Canyons – ‘Big City Lights’
Our great southern land has become renowned in recent years for producing blogloads of world-class dance music, particularly that of the indie/electro crossover. However, while our Cut, Copied, and Preset Juggernauts have all released stellar records and conquered the planet, our real strength down under lies in regurgitating trends from across the equator – with all dials set to “party” and a singalong hook slapped on top. This has become Australia’s signature sound, (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but when it comes to true innovation, the cities where it all began are still the hotspots – namely the colder climes of New York, Berlin & Paris.
Occasionally though, a group like Canyons slides in under the radar – giving the proverbial finger to populist convention and renewing faith in the ability to create something truly new in a saturated market. Canyons are a duo from Sydney (via Perth) and like fellow statesmen and new Modular darlings Tame Impala, their sound seems to have embarked on some far-out trip to drag itself across the Nullabor. This is the new psych – it’s dubby, downtempo disco that owes equal amounts to Balearic and 70’s rock. It’s that weird record playing in the smoky stoner parties of your mind. It’s dirty, danceable, and most incredibly, sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard before – yet with enough familiar references to make you swear you had.
Canyons have recently released a split 12″ with Tame Impala, and will be sharing the bill with them at Modular’s monster Nevereverland fest in December, plus hitting the cities for Laneway dates. Could this double-pronged assault on the bastion of antipodean cool pave the way for a new movement in original Australian sounds? Probably not, but make sure to get there early and sway along to them anyway.