Europe warms to a Van She summer
fine line between uplifting euphoria and outright cheese is a tricky one for any discerning dance producer. Sharing their connection as club DJs, the four members of Van She were wary of straying into shmolze on new album, Idea Of Happiness. ‘‘So much chart music is contrived, which to me crosses the line into cheese,’’ guitarist and producer Matt Van Schie says. ‘‘But if music is genuine, with some kind of feeling or emotion, I think you always get away with it.’’ Bountiful with summery pop gems by the name of Coconuts, Calypso and Jamaica, Van She’s second album was never going to be a mournful affair. The Sydney band adopted a tropical style of songwriting when it came to following up their more rock orientated debut, V. ‘‘We experimented with a few tracks and they naturally sounded quite upbeat,’’ Van Schie says. ‘‘It was the kind of feel everyone seemed to be loving so we thought why not develop that some more.’’ In keeping with a shift toward dance pop, Van She’s band arrangement also changed, with Nick Routledge (vocals), Van Schie (guitar), Michael Di Francesco (synths), Tomek Archer (electronic xylophone and percussion) coming to resemble electro pioneers Kraftwerk on stage. ‘‘We’re all stood up front and there’s no drummer at the back, just a programmed kick and snare,’’ Van Schie says. Gearing up for months of touring, the irony of a sunshine album being released in mid winter in Australia has been lost, but the band has been warmed by early hype around the record in Europe. ‘‘The single Jamaica is being touted as a summer anthem,’’ Van Schie says. ‘‘It’s also a nice way to brighten up winter here so I’m happy about how it’s turned out.’’
is released tomorrow. Van She play The Brewery, in Byron Bay, on Wednesday and The Hi-Fi, in Brisbane, on July 12.
Matt Van Schie