Kane Strang (photo by Sam Valentine)

Kane Strang (photo by Sam Valentine)

Our second trip into the undergrowth of NZ Music visits the extraordinary fantasy world of Dunedin baroque folk-pop troubadour Kane Strang.

[‘When My Dandelion Mind Was Blown’ is no longer available on Bandcamp*]

‘When My Dandelion Mind Was Blown’ comes from an album Kane self-released last year called ‘A Pebble and A Paper Crane’. The album – and Kane’s enchanting live performances – have been one of many highlights of Dunedin’s adventurous ‘Pop Underground’ in recent months for me.

Kane creates his distinctive and unique bedroom psychedelia using mostly just acoustic guitar, voice and little else to accompany torrents of image-creating words. Each song is constructed elaborately in a way that avoids sounding like much else and often take flight with unexpected soaring melodic twists & turns. The pitch and tone of Kane’s voice is an instrument in itself, particularly the way it is layered in some tracks.

Most of this album was recorded by Kane alone in a concrete bomb-shelter in Germany early last year using recording software in German (a language he doesn’t speak). The lights were on a timer, meaning he would be pitched into terrifying blind darkness regularly. Despite these obstacles the album is a complete & captivating work; out of time with these times and out of this world too.

[UPDATE: *Kane removed his album “A Pebble & a Paper Crane” from his Bandcamp in 2015. The only song from that album still available to hear is “Winded” which was included on the compilation album TEMPORARY – Selections From Dunedin’s pop Underground 2011 – 2014]