Jan 302024
royal otis murder on the dancefloor

Musical soulmates Royel Maddell and Otis Pavlovic found each other in 2019 and have been creating guitar pop ever since. Their debut album is due in February 2024, with a tour to support. For the ever-inventive Triple J cover slot on ABC they covered Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s 2001 hit “Murder on the Dancefloor,” currently riding high following its memorable appearance in Saltburn.

Ellis-Bextor’s journey to National Treasure status in the UK started young. As the daughter of a beloved children’s TV presenter, she joined her mother on screen from an early age. When she broke into music she took the role of Disco Diva, with her own music but also nodding to those such as Cher who created the role.  She continues to make new music, expanding range over the years, including some notable covers. She is an eloquent and enthusiastic advocate for LBGTQ+ causes, and when she takes on a feud (e.g. with Robbie Williams), she is usually on the right side, During the lockdown, she did her best to lighten the mood with her “Kitchen Discos,” where she and her husband put on online shows from their home, with their five sons participating with various degrees of enthusiasm and eye-rolling, depending on whether they were toddlers or teenagers. She did all of this without ever troubling the Billboard 100, until Barry Keoghan’s viral, nude, turn in Emerald Fennell’s movie.

Royel Otis are not disco divas, their guitar pop comes from a different place, but it fits well. Maddell assimilates the rhythm guitar of the dancefloor well, and the band drives things along at a great pace. Pavlovic does not have the clear diction and precision of a privately educated media child, but does not resort to mocking or pastiche. He comes from a different musical tradition, but respects the source work. Royel Otis have, in the past, put on record their desire to collaborate with the greatest current incarnation of the Disco Diva, fellow Australian Kylie Minogue. Consider this an audition.

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