In eleven years, Sydneysiders RÜFÜS DU SOL has etched a unique, signature sound in the global alt dance/ electronica scene. The familiarity of their dreamy, ethereal instrumentation and vocals breeds solace. So, with their fourth album, Surrender, it is surprising yet delightful to hear a new sound emerge from the trio.
Surrender is a musical journey of emotions. Of love, heartbreak and acceptance. It is the surrendering of sentiments. It heralds a newness to RÜFÜS DU SOL while simultaneously championing what they have become synonymous with.
Already released singles Alive, Next to Me and On My Knees have offered a taste of Surrender and its spectrum of sound. While album opener Next to Me is classic RÜFÜS DU SOL, a clear throwback to the RÜFÜS of Atlas (2013), Alive channels a darker, complex vibe. On My Knees takes this darkness and amplifies it to the nth degree. An Industrial dance banger with simple lyrics – “Looks like I’m on my knees again/ Looks like the walls are closing in”—amalgamated with ’90s goth synthy beats is strikingly refreshing.
This general assortment of tracks is scattered throughout the album. It generates crispness, modernity and demonstrates the evolving maturity of the artists.
For those not big on change, there is plenty to keep you interested. Make It Happen, See You Again, Surrender and Devotion all tap into the classic formula that has made RÜFÜS DU SOL a success. The interweaving of dance/ trance/ house genres with killer bridges are prevalent and a mainstay. They allow you to drift off deep into your imagination as you dance your cares away.
Always, the album closer, also falls into this category. The epic 7 minute plus track is a homage to the brilliant Innerbloom from Solace (2018). With an almost identical structure and flow, it doesn’t quite achieve what its predecessor did. Nevertheless, it is a solid stand-alone track that could easily be the next single released.
For others, I Don’t Wanna Leave channels a wisp of Alt J energy. While Wildfire doesn’t just tug on aching heartstrings, it pulls them like a rubber band and snaps them back so ferociously, you will be left stunned.
As a whole, the album works. Each track has been curated to create a complementary collective that can be listened to on repeat or individually. Yet, it is not a concept album. This speaks to the trio’s artistry and production mastery in understanding the appropriate ebbs and flows. Composed of emotional depth, raw lyrics and intricate production, Surrender is what you would hope for from RÜFÜS DU SOL’s fourth album. The juxtaposition of the unexpected with expected is remarkably balanced and will be revered by many.
Album Review By Anita Kertes