Melbourne’s Zone Out dabble in the electro pop waters that bands like Beach House, Phantogram, and even newer Wye Oak have been making their names in for some time now. The duo, which consists of Ashley Bundang and Dove Bailey string together dreamy melodies, pop beats, and catchy retro 80s vibes that would be just as comfortable under the tag “80s alternative” as they would be with “modern pop”. Their debut album Transience was just released last month and it’s a strikingly rich musical affair that balances melancholy with upbeat; longing with contentment. It mixes upbeat dream pop with a slightly downer heart swell that Cocteau Twins did so well.
The album immediately grabs you with the exquisitely spacey “Andalusian Intro”. A mix of ambient waves of synth and 808-like beats with otherworldly vocal snippets before we get hit with the excellent “Inside”. It’s as if Lush went full-on electronic and had a New Order phase before picking up the guitars. “Breakdown” is part Erasure and Blonde Redhead with all the glorious heaviness that comes along with both of those. “Had It Coming” is a beautiful piece of heartbreak. Ashley Bundang has the kind of voice the communicates the heaviness of loneliness quite well, while still possessing a dignity throughout. The instrumental “Cruzcampo” is more of a jittery electro track that feels like The Soft Moon in club mode. It’s a nice change of pace, and it shows off some impressive production muscle for this electro pop duo. “The Cadiz Outro” takes us out like we were brought in; on a cloud of ambient synths that Tangerine Dream would approve of.
Zone Out have made a great debut with Transience. It’s a great mix of dance-y and navel gazing electro pop. If you’re wanting to stoke the fire of a broken heart, or if you’re just wanting to lose yourself in a catchy as hell pop album this one has you covered. Fans of Beach House, Phantogram, Blonde Redhead, and Still Corners; as well as Cocteau Twins, New Order, and This Mortal Coil will find something to dig with Zone Out’s excellent debut.