Van She +Jesse and Paul + New Saxons
10:00pm, Sat 2nd February, 2013
Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
This event has passed and sales are now closed
You can try and break Van She down into some kind of premeditated post-post-modern actualisationist art rock milieu but you’d soon regret the time you spent devising that first half of the sentence as really you have missed the point. Absolutely dripping with the ability to warm hearts with one hand and then break them with the other, Van She are a synth-pop band sex-wave quartet dishing out gems suitable both under the moonlight with the one you love and on the mixtape for the one you’ll never have.
More DMSR than PLUR, Van She are your entry point into the infinite looping algorithm of romance and melody. Pop songs about love, love songs done pop, however you look at it there's no denying the emotion at stake here. Thankfully it's sincere without being naive and direct without being cheesy. There's no race against time to rhyme lady with baby before the fade but rather an air of desire permeating the tracks like dry ice from the drum riser. Heartfelt from the first glammed out chord through to the dying moments of the reverb trail, there's an undeniable substance that banishes any thoughts of earnestness or irony.
A four piece that seemingly came out of nowhere but were probably always going to happen, the band broke out of the gates and into hearts in 2005 with their self-titled debut EP. It was this Nick Littlemore (Pnau, Empire of the Sun) produced recording that not only introduced the world to the stadium air punch of "Kelly" (and its moderately evil twin "Sex City") but also a broader sense of the light and shade the band were working with; a glazen-pop facia with a driving energy behind it and some passion noir in the middle. At this point the band went hammer-drill and tongs touring locally and overseas, showing festival crowds and backroom fiends alike that what they were doing (a frontfoot ultra-prom soundtrack) worked and was only getting more mindblinding each time. In between all the stunning and touring came the birth of Van She Tech, an offshoot by 50% of the band that saw them fill floors from the booth rather than the stage. Not content just dropping other people's jams, the pair churned out a mountain of remix work including some highlight moments for Tiga, Klaxons and Feist in addition to a UK #1 with their take on Utah Saint's all-time mega classic "Something Good".
Van She's neu-wave heartsleeved pop tracks from a faded postcard of the future weren't going to write themselves though, so the band went into lockdown in regional NSW for what may have been a moment or maybe longer. Here they laid down the majority of what would become their debut album then packed up, took it to London and pieced it together with Jim Abbiss (Massive Attack, Ladytron, Kasabian) to form V. The result was somewhat a departure from the EP but still very Van She - massive and fun but still personal. The band then got matching varsity jackets, remixed the album as Ze Vemixes and went on the road, postmodernising audiences all over with their own idiosyncratic brand of Van She party. Since then it's been a bundle more touring, some side projects, late nights, later mornings and a stack of new gear. The contextual sum of which has eventuated in the bands hotly anticipated sophomore long player, Idea of Happiness. A post-tropical voyage across the plains and through the dreamstate, Idea... is absolutely jammed to the coconut bra with poolside shaman vocals, an alternate universe Compass Point rhythm section and synths caught somewhere between French Touch and late night FM dedications.
The last seven years have seen Van She go from strength to strength, supporting the likes of Phoenix and Daft Punk, thrusting themselves upon a myriad of festivals, headlining their own tours and racking up an abundance of fans along the way. Noteworthy above all else though is the band's sound, a constant plasmatic evolution into what's next and could be. From the anthemic proto-wave nestling up against synthetic lovers' rock to the Ocasek-house fleshing in and out of midnight daiquiri funk, it's all Van She. It's the skewed memory of the past and the glistening promise of the future but crucially it's four idealists putting all the best bits of everything together to make their own slice of another dimension that weirdly nobody else has figured out yet.
Van She's 2nd album, Idea Of Happiness, is out now via Modular Recordings.
vanshe.com / modularpeople.com