11 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

At Hermitude's tiny 2019 homecoming gig at a community center in the Blue Mountains hamlet of Blackheath, one half of the electronic duo, Luke Dubs, wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the imperative LISTEN TO MILES DAVIS. It’s advice he and his production partner El Gusto have clearly taken themselves. Where 2015’s Dark Night Sweet Light reveled in the sort of bass-music pyrotechnics normally associated with EDM festival main stages, the strength of Pollyanarchy, their sixth album, is in its contemplative moods and jazzier atmospheres.

In the years since Hermitude released their 2003 debut LP, a set of downtempo hip-hop instrumentals entitled Alleys to Valleys, they’ve gradually shifted shape to become one of Australia’s bigger dance music exports—and have made some big-name international friends along the way. So Pollyanarchy is both a return to form of sorts and also a victory lap, full of plush, soul-infused beds upon which a score of high-profile vocalists spit, croon, or simply drift away—as Bibi Bourelly does gorgeously on a couple tunes. Hermitude still keeps things hype, but the beats and chords that gird LA rapper Wes Period on “Swerve” or Toronto-via-Melbourne singer Hoodlem on “Every Day” are as emotive as they are danceable. If you want deep vibes, check out the laidback “Dusk Till Dawn,” featuring Vic Mensa, or “OneFourThree,” where Buddy & BJ the Chicago Kid bubble over a simple but slinky house rhythm.

EDITORS’ NOTES

At Hermitude's tiny 2019 homecoming gig at a community center in the Blue Mountains hamlet of Blackheath, one half of the electronic duo, Luke Dubs, wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the imperative LISTEN TO MILES DAVIS. It’s advice he and his production partner El Gusto have clearly taken themselves. Where 2015’s Dark Night Sweet Light reveled in the sort of bass-music pyrotechnics normally associated with EDM festival main stages, the strength of Pollyanarchy, their sixth album, is in its contemplative moods and jazzier atmospheres.

In the years since Hermitude released their 2003 debut LP, a set of downtempo hip-hop instrumentals entitled Alleys to Valleys, they’ve gradually shifted shape to become one of Australia’s bigger dance music exports—and have made some big-name international friends along the way. So Pollyanarchy is both a return to form of sorts and also a victory lap, full of plush, soul-infused beds upon which a score of high-profile vocalists spit, croon, or simply drift away—as Bibi Bourelly does gorgeously on a couple tunes. Hermitude still keeps things hype, but the beats and chords that gird LA rapper Wes Period on “Swerve” or Toronto-via-Melbourne singer Hoodlem on “Every Day” are as emotive as they are danceable. If you want deep vibes, check out the laidback “Dusk Till Dawn,” featuring Vic Mensa, or “OneFourThree,” where Buddy & BJ the Chicago Kid bubble over a simple but slinky house rhythm.

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