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Live Review: Cry and dance simultaneously with Huntly's 'Low Grade Buzz'

16 February 2019 | 5:23 pm | Max Lewis

Melbourne left-field-electronica trio Huntly have unveiled their debut album 'Low Grade Buzz' by sharing its title track; a downtempo existential crisis.

Melbourne trio HUNTLY have finally announced a whole album of their left-field, genre-bending electronica; it's called Low Grade Buzz, and it's due out March 15th. To celebrate they've graced us with the title track; a sombre and introspective slice of electro-pop with a hazy lo-fi video to go along with it.

Huntly beat me at my own game by giving themselves a description better than I could ever come up with; "doofs you can cry to". Their sound is a curious mish-mash of electronic genres - techno, alt-r&b, drum and bass and, of course doof - with notes of Death Grips or Arca like experimentalism and noisiness. Check out their previous single 'Drop Gear' for an example of this sound at it's best. Their upcoming album surmises the trio's mutual belief in using music to create safe spaces, equality and representation through (and in) music; singer Elsbeth Scrine is a PhD Music Therapist, and producer Andrew McEwan is a music teacher with at-risk youth. To this end their music is as meaningful and thought-provoking as it as absolutely banging - hence "doofs you can cry to."

As the title track, 'Low Grade Buzz' epitomises this theme perfectly. Based around muffled keys, a simple, robotic beat, and layers of bizarre effects and samples, it's all about having an existential crisis after a weekend of being social. With a downtempo and melancholic sound it captures that weird, liminal feeling you get when you crawl into bed at 3am, still kind of drunk, and start analysing every aspect of your life because you can't sleep. It's honest in its sadness and that's whats so refreshing about it - it's a little reminder that you aren't alone when you're feeling blue, all in a slice of Kero Kero Bonito-esque weird pop.

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Like Huntly's other videos this one cranks up the trippy lo-fi aesthetics to present something in-between home videos and an film student trying his hand at Dogme 95. Shots range from footage of the band playing live or rehearsing in the studio, as well as establishing shots of gardens, beaches and city streets. Particularly noteworthy are the lengthy closeups on faces; like the song itself it presents a vivid snapshot of something candid and real. With each release Huntly have been carving themselves a niche of left-field electronica that will move you physically as well as emotionally, and all signs point to their debut album cementing their status as an electronic act to keep your eye on.


Words by MAX LEWIS