointed feel to an otherwise solid effort.
…melancholy being medicinal
“‘Immunity’ is a rather melancholic album, isn’t it? Believe it or not, I set out to make the closest thing I could to a party record, and it still ended up a bit more brooding and pensive.
I guess that’s just what happens that’s what I do, and that’s what I love. It’s not my state of mind though, I’m generally a very optimistic person, and I absolutely love what I’m doing with my life – it’s a fun thing.
“Perhaps I medicate any melancholy I have in my life via the studio, which allows me to be happy elsewhere. It’s hard to say.
Like anyone, I’ve been through my fair share of shit, and when you’re well you feel better able to revisit those times in music without realising you’re
But I don’t find melancholy music depressing at all – I find something soaring and euphoric about it.
I mean, I love ‘In Rainbows’ – it’s one of my favourite albums of all time – it’s just transcendently beautiful.
I saw Radiohead in Sydney in November, and I’d never seen them before. It was profoundly beautiful.”
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