Melbourne-based electronic duo, American Doubles have today announced their debut single The Swell, a luminous track steeped in blithe nostalgia, out March 17. To accompany the track, the pair have released a spectacularly have-to-see-it-to-believe-it video, co-directed by Daniel and Jarred Daperis of LateNite Films (RÜFÜS) and filmed almost entirely underwater.
The Swell is recommended listening for a long, cool drive, perhaps one which involves a Miami Vice-esque nighttime cruise sequence; characterised by knowing nods to the 80s and to more recent electronic pioneers Metronomy, The Swell is a soaring yet subtle, unbelievably memorable smash. One half of the duo, Rob Smith, reflects on the conception of the song, “I used to walk to St Kilda Pier and along the beach, which brought back memories of when I was growing up and spending summer holidays at our family’s beach house in Cape Patterson. One of those memories is swimming out with a friend past the breakers, floating on our backs for a while and then diving down trying to touch the sea floor. I wanted to try and capture some of that sense of freedom that can come with being in the moment, letting go and having fun.”
The video for The Swell must be seen to be believed. The underwater set is a feast for the eyes; an intriguing story plays out as a woman dives nonchalantly into the watery depths and finds herself in an aquatic bar scene. Patrons dance and drink, bartenders wipe the benches and the woman catches the eye of a man at the bar – all relatively normal, if it weren’t for the fact that the entire scene is performed silently and deeply submerged in a pool of water. The filming process was no mean feat, with everyone from marine biologists, architects, construction workers and freedivers getting in on the action – all of which is documented in an extensive behind the scenes video, filmed over the course of the recording. Proud of the ambitious, breath-taking clip, Smith discusses some of the issues that arose in the leadup, “We were contacting the various departments including underwater cameraman, lighting, set construction, scuba divers, and more, and the enormity of the project really started to dawn on us…for example, one of the issues with using regular actors for underwater work is that after a while, at the depths we were shooting, the veins in their head start to pop out! We wanted everyone to look relaxed and graceful moving around in the water so it was an obvious choice, in the end, to use freedivers.”
The Crunch Team is lucky enough to get an exclusive with American Doubles
Who are you?
Where are you from?
Describe your sound.
Sun-drenched synth pop combining electronic elements with live instrumentation. Suitable for a cool drive around the bay or spontaneous boogie jam!
How did you get started in music?
SMITH: I came from a musical family and learnt piano from a young age from my mother. When I was 11, an older cousin showed me a few simple bass lines and later lent me an electric guitar and amp. The first time I performed on stage was at the Epping Hotel, at an open mic night. I was in a band I started with my brother and a friend, when I was 14. I was in a few other bands throughout high school that played at friend’s parties, and later in bars around Melbourne.
HAMILTON: My involvement with music started at school. Although we didn’t necessarily have the greatest music teacher at that time, there were a couple of remarkably good musicians. During lunch breaks we would hangout in the music room teaching each other tunes, chords etc. My uncle also happened to be a really good guitarist who had a big influence on me, I was 16 when I bought my first guitar. Beyond my school days I joined a few bands occasionally filling in as a session guitarist.
Who inspires you musically?
SMITH: We’re fortunate in Melbourne to have so many talented musicians and producers, particularly around where I live in Thornbury, so the local music scene is something that inspires me. Growing up I listened to STEVIE WONDER, THE BEACH BOYS, MICHAEL JACKSON, DAVID BOWIE, PRINCE, DR. DRE, WU-TANG CLAN, and more. Other inspirations include NAI PALM / HIATUS KAIYOTE, MAS YSA, SBTRKT, MAJOR LAZER and FLUME.
HAMILTON: My tastes are quite eclectic, they range from pop, rock, indie, dance, to funk and everything in between. Growing up I was a big DAVID BOWIE and STEVIE WONDER fan, but I’m always listening to new music wherever I can find it, usually in the electronic genre. DAFT PUNK, LITTLE DRAGON, JUSTICE, SBTRKT, to name a few, have been a massive influence. I would consider them to be masters at what they do, they also set a high standard when it comes to production.
Tell us about your single.
SMITH: The single was inspired by memories of summer holidays I spent as a child at my family’s beach house in Cape Patterson. I use love to swim out past the breaking waves and float on my back in the swell. After a while I’d take a big breath and dive down in an attempt to touch the ocean floor. Writing The Swell, I wanted to try and evoke a sense of summer, letting go and feeling free.
We reached out to the amazing team at LATENITE FILMS to make us a music video. It was the most ambitious projects we’ve done to date, and one that combined some seriously creative minds along the way. Everyone went well and truly above and beyond to make sure The Swell music video looked as amazing and epic as possible – and we’re eternally grateful for their help! We’re thrilled to be receiving so many positive reviews!
Are you playing any shows?
We’re planning some shows in Melbourne, which we’ll be announcing soon, so keep an eye out on our socials!
Tips for aspiring musicians out there?
Keep it fun. Find music you’re passionate about and immerse yourself in it.
What can we expect from you next?
We’re currently putting the final touches on our EP which will be coming out this year, then we’ll be doing some live shows.
Tell us about your album/EP.
We are honoured and thrilled to be working with the incredibly talented Jimi Maroudas as our Exec. Producer on our EP. Jimi brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the music and we’ve learnt so much through working with him. One of the things he has encouraged us to do is to find the truth in each song, which has guided the production process, helping make each song as good as it can be. While most of the tracks are upbeat there’s a good dose of moodiness across the EP as well.
The Swell is a remarkable debut from American Doubles, one which refuses to leave the head after only a single listen.
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