By Lisa Waugh
In Michael Cullen, we get a sublime blend of Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Ian Curtis and Tom Waits. With his latest single “Cha Cha Cha D’Amour,” we get a track full of hypnotic sex from that delicious pack of men with Cullen riding atop the notes like a glorious sultan of ultra hip. “Cha Cha Cha D’Amour” ripples between the old world and the new, pinging in intimate clubs, whispering in ear buds.
Cullen is very much at home in his own skin and knows how to spin a tale we believe and inhabit. The Australian singer/songwriter has been playing around with genres for a while now, mixing and infusing indie rock, goth, punk and alternative, splashing even a bit of this, a bit of that but always with control.
His years of being an essential member of bands informed his particular way of letting whatever record he’s working on, breathe. That’s what he’s done on True Believer, the album from which “Cha Cha Cha D’Amour” is drawn. It lets the song wind itself out, recoil, and then unfurl at its leisure. That’s the skill of a crooner and punk.
Cullen is the master purveyor of music, the message, and just the right person to lure us out the light. “Cha Cha Cha D’Amour” is a love song to that velvety darkness.
Michael Cullen plus timEbandit Powles (Tim Powles of The Church)
Michael Cullen and timEbandit Powles
Mixed by Danton Supple (Morrisey, Coldplay)