Dune Rats embrace their optimism on buoyant new single ‘UP’

The new song’s video was inspired by “super over-the-top film clips with hectic dancing” by artists like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera

Dune Rats have returned with a summery new single titled ‘UP’, sharing an accompanying cinematic video stacked with cameos.

The track eschews Dune Rats’ signature blend of punk and surf-rock in favour of a jaunty, upbeat indie-pop vibe. Its soundscape is carried by cruisy, shimmering acoustic strums and a bouncy electronic beat, with the Queensland trio doling out a catchy vocal harmony to bring it all together. It evokes the earlier works of DMA’S and Ball Park Music, but ultimately shines with Dune Rats’ own loose and lively spark.

The video comes courtesy of director Natalie Sim, who co-produced it with Isobel Jones and DOP Alex Flamsteed. It stars the band as postmen delivering tax returns in a stylised version of Brisbane, before being cornered by muggers (played by Big Twisty & The Funknasty, plus members of Bugs and The Inspired Unemployed) and sparking a brawl.

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Inspired by “super over-the-top film clips with hectic dancing” by artists like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, the video is built around a series of synchronised dance routines choreographed by Nerida Matthaei.

Have a look at the video for ‘UP’ below:

“It took a couple of weeks to learn the ‘UP’ dance in between every rehearsal, sound check and show during our Duniespalooza shows in Brisbane,” the band said of their process making the video. “Then we went straight into a three day shoot with a nasty four-nights-in-a-row hangover…. Was intense, but more than worth it!”

The band explained that ‘UP’ was written in the small town of Eden on the South Coast of Australia, driven to write a song that felt suited for summer because “it was bloody freezing at the time”. They continued: “We ended up making this feel-good banger that was way different from anything we’d written before.

“We stumbled across the song while having a good time fucking around and cracking each other up. At first, we were reluctant to show anyone because of how different it sounded but eventually thought ‘fuck it’ and embraced the tuneski!”

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‘UP’ comes as Dune Rats’ first release for 2021, following last year’s standalone single ‘Too Tough Terry’ (which took out the 85th spot in triple j’s Hottest 100 for 2020).

The band released their third full-length effort, ‘Hurry Up And Wait’, in January of 2020. It went on to score Dune Rats their second Number One album on the ARIA Charts, and was followed up last April with a mini-documentary called Aussie Pub Rock Lives On Forever. The film was shot during their national tour in support of the LP, which was also immortalised in a video for the single ‘Bad Habits’.

Dune Rats will take ‘UP’ to the stage next month when they play Party In The Apocalypse, a spin-off organised by the team behind the defunct festival Party In The Paddock. Dune Rats are locked in to perform at the Launceston festival alongside the likes of Cub Sport, Ruby Fields, San Cisco, Methyl Ethel and Lime Cordiale.

“We can’t wait to play ‘UP’ live anywhere and everywhere,” the band said, “as it feels like whether it be a small pub or a massive festival this song is gonna be fun as all hell!”

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