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Live Review: Huntly excel at alienated techno-pop on 'Drop Gear'

2 October 2018 | 6:12 pm | Max Lewis

Melbourne techno-pop trio Huntly have dropped a melancholic yet hopeful dancefloor cut with 'Drop Gear', after signing to Barely Dressed Records.

Melbourne electro-pop trio HUNTLY have announced they've signed to Barely Dressed Records, and to celebrate they've treated us to a melancholy slice of dancefloor goodness with 'Drop Gear', their first release since 2017's Songs In Your Name EP.

Huntly's self-described modus operandi is "doofs you can cry to", and I honestly can't come up with a better description than that. Their music presents a unique pairing of vulnerable songwriting with four-to-the-floor electronic passion, crafting tracks that are moving physically and emotionally. 'Drop Gear' leans closer to the dance floor side, yet portrays a narrative that is as isolated and tense as they've ever been.

Starting minimal with single-tracked vocals and simple piano chords, the track quickly builds with jerky percussion and dense synth stabs. The lyrics play with "the momentum of wanting someone and trying to hold it back from them", and this is neatly reflected with the way the track builds but never quite reaches a climax, evoking the feeling of overcoming something intense. The vibe in the last quarter lightens significantly, as though there's a shift in thinking and a moment of clarity. That being said the song still throbs with dancefloor energy throughout - like the best of Huntly's work, it's a perfect balance of vulnerability with unashamed electronic goodness.

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The video, directed by Australian Reflexxx (aka directors Jack Jen Atherton & André Shannon) delivers a starkly lo-fi interpretation of the track, with shots from ranging from infrared cameras, handicams and mobile phones. Through a rapid-fire editing style we see a mix of surreal Lynch-inspired scenes of singer Elspeth Scrine washing sneakers in a strobing kitchen sink or attending a nightmarish house party. The visuals neatly match the manic feeling of the music, while also displaying a uniquely performance-art flair of their own. Huntly have always thought outside the box, and the one-two punch of 'Drop Gear' and it's video show promise of the trio moving in an even greater direction. Be sure to catch them launching the single at Huntly's 'Homecoming Ball', at a soon-to-be-announced secret location on October 6th.