Cue the hallelujah chorus. After five long years, pop duo Client Liaison have returned from on high to deliver their sophomore record Divine Intervention. The hook-heavy record fuses their typical retro grooves with evangelical disco beats to create another pearler of pop perfection.
Peppered with religious imagery, the album questions the world’s idea of the truth and tempts us to surrender our will to a higher power. In this case, that deity is music and the house of worship is a discotech. Consider us converted.
To celebrate the record release, they’re treating the cult of Client Liaison to something special and we’re not talking about a limited edition vinyl. A la Bart Simpson, Monte and Harvey are literally selling their souls through an NFT collection via Serenade. The soul-related perks include a golden ticket to gigs, a luxe limo ride and an intimate lunch with the band as well as a downloadable link for the new record.
Ahead of the album release, Music Feeds caught up with keyboardist and producer Harvey Miller to chat Divine Intervention, magic tricks and why the truth is overrated in 2021.
Music Feeds: Divine Intervention has been a long time coming. How are you feeling now that it’s almost out?
Harvey Miller: To tell you the truth, it’s all a bit of a blur. It’s not as if we crossed the finish line holding our hands together. It was a long process. And personally, for me, I felt the moment of elation, was about eight months ago when we finished the last actual moments of a song in a session. And I was like, “Oh my god! I can see the storyline now”. I’ve redone this bit of the music, Monte has redone that vocal and we got there. And that’s that. And I’ve been listening to some of the songs for like four years now.
MF: Given you wrapped up the record in the last year, how do you think the pandemic has impacted the final product or do you think you would’ve ended up with a different album?
HM: It actually helped, I would argue. It was a slog getting to the finish line and then COVID came along as a bit of a convenient excuse, to be honest. It was like, “Oh, we’re in a pandemic, let’s take a bit more time.” There wasn’t a lynch mob of fans out the front window and everything was put on ice. But to tell you the truth, prior to the Delta variant, I really thought we were coming out of COVID. I thought we’d conquered it and I was just ready to rock again. And then yeah, take two happened. Well, take six. But you know what I mean.
MF: The album is made to fill dancefloors, were you thinking about how the album would exist in a post-pandemic world or is that just always a part of the Client Liaison parcel?
HM: Yeah, party and positivity is the crux of what we do.
MF: On ‘Divine Intervention’, you’ve given your sound an evangelical disco twist. Where did you get that inspiration from?
HM: We always go into sessions wanting to make the most upbeat positive poppy songs. It’s rare that we sort of go in there and want to write something sombre. It’s always the criteria of upbeat pop music principles, hooks, grooves, and melodies. We’ve always had an inclination to the early ’90s, late ’80s and disco meets transitions with house with a throwback sound. So it’s just our territory, I guess.
MF: It makes for such a fun album. Was that ‘Cult of Client Liaison’ concept set in stone before you hit the studio or did it come about during the creative process?
HM: It was about halfway through the album, I realised that the truth doesn’t really matter anymore. We’re in a sort of post-truth world. And the truth only matters to people who are making decisions. So for instance, if you’re a business that employs 1,000 people, you’re gonna want to know what the truth is. When it comes to COVID, you’re gonna want to know what the truth is, when it comes to policy and the way the world works. But when you’re an individual like, not making money…I’m trying to say it politely. But when you’re autonomous and might not have too much responsibility or not have a family and things like that, then the truth doesn’t really matter. And that’s why people nowadays feed themselves their own narratives. And it kind of speaks to how the world works.
So I guess Divine Intervention was us realising that. Like all else has gone, let’s throw in the towel and return to our primitive ways and embrace higher religion or something. It was “Reject everything”, a bit of a crisis with the world and just be like, “We need a divine intervention, something bigger needs to come down” because everything’s just a bit crazy and chaotic and truth no longer exists. So if truth doesn’t exist, then let the clouds part and come down, Jesus.
MF: But like a disco Jesus.
HM: Yeah, it’s like nothing matters anymore so let’s just go back to religion. We tried being truthful, and it didn’t work. So let’s just go back to how it used to be.
MF: So like throwing your inhibitions to a higher power?
HM: Yeah, I don’t believe in astrology but I’ve got this app called CoStar. And it gives me some BS every day. I’m just like, “Oh, thank you”.
MF: Yeah, I use that app too and it’s kinda fun to just pretend there is a higher power taking the wheel. You’ve already released a bunch of singles from the record, have you been happy with the fan reactions so far?
HM: Yeah, totally. I mean, by all metrics, it’s doing well. The streams are good and we get some good views on YouTube. It’s hard to balance it all up when you don’t have the live component while we’re in a pandemic. So I think our band, in terms of that response, the metrics are quite well balanced. We’ve got great numbers for our live show and a great number of streams and socials. It’s all a nice, balanced portfolio when you look at it, compared to some artists who are just like huge on TikTok, and then they can’t even sell one ticket. But yeah, I don’t know. What’s the measure of good anymore? Is it virality? But we’re happy with how it’s all tracking and people seem to be liking it. So that’s all that matters.
MF: Hopefully you can see the reactions in real-time on tour very soon. Given the album concept, can we expect some wild outfits and theatrics for the show?
HM: We’ve actually looked at trying out magic tricks and stuff. Like channelling mid-90s David Copperfield vibes. Our live shows are quite simple, we’ve become known for our live show and our mantra has always been to do things that other people aren’t doing. It’s quite easy. So when we started, we’d bring our own smoke machine to our gig. We’d get our mates to flip the house lights on and off. So I was saying to Monte, “No one is doing magic, let’s do some magic”. If there’s something that people aren’t doing, then we’ll probably do it. That’s just our equation.
MF: Speaking of, you’re releasing an NFT where people can own the album and part of your souls. Please tell me the inspiration behind this because it sounds like an episode of The Simpsons.
HM: Yes, for those who are over the age of 25, they might remember a show called The Simpsons. There’s an episode where Bart sells his soul to his best friend Milhouse and that was some of the inspiration.
With the NFT boom, a lot of people would be somewhat familiar with what NFTs are, it’s a new marketplace. We wanted to participate in that because we thought we’d do so whilst also making comments about the nature of NFTs as well. It’s quite self-reflective. NFT’s are somewhat intangible, so we thought it would be fun if we actually sell something that’s even more intangible than the NFT itself as a sort of comment on NFTs.
So there’s a bit of subtext and conceptual slant to the act itself and we thought it would be fun. At the end of the day, it kind of says that Client Liaison belongs to all the people and it’s yours, it’s not just selling the soul of Client Liaison it’s like giving it back to the fans.
Client Liaison have today unveiled their highly anticipated new album ‘Divine Intervention’. Experience the album HERE.