daste provide a smorgasbord of sounds on their aptly titled debut EP, ‘Palette’
For the last little bit, we’ve been following Gold Coast trio DASTE and their quest to put out their debut EP, Palette. We were enamoured by their debut ‘Thinkin’ Of’, the warm hug of electro-funk they served up on ‘SOBER’, then again by the gentle lo-funk of the EP’s opener ‘Myself’ and now, with the whole EP in our hot little hands, this first quest is complete.
Of the decision to create an EP, they said “Following the release of ‘Thinkin’ Of’, the inevitable question of “what’s next” became the catalyst for the writing of Palette. With only one song behind our name we decided as a group the next best step would be to focus on our writing and production to create something truly special. As we worked and created demo after demo, we realised that it was impossible for us to approach each track with the same ingredients and recipe without becoming tired of ourselves.”
Palette spans five tracks, each one a snapshot into the various spectrums of sound explored by the trio. The EP is integral in showcasing the creative journey the group have undertaken over these past 12 months, and although they’ve been together for a short time, it’s very obviously been a fruitful one at that.
‘Myself’ kicks off the release, the sultry vocal tones sitting pretty atop dainty guitar licks and working its way up lightly to the cascade of harmonies working in tandem in the chorus. It’s a defining release, one that leans into the band’s influences such as LEISURE. Their debut ‘Thinkin’ Of’ pairs oddball percussive rhythms with warped keys and one hell of a meticulously put together soundscape. The sound design on this one is immaculate, each instrument ebbing and flowing with one another in a cohesive unison.
‘SOBER’ brings lo-funk to the table, the bassline taking centre stage. It struts its way across the cosmic plane of the track, passing through wonky keys and syncopated rhythms. ‘Overload’ kicks off with the click of a tape machine, a dreamy guitar and retro string samples coming in lightly as the tape starts to play. This one sees a softer side to their songwriting, the instrumentals working to compliment the vocals instead of the other way around.
And finally, we’re left with the EP’s closer and title track. There’s a rare moment of hip-hop influence in here, very reminiscent of Toro Y Moi‘s recent record Outer Peace. Both artists have found a way to weave vocoded vocals and hip-hop rhythms throughout their signature sounds with excellent results.
It leaves you with a sweet taste in your mouth, and perfectly rounds out this tasting platter of everything daste have explored in the last twelve months. Staying true to the EP’s title, ‘Palette’ gives you a smorgasbord of ideas and concepts that overlap, but never feel replicated.
Words by CAITLIN MEDCALF