I’ve always been quite open about my admiration for the work of Joe Agius under the nom de plume RINSE – his criminally underrated 2021 EP ‘Wherever I Am’ for me is a high water mark of antipodean dream pop (see my 9.8/10 review here). Agius is also partner to the equally brilliant Harriette Pilbeam in Hatchie and a member of her band, creating a an exquisite centre of excellence for indie pop in Brisbane.
RINSE has now unveiled a much anticipated double sided single ‘I Thought I Knew You’ and ‘Let It Flow’, as a follow up to the single ‘Does It Feel Like Heaven’ released earlier this year.
‘I Thought I Knew You’ eschews RINSE’s standard dream pop past with a scathing serving of buzz-saw electronica – a scaling dramatic blast of swagger and attitude with a synth riff that is excoriating and visceral. This turn to the dark side was foreshadowed in ‘Does It Feel Like Heaven’ but as with anything with Agius at the helm, the result is nothing short of magnificent. There is a Nine Inch Nails scorched earth feel to the delivery with the distant cold vocals and a sneery louche attitude.
From this heady electronic swathe, the second single ‘Let It Flow’ adopts a Primal Scream ‘Screamadelica’ era stance – soaring, rampant melodies underpinned by shimmering, glacial guitars and a chemically-induced psychedelia wrapped up in an anthemic disco beat. It really is extraordinarily heady and euphoric material.
In these releases, RINSE has left behind the pretty icing that decorated his past productions and gone for the jugular with production-centred recording showcasing his skills in the studio. And yet the very genetics in his songwriting remain – an ear for melody and arrangement that result in epic cinematic songs that seem hedonistic and bacchanalian.
‘I Thought I Knew You’ and ‘Let It Flow’ are out today and available through all the usual download and streaming sites and through the link below:
As long as RINSE remains an underground producer of some elegance and stature, the world truly misses out. it’s a continued source of frustration (one that I am sure Agius feels) that this particularly blinding light is under a bushel: he deserves far wider recognition for his work.