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Live Review: Retiree are back to satisfy your throwback needs with 'Pumice Stone'

12 June 2018 | 8:42 am | Max Lewis

Melbourne retro-poppers Retiree have returned with 'Pumice Stone', a cold yet catchy taste of their upcoming debut album 'House or Home'.

It's been a while since we've heard a proper release from RETIREE, but they've finally dropped a brand new single titled 'Pumice Stone', ahead of their long-awaited debut album House or Home set to release in September via Rhythm Section.

Through a number of singles and an EP in 2015 Retiree have been homing their sound of laid-back 80s groove, bridging the gap between sultry funk and glittery pop. Once a four-piece, the band now consists of Matt Crowley, Tori Holleman and Marco Vella, resulting in a tighter, groovier and more minimal sound which is fully on display with 'Pumice Stone.'

'Pumice Stone' recounts an experience singer Tori Holleman had while walking on the beach, where he saw dozens of dead birds washed up on the sand. As a result, the track is a little colder than previous Retiree cuts, yet still packs the same one-two punch of pop and funk. A far-away drum machine sets a medium pace, shadowed by a subtle yet expressive bassline. The song is full of poppy vocal and guitar hooks, yet the song has notes of the coldwave genre running underneath, like the melancholy synth that enhances the chorus. It's these little touches that hold 'Pumice Stone' above Retiree's previous work - it goes beyond retro pop into something a little more nuanced and personal.

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The video, directed by Joey Knox, enhances the cold aesthetic of the track with an impersonal blue hue. Taking place at a furniture store in Melbourne's Footscray, the trio perform the song in a storage room overlooking a busy street. Shots range from closeups of the band members to more artistic cuts, like the singer walking through mazes of stacked furniture, or reflected in a line of mirrors. The video exudes an uncanny 'lost in time' vibe thanks to the old furniture and cold colour grading, which adds nicely to the sort of melancholy feel of the song. The track is part one of three videos creating a visual story, so stay tuned for more tracks down the line ahead of the release of House or Home in September.