2011 was the year that The Rapture returned after a nearly five year “lost” period following the lukewarm release for the rather underrated “Pieces of the People We Love.” While certainly a solid effort, it didn’t live up to the promise of early single “House of Jealous Lovers” in many critics’ minds.
Anyone who has come across The Rapture has probably been struck by Luke Jenner’s vocals, which are one-part Andy McKluskey (OMD) and one-part David Byrne, and they are on full display with “Sail Away,” which has gotten the EP treatment with remixes from Cut Copy, Cosmic Kids and Aeroplane.
The original takes sadness, marries it with triumphant instrumentation, and in doing so achieves one of my favorite sentiments in all of existence: melancholy. Or, more precisely, sublime melancholy, that is—the type that makes one remember for a moment, amidst all of the white noise of modernity, that we are real, biological and mystical creatures, not drones.
Some critics have noted in reviews of “In the Grace of Your Love” that the album is full of religious overtones, but it’s rather more humanist than anything, if one is to wax existential about the LP.
The Aeroplane remix does not alter the song very much beyond its original character, merely supplying a thick disco beat, marching snare rhythm and growling bass, followed by synthesizers in tethered to the beat to make it dance floor ready. The effect is vaguely Cut Copy in flavor circa “In Ghost Colours.”
Cosmic Kids, on the other hand, go for a minimal, old-school electro sound complete with handclaps and cowbell. Their touch is far more skilled than Aeroplane’s effort, making this remix the type of song that gently leads a crowd into a raucous club night closer.
This electro effect carries over briefly into Cut Copy’s remix, but come about 3:15 and the Aussies are sprinkling their brand of magical pixie dust everywhere, that alchemical access to the inexplicable sublime melancholy they’ve mastered so well over the years. Goosebumps shall radiate across your body by 4:18, making this remix the most immediate in its satisfaction. Cut Copy is perhaps the ideal fit for a remix of “Sail Away,” because they seem to know just how to celebrate the void and fill it with transcendence.
Stream the three remixes below and check out upcoming US tour dates.
4/13 – Indio, CA – Coachella
4/17 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater *
4/19 – Las Vegas, NV – Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan *
4/20 – Indio, CA – Coachella
* = w/ Justice