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Live Review: Fortunes. get bare with new 'Undress' EP

3 May 2017 | 7:46 am | Freya Dinesen

FORTUNES. have released their long-awaited third EP, Undress. The four track extended-play follows on from their two single releases, ‘Focus’ and ‘501s’.

FORTUNES. have released their long-awaited third EP, Undress. The four track extended-play follows on from their two single releases, ‘Focus’ and ‘501s’, which have been in circulation for several months and developed huge anticipation in wake of the EP.

The New Zealand duo have been kicking around in Melbourne for quite some time now and their two prior EP releases, Hoodie and Jacket, were released in pretty quick succession. It’s absolutely refreshing for an artist to present consistency in their release times, not to mention the insanity of Fortunes. production and workflow abilities to be able to produce an annual EP for three consecutive years.

For Undress, Fortunes. have hulled back the layers to present us with more clean and tightly produced tracks, showing the duo’s sonic evolution into more smooth, earthly vibes in a very natural and artistic progression.

The pair is comprised of Conor McCabe and Barnaby Matthews, who went to high school together in New Zealand. It wasn't until a decade later that they reconnected to form this homegrown grooving alt-RnB superforce.

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Undress opens with ‘501’s’; a tenacious, funky tune which was celebrated as their first single release more than six months ago. Already remixed and reserving itself as an instant classic, ‘501's’ bestows a throwback to OG RnB vibes, interspersed with clean, crisp modern electronic beats. At first glance, this track seems like a modern day serenade, potentially paying some enchanting compliments to a fine crush. The reality is slightly less charming with McCabe shares:

"One day I left work and was walking across the road and I was real paranoid that my fly was down but was like omg, shame checking! My original idea for this song was, sometimes guys forget they fly, it don’t mean they down for you."

We’ve definitely all been there, but to be able write a sheeny, superficial song about the incidence should be considered a pretty marvellous talent.

Transitioning away from the denim situation, we are presented with the second cut off the EP, ‘Hero Man’. Building on a classic drum machine base and genteel synth pads, this track conceives crafty vocal and hard synth hooks. This, beautifully paired with a variety of other melodic instrument textures and sweet, cloud-like backing vocal harmonies, offers a lush offset to the EP’s leading single.

'Linen' throws in darker vibes, referencing long, lonely nights and presenting subtexts of the crave for human intimacy. Like with the jeans fiasco, the themes of ‘Linen’ are incredibly relatable, even going as far as to mention spooning pillows…

‘Focus’ is a complete juxtaposition to ‘Linen’, finishing off the EP as Fortunes.’ other single release from the project. The lyrics are beautifully niche articulations of one’s consuming adoration, and it is apparent that Fortunes. certainly have a gift for writing words in this way, brilliantly pairing them with outstanding production and soaring vocal ranges.

Undress is out now via Future Classic, including a 12″ vinyl which features both this EP on the A-side and the critically-acclaimed Jacket EP on the B-side.

Fortunes. also have an accompanying tour in New Zealand and Australia for the EP's release. Tour dates and ticket information can be found here.