By: Justin Rouillon
After what seemed like an eternity, new episodes of the hit TV show Bluey are back on the TV.
In a departure from what fans have been used to, the ABC has changed the format slightly, with new episodes of Australia’s favourite four legged family screening every Sunday for the next few months.
But there’s a reason for this extended break, with the Bluey music team re-imagining the music from the show on their second album, appropriately titled Dance Mode. The new record releases globally on April 21 and will be available on CD, orange vinyl and through all streaming services.
The music team led by Joff Bush have even collaborated on Bluey’s first ever music video for the track Rain (Boldly in the Pretend), featuring composer Jazz D’Arcy on lead vocals. Eagle eyed Bluey fans will also spot a special cameo from the real life Uncle Stripe, with Dan Brumm rocking out on electric guitar in the video.
With the majority of the music of Bluey being comprised of instrumentals, it’s a breath of fresh air to hear the music receiving the vocal treatment.
Rain (Boldly in the Pretend) is an absolute highlight of the album, in much the same way as I Know a Place (The Creek Song) was on the first Bluey album. But in this instance the music for Rain was written both as an instrumental and a vocal during the development of the episode.
“We knew ‘Rain’ was going to a big episode musically, because of the choice to be visual only without dialogue”, Bluey composer Jazz D’Arcy said in an interview.
“I’d seen the animatic for the episode and I went into full nostalgia mode, reminded of being a kid and growing up on the Gold Coast. So from there I looked for chords that felt grounded and nostalgic, and then the lyrics came very naturally!
“Those lyrics really flowed because I was so touched by the episode, and I pitched both the instrumental and the vocal to the Bluey creative team.”
“We ended up going with the instrumental for the episode, and I’m so glad we did that because when we came to the album we were able to bring back the vocal version, which probably wouldn’t have seen the light of day had we not been putting out the second Bluey record.”
Jazz said that having an extended break to work on Dance Mode away from the pressures of writing music for 52 Bluey episodes a year was a welcome relief.
“When we write for the show it’s all about emulating the fun that happens on screen, but ultimately it’s about what works best with the visuals.
“With this album we got to explore bringing the song or the music to life, and focusing more on the music. It’s still the basis of what you heard in the episodes, but we get to spend more time fleshing it out and bringing in some incredible musicians.”
“There’s already so much effort that goes into the music for the show, but to really have the music as a priority for the album and to let it shine in its own light is really cool!”
If you’re a vinyl lover, a special edition of the new Bluey album will be available exclusively for Record Store Day 2023 (April 22) as a zoetrope vinyl picture disc.
The zoetrope effect will be featured on side A of the vinyl and will show the Heeler family dancing along to brand new tracks such as The BeeeeeOOP Walk, Chatterbox and Lollipop Yum Yum Yum!, when viewed via a stroboscope app.
The new album, Bluey: Dance Mode is available on 21 April 2023.
Article supplied with thanks to 96five.
Feature image: Jazz Darcy, ‘Bluey’ composer. (Photo credit: Justin Rouillon)