Initially formed as a quartet, comprised of founding member, Benjamin Plant (production), along with Josh Moriarty (vocals, guitar), Aaron Shanahan (guitar, vocals and production) and Daniel Whitechuch (bass, keyboards and guitar), the Melbourne, Australia-based indie electro pop act Miami Horror quickly received national and international attention with their 2010 debut Illumination, an effort that was praised for a sound that drew from fellow countrymen Cut Copy, as well as New Order, Prince, Michael Jackson, E.L.O. and others.
The then-quartet spent the next three years shuttling back and forth between their hometown of Melbourne, Australia, Los Angeles and Paris writing and recording the material that would comprise their critically praised 2013 sophomore effort, All Possible Futures, a breezy and summery, dance floor-friendly effort that was deeply inspired by the time the band spent writing and recording in Southern California and drew from 80s synth pop, classic house and 60s pop. Building upon their rapidly growing profile, the members of the act have extensively toured the globe — and along with the aforementioned Cut Copy, and fellow Australians Total Giovanni and others, have put their hometown on the international map for a unique yet approachable electro pop sound and approach.
Now, it’s been a few years since the blogosphere has heard from Miami Horror, as the act’s Benjamin Plant has been busy co-writing tracks with Client Liaison and Roland Tings and writing new Miami Horror material, while the act has gone through a lineup change that has them writing and recording as a trio. But interestingly enough, their soon-to-be released conceptual EP, The Shapes finds the band further exploring and expanding upon their sound, as the material draws from art pop, Talking Heads, Caribbean funk and African beats among other things while retaining elements of the sound that won them international attention. And as you’ll hear on the EP’s upbeat, dance floor-friendly first single “Leila,” the song nods at Tom Tom Club, Fear of Music and Remain in Light-era Talking Heads, 80s synth pop as the act pairs a buoyant and rousing hook, plaintive vocals, shimmering synths, African percussion, and an incredibly funky bass line with Moriarty’s plaintive vocals. Interestingly, in some way, the song teases at something like a return to the sound of Illumination — but in a deceptive fashion says “well, not quite” as the material manages to possesses a boldly neon colored sheen while being a dance-floor friendly anthem.