This is music for musicians, and for those who like to think about their music as much as feel it. Introverted Dancefloor is the name of a new project from Bevan Smith, known for running a variety of monikers over time...Aspen, Skallender, Signer...and also for being one half of one the great NZ bands of the mid-2000s, Over The Atlantic. The new self-titled album from which "Happiness is Such A Mess" hails has taken four years to arrive. It sounds like it was an almost tortured genesis. Bevan deliberately put himself under a lot of pressure to create an album that was difficult to make. Limiting himself to only two synths, one mic, one filter and one effects processor, many of the songs were scratched and restarted. "Happiness.." demands quite a few listens to get inside one's subconscious, but it is a pleasure after several. And it is not just an aural experience, bringing with it some simple, hopefully helpful, existentialism...(!)
"If you ever feel unhappy,
don't forget that things are bound to change,
not that change is such a good thing,
there's a chance that things might get much worse"
The stunning video that accompanies this single was directed by Rowan Pierce, with photography by Matt Henley. Choreography was by Victoria Colombus with dancers Errol Anderson and Emma Martin. Bevan has been on the Carpark Records label since 1999 and says he feels grateful to still be one of what we know to be a stable of well-respected artists. But his continued presence on the label is not accidental. Here is an artist who must continue to interest music fans. And there is an integrity to the intellectualism he brings to it. It is also fun. A range of links are provided below to enable the reader to get to know Introverted Dancefloor better. Highly recommended. Watch out for the album release in September. Hopefully we will get a few more video releases ahead of the release date.
Introverted Dancefloor - "Happiness is Such A Mess"
Gorgeous. Everything that Glass Vaults has been, but warmer. Glass Vaults' new album "Sojourn" is launching in September. The two releases so far indicate an evolution from what I experienced as a ambient melodic electronic focus with often-times dense minor scale textures, to what might be a more guitar-driven (but not dominated) sound, and a sunnier tonal outlook. The "Sojourn" single is my favourite of the two tracks released so far, "Sacred Heart" being the first release. "Sojourn" is a simple love song with a big heart, and layers of rich melody, texture...and light? Impressionist music maybe. The cover art hints at this. Richard Larsen's vocals seem enhanced by the context. And the second lift of the song at 3:10 is one of those dopamine moments. I recommend you listen to this on very good headphones, or on a sound system with good bass response. The beautifully-constructed video is the work of Ryan Fielding, and uses some footage from the much-missed "Camp A Low Hum" music festival which I regret never having attended. The love song could just as easily have been for the festival, a meeting of those that follow alternative life paths and the music that seems to be an integral part of it all. As it is, Paul Simon's "Graceland" and the NZ summer are also objects of the artists' affection here. I will be buying "Sojourn". If you would like to listen to the first two singles right now, or even get acquainted with historical material, please go to the link below. I own everything Glass Vaults have released so far.
Glass Vaults - Sojourn