Dappled Cities
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Dappled Cities

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia | INDIE

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia | INDIE
Band Rock Avant-garde


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Local record of the year?"

"When Sydney's Dappled Cities Fly traveled to Los Angeles to record their second album, they blossomed in the californian sun. Granddance expands greatly on the indie-pop vision the band previously offered on A Smile. Here they've channeled the famous West coast harmonies of the Byrds and The Beach Boys.
This is an album of dramatic pop songs, where voices dive and fly together. On tracks like "Holy Chord" there's a high-minded abandon reminiscent of Canadian super-band Arcade Fire. the subtler and more infectious "Fire Fire Fire" sounds like Interpol on a Californian holiday - new-wave rigidity and solemnest pierced by long days on the beach. Overall there's a wide-eyed and celebratory feel to Granddance, and by the time the swooping grandeur of the title track arrives, the band has hit its triumph in its stride.
The flaw in all this is that there can be too much to take in. Like a beautiful caked with too much icing, the dense production flourishes and orchestrated chaos occasionally cloy the songs with too much fuss. In measured servings though this album is a treat - one of the most ambitious and rewarding local records of the year.� FOUR STARS ****
- BIG ISSUE magazine

"5 stars!"

"The second release from this Sydney five piece is chock a block with great
yearning bittersweet tunes in a similar vein to the Flaming Lips and The Sleepy Jackson, without being derivative. This release is sure to garner them an extensive following. All great music suspends the listener in time and place, creating a parallel universe. Granddance does this, for the most part, creating an indie rock space that is not beholden to any musical fashion but its own. Utterly mesmerising." FIVE / FIVE
- MX magazine

"Sydney indie-oddities step-up"

You can't sit on the fence with Dappled Cities Fly. Much like the Sleepy Jackson and Architecture In Helsinki, this Sydney five-piece have oversized pop ambitions - which means you'll either think they produce wildly inventive, melody-blitzing music that outdistances their peers, or feel that they're pretentious songwriters upended by their epic aspirations and fondness for male falsettos. Their take-notice repertoire has paid off though - Dappled's SXSW slot this year earned them a US deal. Produced (among others) by Granddaddy's Jim Fairchild, the sophomore set 'Granddance' sees the band hit full-throttle, shedding the Built To Spill-lite feel of their debut 'A Smile' for high-impact symphonic and well-crafted pop. Vocalists Tim Derricourt and David Rennick swap quirk for subtlety in their delivery; and on stand outs 'Holy Chord' and 'Battlewon', the band
dish up their most confident indie-rock yet.

4 STARS ****
- Rolling Stone

"Peach single review"

Every music journo needs a pet project. Dappled Cities Fly easily qualify to be that band for me; the act I always keep an eye on and talk about whenever possible. In fact, I will digress from conversations on politics, religion and philosophy to suddenly - and inappropriately - divert the focus to Dappled Cities Fly. People cock one eyebrow and frown, wondering why I've ruined a perfectly good chat to sing praise for an indie band. It's well justified. So here are the first fruits of DCF's sessions with Jonathan Burnside, the producer who helped The Sleepy Jackson wow critics in 2003. Melodic while still showing the band's talent for dynamics, Peach flirts with silence only to roll into manic bursts of joyful jangling guitars and hushed harmonies. Rolling snares and sharp cymbals add intensity but in the end it's just damned catchy and that's how this band will woo the punters and critics alike. DCF have that human element that never relies on the machine-like precision that has hypnotised thousands of young bands since the advent of digital recording. Peach is the first single I've heard this year that actually sounds like a group of humans interacting and expressing; I call that a refreshing change to the loops obscuring inefficient musicianship and ripping the heart out of modern guitar music. DCF is yet another reason I believe 'new-rock' will fizzle out; both tracks – Peach and Bear Bar, the impressive b-side - draw attention to the originality that still lies waiting, hoping to be found among our limited vocabulary, chords, notes and beats; proof that modern music doesn't need to rely on the heroes of yesterday. - Whammo

"Peach single review 2"

Free coloured pencil to finish the cover and everything... these people know how to appeal to the critics. they still have that rough and unfinished charm in the music aswell, as acoustic guitar almost loses it's way as it wanders down some sun-dappled country lanes. That was the test to prove I know what 'dappled' meant. And no, contrary to popular opinion, I don't own a thesaurus. It all drifts by, and you're kind of taken by the singer's distraction, and you realise you're still pondering it, even though the music finished some moments ago. Overall effect akin to Architecture in Helsinki finally having the Ritalin start working to get over their ADD. - Drum Media

"Live review Sydney"

After a brief interlude, Sydney's favourite eclectic pop rock act, Dappled Cities Fly emerged from the shadows. The Dappled boys and man-child put on another of their traditionally frantic live performances, where the un-expected is to be expected. Tonight was a showcase for many new songs, which are 'darker' in their sound to the previous radio favourites such as Be Engine. The new tracks were greeted with enthusiasm from what was an adoring audience. The highlight was a call out for 'anyone who has ever been to a gig' to come onstage and offer bird sounds for the final tune, the aptly titled The Birds. A 'merry' American was invited onstage and preceded to go about his task with much encouragement from the crowd and band alike, who struggled to play in time at the sight of a grown man harking with as much gusto as he could summon. Dappled Cities Fly are among the crop of 'most likely to succeed' acts doing the rounds right now. Both bright and clever, their musical diversity and childlike energy set them apart from their peers - bring on the debut album. - Drum Media

"Live - Dappled Cities Fly outgun Grandaddy"

Somewhere in Surry Hills a person is walking around with a guitar pick embedded in their head.

Okay, I don’t know this for certain, but chances are high. In one of the kookiest sets I’ve seen in ages, a guitar pick was flung at high speed into the crowd during a furious set from The Dappled Cities Fly.

Right off the bat, The Dappled Cities Fly were bloody amazing. Who cares if I stared at the band like a deer in headlights for most of their set, I wasn’t the only one. They were just that good.

At one stage the band seemed oblivious to the crowd, egging each other on to take the track one step further. Taking it one step further for these guys included cooing like birds and all but choking each other with guitar chords as they bashed about the stage like possessed beasts. At one stage I thought one of the guitarists was going to either fall off stage from lack of space or from lack of breath.

But now I have a quandary. What do you do when the support band creates a more lasting impression than the main event?
Did The Dappled Cities Fly have a hidden agenda for playing like madmen on speed?

Who can say, but one things for sure, they were prepared to be a hard act to follow. Unfortunately for American champions of slacker rock, Grandaddy just weren’t on the ball that night...... - Rolling Stone

"Live review Sydney 2"

If this were where Sydney music was at, we'd have no problems. And if it's where it's headed, then I'm smiling. Dappled Cities Fly are one band that have steadily impoved over the last few years, and even more than that, they've matured into a dynamic and exciting misx of art-rock pop. Starting off with the showing of their new video clip for 'Peach', they took to the stage playing songs that have become staples in their live set and that will most likely feature on their upcoming debut LP. While some of their older stuff get a bit tired these points only served to illustrate how far Dappled have come, with their newer songs displaying more intellegent musicianship, interesting lyrics and on-stage vibrancy. Switching sealessly between genres they were entertaining, endearing and engaging on a multiple of levels, effortlessly creating a set that contained nods to everyone from the Church to the Finn Borthers and Mercury Rev. And it appeared to be exactly what they'd like to be doing on a Wednesday night. Finishing off with the anthem like 'Peach' it looks like the new generation of Sydney scenesters have found their heros. Everybody notice me, indeed. - Vice

"Zounds - Rolling Stone 4Star"

"Epic and ambitious follow - up album for indie rock darlings."

Sydney five - piece Dappled cities have spent over a year toiling away on their meticulously produced third album Zounds, and the effort is apparent: Equal parts epic and ambitious, this is clearly their bid to hit the big time. The band kick off with bold mission statement " Hold Your Back " a synth-drenched opus whose robotic beat unfolds into a wintry mini-epic that wouldn't be out of place on a Doves album. Like most songs on Zounds, it's a multilayered, constantly shifting feast of electronic embellishments that do nothing to hide the warm heart beneath. The highlights are plentiful : The icy electro pop of "Answer is Zero"; a string laden first single "The Price" and the pretty melodies of "Slow for Me, My Island."

- Rolling Stone


ALBUM: (produced Chris Coady)
August 2009 (USA / Aust. / Japan)
June 2009 (UK)

ALBUM: (produced Jim Fairchild / Peter Walker)
November 2006 (Aust.)
June 2007 (USA)

A Crooked Smile - remix EP
January 2006

Die in Your Eyes
May 2005

ALBUM: (produced Dappled Cities)
A Smile
October 2004

September 2004

Wimbo Park
April 2004

March 2004

Dead Bodies Where Their Mouths Were
March 2004

Chameleon Girl
March 2003

Be Engine / Sputnik
November 2002



When you listen to Dappled Cities you actually see things. Vivid colours, strange animals, story-book characters. It’s as if a world that you didn’t know existed, and all it’s possibilities, is now within your grasp. Dappled Cities can take you there, as one respected reviewer put it, “by weaving between grandiose indie-rock, oddly bent pop and big-emotion, big-gesture music that seems refracted through a vaguely hallucinogenic mirror”.

After 2 years of ludicrously intense international touring and songwriting, Dappled Cities prepare for the release of their 3rd album, the art pop opus, Zounds. The work is the highest achievement of a ten year career traced back from their current home on US powerhouse label Dangerbird Records (also home of Silversun Pickups) to the teenagers first playing music together in their Australian childhood suburbs.

The band, originally called Periwinkle, formed in 1997 when 15 year-olds David Rennick and Hugh Boyce were joined by Alex Moore and English born Tim Derricourt. Their first album, A Smile (released in 2004 under the new moniker - Dappled Cities Fly), was a home-recorded, independent hit in Australia, and its tracks were later remixed as A Crooked Smile EP by the likes of an emerging Wolfmother and Spod.

The band’s sophomore effort Granddance was a grandiose record full of oldeworld ideas and cutting-edge sonics (& their first platter on the Dangerbird label), which was uncoiled to mass acclaim in 2006. The following two years were spent touring the US with the likes of The Fratellis and Tokyo Police Club, with fiery forays home riding shotgun to silverchair, Modest Mouse and LCD Soundsystem.

Not many Australian bands attempt to face the US beast as head-on as Dappled Cities over this period, and almost inevitably the band experienced their first line-up change in a decade. Founding member Hugh Boyce retired and was replaced by Allan Kumpulainen on drums, while touring keyboardist Ned Cooke was instated as a full-time member. “After Granddance, there were great expectations for Zounds – from us and also from the US label. That pressure turned this into the longest and most intense musical episode of our life. We didn’t cut corners and we went to great lengths to keep chaos developing.”

Brimming with vim, road-fit and on the brink of something special, the band uprooted from their home of Sydney and got States-side. They shot videos in Wyoming gas stations, played impromptu gigs in South Dakota sound factories, partied with Hugh Jackman and Steve Malkmus and even managed to film a 26-episode children’s odyssey for Disney called ‘Alphabreaks’. New York was both Poison Apple and Forbidden Fruit, says Dave. “We made the most of the $10-per-day budget we were on but there were five of us sleeping in a one-bedroom bed-sit in East Village and we finally turned to cash-in-hand street jobs to survive.”

Under the expert A&R guidance of Justin Meldal-Johnsen (music director and bassist for Beck, Ladytron and Nine Inch Nails) and respected American co-producer Chris Coady (TV on the Radio), Dappled Cities got busy making mayhem and magic. Every song was laid down live to harness the energy. Dappled Cities have never been a band to replicate vintage sounds – they’ve always been art in motion – but Zounds has powers they’ve never dealt in before. In their own words, “It’s a daggy and classy, cunning and futuristic, as us!”

The band spared no expense, using new-fangled electric guitars and importing a Gakken – a $40 build-it-yourself cardboard synthesiser from Japan – used on all 12 songs. Their drive to succeed saw them hire and conspire with no less than three mixers for Zounds – Coady, Scott Horscroft and Wayne Connolly – in the quest for perfection. The band also didn’t always see eye-to-hi fi with Coady. Dave explains, “He’s the biggest name we’ve worked with and he knew it, so a lot of the recording process was injected with clashes.” Artistic differences? “Perhaps. But maybe we just knew, and expressed, what we wanted so strongly that it may have been tough for others around us to take at the time. Who knows?”.

But smoke speaks of fire and the five-headed phoenix Zounds is Dappled Cities’ masterpiece, a sophisticated, grown-up opus epic. Lyrically it’s introspective, full of the unusual, but wonderous, Dappled metaphors. But it’s also a big, deep muscular album. Zounds opening salvo ‘Hold Your Back’ is the most adventurous track of the band’s career – a deep, brooding magnificent bastard anthem which is “barely even a song, more a collection of ideas.” It’s parting shot is ‘Stepshadows’, a Derricourt acoustic lament more akin to an Ennio Morricone spaghetti western soundtrack than a conventional rock song. In between lies a lyrical tinderbox and wall of Zounds asylum full of Dappled Cities trademark live energy. An energy captured on disc for the first time.

First single ‘The Price’ is a political song forge