Confidence Man, the Australian four-piece who have vowed to save pop music, have been winning plaudits all over the world with their charismatic, dynamic and, well, confident live shows that usually descent into weird and wonderful surrealistic worlds. Their debut record, Confident Music For Confident People, continues this foray into pop eccentricity with an excellently produced assemblage of perfectly formed, bite-size chunks of addictive pop music you’ll be listening to all year. Like their live show, but small enough to fit in your pocket, it’s one of the most fun 40 minutes you’re likely to have this year.
“I must confess/I’ve been sleeping with your ex/’Cos I heard he was the best/I must confess/I never would have guessed he would get so obsessed… I’m not surprised” expertly sets the audacious, tongue-in-cheek tone that continues through the entire record. It’s a burst of energy that kicks off the album beautifully, but Janet Planet’s control of both the listener, and the power she holds over masculinity is most impressive. This is pure 21st century, feminist pop music that actually feels real rather than manufactured.
‘Don’t You Know I’m In A Band’ sees Sugar Bones (of course these aren’t their real names, but they’ve got as much inventiveness as their music) take to the spotlight for a moodier, but no less fun, track with a dazzling hook, witty and achingly playful lyrics and a whole host of absurdity. Built on offbeat synths, it’s got a real 90s dance vibe that makes it difficult not to dance along to. “We wrote this song for people who think they’re really cool just because they’re in a band. People like us,” Janet Planet says of the track, but Confident Music For Confident People is proving her wrong. Especially with next track, and their first ever single, ‘Boyfriend (Repeat)’, with its eclectic basslines, screwball, off-kilter electronic melodies, and sumptuously sassy vocals. It’s such an incessantly animated, flexuous disco track that during the breakdown of the song when Planet announces: “Get down!” it makes it impossible not to.
From start to finish, Confident Music For Confident People is a record you can imagine blasting out in the sunshine. ‘Out The Window’, with its repetition of: “Sunshine”, backed by what sounds like a chorus of echoes and cheers, continues to reflect the record’s sunny outlook on life. Meanwhile, ‘Bubblegum’ is a provocative and promiscuous track that is essentially a musical pick me up. With its rattling drum beats and jolts of guitar, it’s a brash piece of pop that perfectly accompanies the back and forth vocal from Planet and Bones. At times, this record is so sassy it could try its hand at being a motivational speaker. No matter what moment of life, Confident Music For Confident People is bound to galvanize you.
The album certainly doesn’t let up, either. ‘Better Sit Down Boy’, arguably the most buoyant track, is a tornado of sleazy bass, excitable percussion, and Janet Planet’s exclamation of: “Oh, you speak French!?”, which is nothing less than iconic. Elsewhere, the record becomes even more infatuated with house and dance music. ‘All The Way’ recalls X-Press 2 and David Byrne’s club hit ‘Lazy’, while album closer ‘Fascination’ sounds more like a release from an early 2000s pop group.
Confidence Man are the love-child of CSS, Alphabeat and LCD Soundsystem, but they’re a million times more fun than all three put together. Confident Music For Confident People is the suitable remedy for the heartbreakingly sad times we live in. Simply put, you need this record in your life. Confident Music For Confident People will take you to funky town, by way of electric avenue, with stop offs at Suffragette City and Across 110th Street. It’s an encapsulation of the world of funk and dance before it, with an incredibly modern viewpoint.