It certainly has been a long time coming. After building a religious following in the Australian music industry, Client Liaison are finally here with their debut album Diplomatic Immunity. It’s a perfectly luscious synth album that takes you back to the golden turn-of-the-nineties music, nostalgic Australia and fearless grooves.
For those who are yet to appreciate and really know how iconic these guys are, Client Liaison are the dazzling Monte Morgan and Harvey Miller AO. They’re 1980s nostalgic, disco-tinged, liberating synth-packaged goodness. Homegrown talent that are festival favourites and never disappoint in their live eclectic shows. Perhaps, to help you imagine think Daryl Braithwaite, INXS, Prince, Pet Shop Boys but with more Aussie mullet and glitter. If you’re lucky to hit up their shows, the boys sometimes even feature spandex-wearing, flexible retrosweat aerobic babes as part of their dance troupe.
Fans will recognise a lot of the songs already, including the already released singles ‘Wild Life’ and ‘World Of Our Love’. But I’m most excited to say that they’ve got the studio versions of songs that have been on hot rotation in their tour setlists (‘Canberra Wont Be Calling Tonight’ and ‘Hotel Stay’). While the studio versions are never as crazy and fabulous, they’re even more beautiful than I remember – dancing to it drunk at their concert. I’m keen to learn the actual lyrics and not just the infectious chorus.
‘Canberra Won’t Be Calling Tonight’ is a strong start to this album – the 80s disco synth is an immediate trip back to nostalgia. From the sound of the didgeridoo and atmospheric vibes, you know that something fucking magical is going down. It’s a clean-cut, smooth groove that sets the tone perfectly, with some eclectic sound bites from politicians that somehow work perfectly.
Tina Arena features on ‘A Foreign Affair’ as a perfect nod to an Aussie icon. Monte and Tina’s vocal is a really perfect combination – Tina’s smooth, flawless vocals compliment Monte’s infectious energetic voice. The song’s scarce production for its verses are a perfect vehicle to let the vocals shine, the real star of the song. Definitely a highlight of the album.
The energetic feel of the album calms down a little with ‘Off White Limousine’ and ‘The Bravest Beginnings’. Both are breezy, slow-down funky tracks perfect for long drives in the night. I especially love that even with their chilled tracks, you never think of them as fillers and have great potential as singles. Take note of the sexy guitar solo on ‘The Bravest Beginnings’ – it’s soaring and fucking immense. This is one thing that I love about Client Liaison is that their songs are just groovy and to the point. Their nod to early 1990’s high fidelity music is a relieving break from the same overproduced shit flooding our radio waves lately.
‘Hotel Stay’, a staple Client Liaison track much-loved by the fans at gigs, is my personal fave off the album. Obviously as the studio version, it’s not the same as its usual live quality. However, I’ve got to say it’s great to finally be able to learn the lyrics and sing the song in full rather than just the chorus. These spin synth throwbacks aren’t mere imitation art of the 1980s, they’re genuine, golden hits of goodness that just make you want to dance.
Client Liaison are definitely something that you can’t describe but you have to see and hear for yourself. Call them camp, call them eccentric, but you cannot call them boring. Just like ‘Do It My Way’ – “all your foolish thoughts can kiss my ass, suffice to say I’m gonna do it my way.” It’ll be awesome to see these pulsating disco songs be performed in their live shows. The wait was so worth it – they really didn’t disappoint.