In the summer of 2007/08, Melbourne indie-electro one man band Muscles (aka Chris Copulos) was everywhere. His debut album, Guns Babes Lemonade, made a surprise top 20 debut in the charts, while the singles Ice Cream and Sweaty were party-starting favourites among both the Triple J indie crowd and urning club kids.

And you couldn’t go to a festival without seeing Muscles up on stage behind his keyboard and giving it his all.

Three long years later, he’s only now getting around to releasing new music ­— the EP Younger and Immature, released last week. He admitted to Sydney Star Observer that the time spent promoting his debut had depleted his energy.

“I was definitely burnt out, but it was amazing. I think I’ve played nearly every dance or indie festival in Australia. I think the only festivals I haven’t played have been the folk festivals — somehow I’ve got to worm my way into them. I’ll have to pretend I’m John Butler,” he laughed.

The new EP serves as a taster of the music he’s been working on in his time away from the stage, its five tracks traversing everything from “futuristic Super Mario Brothers to disco”.

Then there’s the abrasive first single, Girl Crazy Go, which explains what Muscles means when he says he’s been working on getting his music to sound “louder and heavier”.

“I felt it was a good choice for a first single — a lot of DJs and producers out there now are making very vanilla, discoey music that all sounds the same, so I wanted to come back harder and more techno. And the song itself is about young girls going hard and over the top, which comes from my experience playing festivals.”

When taken by itself, the track comes across as an anthem for said hard-partying girls. The accompanying video tells a different story,  beginning as an innocuous girls’ night out in Tokyo, the story takes a darker turn as the increasingly out-of-it girls fall prey to violence. It’s a sobering look at the dangers of losing control under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and it’s a far cry from the ‘peace, love, ecstasy’ refrain of his biggest hit, Sweaty.

“My sister’s 21 and when she first saw the video she said she saw a lot of herself and her friends in it. You’re young, you’re finding your way — should I drink that extra drink? Should I get really smashed? It can be hard to find where to draw the line,” he explained, before offering a final teaser.

“We’ve got girls going crazy, so maybe for the next video we’ll have guys going crazy — a lot of hot guys with their shirts off going nuts.

“I might have to step up my gym regime so I can be in it. Or they could just draw abs on me. It’s all about angles.”

info: Muscles’ new EP Younger & Immature is out now. He plays Mona Vale and the Gaelic Theatre on November 11 and 12. www.musclesmusic.net

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