Sophomore albums can often make or break a band, and it’s something that Benjamin Plant from Miami Horror knows all too well. Openly speaking about the pressure of the release, Plant spoke honestly as he collected his thoughts, “this was our sophomore album and a defining time in our career”, Plant continued, “we really wanted to ensure that we creatively explored every direction we could possibly go.”
For the most part, Miami Horror’s second album, All Possible Futures, accomplishes what Plant and Co. set out to achieve. The title of the album itself is a good indication of what the listener can expect upon first spin, as it hints at a variety of possible artistic directions for the present, as well as the future of the Melbourne “indietronica” four-piece.
Following the success of their debut album, Illumination, Miami Horror have spent the last three years living and writing new material between Melbourne, Los Angeles, and Paris. “We wanted to move to LA for inspiration and influence more than anything. It helped us to experiment and find our own sound. If you look at a lot of the alternative electronica and dance music coming out of LA it definitely has a feel – we love the weirdness and sunshine. It has been a strong influence on many of our favourite records from the 60s-80s and we wanted to allow it to influence this record,” says Plant.
The range of influences on this album is as diverse as the places in which they wrote it. For All Possible Futures, The band has drawn on the musical styling of New Order, INXS, Michael Jackson and Talking Heads. However, trademark elements of more contemporary artists are present too. There’s the psychedelic trace of MGMT on ‘Colours In The Sky’, tribal syncopated rhythms reminiscent of Vampire Weekend on ‘Out Of Sight’, and traces of deep house and rock electronica similar to their Aussie counterparts Rufus and Cut Copy on ‘Cellophane’ and ‘Stranger’.
Considering the eclectic mix of influences, identity and styles of song writing on the album, All Possible Futures manages to still sound unified. Although, at times it seems that Miami Horror are trying to showcase all the genres they can cover at the risk of over saturating the listener, and there are definitely a few tracks that could’ve been spared from the this huge fifteen-track album.
The album opens with the jovial and upbeat ‘American Dream’, before launching into three instantly catchy numbers, the highlight being the 80s inspired funk jam, ‘Love Like Mine’. The middle of the album is notably more subdued and features a couple of short instrumental interludes, before tapering off towards the end and ending with the 90s house-esque ‘Forever Ever.’
All Possible Futures proves that Miami Horror were no ‘one-hit-wonder’. They have clearly consolidated and evolved their sound from Illumination three years ago, and their efforts indicate an exciting change of direction. The only problem now is, having demonstrated such a vast spectrum of styles, deciding which direction they’ll ultimately take.