Melbournites Zone Out are back – albeit in a slimmed down and re-imagined form since their 2013 debut, with Ashley Bundang (Totally Mild, Ciggie Witch) and Dove Bailey (ScotDrakula) at the helm. Where they once relied on jangly riffs and Bundang’s soft vocals, their new track ‘Inside’ transposes the latter over plush, clean synths and dreamy guitars. It’s bright and sharp, like they’ve scrubbed up their earlier lo fi sound and found some melodic gems hidden underneath.
Zone Out’s new direction is a nice time capsule of how indie-pop has changed over the last few years, with Bailey and Bundang moving from the garage-centric sounds of their other aliases to sunny synths and programmed drum beats.
Prior to today, the lone track on Zone Out’s Soundcloud was a cover of ‘7 years’ by mid-noughties post-hardcore band Saosin. In addition to being my favourite song ages 14-present, it is also the last track I would have imagined Zone Out wrapping their understated synth pop around – but they bloody nailed it. Those beautiful French admirers of everything Australian at Beko Disques were pretty keen on it too, chucking it on their blush-worthy oz do it better vol2 compilation earlier this year.
As for the future, Zone Out are ploughing ahead with a full-length release slated for early next year. They’re also playing a string of support dates with The Ocean Party in October and with Sui Zhen in November.