In this new series, ‘First Impressions’, we’re going to subject a bunch of songs to the immediacy test – getting our contributors to review a track they’ve heard only once. In this round, Jackson Rumble takes a listen to the new single from Retiree.
Retiree have drunk the Arthur Russell kool-aid big time with their newest minimal dance pop jam, ‘Gundagai’. With this track the band firmly aligns itself with Andras Fox’s appreciation of esoteric new age Australiana (if the title didn’t give it away), and the video – African dude gyrating in front of lush fields and reclining on a lilo – and Awesome-Tapes-from-Africa-styled cassette art put us on a bus straight to the beach bar of your dreams.
Comprised of tasteful analog drum programming, frolicking fretwork, Casio keys and a crisp vocal that really is doing its best to channel Arthur Russell circa ‘Get Around to It’, ‘Gundagai’ is a very pleasant five minutes of tropical electronic pop. Although the song could see out its run time on the strength of the arrangement, these chaps reach for something of a climax and come off like they’re trying a bit too hard to coerce mum onto the dance floor. On the whole, though, that doesn’t diminish the fact that Retiree’s latest would be a welcome accompaniment to most sun-dappled cocktail hours.