One of the easiest ways to describe Running Touch’s music is to borrow one of his own song titles, two words that seem to encapsulate the musician and the world he’s building around his craft: Post modern.
Raised in Melbourne, Running Touch’s work has always been one to bend conventional limits, regardless of the project it’s representing. As a founding member and key studio writer of Ocean Grove (the Australian hardcore band he formed when he was 13), he moulds heavy rock experimentalism with fragments of electronica and pop. As a silent member of Adult Art Club, he warps and buckles techno into its most potent and thrilling. As Running Touch, he’s a somewhat-enigmatic master-of-all-trades: A songwriter, producer, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and creative director whose work stretches beyond limits to create art – entire, multi-sensory universes – that distinctly sound like Running Touch rather than anything else.
Since the project’s first introduction in 2016, Running Touch’s multi-disciplinary creativity has been at the forefront of his work. Musically, he plucks influences from artists that have a similar depth to their music; artists that like Running Touch, have projects that span beyond just one distinct sound. However, unlike many others, he takes influences stretched across media – live performance, art, design, photography, literature, film – and combines them into one, creating a sense of complexity that goes far deeper than just the musical surface.
Take his output in the last 24 months, for example. After sharing his debut EP A Body Slow in 2017, everything Running Touch has done since has encapsulated his exponential growth in not just production and songwriting, but how it intertwines with completely realised and fleshed-out universes. ‘My Hands’ was a masterclass in his multi-instrumentalist prowess that fused his distinctive vocal with coatings of guitar, piano and percussion, as he explains: “‘My Hands’ was the first time I felt personal in putting my love for house cuts and indie music into one record. It was the first time I had settled into a sound and has since set the scene for almost everything to come.” ‘When I’m About You’ doubled down on his unique combination of indie, electronica, pop and R&B, while ‘Make Your Move’ brought Running Touch’s artistic visions to life in more aspects than ever explored before, marrying another taste of his constantly-shifting sound with media formats that go beyond just the scope of a standard single, including a mini-documentary.
Now, Running Touch is continuing to evolve. His new single ‘MEET ME’ builds further into the Running Touch story, all while sharing an ode to those that have stuck by and supported the project no matter how its sound shifts and moves. It builds on the textures experimented upon with ‘My Hands’, bringing a further sense of that genre-spanning experimentalism by fusing sounds that otherwise, aren’t often found together. “‘MEET ME’ was my second time publishing a short story into a song,” he explains. “Building on the colours I had found and loved in ‘My Hands’, I wanted to expand and grow in that room.” These colours – the amalgamation of indie, electronica, R&B, pop and more – form a sonic palette to be expanded upon throughout 2020; Running Touch’s careful jigsawing of sounds and textures to be prevalent through much of the year.
In 2020, Running Touch’s artistry is reaching its most potent yet, at least in the public eye. ‘MEET ME’ lays the foundation for a full-length record expected later this year, a debut album that’s expected to go beyond the anonymity the project welcomes by exploring the brain behind it all, often at its most personal and intimate. Meanwhile, his live show is continuing to expand into the often-unexpected; allowing the Running Touch universe come to life in a way it was always built to be – electrifying and unpredictable, influenced by the likes of everything from Biohazard to Cirque Du Soleil, created with the idea of encouraging an all-encompassing theatrical experience, rather than just a show alone.
Since the very beginning, Running Touch and The Post Modern Collective – the group of artists and aliases linked to Running Touch, including the visionary’s solo project – have constantly been one step ahead of current day trends. That is, after all, what post-modernism is all about. In 2020, however, it seems that music’s genre boundaries are constantly being broken and shifted, and creativity is booming. So, how will Running Touch continue to not just sit in front of the curve, but define the curve itself? We’ll see, but you know it’s going to be one hell of a journey.