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Live Review: ALTA are 'Back On It'

26 June 2019 | 5:11 pm | Caitlin Medcalf

Reflecting on accountability and swimming in self-reflection, ALTA return today with 'Back On It', the Melbourne duo's first cut of the year. It's out via Melbourne organisation Soothsayer, a label they've called home for a good few years now.

'Back On It' follows their two 2018 singles: 'Figured Out', a supple break beat-led track driven by Hannah Lesser's hauntingly smooth voice and 'Now You Want Me', a UK rave-tinged anthem.

Although the duo's releases in the last few years have been sparse in number, the quality of the music Lesser and Julius Dowson have been making together continues to evolve exponentially. Every track sees them continue to push and elevate, so much so that you can literally hear their musical relationship blossoming as the releases progress.

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'Back On it' offers up a rare moment of introspection from the duo. With RnB inspired vocals, a hauntingly delicate instrumental and a hip-hop like beat, this feels so far from anything the duo have explored before, but it's still inherently ALTA.

The soundscape is complex, but not crowded. Shuffling percussion slides with ease over the choppy soundscape in the verses, and in the chorus, it amalgamates into something complementary to Lesser's vocals. The percussion becomes smooth and restrained, as does Lesser's voice. The instrumental ebbs and flows with the vocal line, and as the track softens, there's a warmness that settles.

'Back On It' marks something more for the duo. They've lit a fire and we can feel that ALTA are building up to something huge.