It’s been exactly three years since RÜFÜS DU SOL‘s Bloom LP would put them on the map. Now, after teasing their third full-length studio album for months, the Aussie indie-dance trio has bestowed upon the world one of the top dance music albums of the year in Solace.

With three singles already released in “No Place,” “Underwater,” and “Lost In My Mind,” the 9-track project arrives in full on Reprise Records/Warner Music. The album was recorded in a Venice Beach house after their move across the Pacific Ocean into Los Angeles, as revealed by the band in a previous MixMag interview.

The full compilation comes together into a larger storyline filled with cinematic landscapes, ethereal horns, and rich twists and turns, as lyric-forward tracks abound. “Treat You Better” provides the perfect launching pad for Solace as lead singer Tyrone Lindqvist sings about “beginning again” over a robust organ melody and deep synths.

From there, “Eyes” encourages listeners to “take a trip” with the band into their more upbeat deep house soundscapes, while “New Sky” maintains the kind of ethereal sound design and subtle energy only RÜFÜS is capable of.

A standout track on the album, “All I’ve Got” drives the further momentum of Solace, with a darker overall stylization than we’re used to hearing of the group. A winding melody line, iridescent horns, and complex percussion patterns work to up the ante as Lindqvist’s lyrics ride atop: “Give me your love / because this is the place that I belong.”

Finally, the album begins to wind down in the title track, “Solace,” which gives listeners comfort and consolation in a time of distress or sadness. After all, that is the foundational thesis upon which the LP rests. Airy atmospheres, subtle guitar strings, and uplifting synths undergird the song’s arresting lyrics: “It’s time for me to let you go / I hope that you remember me.”

Strange synths lead into upbeat drum work as Lindqvist muses over the closing track elements: “So I guess this / is time to say goodbye,” the melancholy lyrics beckon, “I guess this is time / to close the door.”

All in all, the Solace LP is a carefully constructed compilation that not only speaks to RÜFÜS DU SOL’s arresting artistry, but further solidifies their place as one of the world’s most captivating live electronic acts. It’s a break up album, to be sure. It’s about letting go and moving on. It’s about becoming content in past memories.

But more than that, the album makes the case that RÜFÜS DU SOL is larger than electronic dance music as they insert their footing into the crossroads of world and alternative rock.

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Written by Ryan Morse

I'm probably listening to Bassnectar.