4. The Presets – Pacifica
You’ve just released an album that won Australia’s equivalent of the Grammy’s Album of the Year and are the first electronic band to ever do so. What do you do next? You take four years off. Who needs that kind of pressure? Thankfully, Pacifica is worth the wait. Julian and Kim are still working out their demons through trance punk dance pop and this time around they’ve seem to have spent some time in the Outback with their Aboriginal brothers. Many of the songs are tribal with a militant beat like “Ghosts” which finds Julian reliving his hedonistic youth and trying to learn from it: “Cocaine, song and women and wine/Memories blur and they make me shudder.” This theme of learning from mistakes and attempting to overcome disappointment run throughout especially “Fail Epic” and the extremely intense “Youth in Trouble.” It even laces through their most 80’s-sounding song. “Promises” is the tune you would have expected from them earlier in their career since they claim the likes of Eurythmics as their musical heroes. And like Eurythmics, The Presets can take a stereotypically shallow music style and give it weight. There is a lot of heavy stuff happening in Pacifica, but you won’t mind too much. You’ll be too busy dancing in your own private rave.
Favorite songs: “Youth in Trouble,” “Promises,” “Fall,” “Fast Seconds”