The year might be winding down, but Moontown Records isn’t slowing on the releases front. Here is some incredible, skewed synth pop from Canberra artist, Gus McGrath also known as California Girls. Darkly seductive but verging on being unsettling, ‘Skin On Skin’ seems to evoke the dance undertaken in the heady atmosphere of the disco – bodies pulsing in close confines, physical movements creating heat, moods inflated by the pulse of the music, libido increasing.

As California Girls, McGrath presents himself as a self-assured, confident sexual being – a club lothario who revels in capturing lust and attraction – seeking physical connections but not emotional ones.

‘Skin On Skin’ captures that moment where eyes lock and the dance begins. “You stroke your hair and look me in the eye / I see every muscle move / I want to know everything / I am a powerhouse”. That last fragment is repeated ad nauseam – almost as if McGrath is trying to convince his target of his prowess or to reassure himself of the fact. The music adds to the underground club feel with juddering beats, a guitar warping over low heat, vocals monotonous and languid but slightly forceful – it’s less of a banger and more of a constant burner, something worth investing your ears into if you dig the current crop of underground techno, synth-pop or dark-disco (100%, Corporate Vibes, Lucy Cliche, Karli White).

Look for a cassette LP from California Girls in January 2016, out through Moontown.

Image: Carmen Juarez