The new tracks feel more elaborate and colourful than tracks like “Vision of Love” and “$tripper”, which boosted your career in 2012. At that point some people would call you…
Matt: …1990s house revivalists, yeah.
Right. And I was wondering if the decision to focus more on melodies and experiment with rhythms on the follow-up releases was some kind of reaction to that?
Andy: Well, we were able to afford the synths we wanted in the first place. So we were able to start making the music that we envisioned.
Matt: At the time we were playing a lot of 1990s house. It’s strange how your musical tastes evolve, because I can’t listen to 1990s stuff anymore. I still play some of it, but… We started taking music more seriously after that [period]. When you’re young and naive, you just put out a record and don’t really think about it.
Andy: Today it takes us a lot more time formulate a release. Like, every track on this EP has to reflect what we’re thinking, whereas in the beginning, we used to mix stuff down really quickly.
Matt: It’s quite easy to put swing on the drums, to add a chirpy little melody, two chords and a little vocal sample. That’s not hard – it’s an easy way in. But then, when you get a bit more confident, you’re like, okay, let’s try something that’s going to take more time. Writing music is very different to writing house beats.
Stream: Bicep – Aura (Clip)
But then, “Vision of Love” and “$tripper” both got a 4.5/5 rating on Resident Advisor, right?
Andy: We actually got three 4.5 ratings in a row. I think we were before the curve, basically.
Matt: It was crazy.
Andy: It was reflective of the time for a music magazine like that to give a track a score like that. If we put it out now, we’d get 1 out of 5.
Matt: Minus score, points off our next release!
Andy: Maybe if we had released it only four months later, it would have been a different score. Also, some of the tracks like “$tripper”, we had had for a year. It took a year to press it. But even if we had released it a year before, it might have not had hit. It’s just about timing sometimes.
Another milestone track in your career is “Just” from 2015. Both, Mixmag and DJ Mag voted it track of the year.
Matt: The funny thing about that track is that we made it really fast. We played around with the bass line and changed some of the notes and turned it into a top line. The pads were recorded almost immediately, just straight away. Then we had a singer in, doing vocals, and we were talking to her with the microphone still on in-between singing. We were like, “Can you just repeat that?” And she’s like, “You mean just the same?” We were going to put the actual song vocals in, but then we decided that the spoken bit sounded more real.
Andy: They were actually in the perfect position as well!
Matt: We were like, you know what, let’s just keep it like this. It was an experiment. We did it so fast, we didn’t think about it too much. We expected it just to disappear. We thought it’s going to be a very quiet release.
Andy: I wasn’t confident at all. We liked it, but I wasn’t even sure if Will [Saul, head of Aus Music where the Just EP was released] was going to like it.
Matt: For a month or two it didn’t get any attention. And the suddenly out of nowhere it gained momentum. It really was actually six months later that people started playing it out. It just goes to show how important it is to try and be naive and not care. When we were writing the album it was really difficult to stay experimental, because there’s this pressure on you. You think like, you’re making an album, you need to make good tracks. Whereas sometimes the best ones you do are when you’re not trying to do anything, when you’re just messing around.