9 Apr 2020
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Alae - Single Review: Summer Thing

02 Mar 2020 // A review by Callum Wagstaff

Alae have been working solidly since 2016, going from strength to strength, garnering radio play both in NZ and abroad and making Spotify playlists internationally. Summer Thing is the second single from an upcoming EP due out in June and it's the perfect song to have playing in the lounge while you hang your body half outside onto the deck and half inside because it's so nice and sunny but so hot; your beer sitting just out of reach of your lazily extended, slightly burned arm.

Summer Thing builds around a low-fi vocal sample, nestling it amidst a syncopated bass rhythm playing against a tail bone bending beat. The combo ensures you're tapping along with your fingers and toes together, which is why you have to sprawl out on the ground to fully appreciate the infectious play-along this music will have you performing.

The silky smooth vocals carry the ear worm across the intro and into the story of a lover convinced they are in the midst of more than a seasonal vacationship. It's more like star cross'd lovers. Two cute, perhaps slightly left of conventional "strange birds" with "strange feathers" who just happen to have found each other at the height of the most hedonistic time of year.

Listen out for the end of the verse and you'll make out what sounds like a fun little intercom jingle you might hear before you find out your flight is cancelled. This little touch is a personal highlight. Then of course we're into the hard working part of the song: "When it's just you and me/ this ain't no summer thing" pulls the weight of the sing along and provides a perfect opportunity to transition into a vertical hip shake toward the object of your summer affections, in a flirtatious manoeuvre that you can immediately dismissed as dancing should your advances be met with suspicion (never sway laterally, that's a different song).

At the right moment Summer Thing winds down into a tasty soul tinged bridge with just the right amount of pitch warble to give that end-of-the-afternoon swoon feel. After a dip through the pre-chorus there's another personal highlight moment when the bass does a deliciously creaky run down to the final chorus.

Worth mentioning is the massively entertaining music video orchestrated by previous video collaborators Vision Thing, which features one goth using the universal language of dance to make a peacocking appeal to another goth. On a beach. Synchronized beach dancing ensues. It's well worth a watch.

Alae have brought out singles with admirable regularity and have already begun to make inroads into the New Zealand top 40. Along with this they have made festival appearances including R&V and headlining at Big Gay Out, so if you're out and about regularly this summer you might be likely to see them live. If you prefer your tan in screen glare form you might also get to watch their music video in a YouTube ad before your classic vine compilation starts. Of course you can also search up the Summer Thing video by Alae on purpose, which I encourage. At any rate, given their momentum and the strength of this song, you're likely to hear about them again soon, so listen out.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Alae

Alae. It’s a word that means nothing to you at the moment, and that’s a good thing. But that will change.

They’re a fresh, Kiwi duo with a unique sound that needs to be experienced to be understood. alae is what you get when you mix Alex Farrell-Davey and Allister Meffan; two old high school mates who are talented musicians in their own right, but when they come together, it’s something else entirely.

Alae aren’t the status quo, they’re not sugar-coated or created in a lab - they got together because, for them, jamming together just feels right. And you'll feel that in everything you hear.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Alae

Releases

Henry St
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Alae EP
Year: 2016
Type: EP

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