Absolutely Free - Aftertouch
“A pathway to another dimension” – CLASH
“The musical equivalent of colouring outside the lines” – CBC Music
“Deep-space cosmic-rock odyssey that they’ll be blasting on Orion” – Pitchfork
“Full of groovy motorik rhythms and reverb-soaked hooks” – Rolling Stone
Running free with flourishes of experimentation, yet rooted in accessible melody and rhythm, Absolutely Free blurs boundaries between avant-garde and pop across the sophomore album’s eight songs. A tug-of-war within its sonic harmony, Aftertouch explores narratives of hegemony, grief, and exploitation in the present while ultimately sustaining curiosity for the unknown “post-everything” future. Making reference to the name of a synthesizer function, Aftertouch deconstructs seismic shifts in contemporary culture and lingers in the echoing sensations that remain.
Known for their varying multi-instrumentalist approaches and experimental live performances, Absolutely Free “wanted to create an album that wasn’t bound by a physical ability to perform it live, to not only expand our palette, but also to consider the live performance as something completely separate.” Shifting in the liminal space between analogue and digital sounds, real and fabricated images, revelling in and refuting the loss of tactility, Absolutely Free is able to create vibrations of physical tension and emotional resonance.
The Toronto psychedelic pop trio’s Polaris Music Prize nominated self-titled debut was hailed as “breathtakingly beautiful” by Stereogum upon its 2014 release. Following an array of multimedia projects and releases, including 2019’s Geneva Freeport EP (featuring U.S. Girls’ Meg Remy), the band recently returned with the ascendant “How To Paint Clouds” – called a “flying wedge of art pop” by Brooklyn Vegan – and “Interface”, a kaleidoscopic blast about the dichotomy of the digital-social identity.
Produced by Jorge Elbrecht, who has shaped the sound of releases by No Joy, Gang Gang Dance, Japanese Breakfast, and his own bands Lansing-Dreiden and Violens, Aftertouch is dense with ideas but balanced by precise decisions. Culling from a myriad of influences that span Krautrock, New Wave, the proliferation of international Psychedelic and Funk Compilations, and early forms of electronic dance music, Absolutely Free has created a patina of disparate but harmonic styles distinctly its own.
Comprised of the core trio of Matt King (vocals/multi-instrumentalist), Michael Claxton (bass/synth), and Moshe Fisher-Rozenberg (drums/synth), Absolutely Free is an offshoot of the now-defunct experimental rock outfit DD/MM/YYYY, whose multi-rhythmic boundary-pushing raison d’être provided a springboard for the open skyline on which Absolutely Free now creates. The band’s Polaris-nominated 2014 debut album Absolutely Free., released via Arts & Crafts/Fat Possum Records garnered international acclaim from Pitchfork, FADER, Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan, Exclaim!, Under The Radar, Pop Matters, AllMusic, many more. Absolutely Free have toured alongside Alvvays, Youth Lagoon, and Preoccupations and have shared bills with Beak>, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, U.S. Girls, and Fucked Up.