Feature by Ellie Garno
In the lead up to the release of his much anticipated debut album, The Art of Escape (out April 1st via Indica Records), Hein Cooper premieres his new track, “Rusty,” on The Line of Best Fit. For those of you who are not familiar with the Sidney-based singer-songwriter, first off, he looks like what Justin Bieber would look like if Justin Bieber aged. Cooper also has to offer a special blend of indie and pop, with “catchy vocals, poppy percussion and the bursting energy of each and every strum of his acoustic guitar.” Finishing up a year of touring, including a stop at the famed Falls Festival stage in Lorne, Victoria, he gets ready to join Best New Artist nominee James Bay on the Australian leg of his tour.
“It was a really collaborative process,” Cooper says of Art of Escape, produced in Montreal by Marcus Paquin (Local Natives, Arcade Fire, The National). “He had a lot of great ideas that built the songs up in a way that got the ideas out of my head and into the record.” And so it seems, “Rusty” is all over the place in the best possible way. The beginning establishes a rhythm section in which percussive drumstick- and hand-clapping keep the pace steady. The tune becomes indie pop by the time its chorus (“I get a little,/Rusty.”) comes around. There is some weird stuff though! For instance, an underwater xylophone, that Hawaiian party reverse guitar strum, and some samples—like the “Kind of like that?” at the very end. (Help! What is it from?) “Seen the road, seen the road, seen the road lead to nowhere before,” Cooper croons. But whatever road he is on leads to somewhere.