Breathlessness is a tiny, close-knit label formed in Hoppers Crossing, a suburb on Melbourne’s outer edges, where the label’s founders and current signees grew up. (A number of them even lived on the same street). The first Breathlessness releases appeared last year – Vulpix’s debut EP, Swarms, and Finx by Splendidid – and the label’s third outing, the self-titled EP from psychedelic duo Sun Bazel, came out in March.
The collective consists of only five or six core players: Jordan Barrow of Vulpix moonlights as a guitarist in Zac Terry’s band, Splendidid. Daniel Prieto, who plays bass in both oufits, is releasing his debut EP as DPDP (titled Afterglow) through Breathlessness in June. And last summer two members of the Splendidid live band, Jack Foy and Harry Hayes, wrote the material that became Sun Bazel’s first release.
Both Vulpix and Splendidid make sweet-sounding dream pop that could have come from a four-track abandoned circa 2008 and unearthed in someone’s basement like forgotten treasure. Built from rippling arpeggios and close, fuzzy drums, these tunes are heavy on the reverb and not afraid to enter the red. Sun Bazel’s psych-pop, meanwhile, circles woozily, composed of deceptively simple lines of detuned synths and phasered guitar.
Breathlessness is hosting a label party at the Shadow Electric Bandroom this Sunday, 26 April. (Stay calm – they’ve explained everything you need to know in this easy-to-follow tutorial). Splendidid and Vulpix will be performing live, and there’ll be DJ sets from Sun Bazel and DPDP. Erik Scerba, who mixed and mastered most of the label’s releases, will also be DJing. Scerba makes Tumblr-fied hip hop beats as Yoshimitsu, his sounds skipping from cloud rap to glo-fi and warped muzak. Don’t miss it.
Tickets to Sunday’s show are available through the Shadow Electric website.