Archives for posts with tag: Twin Peaks

nhung-nguyen“Warmth” is the opening track from a new (released today) EP collection of ambient piano pieces title “Nostalgia” from Hanoi, Vietnam based sound-artist Nhung Nguyen.

This opening track is  the straightest piece on the EP, just a slightly wonky piano recorded in a space full of reverberation.

Nhung Nguyen explains ““Nostalgia” is my an ambient piano EP. All tracks are based on two long piano improvisations, which were recorded in 2015 and 2016. 

“Nostalgia” takes inspiration from my personal memories about childhood and the melancholy coming from thoughts and emotions at the end of the year. Yearning for the lost time of the youth and the warmth from moments are also main themes of the release.”

It certainly evokes the “Nostalgia” of the album title. Don’t know what it is about the sound of a slightly out of tune piano in a big echoing space, but it brings all sorts of memories and feelings back. Some relate to family gatherings, some to out-of-it jams, some to film music, some to the early piano-based ambient soundscapes of Eno.

Most of all, though, this track evokes a spooky kind of nostalgia for the peculiar feeling created by the world of David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” assisted by some of the incidental music created by Angelo Badalamenti.

The rest of the album is the piano looped and treated with reverb and delay, getting progressively more abstract with each track, as overlapping loops smudge and blur individual notes into a vast drone which slowly morphs over the course of the track.

The fourth track “Grace” at nearly 8 minutes is another highlight of the EP. The sound here is the most luxurious and distant from the sound of the piano introduced on that opening track “Warmth”.

Chelsea Jade is Watercolours

Chelsea Jade is Watercolours

Day 23 of the song-a-day-May NZ Music Month madness. The grey mist of low cloud & cold rain has descended upon Dunedin again today so it’s time to brighten up the day with Watercolours.

‘Danger Ocean’ is from a new EP called ‘PORTALS’. Chelsea Jade is Watercolours (it says so on the Bandcamp page). She’s joined here by Jeremy Toy (She’s So Rad, Opensouls etc. as co-writer & producer).

The mood here on ‘Danger Ocean’ reminds me of that great Angelo Badalamenti produced Julee Cruise album ‘Floating into the Night’ which of course triggers ‘Twin Peaks’ soundtrack memories. I love the way the backing vocals sound as if they are coming from an alleyway on the next street.

The whole EP is a great selection of wistful dreamy pop but with a slightly unsettling, ‘is-this-a-(bad)-dream?’ feeling of unease. There’s a lot going on in these songs – the arrangements are both minimal and expansively lush and the bold percussion – a real Watercolours feature – keeps them distinctive and a little more menacing.

bad-sav_coloured up

Bad Sav are a three piece band from Dunedin. More correctly they are from Port Chalmers, a small decrepit port town on the harbour 15 minutes drive north of Dunedin City.

It’s a place that always reminds me of ‘Twin Peaks’ for some reason. Maybe it’s the people. Maybe it’s the laid back weirdness vibe going on. Lots of bars, maroon velvet curtains, odd people eyeing you up strange, familiar faces & good friends & that oversized container crane machinery at the port towering incongruously over the 19th century main street stone buildings like some mechanical praying mantis family. Oh & damn fine coffee too at The Port Royale Café on the main street.

Bad Sav have a laid back weirdness vibe of their own going on. So Port Chalmers is a perfect place for Bad Sav to call home. Port Chalmers also has my ‘home-away-from-home’ – Chick’s Hotel – where all three members of Bad Sav either reside or work these days.

Bad Sav has been around as a band for a few years now, but always seemed a bit half-hearted, jokey & unfocused until the last 6 months. Last year they morphed from a kind of noisy grunge-scuzz outfit into a noisy post-punk/ shoegaze doom pop trio. And they are very good indeed.

“Buy Something New” may only be three chords but those chords carry the weight of society & its consumerist mantras upon their shoulders: “Buy something new/ To replace something new”. Sometimes simple repetition is all you need. This builds and twists and sighs and rages beautifully over 3 and a half minutes. If you buy something new today it should be this:

Their set is full of big churning masterpieces built on a weighty foundation of propulsive New Order-esque bass lines from Lucinda King (also in electronica goth-pop trio Death & The Maiden) and layered with cathedral-sized guitar sound walls from Hope Robertson (Birdation, Kilmore Girls & Snapper drummer, formerly guitarist of The Doyleys & Zan Batman Circus) and pushed along by Mike McLeod’s drumming (The Shifting Sands). They played a thrilling set at ReFuel last week. Their closing song, which I think is called ‘Pets’ and sung in extraordinary fashion by Hope, was beautifully chaotic and epic.

Bad Sav at the Crown Hotel, Dunedin 2012

Bad Sav at the Crown Hotel, Dunedin 2012