Strange Harvest Replica City
Day 24 of the 31 Days of May New Zealand Music Month via Bandcamp challenge comes from Dunedin’s best replicant electro-pop duo, Strange Harvest.

In a week’s time (Friday 31st May 2013) Strange Harvest will be holding their album release show for ‘Inside a Replica City’ at Queens in Dunedin.

As this track – the creepy, dark, sad and beautiful ‘Amnesia’ – shows, Strange Harvest are masters of minimalist soundscapes which merge under-stated melodic keyboard pop with something more abstract and unsettlingly human – “would you disconnect me and leave me alone?”

The whole album is strong and ebbs and flows with odd tales and dreamy pop built upon keyboards and drum-machine. Haunting detached vocals, semi-spoken interludes, and guitars alternating between desert twang and reverb-drenched noise colour in the outlines.

The thing I love about Strange Harvest’s particular brand of ice-cool electro-pop is that, beneath those surface impressions of songs about a kind of semi-robotic or replicant dystopian future, there is so much human vulnerability involved, sometimes observed in concise but forensic detail.

Perhaps the album is less about an escapist sci-fi futurist landscape of replicants and leisure colonies and more an observation that this imagined existence is closer to our present voyeuristic media & internet fixated reality than we care to admit. Are we in fact just programmed drones; replicants bred to unthinkingly live in debt or wage servitude in our own present-day version of the Blade Runner movie?