Australian electronic band Cut Copy has been together for nearly 20 years. Since forming in 2001--initially as a solo project of frontman Dan Whitford before expanding into the quartet it is today--the band has released five full-length albums, an EP, and a number of remixes, all stamped with their signature synths and beats pulling inspiration from a number of styles and eras, from '70s funk to '90s dance.
That mix of sounds has earned Cut Copy international acclaim and a devoted following. While all their songs offer something unique, here are our 10 favorite Cut Copy songs that stand out from the rest:
10. "Where I'm Going"
Cut Copy released Zonoscope in 2011, an album filled with many of the same electro-pop sounds as In Ghost Colours before it but with more mature songwriting. And while "Where I'm Going" certainly features those elements, its vocals and musical layers have elements of some of the sounds of the '60s, with hints of both the era's bubblegum pop and psychedelia, as well as a Beach Boys-inspired rhythm and "ooh"-filled chorus.
9. "Far Away"
In 2008, Cut Copy released In Ghost Colours, an album packed with shimmery synthesizers and dance beats. Among the highlights is "Far Away," a track with hints of a throwback to the '80s and a melody that's a true earworm. With all of these elements together, "Far Away" is a standout on the album.
8. "Free Your Mind"
After a few years and albums proving electro-pop is what Cut Copy does best, the band released Free Your Mind in 2013, and after a brief 20-second intro, the titular song leads the release with club-ready dance beats, bongo drums, a catchy piano, and a fun chorus.
7. "Unforgettable Season"
One exception to In Ghost Colours' rule of electro-pop tracks is "Unforgettable Season," which heads in a different direction with fuzzy guitars and a bit of a post-punk feel. It demonstrates that while catchy electronics are what the band is known for, they have no problem slipping into other genres and can do it just as well.
6. "Hearts on Fire"
One of the other many electronic standouts on In Ghost Colours is lead single "Hearts on Fire," with '90s-esque dance beats, a catchy chorus, and a little bit of guitar at the end--plus some elements hinting at hit "Lights & Music" and a little bit of a darker, edgier feel. "Hearts on Fire" stands as Cut Copy's second most popular song on Spotify, with just under 14 million plays, and for good reason.
5. "Bright Neon Payphone"
Cut Copy released sophomore album Bright Like Neon Love in 2004, an album which for the most part continued its predecessor's upbeat, catchy melodies packed with synths. But for "Bright Neon Payphone," a different sound emerged--one similar to and paving the way for "Unforgettable Season" after it. "Bright Neon Payphone" kicks off with fuzzy, distorted guitars akin to The Radio Department before transitioning into a sound that's a little crisper but still very much has a post-punk feel.
4. "Drop the Bomb"
Cut Copy debuted in 2001 with album I Thought of Numbers, and "Drop the Bomb" perhaps more than any other track was an indication both the band's roots but also how their sound would ultimately evolve, even though it relies heavily on a sample of "Drop the Bomb" by hip-hop/funk band Trouble Funk. In Cut Copy's hands, it becomes a catchy dance track, and it's a clear stand-out in an album full of glitchy, electronic sounds. "Drop the Bomb" proved early on that Cut Copy is a band worth paying attention to.
3. "Going Nowhere"
While "Bright Neon Payphone" stands out on Bright Like Neon Love for its guitars, "Going Nowhere" is the opposite, providing the synth sound associated with Cut Copy. In fact, the track is among the best on the album with its funky, dizzying sounds, and despite the fact that it's not among the band's most popular songs, it's certainly one of the best and has a lot to love.
2. "Lights & Music"
The catchy dance-pop track "Lights & Music" is by far Cut Copy's most recognizable and most popular, with over 26 million plays on Spotify--nearly double the number of plays of the second-most-popular song, "Hearts on Fire." As the second single from In Ghost Colours, it peaked at #64 on the Australian charts, but its popularity isn't what makes it one of the band's best songs. With its beat, synths, and a hook that's easy and fun to sing along to, it showcases Cut Copy's songwriting skills, but above all, it's just great to listen to.
1. "Need You Now"
Zonoscope kicked off strong with the six-minute-long "Need You Now." Like the album itself, the track builds on the synth sounds predecessor In Ghost Colours featured heavily while also setting the tone for the rest of the album, as an opening track should, and although the vocals start off sounding a bit calm and subdued, the whole thing culminates wonderfully in more intensity. "Need You Now" stands as a testament to Cut Copy's songwriting, taking a short synth-pop song one step further and elevating it with more layers and depth, making it their best.