Sunday 14 July 2019

Fortunes - Body Clock

I'm a few months behind the curve on this one. I'm sorry. My bad. Apologies.

Fortunes is New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based electronic/R&B duo, made up of Banarby Matthews (production) and Conor McCabe (silky R&B vocals). They made their debut with a self-released EP "Hoodie" back in 2015. Since then they have been plugging along, releasing EPs and singles here and there, and getting signed - good sign - to the stellar - also Australian - label Future Classic.*

In March they release a surprise 5-track EP,  "Disc Read Error". Let's focus on the fourth track "Body Clock": my favorite. Barnaby's description of the recording process in his interview with Pile Rats is funny; here's that answer in full: 

"This was one of those songs I only have a hazy recollection of producing, like I was in a trance-like state trying a bunch of weird shit that probably shouldn't work (why is there acoustic guitar in this??) internal monologue probably going "yeah, you know what? No drums. Fuck drums. In fact, let me get on the mic and record a cello sound with my mouth". You ever experienced that "next day syndrome" where you're making a beat and you think its fire and then the next day you listen and realize its actual garbage and what they hell were you thinking? I keep expecting to listen to this one day and have that feeling, but so far so good! Of course, it helps that the vocals are crazy gorgeous." 

I've never tried to make my mouth a cello, but whatever the technique there's no doubt these vocals have a loose, extemporaneous(!) feel, which contributes to the sense of intimacy between the listener and McCabe, as he builds from a quiet introductory chorus, getting more worked up, emphatic, and complex as the chorus reaches a crescendo, and then allowing the volume to fall and settle towards the end.

"I can't sleep and I can't wake up when you're not with me
I can't read a clock
I can't sleep and I can't wake up when you're not with me
I dance with the curtains."

Think James Blake's "Retrograde" with a heavy dollop of R&B.

* Hayden James, Flume, Classixx, SOPHIE, and others...

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