Cut Copy have been gone for a little while now, just under four years in fact. A lot has happened in the world during their absence from music, and a large majority of it has been pretty bad. Despite this depressing reality, Cut Copy aren't here to mope, instead heading straight back to the dancefloor with their colourful fifth studio album Haiku From Zero, which searches for a synth-pop paradise where the sounds of shiny synth leads and disco tinged guitars are all that you need to get by.

Haiku From Zero is set on shaking off the worries of everyday, plunging head first into wild escapism, built on propulsive percussion and layers of swirling electronics that build in a never-ending rise, enveloping your attention. A meditative synth melody rotates endlessly at the core of album opener ‘Standing In The Middle Of The Field’, which uses muted vocal samples and cowbell-heavy percussion, not dissimilar to the melancholy style of dance made by Caribou. "Find love/ build it on sand/ build it on bricks/ build it on land," sings Cut Copy founder Dan Whitford, and the instrumentation follows suit, as rattling hi-hats overlap with sharp modulated stabs and haunting backing vocals drift in and out.

Whilst Haiku From Zero is an enjoyable record filled with playful melodies and catchy hooks, its easy-going nature ultimately results in the album feeling a little vapid, and lacks enough ingenuity to feel vital or arresting. Tracks like 'Black Rainbow’ have the kind of hands-in-the-air, feel-good vibe that might draw you to Cut Copy's set as you wander through the grounds of a festival, but taken out of that context the album's more straightforward pop moments feel a little forgettable.

Cut Copy are capable of lush soundscapes and dizzying production, but some of the more pop-focused tracks on the album are achingly generic and destined to end up on the latest advert for some discount furniture store. There are highlights across the album for sure, but they come drowned out by stagnant song formats that do little to excite or innovate. Haiku From Zero is at its best when it deviates from these direct structures, and explores a more introspective, calculated sound.

This is evident on ‘Stars Last Me A Lifetime’, where Whitford sings "If I see you again/never would forget, I can't explain," over steady guitar chords and a palette of fleeting ethereal shimmers that rise through the layers. The song draws smoothly into a dreamy outro, where cascading synths fill the space with a woozy ambience. It's an undeniably poppy track, but the attention to detail and focus on creating atmosphere sets this and the other similar songs on the album apart from those that just feel a little less ambitious. Haiku From Zero offers up plenty of mesmerising moments, but they come with a damaging amount of baggage and ultimately the record falls a little short of the tropical dream that it envisages.