It’s been a while since we’ve been treated to a new release from Tasmanian-based duo Close Counters, but at long last they’re back with a brand new slinky track.
The duo, consisting of Allan McConnell and Finn Rees, spent most of last year in Europe, during which time they teamed up with UK-based vocalist James Berkeley to produce a down-tempo, house-infused cover of Musiq Souldchild’s "Just Friends."
Fans of the original song will recognise the track’s iconic slinky keys and staggering drums, but it’s not long before Close Counters shake things up and make the track their own. Layers of James’ soulful vocal harmonies cruise atop the laid-back beats. The infectious RnB groove continues to grow as the track builds: whispers of electronic waves break into the chorus, claps spice up the percussion, and a bright guitar adds a crisp edge to the already funky backbeat. Things really heat up at 3:27 when James takes the helm with a meandering synth solo.
If you’re in Australia, you can catch Close Counters headlining a series of shows in Sydney (05 May), Melbourne (09 May) and Hobart (20 May). Otherwise, keep an eye out for their upcoming mixtape, Soulacoasta. James Berkeley is currently the frontman for his new band Yakul, who’ll be releasing their debut EP later this year.
In the meantime, you can watch "Just Friends" performed live on location at James' house in Brighton, UK: