Australian-American indie electro-psych pop duo Vox Eagle exploded onto the music scene in 2017 with some of the most enjoyable tunes of the year. Since joining forces in 2015, Andy Crosby and Luke Hamel, who make up Vox Eagle, spent time traveling throughout the U.S., writing and recording songs for their debut EP Flamingo Paradiso Pt. 1., which drops on July 24. They’ve released three of the tracks as singles thus far, the first of which, “No Sleep” I reviewed in May.
They humorously refer to their style of music as ‘jungle disco,’ but other descriptors could well include tropical pop, dance pop or dream pop – or a melding of all of them. But whatever you call it, their catchy sound is deliriously upbeat, and just makes you feel good. It washes over you in a gorgeous soundscape, like being under a waterfall on a tropical island.
The lead single “No Sleep” offers up bouncy grooves, with swirling synths floating over an irresistible bass-heavy dance beat. Jangly guitar and drums round out the instrumentals, while Andy’s smooth vocals occasionally rise to a stirring falsetto as he croons: “Is it any wonder? The current pulls us under. No sleep no sleep for the wicked no./ I keep on counting sheep. Days into nights, nights into weeks. Out of sight, out of mind, never mind.”
The guys seem to channel Tame Impala on the atmospheric dream pop gem “Come Over.” Otherworldly synths and a powerful thumping bass kick things off, then a seductive dance beat takes over, compelling you to get those hips swaying. Echoed, reverb-heavy synths and Andy’s wonderful vocals add an exotic vibe to the track that really does sound like ‘jungle disco.’
“Summer Now” is a breezy, upbeat track about longing for a return of those sun-kissed days on the beach, and that romantic summer fling you had. Andy sings “Take us back down to the summertime by the seaside. Where the city girls got the wildflowers in their hair. Never told you it was gonna last forever anyhow. So we keep waiting, we keep waiting for these clocks to start winding down.” The warm synths and guitars, along with soaring harmonic choruses that remind me of early Beach Boys, are perfectly appropriate for the song’s theme.
The guys get a little funky on “Sweet Temptations” while maintaining their signature infectious beats, heavy bass and sweeping choruses. There’s a terrific bass-heavy break down in the bridge, and the guitar riffs are incredibly satisfying. Fun, eerie synths abound on the quirky joyful romp “Jungle Song,” It’s the most experimental track on the EP, with dynamic African beats, electronically altered echoed vocals and lots of interesting synthesized animal sounds.
The EP closes with “Plastic People,” a somewhat mellower track with a languid beat and dreamy synths. There’s a hint of a Calypso vibe that immediately conjures up images of a tropical island. The mix of instrumentals are perfect, and the guys’ harmonic choruses are sublime as always. In fact, their gorgeous vocals are one of the primary components of their incredible sound. The song lyrics speak to getting in touch with nature and avoiding fake people.
Though I don’t usually grade albums or EPs, I have to give Flamingo Paradiso Pt. 1 a solid 10. There isn’t a standout track, as every one of them is outstanding and meticulously crafted. Vox Eagle’s attention to detail is strongly evident on every level, yet the tracks never feel overproduced. I love their music, and can’t wait to hear what they have in store for Part 2!