The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Tim McNa­mara

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.

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