It may be surprising to hear that Hermitude have been around since 2000. After three moderately successful albums it wasn’t until 2012’s, HyperParadise that the Hermitude juggernaut really began.
From playing chilled-out side stages to commanding prime spots on festival bills, suddenly they were centre stage and receiving acclaim from the critical establishments to boot. ‘Speak of the Devil’ won the Triple J award for best video and its accompanying album, HyperParadise went on to win the AIR Award for Best Electronic Album as well as an ARIA nod for Best Dance Release.
With a new album, Dark Night Sweet Light, in tow, the Sydney duo’s meteoric rise continues to accelerate with their first headlining tour in North America this year. On the back of this success, Hermitude brought their trademark chill-out but danceable vibe to 170 Russell Street (aka Billboards) on Friday night.
[include_post id=”449051″] Rising stars in their own rights, Aussie beatmakers, Basenji and Jayteehazard thrilled the packed house before Hermitude head honchos, Angus ‘El Gusto’ Stuart and Luke ‘Dubs’ Dubber, took to the stage to rapturous applause.
An elaborate stage and audio-visual set-up (featuring an animated Pacman re-imagined for the 21st century) prove the boys mean business on this album tour. Launching straight into songs from their brand newie, including 2014 single ‘Ukiyo’, the duo sent the chillout, feel-good vibes everyone’s way to ease us into proceedings.
A cheeky throwback to The Tokens famous, one-hit-wonder, ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’, complete with steel drums and jungle chanting, invites the crowd to sing-a-long, slowing things down further and we know we are in for a huge drop. As if on cue, the build-up suddenly kicks into the sped-up/distorted vocals of Flume’s massive ‘HyperParadise’ remix, sending the crowd into a sweaty, dance frenzy.
[include_post id=”446391″] It seems Hermitude have truly mastered the one-two effectiveness of a restrained build-up followed by a huge climax. Chloe Kaul, one half of another local electronic duo, Klo, lent her beautiful vibrato and haunting vocals to ‘Hazy’ providing a calm before the storm of sorts, leading to another explosive track, the seriously danceable, ‘Speak of the Devil’.
By this point it didn’t matter what the band did next but they kept the fever pitch high with excellent versions of ‘All of You’ and especially new single, ‘The Buzz’, which takes us collectively into the stratosphere.
Walking off stage, an encore was called for and the duo dutifully delivered with ‘Get in My Life’, sending us away on the highest of notes. This was as tight a concert-like performance as ever from an electronic duo that keep going from strength to strength. Hermitude are truly a force to be reckoned with live.
Live review: Friday 19th June at 170 Russell, Melbourne.