Slum Tear Finished - resize

REVIEW: Slum Sociable’s “TQ” is a dreamy, musical melting pot

Melbourne duo Slum Sociable (Edward Quinn and Miller Upchurch) blew us away when we caught them at BigSound in September, and we have since been eagerly awaiting the release of EP TQ. With their debut, they have unleashed their self-dubbed “lo-fo,” trip hop/dirty late-night jazz/shoegaze/psychedelic wonder, and it’s enough to make you want to slow shuffle across the room with the most impressionistic of dance moves. With the pair playing almost everything themselves, plus the winning co-production stamp of Tom Iansek (Big Scary, #1 Dads), the result is a wistful kaleidoscope of sound.

Amorphous single All Night kicks off the seven-track jam with a languid flow. Led along by the unique vocals of Upchurch and burrowing down into those layers of shimmering instrumentation, you best bring a flash light, because man, those grooves are deep. The video to accompany the track was released last week and gives a surreal bend to the already-dreamy number. There is humour, there is melancholy, and there is some line dancing that will make you want to strap on those cowboy boots and bust out the moves you learned way back in grade five.

Instrumental bridge I Want to Sit On The Biggest Chair You Own, is a rag-time time warp with crackling vintage sounds that gives way to stand-out track Paradigm. The restrained intro slowly climbs to a Thom Yorke-esque melody that never quite reaches a climax, but leaves you clinging to the sparsely populated backing of glitchy strings and electronic accents. My Main Broad Got Into My Wife’s House similarly provides a sleepy intro to closing track Luck So Far.

While I’m usually not one to dictate a listening experience, this one is best played in order from beginning to end to fully appreciate the whole nuanced journey. A seemingly insignificant key strike is called back on at just the right moment, giving the collection of sounds the feeling of a lazy eight infinity symbol, looping back on itself with blissful dexterity.

Despite clocking in as an EP, TQ has all the feeling of an accomplished album from an established band. Rarely does a debut find a group so completely comfortable in their own sonic skin, bleeding a sound that is truly their own. Finding themselves on the bill for next year’s Laneway Festival, and already selling out headline shows in their home town, it is safe to say these boys from Mordialloc, Victoria, are well on their way. For the live show, the duo expand to a four piece, with a performance that brings an added exuberance that should not be missed.

Grab the EP here and check out their full tour dates here.