They say that flying makes you emotional. There are scientific studies that suggest that the kind of preternatural cabin fever we experience at 35,000 feet makes us blubber at stupid romcoms with unprecedented frequency; something about that blue toilet swirl brings everything into sharp definition. But it just might be that planes are amazing cultural hyperbaric chambers, putting us in touch with what we really want to listen to, watch and cry at more broadly. That’s certainly been my experience today as I zip towards my 24th hour in the ether. The space, time, lack of distractions and complete and utter impossibility of even considering sleep renders trawling through my synced music library and listening, really listening, a pretty appealing past time.
Rufus (du Sol – depending on which hemisphere you’re reading from) haven’t always got the best wrap from us here at OAD. Perhaps turned off by a live performance at a music festival three years ago where everything just seemed so desperately samey, we were never really turned back onto them. Sure, I, like almost every other Australian twentysomething will throw on ‘Atlas’ at a barbecue or by the pool; somewhere where atmos is key and I just can’t be bothered with the attention to detail that curation requires. But Rufus has rarely left that first gear for me: ever the happy summer companion but rarely anything more. I like the concept of them, sure, but ask me to name my favorite song and things might get a little awkward. The one with the synth and the bass line and the dreamy vocals? Yeah?
My distinctly nonchalant attitude to one of our country’s biggest musical exports in the last few years might be finally changing, today, as between microwaved egg powder and passionfruit cheesecake (wut?) I’ve been listening, properly. Part of Rufus’ catch-22 proposition when it comes to you trying to invest in one song is that they’re all pretty solid. But if you like them all, you inevitably end up in this twilight zone of fandom somewhere between would buy a digital download but wouldn’t pay for a show. I think ‘Be With You’ has finally pushed me over the threshold. It has all the telltale Rufus (synths/bass/dream) but also this whimsical quality that exceeds the usual chill-zone rut it’s so easy to get stuck in with this band. It’s also replete with grabs of crowd buzz and seemingly animal sounds with the result that you feel like you’ve stumbled across one of the biggest parties that side of the equator. Maybe all it took was leaving earth to realize it.