6 Track, LP (2012, Chapter)
Related: Fabulous Diamonds.
According to Fabulous Diamonds, this is “adult contemporary” music. Don’t whip your credit card out just yet though, because Commercial Music doesn’t sound much like Gotye and I doubt Music Max will playlist it. Similarly, you may not enjoy listening to this on iPhone buds at the gym. It’s true that technically this music is both contemporary and feasibly enjoyable by adults, but that’s probably not what the band were trying to communicate when they put that in their press release. Or maybe it is.
What is “adult” about this then, and can something be adult without also being lame? Commercial Music is Fabulous Diamonds’ most mature record to date, and Mikey Young’s production does not skimp on bottom end like previously, bringing the two-piece’s dub inclinations to the fore. This is a sumptuous and mesmerising record, incredibly classy on the outside but actually quite stoned on the in. And like their previous LP, Commercial Music is a roughly even split between long instrumentals and comparatively short pop songs, with the latter portion containing Fabulous Diamonds’ best work yet.
Nisa Venerosa’s lyrics are more audible than ever during both ‘Lothario’ and ‘John Song’, each apparently centred on the group’s beef with someone very immature: the lothario has “nothing to show” (and isn’t much fun), while John does too much speed, drinks too much cider and isn’t looking after himself. Neither Venerosa nor Jarrod Zlatic sound very impressed, but these two songs are actually the group’s best – probably ever. Especially ‘John Song’, where the group’s synth layers cloud into shapes and textures that positively glisten. It’s a gorgeous sound: genuinely, almost alarmingly, foreign.
It’s a shame that Fabulous Diamonds can’t write a whole record of material like this, because their pop songs – an ooze of liquid chrome colour – sound incredible next to the comparatively grey-scale instrumentals. There are heaps of groups doing slowly-evolving instrumental synth jams, but pretty much no one moulds those sounds into songs as effectively as Fabulous Diamonds have here. But Fabulous Diamonds will do what they want, and taken as a whole this record plays very neatly, balancing cerebral drift with cosmic whimsy.
You can file Commercial Music under whichever age demographic you please, but Fabulous Diamonds still sound like no one else, which is definitely a feat for any kind of “contemporary” music.
Listen to 'Commercial Music':
by Shaun Prescott