Ex­tremely cool of­fer­ing

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Music - JAR­RAD BE­VAN

INDIE out­fit Alpine are ski­ing the slopes to­wards star­dom.

The Mel­bourne- bred indie- pop sex­tet have groove, so­phis­ti­ca­tion and quirks ga­lore.

Fol­low­ing on from a sur­pris­ingly ac­com­plished de­but EP that grabbed at­ten­tion and never let go, their first al­bum ful­fils early prom­ise and has some­thing in re­serve for the home stretch.

Just two of those early EP songs get the nod here, with Vil­lages and Too Safe mak­ing the grade.

Peo­ple would know the lat­ter from its gui­tar line that has been all over TV com­mer­cials and locally made soapies.

Nei­ther song needed tart­ing up for al­bum du­ties. Ac­tu­ally, it’s hard to hear many dif­fer­ences at all. Maybe a lit­tle new echo and re­ver­ber­a­tion on some per­cus­sion or a vo­cal, that’s about it.

The Alpine sound fuses ethe­real vo­cal tones, lots of wispy ‘‘ oohs’’ and ‘‘ aahhs’’ with a chic, slightly dis­en­gaged mi­rage of lightly brushed gui­tar- based pop and the odd ex­cur­sion into dreamy synth- pop.

A song such as Hands shows off jan­gly, breathy al­most- rock, while See­ing Red is as fluffy as a cloud.

The al­bum kicks off with two ver­sions of one song – two sides of the same coin, per­haps.

Lovers 1 is the pop­pier of the pair, glit­ter­ing and twin­kling.

It is so scant of em­bel­lish­ments you can hear a tri­an­gle wob­ble be­fore some swirling post- punk gui­tars ap­pear in the back­ground to up the grunt- o- me­ter.

Lovers 2 works a lighter mu­si­cal re­frain, but adds a cu­ri­ous vo­cal line that re­peats over and over, ‘‘ Take my lies and tear them in parts.’’

OK, mes­sage re­ceived, love equals not- so- great!

The iri­des­cent Gasoline is a burst of sun­shine and an ob­vi­ous choice for a sin­gle. There is ab­so­lutely some­thing go­ing on here that is akin to indie dar­lings The xx.

The Aussies cer­tainly aren’t as per­pet­u­ally bummed- out as their UK coun­ter­parts, but they do work in a sim­i­larly sparse aes­thetic, with gui­tar sounds that are crys­tal- clean and in­stantly recog­nis­able, plus there is a lot of airy space in their ar­range­ments ( very rare for a band of six peo­ple). Not ter­ri­ble com­pany to be keep­ing. So what’s next? No­to­ri­ously fickle mu­sic press in the UK and su­per- bitchy blog tastemak­ers like Pitch­fork are al­ready won over by Alpine and their awe­some­ness. World dom­i­na­tion awaits.

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