Why are Art Vs. Science like The Presets? Well, in a music industry nanosecond Art Vs. Science have gone from relative unknowns with a penchant for Daft Punk and amphibious limbs to Triple J unearthed winners, ARIA nominees, Summer festival favourites and custodians of the Australian public’s second favourite song of 2009 (according to Triple J listeners “Parlez-Vous Francais” is the best Australian song of last year).
It’s a remarkable list of achievements considering their age and whether you think they’re the “greatest live act ever produced in aus” or “their (sic) trying to (sic) hard to be cool, instead they look really dumb” (thanks hyperbolic Youtube commenters) the swiftness of their ascendancy can’t be denied.
So what does this have to do with The Presets? Well aside from vague stylistic similarities, Art Vs. Science who’re managed by Bossy have recently inked a deal with Parallel Management to provide A&R services for their debut album. For those that aren’t familiar with the inner workings and power-brokers of the Australian music industry Parallel Management are responsible (along with Modular records) for commandeering The Presets to a sea of platinum and gold. Despite undoubtedly a number of major label offers, Art vs Science chose to go independent and the innovative deal will see Art Vs. Science, Bossy and Parallel Management release the band’s debut record independently through MGM.
Just think about that for a minute. A few years back Parallel Management & Modular transformed a once-marginalized dance act into the biggest band in Australia. You might have heard of them – they go by The Presets. A band who own ARIA singles records, a mountain of pointy trophies and enough clout to sell out the Hordern Pavilion three times while still keeping the critics and jaded Pedestrian editors happy.
Now add that success road map to Art Vs. Science – a band that already boasts an extensive and fiercely loyal fan base. A fan base that skews younger. A fan base that is forever bolstered through generous Triple J support and the band’s ubiquity on the Aussie festival circuit. A fan base that vocally supports and promotes the band they love (I struggled to find one negative comment about Art Vs. Science on Youtube).
We could talk about accessibility. We could point out that though The Presets take occasional excursions into icy, minimal German territory, Art Vs. Science pen some of the most accessible (some would say unchallenging) and shamelessly fun (some would say brainless) pop music to emerge from the electro mire that is Australian dance music. I mean, it’s hard for critics to praise songs about flippers but do you know what’s even harder? Getting 20,000 people to sing along to a song about flippers. Imagine if they also wrote a track that had the critics reaching for their 2010 best of lists? The mind boggles. It’s the kind of populist appeal that scares the shit out of me and they haven’t even released an album yet.
And if you’re interested that debut album is well on its way. Art Vs. Science are currently recording their as-yet-untitled debut (due for release in June/July) with Berkfinger of Philadelphia Grand Jury with whom Art Vs. Science drummer Dan Williams previously played. Meanwhile the band’s first two singles are set to be mixed by UK producer, mixer and audio engineer Cenzo Townsend (Florence + The Machine, Late of the Pier, Yeasayer, Hot Chip). God help us all if there are any more Parlez-Vous Francais-esque anthems on the album because in the not too distant future, Art Vs. Science just might go from “those dudes who sang about flippers” to the biggest band in Australia. And there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.