On its accomplished and enjoyable debut album, 5-member Australian band Gold Fields shines brightly with upbeat, rhythm-propelled songs that are occasionally shaded with a darker melancholy. Out on Astralwerks since near the start of the year, Black Sun is rife with rousing choruses, danceable beats, airy synths, and jangly guitar chime. Energetic album opener “Meet My Friends” injects some menace via lead singer Mark Fuller’s exclaimed vocals of “…I’m a wanted man.” a gritty synth line, and full-on blazing chorus.
The blended edge of danger and desperation and exhilaration and ecstasy continues on “Moves” where one wonders who the unfortunate Ashley is who broke his and/or her arm. Yes, the end of that statement makes sense in relation to the song’s lyrics! Gold Fields goes totally New Wave 80s, in the best sense, on “Closest I Could Get”, crossing the yearning sonics of Duran Duran in “Save A Prayer” mode with the matter-of-fact vocal proclamations of “Our House”-era Madness.
A disco-tinged, ecstatic airiness informs “Thunder”, while the breathy slink of “Ice” beguiles. Hand drums and wooden clacks give both “The Woods” and the more subdued “Happy Boy” an emphatic, tribal beat. The ebullient “Treehouse” sways amid an easy-going, tropical tempo, added vivid vocal flourishes, and Mark’s clear and poised delivery of lyrics like “…turn the sound up / and away we go.”