Wellington alt-pop duo Physical's debut album Ride It Out is a record of heartbreak presented under the guise of upbeat-poppiness. Nik Brinkman and Julia Parr combine sorrow with optimism through a spacious-yet-sturdy electronic production to create songs that moves waves through your body and emotions.
The two met when working on a track for Nik's other project Ghostwriters Collective, not realising that the interaction would develop into a deeper musical relationship and would unexpectedly result in an album worth of material.
From the beginning Physical were determined to make a pop album that avoided being too commercially pop. "We wanted to keep it lively and catchy, songs you want to sing along to and get stuck in your head," explains Julia. "But in saying that, we didn't want to make something really mainstream that sounds like what you're hearing on the radio."
Parr's bold vocals are delievered in a way that sounds like she knows what she desires. When she tells us that her inspiration comes from other strong female singers such as SZA, Kelela and her all time favourite, Banks, it makes perfect sense.
Though it may be difficult to Google, Julia says that the name Physical embodies their sound and how they feel about music. After a short time of calling themselves Pure Shores, Julia had a lightbulb moment during a sweaty gym session. "Physical really just stuck and I like the sound of that word and what emotions it evokes."
'Ride It Out' is available now on Spotify.
Jess Fu is an Auckland broadcaster. Follow her on Twitter