Album Review: Cut Copy – Freeze, Melt

Australian electronic trio Cut Copy has released their sixth album Freeze, Melt. Known for their brand of summery indie dance with subtle, but pulsating beats, soaring hooks and well-crafted synth-led melodies, this album is a bit more subdued than what they have been doing over the past decade. It feels more at home, unintentionally, with what we are going through now.

The album was primarily written when Dan Whitford spent a very cold winter in Copenhagen, which led to some different moods and emotions being channeled for the record.

“It was less dance, but more atmospheric. Also the subject matter explores love in today’s context, where the climate and fate of the planet are becoming increasingly uncertain,” explains the band. “Once we’d finished it, it felt like we'd placed a marker in the ground, guiding us in a new musical direction.”

That is best felt on the third track, the longest track on the album, “Love Is All We Share” that slowly plods along with a soft kick drum, atmospheric pads gently massaging the mix in the background and Whitford repeating “the love” over long stretches as elements enter and exit at a leisurely pace. The crescendo eventually comes only at the very end of the song.

The following song, “Stop, Horizon,” is a gorgeous, flowing record that feels like you have been on a long hike and end at a cliff overlooking the ocean with a beautiful sunset spraying orange, red and pink colors across the horizon as far as the eye can see.

That isn’t to say there aren’t moments of danceable summer bliss. This is Cut Copy. Even if they are doing things a bit differently, they can’t help but put out some jams. The album openers “Cold Water” and “Like Breaking Glass,” while not peak-time festival jams, are still quite upbeat with strong drums and soaring hooks that deliver on the type of music one expects from this group.

The songs have long instrumental sections that draw the listeners in with the somber cold of a Scandinavian winter, before often switching tone and sound to something more uplifting and joyous like on “Rain.” The LP eventually finishes with “Train” that sounds like sitting on a nearly empty train traveling through the country with snow gently falling outside.

This is an album from Cut Copy that is a bit different and mellower from the normal projects we expect from them. It was created in a different environment and it fits with a subdued summer filled with uncertainty and cancelled plans. They won’t be doing much touring anytime soon, so this functions as a listening album for now and it serves quite well for the summer, fall and into the winter. Normally their music works best in the summer, but this has cross-season appeal.

Pick up your copy of the album here and stream it fully below.