Invercargill is the home of Shunkan – my latest favourite local lo-fi bedroom pop magician. That is no real surprise to me. Invercargill has produced much musical talent over the years and promptly exported it to the nearest centres of civilisation. I say that as someone brought up there who forged my own musical identity as a teenager in the front room of a pale-blue weatherboard villa on a windswept cabbage tree lined street and played in a band to no-one in an empty hall over the road from the prison.

I first heard Shunkan (there’s a whole EP of glorious and extraordinary bedroom fuzzy lo fi pop like this) via Art Is Hard Records in the UK. Inexplicably they’d received a demo from Shunkan and liked it enough to release it (limited edition cassette).

‘Wash You Away’ is just one aspect of what’s on the EP. I heard enough reference points in all the songs to wonder how Marina Sakimoto (who is Shunkan) could absorb such a range of diverse possible influences and then turn them into something so distinctive and original. There is some great sonic experimentation going on in the other tracks which reminded me in places of the wooziness of early My Bloody Valentine and the rapture of Sigur Ros but also the quiet reflective spaces and dreamy wonder of our own Dear Time’s Waste. But that’s what can happen when an imagination is left in relative isolation with a guitar and a microphone and something to record the results on.

Rush hour Friday in Invercargill

Rush hour Friday in Invercargill

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