Premiere: Meet Vast Hill and their synth-disco dream of a new single, Heartbreaker
With glistening synth and a disco-funk groove, the single is perfect for fans of Touch Sensitive.
It's no secret that we're a real sucker for synth-pop, with the glistening sounds and nostalgia that often come with the sub-genre winning us over time and time again, no matter whether they're coming from names like Touch Sensitive and Luke Million or those a bit smaller, like Perth favourites Priscilla. Sydney duo Vast Hill are a pairing definitely amongst these names, with their new single Heartbreaker - premiering on Pilerats today ahead of its full release tomorrow - offering somewhat of a masterclass in this nostalgic, synth-driven disco, throwing it back to the 80s funk scene while also shading it with something new, exciting and futuristic - a sure-fire sign they're onto something good.
Heartbreaker is a single that feels somewhat relentless but in a good way. From the second the single's opening drum kick hits, the track never really settles until the two-minute mark, with spiralling synth melodies and twinkling keys combining with subtle vocals and its punchy percussion to create a disco-leaning epic you really can't get enough of. "The single is about being a family member or a close friend to someone who is trapped in a toxic relationship, and watching that person spiral into a dark place, and you don’t know how to help them. It also kind of pays homage to that relationship you have before you find someone who is the real deal," they say on the single, which was written alongside Luke Million and FROYO's Michael Chow. "Luke is such a talent in the music scene and we loved what he did on I Know Leopard's album. We also have loved all his releases over the years and knew he would be able to bring something really special to our music. As well as mixing Heartbreaker and the entire LP, he also added some of his own touches to the soundscape of the track."
There's plenty more to come from the duo in 2019, so listen to Heartbreaker below and better get to know the pairing while you're at it:
Tell us about yourself?
We are a music making, girlfriend/boyfriend duo from Sydney. We have been playing and writing music together since 2013 under a few different band names and formed Vast Hill in 2015. We’ve released a bunch of singles since then along with a collaborative EP with Sydney synthwave producer Jordan F. Other important things about us? We love everything retro and nostalgic; we have three awesome big dogs and have both picked up roller-skating recently.
What’s the vibe music-wise?
I think we would describe ourselves as synth pop or dream pop essentially. We aren’t quite pop-pop, but we do love to keep our songs having a catchy melody. We also love to throwback to our favourite eras and artists from the 60s, 70s and 80s.
What are your production and writing processes like?
Our writing process is basically one of us (Adin or Elle) will come up with the bones of what we think will be a good track, we then show each other the basic track and get some melody ideas from each other etc. and then the person whose track it is will do the majority of the rest of the production on it. Adin writes most of our lyrics and Elle writes most of the melodies, the music is pretty much 50/50.
Can you tell us about your latest single Heartbreaker?
Elle: I wrote this one very quickly actually, pretty much while driving haha. I have this weird thing where a line will just come to me at random moments, and just repeat and repeat over and over in my head until I write about it. It’s usually about something I’ve recently experienced. In this case, it was watching a loved one spiral into a depression through a toxic relationship. The main chorus lyric: “ you’re breaking my heart baby,” and “I knew from the start that you’d be breaking my heart” is in reference to the foreboding feelings I always had about my loved one ending up in the situation.
When I started to track the instruments down, I was really loving a groovy bassline and some snappy synth lines and percussion, so it just kinda formed super quickly from that song into what you hear now. Of course, we had some amazing help from Dom Cabusi on Bass, Michael Chow from FROYO who co-produced it with me and the one and only Luke Million who did additional production and mixing on Heartbreaker to get it sounding next level.
Any tour dates coming up?
Keep your weekends in April free!
We are doing a few really amazing gigs including supporting Florian for her single Launch on April 12th at the Lansdowne, heading down to North Wollongong Hotel on April 21st for one of their Sunday sessions/parties, and also our own single Launch at the Sly Fox on April 27th with the awesome electronic duo JANEY and Songstress extraordinaire Tilda.
What does 2019 have in store for you?
2019 is going to be huge for us! We have an entire album of music that we will be releasing quite soon, plus a whole heap of live shows and a bit of a bigger tour, hopefully making some stops in Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane! Very exciting stuff coming your way folks.
Where can we find more of your music?
You can find us on Spotify, iTunes, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, Youtube, basically all the main places, Vast Hill is there.
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