Consistent musical quality and perpetual growth are the calling cards of the Australian electro dance wizard, Dan Whitford, of Cut Copy. Sailing into his fifth full-length album, Haiku From Zero, since forming the dance-centric quartet in 2001 – the obvious is revealed to show Whitford indisputably touts the Midas touch. Haiku From Zero deftly samples afro-beat rhythms, tropical soundscapes, and psychedelic disco to give us a progressive shade of Cut Copy that challenges and simultaneously satiates die-hard fans. Producer, Ben Allen, (Animal Collective, Neon Indian) is a perfect match for Haiku, to which he endeavors the band to achieve their most sonically diverse effort yet
Opening track, “Standing In the Middle of the Field,” breaks open like an African sunrise on an expansive savannah, with a slow build that peaks into catharsis. “Counting Down” effectively hearkens back to the classic Cut Copy formula of jilted choruses and falsetto vocals. The album’s best track comes early with “Black Rainbows”- a disco-esque diddy with an orchestral juggernaut of a chorus that mandates all listeners to booty shake subconsciously with zeal.
A spacey “Stars Last Me A Lifetime” uses constellation-like synths to etch a wistful mood, while “Airborne” brings a funky tempo to match your steps as you groove through everyday life. An urgency streaks through “No Fixed Destination” with meandering guitars and 80’s synths, and “Memories We Share” has a Talking Heads vibe with a powerful mantra, “I Need You”, for a chorus. The album concludes with “Living Upside Down” a disco-flux odyssey with plenty of time to float away, and “Tied To The Weather” a slowed and pensive finale that dissipates beautifully into the cloudy atmosphere.
Haiku was recorded in a myriad of cities on three different continents, yet the linearity of each track proves seamless and clear. The album is an audio gem that will live in the speakers of fans for an extended time, but the true gift will be the impending live music tour that includes international festivals like Primavera in Spain, Pitchfork in Paris, Summer Sonic in Japan, Big Day Out in Australia, and Austin City Limits in Texas. With a catalogue of beloved hits from records like In Ghost Colours and Zonoscope, Cut Copy has impressively taken another leap forward in establishing a voluminous yet high-caliber legacy with Haiku From Zero.