The seemingly never ending sequence of celebrity deaths last year hit music and film fans hard all over the world, and it also affected Australian psych-pop songwriter Pluto Jonze, who pays homage to Bowie with his single, ‘Swingin’ Like I’m Bowie’.
Pluto Jonze has been building a name for himself since 2012 with reasonable success, and is hoping to firmly cement himself on the scene and expose himself to a wider, international audience, with his groove-heavy brand of pysch-pop. Taking inflence from Beck, The Beatles, and of course Bowie, Pluto’s sound favours strong melodies and hooks, driven by psych production and lyrics.
The track is powered by funk guitar and a powerful beat, which is punctuated by Jonze’s vocals and spacey synths. He even includes the Theremin, as a nice homage to Bowie, who used the instrument on his ‘Heathen’ album, and it gives ‘Swingin’ Like I’m Bowie’ a very alien feel.
Speaking of Bowie’s death, Pluto Jonze said:
“Last year sucked, I couldn’t listen to any of his songs without this sadness pinching me. Anyways, I’m over that and can now appreciate with clear eyes how he wanted his art to transcend himself and live on. He pushed the artistic envelope right to the end and this song is a celebration of that intent.”
The video for ‘Swingin’ Like I’m Bowie’ also calls to mind Bowie’s video for ‘Let’s Dance’. Jonze was visiting is girlfriend at her medical placement in a remote Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory, and met local producer Donovan, who helped him find the ideal location, and permission to shoot his video in the spectacular Outback.
You can catch Pluto Jonze at The Portland Arms, Cambridge, on Wednesday 23 August.