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Live Review: 'Sway' into Exhibitionist's foggy euphoria

20 April 2018 | 8:42 am | Kyle Fensom

Leading up to her debut EP, Exhibitionist continues to demonstrate the project's pop inclinations with her third single, the foggy, euphoric 'Sway'

EXHIBITIONIST (the solo project of multi-instrumentalist KIRSTY TICKLE) has unveiled ‘Sway’, the lead single from her upcoming debut EP, which is set to be released in June. A former touring member of a plethora of local acts, Tickle continues to demonstrate with ‘Sway’ where the Exhibitionist project fits into the grand scheme of her musical output. Following on from her breakout 2017 singles, ‘Hands’ and ‘Motionless’, the picture we’re increasingly getting of Exhibitionist is that it's an outlet for Tickle’s pop inclinations away from the fiery noise stylings of her other current project PARTY DOZEN. It’s an ideal place for Tickle to find the Exhibitionist project in leading up to the release of her debut EP.

Tickle explains that “‘Sway’ is about feeling tangled up in someone, and wanting to fold into them completely, while futilely trying to guard your heart in the process. I wrote it in Melbourne over two days about a man I adore who has this beautiful, bright personality that sometimes makes my own flaws feel very exposed. It’s a personal reminder to be open to love, and to stop pushing against it even when things feel a bit unsteady.”

Reuniting with her frequent collaborator (and other-half of Party Dozen) JONATHAN BOULET and with co-writing and production credits from LUCIANBLOMKAMP, Exhibitionist crafts a production style that feels crisp and weightless at the same time, tangling you up and carrying you away in subsiding waves of euphoria. The track opens foggily, with Tickle’s delicate, beguiling vocals cutting through pillowy synths and a shuffling two-step beat that sounds as if it’s been submerged beneath the neon-tinged haze of a nightclub. The intro feels restrained and circumspect, almost like it’s hesitant to fully open itself up just yet. But any inhibitions crumble beneath a rushing chorus bolstered by buzzing, swelling synth chords, a pulsing bass line, heavenly, subtle countermelodies and Tickle’s ethereal harmonising.

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Despite what she says, Exhibitionist sounds anything but flawed on ‘Sway’.

'Sway' is out now on Future Classic.

IMAGE: Amanda Merten