Australian indie electronic duo Bag Raiders released their debut, self-titled album in 2010. They quickly went on to become heroes in their native land, but over that period things cooled off until “Shooting Stars” became a worldwide meme in 2017. Being gifted the type of exposure managers & label executives can’t even dream of, they put together an album and shared a few of the singles this year. Now their new album Horizons is out and it attempts to examine everything that has happened over the past 10 years.
As they explain, the record is about that journey that eventually led to this point.
“A ‘Horizon’ represents a future, a possibility. Tomorrow will always be tomorrow. Making this album has been a journey for us, a long one. It’s been conceived, written and recorded all over the world, through our travels,” explains the duo. “Horizons is representative of a journey, a constant journey maybe, because the Horizon is something that you can’t ever really reach, because the closer you get to it, the further away it gets from you. It’s something elusive.”
The album is anchored by a quartet of upbeat records “How Long,” “Wild At Heart,” “Lightning” and the finale “In This Life.” These all give the album some minor-hit potential and a life that lasts well beyond the weekly release cycle. They also coincidentally are all of the songs with features like Panama, Mickey Kojack and The Kite String Tangle, who all add their own flavor to the record.
The album kicks off with a short, ambient intro before getting into the breezy, summery “I Need You” that feels like a day surfing on the Gold Coast. This sets the tone for the album with a blend of up-tempo, indie-electronic tracks and then more subdued records. The same type of pop songwriting links the album together with infectious hooks that range from breezy indie-pop to funky bass on “Lazy.” They switch things up on the UK garage and breakbeats influenced “Back To Myself,” which feels a bit out of place on this album. They try and dive into 70’s disco with “I’ll Be Loving You” taking some of the best and worst characteristics of the era for the track.
With 10 years of work and a blessed and rare opportunity to promote new music, the record feels like it just misses living up that potential. Horizons keeps a lot of the same themes of love, being free and moving on from the past that have been there in the past, while seeking to reexamine them in a new 10 years later context. It keeps things breezy, but at times some of the tracks can gloss over without making too much an impression. Was this worth the 10-year wait? That is a mixed bag, but the album is still a solid listen from start to finish. Pick up a copy of the record here.