FEATURE: Spotlight: Confidence Man





PHOTO CREDIT: Rachela Nardella/Press

Confidence Man


THE best album to end 2017 was from the Melbourne…


PHOTO CREDIT: Press/Getty Images

band, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. Gumboot Soup is their fifth (and final) of the year and one can forgive them for wanting a good rest in 2018! They will not do that but it got me thinking about artists doing things differently. I love the band because they are so prolific and changeable. Each album brings something different to the table. I like how they switch styles and push boundaries. The fact the band released five albums last year was a shock to many – critics wondered if it would be possible at all. They have shown other artists how to do things. Australia, it seems, is producing some incredible artists because Confidence Man, in a lot of ways, remind me of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. The Brisbane band impressed with their single, Boyfriend (Repeat), last year. Its stop-motion video sees Ken and Barbie mixed through a blender. Confidence Man’s Janet Planet talked about the song and video:

We wrote this song at our home studio in about two hours. By the end of the day we were so excited and drunk that lots of stupid ideas seemed to be working… which is where the lyric ‘I hate bacon and eggs’ comes from. It’s probably not something we would come up with normally, but the next day when we listened back it turned out to be our favourite part. As for the video, we haven’t played with Barbies for a while, but it seemed like the right time to get my old Ken dolls out”.

The band played shows in London in the summer and it was the perfect time to boost a song that gets the colours flowing and the voice singing. Its chorus sticks right in the head but it is the way they subvert Pop clichés and add their own spin that gets to me. Other artists have lined up to remix the song and it shows how immediate and popular the band already are. I have looked around the new artists coming through and hear a lot of promise. All are doing their own thing and keen not to repeat what is already out there. Confidence Man are not heard to con us and dupe the unsuspecting listener. Their music is pure and delightful; it rushes into the senses and has a whiff of the 1990s. I feel one of the defining moments of that decade was the 1990 hit, Groove Is in the Heart. Deee-Lite’s best-known song has endured and continues to amaze because of the samples and shifts; the joy and giddiness you get when listening to it. It was a magnificent start to the decade and inspired other artists to take a similar approach to composition and the genre. Boyfriend (Repeat) has touches of Groove Is in the Heart: their follow-up track, Bubblegum, certainly reminds me of that song! It has the flair of the 1980s and brings so much flair and fireworks to the plate. The beats and electronics tumble and conspire; they fizz and percolate.

It is an extraordinary song that tops their previous effort and shows they are on an upward trajectory. The double-B motif continues with Better Sit Down Boy and continues that explosion and innovation. It is a different beast and sees the band embrace new sounds and lyrical direction. There is that attitude towards cheating and dishonesty; the spirit to take control and that rare blend of taking something with serious undertones and providing a fun and frivolous glee. That track was released a few months back and capped a fantastic year for the band. I am not sure how their music will progress in terms of its scope and sound; whether they will carry on with the B-only song-titles or they expand their alphabetic horizons – but I know the Australian band will go on to big things. I am not sure whether they are going to spin new material but it is clear there is a big army of fans who are bonding with their music. As I continue to write and search for new artists; I am watching Confidence Man and seeing what they pull out their bags next. I would like to think, if an E.P. or album arrived, they would keep with the B-themed songs and stay on those lines. Each song is very different but retains their inventiveness and insane spirit. Their videos are brilliantly conceived and I have seen few other artists take such care and detail with regards their material/videos.

There will be a lot of artists vying for attention this year – I feel Confidence Man will do some great things. In the coming weeks; I will spotlight other artists but I think the Australian band will continue to push limits and inspire imaginations. They say the Pop market is going to change and augment this year. Hungry new musicians are coming through and adding something fresh to the form. It has been long overdue and I am confiden the Boyfriend (Repeat) creators will be hustling with the biggest new acts around. They have been playing together a while but this year has been especially productive and successful. Having played gigs in the U.K.; one feels American touring is going to be part of this year’s plans. The demand is out there and the Australian group are responding with a kaleidoscopic, tropical blend that judges boring boyfriends and losers of love; they document things we are all familiar with – bringing a unique twist to the table. Throw your love and weight behind their music and make sure you keep abreast of all their developments. 2017 was a busy and exceptional one for the group. I have a feeling this year will be the best…


OF their career.


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