RINSE‘s new EP ‘Wherever I am Am’ has a magical immersive quality redolent of a warm cotton wool blanket that envelopes and tightly wraps itself around you. Every track is a melodic masterpiece, every track shimmers and every track glitters with a deep dream pop sensibility.
RINSE is the solo work of Joe Agius, a central and compelling figure in the hyperactive and vibrant Brisbane musical scene and a frequent collaborator with Hatchie, another star in the Brisbane firmament. Of the EP, Agius says:
Wherever I Am is a compilation of songs recorded over the past few years across many different places. They serve as a sonic bedrock for what RINSE represents, and a place I’m excited to build upon. Each song represents a different moment of my development as a solo artist, from finding my voice to digging deeper in lyricism, as well as honing my own skills in recording and production.
Opening track ‘Back Into Your Arms’ features Hatchie and is a celestial pop masterpiece. Imbued with that magic element of melancholy and filled with indelible melodies that carve their way into your head, this is magnificent dream pop perfection.
And then the second track ‘Without You’ comes along and raises the bar. It is an anthemic and spine-chilling piece – absolutely massive melodies that shimmer and shine and glow with emotion. Walls of sparkling instrumentation create a euphoric feeling that is almost overwhelming.
‘What Hell I’m In’ is a gorgeous and wistful ballad showcasing Rinse’s crooning vocals. This is as beautiful as anything Burt Bacharach could write – and I recognise those are strong words – with sweeping strings and harmonies. It really does make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
‘Tamaryn (Wherever I Am)’ was reviewed by me recently. I observed this is psychedelic shoegaze/dream pop at its best – mesmerising and hypnotic, rich and immersive. Agius’s voice is magnificent: it soars and floats above the music. It is as lush and evocative as it is romantic.
There are a couple of bonus tracks available from BandCamp (link below).
‘Tel Me, Tell Me, Tell Me’ is a faster paced track redolent of The Cure – a pounding rhythm section and sharp edged melodic guitars with an immeasurable pop sensibility. Final track ‘Trust In Me’ shrugs off the delicate and dreamy mantle and launches into a feedback based wall of noise – utterly compelling shoegaze fugue that echoes and resonates with a bold clarity.
The stellar songwriting craft of Agius maintains a steady guiding hand through the EP. Every track is a single and every track is magnificent. This is an utterly brilliant EP and one of the best things I’ve heard in a long time.
The EP is available now and you can get directly from the artist below. 5 March 2021 is also BandCamp Friday from midnight Pacific East time in the US (about 4pm Australian time) which means artists don’t pay fees for sales. Just go and get it.