Cut Copy’s second album, In Ghost Colours, should have been much bigger than it was. At first glance, there aren’t as many discernible singles as on 2004’s mega-underground-party-smash Bright Like Neon Love, which set the primitive blog-world on fire and have hip kids foaming at the mouths and aching for more blissed-out dance tunes. But what this record has in spades is feeling, colour and shape. It’s a record that you can put on at the beginning and not have to worry about when you get to That Track That Not Everyone Is Going To Like. For the first time in a very long time, there’s just an album that you can enjoy passively or actively without worrying so much about it. Unless you’re like me, whose ears are switched on even while I’m asleep, and then you start picking up cool stuff that you’d never noticed before and go ‘Wow, I should totally post on that…’
‘Far Away’ is not a single, it’s not even a deep cut. It’s the song buried in the back end of this album that happens to encapsulate everything I love about Cut Copy. First: the bass line, that beautiful, squelching dirge of a thing that just screams ‘Pool party!’, ‘Disco!’ and ‘We’re going streaking! Up through the quad to the gymnasium!’ in equal amounts. Second: subtle percussion. When you’ve got a huge beat, it’s tempting to just leave things as they are. Not so for Cutters, who throw little tambourine lines on top of the pumping bass drum to really add some spice. Third: dreaminess. I don’t think Cut Copy have ever recorded a song while being totally lucid. They were doing the whole star-gazing thing way before Tame Impala came onto the scene (I should stop bagging Tame Impala, I actually really like them) and Dan Whitford, who sings a bit like he’s got something more important to do, happens to nail it right before the chorus drops and suddenly to lotus flower opens up and we’re in 1960s harmony paradise. Fourth: the patient man’s surprise. My absolute favourite thing in music is when you think you’ve got a song down and then they throw a curveball like what happens at the three minute mark. Those synths could have come out of The Real McCoy’s ‘Another Night‘, they’re so deliciously cheesy.
Anyway, as I was saying, you should listen to the whole record. But if ‘Far Away’ converts at least one person to the Cutter cult (now that really does sound bad) then I’ll be happy. I always though of Cut Copy as the little brothers of The Presets, given that they’re on the same label and use lots of technology and make kids wave their hands and stamp their feet. Upon reflection, I’ve realised that not only have they been at it for longer, but they’re more like their equally cool cousins. Cut Copy recorded this album with Tim Goldsworthy from DFA Records, which is like getting the James Murphy who doesn’t tour compulsively. Whitford told me upon the release of the record, “We’ve always just done what feels natural, and we don’t really care where that puts us in terms of the current music trends. If the rock kids like us then that’s cool, and if the ravers come to dance, that’s equally good.”
Cut Copy – ‘Far Away’
Please, don’t cut yourself here.