Universal Music Publishing Australia are proud to represent Deep Sea Arcade as part of a JV with Chugg Music.
Is it physical? Is it chemical?
Those questions are a line from 'Learning To Fly', on the new Deep Sea Arcade album, Blacklight. But itʼs more than that for the Sydney band built around Nic McKenzie and Nick Weaver. It sums up not just the fresh territory explored on the record – Is it trip hop? Is it electronica? Is it rockʼnʼroll? - but the lifelong friendship at the core of the band.
The mix of spontaneity and perfectionism, competitiveness and collaboration never left the pair during the extended time between records. “We didnʼt know it was going to take that long,” says Weaver. “But even if we skipped a month here and there we were always working in some way.”
Some of the songs go back nearly six years, but others emerged as the discovery of a ukulele, and pairing up with Eric J, a producer better known for his ARIA-winning work with electronica artists such as Weezer, Flume, Chet Faker & The Chemical Brothers, set the direction for the “new” DSA, a band now keener on rhythm and groove.
“If you listen to a song like 'Oh Julia'...I get really excited about playing it live because when Iʼm playing it Iʼm moving around and dancing because it has such a groove,” says McKenzie. “The first album was really straight ahead and this one is more influenced by soul, disco and electronica. When you play to a crowd and see them kind of moving and you drop in something like 'Close To Me' or 'Oh Julia', everyone for a second donʼt know how to move, and then they start really grooving to it.”
You could argue that this album expands the notion of psychedelia you might apply to a rock band like DSA, and what kind of song Weaver and McKenzie can write. But itʼs also redefining what it means to be honest says singer and lyricist, McKenzie. “On the first album Iʼd always hide behind something and hide vulnerability, and it left me feeling detached and when I performed Iʼd feel detached,” he says.
“On this record I feel like I forced my self to actually go, no, I am vulnerable and Iʼm going to say things about being vulnerable and when I speak to the audience Iʼll be that person, Iʼll be me.”
The physical. And the chemical.