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By Charlie David Page
24th March 2014

With over 10 years since their debut album 'Fingers Crossed', Architecture in Helsinki have become something of an Australian indie benchmark. This week, they're due to release their fifth LP 'NOW + 4EVA' - and with songs like 'Dream A Little Crazy' and 'I Might Survive' already gaining a fair amount of attention, all eyes are firmly fixed on the band to see what else is to come.

The band's frontman, Cameron Bird, can't wait for the new offering, three years after their last album, the hugely successful 'Moment Bends'. "For about a year and a bit we toured, then we made the record for a year, and then we just sat around waiting for it to come out for a year. So it’s definitely with a great deal of relief that I see it released."

He's also very quick to admit that this isn't anything like they've made before. "The album is very diverse in its sound. There's some really quite sparse and minimal moments, and there is some incredibly maximal moments. There’s definitely a lot of colours going on. There’s a lot of different sounds, there’s a lot of different influences. I would go so far as to say it’s probably our most diverse record that we’ve made."


'NOW + 4EVA' was written and recorded in a loft in Melbourne, giving them the freedom to develop the album over the period of around 13 months. "We write as we record, so the songs don’t exist at all in any recorded form until they’re finished," Cameron explains. "I might come in and say, 'Hey guys, I’ve got this idea for a melody for a bassline, and I’ve got this vocal melody,' and then we’ll just start piecing it together, and that process could last anywhere from a week to a month, dependent upon how complex the arrangement and the sounds and the production of the song is."

Nonetheless, this freedom and flexibility has its own price. "When you’re self-produced and you’re working on Pro Tools and you’ve got a couple of hundred tracks and more at your disposal, you can just work on songs until you’re blue in the face. The thing is, it’s incredibly difficult to know when to stop and when the song is done. And you see bands work on records for 10 years because of that problem. It’s really hard to let go when you’re self-producing. I think probably that’s what makes great artists, is that self-editing and knowing when songs are done - it’s definitely a skill."

Architecture in Helsinki have become something of an Australian indie benchmark.

Architecture in Helsinki's writing and recording process also means taking the album on the road can be quite a challenge. "Until we play the song live, we’ve never played them," Cameron says. "So basically for us, making the live show is like making another album, whereby we’ve got to work out how to translate the songs from the studio to the live realm, having never played them. In a way, it’s actually really great for us, because we have six people playing the songs with a set amount of instruments, and it means that we can go through the arrangements and pick out the most important parts. In a way, you tear things back to the essence of the song and you get to play almost a definitive version when it’s live."

In addition to their headline tour, Architecture in Helsinki are also joining Groovin The Moo again this year - and Cameron has a real appreciation for the event. "It’s a great festival tour, and a really great vibe, and also to play in regional areas is always a great thing. Having grown up in a regional area, I really genuinely understand the quandaries of living in small towns."

Cameron also has other reasons to look forward to hitting the road. "I think that going on tour with us is, because we’ve played together for so long, it’s kind of like family. We actually really rarely have any kind of problems on tour. Generally it’s really fun, people look out for each other. Yes, there is a lot of people around with crew and stuff, and in a way that’s nice, because there’s a lot of people to connect with."

Like it? Follow it. Follow Architecture in Helsinki's Huddle at the top of this page (you'll have to sign in or join up first) for the latest tour details, news and reviews from the artist.

BAND: Architecture In Helsinki
MEMBERS: Cameron Bird
Gus Franklin
Jamie Midren
Sam Perry
Kellie Sutherland
FORMED: 2000
FROM: Melbourne
SOUND: Indie Pop
FACEBOOK: architectureinhelsinki
TWITTER: @aihmusic
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