Cut Copy’s newest album, Free Your Mind, is a tremendous dance record that perfectly recreates the feeling of euphoria that accompanies the last energetic dance before the club closes.
Cut Copy, one of this year’s headliners at Fun Fun Fun Fest, has always been an expert at taking the somewhat stale sounds from ’80s pop and making them fresh and invigorating again. On the band’s last record, 2011’s Zonoscope, Cut Copy indulged too much in cheesiness, crafting songs that came too close to sounding like they were written by Men at Work. This time around, the Australian group created an album almost exclusively for the club, one that contains sequencing so perfect that it almost feels like a memorable disk jockey set.
The two qualities that show up immediately on the title track are the house-like beat alongside tropical sounding synths. The band manages to sustain this throughout the entire album, from the driving “We Are Explorers” to the expansive and epic “Meet Me In a House of Love.” Cut Copy takes a note from European dance acts such as Delorean and John Talabot this time around, focusing more on building and carrying momentum rather than building up to big drops.
Free Your Mind would be boring if it were all peaks, but instead it builds as a journey, like albums by Primal Scream. In its valleys, the record gives a near perfect ballad to play at sunset with “Dark Corners & Mountain Tops,” and ends on a sense of exuberant triumph on the soaring “Walking in the Sky.” Free Your Mind reaches a high point midway through the album with the one-two punch of “Footsteps” and “In Memory Capsule.” The former builds up tension steadily, turning into a near rave-like jam. The latter has a propulsive bass line that launches into a wonderful chorus that lightly floats over the whole affair.
Rather than containing two or three monster singles, Free Your Mind is best experienced as a complete set. Even the scattered interludes feel like necessary pieces, providing brief moments to take a short break from dancing. Cut Copy has continued its trend of great records with its best one yet. Free Your Mind takes listeners on a trip they will not want to come down from.