As the ebullient summer sun rises over Melbourne, Close Counters couldn’t have chosen a better time to drop their new single UP AND OUT. The track is radiating a shimmering, elated glow, elevated by the soulful bass, swelling keys and an 8-person choir, bolstering the euphoric feeling that the song aims to encapsulate.
The track was started at the end of 2019 and fully manifested during the Melbourne lockdown. Allan McConnell and Finn Rees, the collaborative pair behind Close Counters, spent the 112 days of lockdown working on it, but despite Melbourne being completely locked down, they managed to have a stack of people help them on this track. The bass line was courtesy of Paul Bender of Hiatus Kaiyote, which creates a soulful springboard for this song to build on. “There's no way we could have gotten through it all (quite literally) without our incredible collection of friends and community here in Melbourne.” Discusses the duo, “Some of those friends were our support network and sounding board that eventually went on to feature in the 8-person choir that you can hear throughout the track. Everyone recorded their vocals from their makeshift studio setups and let us piece together the puzzle.”
It was incredibly hard for artists to find a continuous creative stride during this period of intense lockdown. When your main circle of collaborators and immediate community are seemingly within arms-reach, however separated by an invisible barricade, it can hinder the ability to create something new. “We both feel pretty strongly about being able to talk with your friends through your problems and although we were all spread out across the city's north, creatively we managed to come together and create something positive through a really tough time.” The people who helped McConnell and Rees with the track, UP AND OUT, also feature on it, taking part in the choir that features throughout, including musicians such as, Abbey Howlett, Michael Vince Moin (Tram Cops) and Warrigo Tyrell (WAARI).
UP AND OUT is a beautiful track to open the Summer in Melbourne. After being penned over the gloomy winter, to have a dancefloor-ready track that helps shake out all the anticipation of freedom is exactly what we needed. “We think of this song as a bit of a celebration and maybe it was ironically yet appropriately titled in 2019 before any of this went down. It's a fun, dancey throwback tune to the early 2000's - enjoy and we'll see you on the dancefloor soon enough!”
Close Counters are already heavy-weights in the industry, leaving an impression wherever they land. They made waves in 2019 at Meredith Music Festival and have supported Australian music legends such as Tkay Maidza, Confidence Man and Peking Duck. In anticipation for live music to come back full swing in 2021, Close Counters have started to sell out live shows in February.
UP AND OUT was released on the 27th of November and is available now on Bandcamp and Spotify. The band has hinted at more to be released in 2021, so stay tuned.