Feel like dancing? Ballarat’s Barracouta have got you covered.
Earning a solid reputation in the local music scene for their beautiful melodies, mellow vibes and bursts of energy, Ballarat’s Barracouta are firmly cementing their identity as one of Victoria’s most formidable names on the indie-rock circuit.
James McDougall and Zac and Aaryn Dunks make up the three-piece, and while all three have a history of playing in heavier bands, it was a chance encounter between McDougall and Zac which led to the birth of Barracouta.
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“James came round for a jam and we’ve been inseparable ever since,” the band explain.
“We were all looking for a bit of an escape from the heavy side of music to write some more catchy and accessible tracks, which has proven to be a great experience so far.”
Their recent single, ‘Choccy Top‘, is a prime example, and just the funky dance track you have been waiting for. Lifted from the band’s EP Strike, Barracouta perfectly fuse disco, rock, pop and lashes of metal in the form of a groove-laden earworm that makes you want to get up on your feet right from the get-go.
With funk-fuelled basslines, infectious melodies, booming percussion and a whole lot of experimental flare, ‘Choccy Top’ emits an infectious quality that would evoke a sway out and a head-bop of even the least rhythmically inclined.
Proving the band’s undeniable talent for cooking up a groove, the track tells the story of a charming antagonist with a dark twist, portrayed brilliantly in the accompanying film clip which is out today.
The video follows a humorous crime investigation narrative that ensures a rollicking good time for the viewer.
“We’d done some performance-based videos for some previous tracks and we wanted to keep it pretty simple for those ones. When it was time to come round for a proper story-based video, we really wanted to include some lighthearted visuals to reflect on the easy-going personality of Barracouta,” they say.
Sprinkled with a nostalgic appeal, just like the name, the track will not let you down.
‘Choccy Top’ is one of three tracks from Strike! which dropped in January this year. The EP highlights the multifaceted nature of the band as they seamlessly blends a variety of styles.
With its mix of ’70s disco, modern pop and death metal, the band has garnered inspiration from a wide variety of artists, including Mondo Rock, Earth, Wind & Fire, Vulfpeck and Guantanamo Baywatch.
“For all of us, this has been the first chance we’ve had to incorporate a lot of these influences into music we’re writing, so it’s been really fun and challenging to visit these sorts of influences in the song writing process.
“The metal influence shines through in one way or another though, especially during our live shows.
“It’s not uncommon for us to jump into the first few riffs of ‘Raining Blood’ between tracks,” say the band.
Also lifted from the EP, ‘Kiss the Sun’ holds ground to the disco groove finesse of the band, taking listeners back to those warm summer nights throughout the colder months.
The two other tracks, including ‘Choccy Top’ and ‘Disco Night’ were written at CoutaKorp HQ and sees the band’s songwriting skills really shine through.
“Those two tracks really showcase the energy that we’re all about and we’re really stoked with how they came together,” say Barracouta
As the band is relatively new, COVID was an unprecedented hit to their musical journey together. Aaryn and McDougall were living together at the time, so jamming out and songwriting fortunately didn’t need to stop, paving the way for the band’s debut album.
“We played our first shows and released our debut EP Indigo Glow right as COVID hit the world. It was pretty frustrating but we feel like we made the most of the time where most of the world was coming to a halt,” they explain.
“We were lucky to be invited to play the Sanitise live stream put on by the City of Ballarat, which meant we were able to keep relevant and get the name out, and we were actually fortunate enough to be the first live band to play in Ballarat again after the lockdowns lifted, which was an honour.”
The band also received a fantastic reception outside of their hometown of Ballarat too, embarking on a regional tour earlier this year for their EP.
For those that missed the shows, you’ve been given a second chance with Barracouta gearing up for a big show at Volta in Ballarat on June 4, where they have promised audiences one hell of a time!
“From day dot, we’ve always had a big emphasis on a huge live show, and we’re always trying to up the ante and outdo ourselves on that front. To us, an engaging live show is the most important aspect of a band.
“We assure you you’ll be up and shaking your hips in no time. We’ve got some incredible acts on board for the show, including fellow Ballarat trio Esoteric, and our new space allies The AstroTurfs. We’ve also got gbomm spinning all your favourite tracks late into the night.”
‘Choccy Top’ is out now. Keep up with Barracouta here.