Originally forming in 2012, Melbourne-based ex-shoegazers Zone Out dispersed in 2014 following a string of warmly received independent releases. Returning in 2015 as one-half of the band’s original lineup, Ashley Bundang (Totally Mild, Sui Zhen, Ciggie Witch) and Dove Bailey (Scotdrakula) have re-assembled with a new direction, though very much the same manifesto.
Despite boasting a brighter, more pop-inflected sound, Zone Out are no less fittingly titled. Precursory singles ‘Inside’ and ‘Breakdown’ masterfully blend elements of new-wave, dream-pop and electronica with rich, broody soundscapes that bring to mind ‘80s synth-pop greats such as Berlin.
The duo’s debut LP Transience ambles further down that path, with swirling synth pads washing over syncopated beats and Bundang’s lilting vocals; whilst the addition of Bailey’s jangly guitar tones add a welcome point of difference in the vein of Beach House circa Teen Dream.
It makes for a beautifully soothing record filled with equal parts sincerity and restraint.
Transcience, LP (2016)