Vacation Paces etcetc Music
Budding producer Mike Perry hails from the Gold Coast, a fact that might explain the summery undercurrent on his debut album. Starting with opener God Mode, this sunny aesthetic is hammered home on Vacation via the intermittent sounds of waves crashing, a sample that would quickly grate if not for Perry’s ability to evoke images of white sand, sun and smiles on nearly every song. It’s an upbeat and cohesive effort where worldly percussive elements and soaring synths underpin performances by 12 guest vocalists, including Brazilian electro-pop outfit Bonde do Role, who add vocals in Portuguese on the stomper Cafucu. Last year’s big single Nothing’s Forever still endears, with Kucka’s high-pitched vocals layered over a leathery bass line and thundering beats on an album standout. The new single and tropical electro-pop bounder 1993 (No Chill), featuring Jess Kent, arrives a month too late to achieve summer anthem status.
Work Me Out combines the moody vocals of US rapper Rye Rye with heavy bass and flourishes of steel drums to form one of several dance-floor grinders, while Playback employs steel drums, layered chiming bells, keys and epic synths behind Reija Lee’s powerful vocal.
Desert is a pensive closer, opening with a delicate key line before graduating to a crisp beat, letting Guy Sebastian’s yearning vocal shine; lovely stuff.
With heavy doses of shimmering synths, Vacation is in some ways reflective of a sound being pushed by many of Perry’s contemporaries over the past year or two, and one that may be fast approaching its zenith.
Yet he manages to largely avoid a sense of sameness on Vacation through the performances of his wildly eclectic roster of guest vocalists, and prioritising a sense of bouncy fun amid an endless summer backdrop.