Archives for posts with tag: Sparklehorse

Michael SavageMichael Savage resides in Perth, Western Australia. It’s half a world away from NZ, but his bio includes a Dunedin link: “…expansive, emotional jangle-psych-pop – think a triangulation of The Lucksmiths, The Zombies and The Clean.”  He released his third album “Won’t Die Wondering” last year. Here’s the atypical “To Be Loved” as a Psychedelic Sunday shoegaze treat.

The album is co-produced by Ricky Maymi of Brian Jonestown Massacre, and while there’s heavy psych factor, the album is a varied collection, packed full of lush, crafted, skilful psych-pop and a few dreamy shoegaze trips like “To Be Loved” here with it’s infinite delay wash.

The opening track and “To Be Loved” are a slightly misleading introduction though. After the saturated sonic wash of these two shoegaze-psych songs the album takes on a more varied range of styles with a surplus of melodic hooks.

Overall, the album takes a Sparklehorse (or Michael Penn, if anyone who remembers him) via late period Beatles/ Badfinger/ Zombies style approach to pop-craft, even down to the levitating McCartney-esque bass-lines here and there. There’s loads of acoustic and electric 12-string, a bit of rotary-speaker effect on the vocals here and there to add colour and character to the songs.

Savage is recording a 4th album at the moment, so now’s a good time to check out his back catalogue to prepare yourself for his next release.

Swampy Summit Panorama

Dunedin. No pony. Unfazed.

Day 27 of NZ Music Month is a home-recorded mumbled masterpiece from Dunedin’s reclusive Fazed on a Pony, called “Palz”

I’m often reminded of Sparklehorse when I listen to Fazed on a Pony.

It’s not that the music sounds particularly alike, but it shares that sense you sometimes get from Sparklehorse songs like they are an intimate confessional from a close friend going through a difficult time.

The DIY recording, unusual ideas used in the arrangements, the general woozy melodicism of the songs and that can’t-quite-make-it-out vocal delivery all conspire together to draw you into the recording.

“Palz” is from a now sold out 5 song cassette EP called “Hunch” released last year by UK cassette label Fox Food Records.

“Alone” by low-key Dunedin solo recording artist Fazed on a Pony is perfect rainy-day-Sunday music. Fazed on a Pony is Peter McCall, who fronted the briefly wondrous Blanche last year and has also appeared in Yawny and the Apocalypse and the Dasepo Girls.

Two singles have been released without fanfare via the Fazed on a Pony Bandcamp page . Both are great. "Mary Like Me", released in August, is infused with 3Ds/ Pavement-esque guitar runs and a submerged vocal. The more recent single "Alone" though is more confident – in that peculiarly introverted Dunedin way – and distinct of character.

The vocals sound like they are recorded on a dictaphone & somehow matched to the backing track. The effect is oddly beautiful and dislocating. It creates both a weird intimacy and, at the same time, a barrier to keep the listener arms-length. The music is languorous – slow, sleepy, crammed full of interest and diversions. I have played this song on repeat for the past day and it still has the sense of wonder of the first listen.