Sweet lonesome vocals that say something + reverb. Pedal steel + reverb. Over-driven guitar + reverb. Harmonies slurred and blurred by reverb. For me, all of that is very difficult to resist. So how did Nashville destroy country music for those who wanted the authenticity that makes this music of the wide open spaces so compelling? I am an electronica fan, but its artists like Mel Parsons (and Marlon Williams for that matter) that take me where electronica has normally had me for itself. Stark contemplative moments of emotional clarity. This is a simple but beautiful song. Though I am pretty sure this elegance would not have been so easy to create. "Driving Man" was written by Mel Parsons, produced by herself and Gerry Paul (the guitarist) w/ Lee Prebble recording (yes, at The Surgery) and Auckland's Oli Harmer mixing. Anji Sami (She's So Rad) and Lisa Tomlins are on backing vocals. The video was produced and directed by Tim McInnes (Ruffell Productions) with photographic direction by Sabin Holloway. The video stars Beth Alexander & Khuzwane Holder. It all works. If you would like to get to know Mel Parsons' art better, there is a (typically) great Graham Reid interview link below. Otherwise, cos of course you like it, buy it at the link below. I have.
Graham Reid interview here...
Mel Parsons | Driving Man
Three things that really distinguish Melodownz (Bronson Price) and his colleagues in Third3ye is a delicious use of melody and harmony, an overall subtlety of presentation, and thematic content which is far from the overly common & sometimes close-to-narcissistic "watch me on my journey to the top". "One Liiif3" is one of the best tracks from Melodownz' debut solo album, "Beginner's Luck", released late-2014. The single was produced by My Disguise (a Kiwi living in Perth right now) with mastering by Rizvan Tuitahi, himself a talented MC, producer. The album was otherwise produced by a range of producers including Ben Jamin and Jay Knight. Engineering was by Rizvan. The video was put together by Lifers.Co. Bronson has a pretty impressive backstory which you can flesh out at the interview link below. You can buy "Beginner's Luck" at the link below. I own it.
The interview with Melodownz...
Watch Melodownz live at the link below...
MeloDownz - One Liiif3 (Official Video)
Hitting the NZ music industry like an Exocet out of a sea-fog, Matthew Young's first musical offerings in late 2014 ("Loveblind", "Knock") stunned many for the writing, the vocal delivery and the production. New Zealand has recently developed somewhat of a mini-cluster of RnB-influenced future-poppy artists and here was someone coming in at a slightly different angle and again doing it so well. The enigmatic Mr Young appears to have a 360 degree approach to what he does, whether that be writing, singing, sound and image/fashion, and so far executed all with aplomb. The only industry player not surprised by the quality of all this is Sony, who have signed him. I note Djeisan Suskov (now going by the singular moniker "Djeisan") is responsible for production on "Magic". Clearly a versatile producer, he has done a superb job on this, and other tracks I have heard. I have previously come across Djeisan's work with Artisan Guns, Dear Times Waste and his own project Cool Rainbows. All substantially different to "Magic" but the clarity and space I associate with his production is still there. The video was put together by Jordan Arts and Matthew, and is a suitably sophisticated visual presentation. Matthew Young's new EP "DIVE" is due out June 12th and is currently available on Spotify. Many of the tracks are also available at the Soundcloud link below. An exciting artist that will surely break big.
Some blog interviews below...
MATTHEW YOUNG - Magic
I am pretty confident that people who should know, do. But not sure how many others realise Paul McLaney is a bona fide New Zealand musical treasure. Much of his music might be an acquired taste, but like all the greats, time tests his music well. After a period of releasing a more electronic loop-driven series of albums (which I adore), he clearly couldn't fight the British progressive rock lurking in his genes. As a result we get a three song musical cycle that presents much in the way of great post-progressive rock music of the late 1970s and 1980s. The first of this cycle was "The Best Is Yet To Come", seen earlier this year on this blog. "When The Wind Blows" is a complex, multi-layered masterpiece, and an honest message to a friend in trouble. Mr McLaney knows how to use dynamics. "When The Wind Blows" starts as standard Impending Adorations electronic fare, but evolves into something that clearly has some inspiration in the sort-of-forgotten-but-amazing late 80s, early 90s Talk Talk/ Mark Hollis' albums. Those albums are so influential and if you haven't heard them...go there! The Auckland Gospel Choir stump up beautifully in the single. The stunning video is by RedKidOne who is responsible for this three-song cyle. You can buy this very special single at the links below.
Also on Spotify...
The Impending Adorations - When The Wind Blows