HTRK Share Fourth Album, ‘Venus In Leo’

Australian duo HTRK has just shared another dreamy preview of their upcoming release and it’s just what your week needs. Jonnine Standish and Nigel Yang pay homage to the group’s history in an intimate and compelling form of downtempo electronic. Three albums later, the two continue to define their own sound as one without bounds. Influenced by the project’s past in ‘underground rock’, the two singles out from ‘Venus In Leo’ are a trippy blend of string-filled electronica.

HTRK’s past isn’t without woes. Debuted in 2003 by Nigel and former bandmate Sean Stewart, the two were later joined by Jonnie. The three cut their teeth on Mute sub-label Blast First Petite. Churning out 2 albums and a few EPs, the group quickly made their mark in an emerging underground market. Stewart’s untimely death in 2010 sent shockwaves through the community.

Remaining members Nigel and Jonnine joined the Ghostly camp in 2011 with a series of records before a well-rinsed album on the label in 2014. Psychic 9-5 Club opened new doors for the act, predicting their future in experimental analogue sounds all with a subtle hint of post-rock. Now five years later, HTRK continue the legacy with a truly unique sound continuously breaking through genre barriers.

Ghostly Int. Over the soft strums of acoustic guitar, the album’s introduction, “Into the Drama,” posits a theory that “what was once considered self-sabotage could be revisited as being under the influence of Venus in Leo,” Standish explains. Fingerpicked guitar loops rise slowly and fall over a cold, brittle beat. Previously released lovesong “Mentions” finds Standish exploring the lack of physical intimacy in the social media age. Elsewhere, there are emotional highs, like on the kaleidoscopic single “You Know How to Make Me Happy” which details a suspended state of ecstasy, Standish commending her partner’s conscious efforts to prop her up with compliments. “New Year’s Day” traces a flimsy resolution to get healthier, instantly busted by an evening of debauchery, recalling “the worst possible start to the year with bad friends and bad behavior.” The silver lining is the sunrise: “pink, red, orange, white, peach” Standish repeats as the track laps with a velvety, hypnotic refrain.

‘Venus In Leo’ Out August 30th

  1. Into the Drama
  2. Mentions
  3. Venus in Leo
  4. You Know How to Make Me Happy
  5. Dream Symbol
  6. Hit ‘Em Wit Da Hee
  7. Dying of Jealousy
  8. New Year’s Day
  9. New Year’s Eve