Paces is ready to shuffle with ZAG, the Aussie electronic producer and artist’s collab-packed sophomore album.
The followup to 2016’s Vacation, ZAG drops Friday (Aug. 24) through Sydney-based etcetc and features another assist from pop vet Guy Sebastian (on “Siren”) and guest stints from the likes of rising Aussie acts Midas.Gold, CLYPSO, Jeida Woods, Doolie and America’s Got Talent alum Caly Bevier, whose track “Close Enough” premieres exclusively today on Billboard.
Bevier, a cancer survivor who enjoyed a run to the semis of the 2016 AGT season, showcases her range and vocal muscle on “Close Enough,” an exotic production with breathy notes that manages to play in the space between two musical worlds.
“I love the blurry area where underground music and pop intersect,” Paces tells Billboard. “That’s how this one started, just creating contrast between that big Persian Santoor section at the beginning, the 808 bass, and the super bright pop vocals.” Stream the track below.
Paces is the musical project of Mikey Perry, a Gold Coast-raised music maker who released his debut EP On My Mind in 2014 and emerged the following year from triple j’s Unearthed platform. He has nothing but praise for Bevier, who he hails as “an incredible character,” an artist who overcame cancer as a teen, performed on Ellen, and won hearts during her glorious AGT run. “Her future is so bright and it’s an honor to have her on this track,” he says.
There’s been no letup for Paces in the two years between album releases. “I was playing bigger shows and festivals, I became a dad, I went through some serious personal crises and was in therapy for much of the time, I put myself through a Berklee College music course, got more into fitness and changed my diet, signed a global publishing deal, got engaged,” Paces recounts.
On ZAG, which features the previously-released tracks “Savage,” “Technique” (featuring former G.R.L singer Emmalyn), “Call The 5-0” and “Siren,” Paces pours in a festival vibe, with more of a pop sensibility than his previous works. Also, there’s more of a “hip-hop influence shining through” and the harmonies are “more carefully considered,” he explains.
Becoming a father has put everything into perspective, and given Paces an unlikely musical partner. Listen closely to “Close Enough,” especially the closing bars. “That’s my son Koa at the end,” Paces admits. Find ZAG here.