It’s easy to see why Prins Thomas signed his debut album upon hearing his first EP. Australian producer, Roland Tings (aka Rohan Newman) continues to wow with his productions and his latest release ‘Up Close’ doesn’t disappoint.
A glowing, electro-tinged club track with the warmth and depth of acts such as Caribou and Four Tet, 'Up Close' is the third single to be taken from his forthcoming Salt Water LP. With its driving rhythm, it is guaranteed to carry the listener into the small hours of the morning.
Speaking on the process behind 'Up Close' and its positioning on the album, Newman explains, “I knew that I needed a really euphoric track in the first half of the record to propel the LP forwards. When I heard the original vocal by Alyss, I knew that it was perfect for what I wanted. The production of her voice was psychedelic, and the lyrics fit with exactly what I wanted the record to say”. After locking himself in his studio for an afternoon and some tweaking of the vocal, Newman’s vision was complete.
Despite its warmth, 'Up Close' is a little darker than its predecessors, leaning more into a late- night clubbing vibe, but the smouldering passion of previous single, 'Always Rushing' can still be heard coursing through its veins.
Inspired by life on the road, Newman decided to record much of the new album in relative isolation
from a rented home on the Great Ocean Road near Melbourne. Immersed in his studio and buried in his work, he came up for air and returned to the environments that first inspired the album. “I put the demo on my phone and drove around the winding coastal road near my house, making mental notes on how it felt as I drove,” he says. “I could hear everything that needed to happen in the track. I rushed home, made the changes and then got in the car again. I repeated this for hours, driving this crazy road away from my house, then back again to make the changes I could hear in my head.”
'Up Close' - besides being another indicator of the eclectic yet cohesive nature of the new album - is also another reminder of the optimistic, warming quality that comes through more and more with each passing release. In an increasingly chaotic and overwhelming world, Salt Water, just like the house on the Great Ocean Road, is the soothing elixir we all need in our lives.