In the classic boy-band trajectory, a frontman’s solo release is known to mark an exit point from the group that established their musical career. For Sydney-based vocalist Marcus Whale, his decision to venture into isolation is by no means an attempt to reclaim a larger percentage of the spotlight. He cites no plans to depart from his 3-piece band Black Vanilla or his long-standing electronic duo Collarbones (who had a taste of commercial success in the form of a Flume remix of their track Turning and consequent guest appearance by Whale at Flume’s FYF Festival set in Los Angeles earlier this year). The premise behind Marcus Whale’s track If (demo) is to demonstrate a level of vulnerability yet to be delivered in both Black Vanilla and Collarbones. Whale states, “'I've always made many different forms of music, never able to feel full allegiance to the pop or electronic or contemporary classical worlds I cut my teeth on. This song, If (demo) was the first glimpse I had of music I might make that could marry all of these in one. It was clear after making it that I'd always wanted to follow those impulses”.
The self-professed “piano and string-laden club ballad” maintains a fittingly sparse beginning, eventually lifting into the familiar realm of dance that fans of Collarbones might come to expect. Almost as quickly as it peaks, If (demo) fades back to a lull. One may psychoanalyse this to be symbolic of Marcus Whale’s said vulnerability, a trait he maintains with certainty and is quite clearly determined to showcase in his newfound solitude.
Listen to Marcus Whale’s If (demo) in the player above.
If (demo) is out now via Good Manners Records/Caroline.