Posts Tagged ‘David Kilgour’

Smokescreens

It would stand to reason that for a band as enamored with the sounds of New Zealand janglepop as Smokescreens, recording your next record with David Kilgour from The Clean at the helm might be checking a lifelong dream off the list. The Kiwi legend brought his producing touch to the record and the collaboration has netted an album that’s reverent to the past — shades of The Chills, Toy Love, The Bats, Verlaines, Go-Betweens, and naturally The Clean abound — and yet still captures a wistfulness that’s as timeless as ever. The jangles here are clean and polished but with that slight brittle edge that inevitably pushes them closer to the Aussie/Kiwi axis than to the Byrds disciples and C86 acolytes. Though they take at least a bit of swipe or two through the UK over the course of the album and lean in wholesale with a cover of Scottish band Scrotum Poles that’s reverent, yet provides the perfect fit for their sound.

The band’s last album peaked my interest hard and they only double down here. The runtime is short, Smokecreens are not ones to overstay their welcome, but each song endears A Strange Dream even further. Bittersweet, breezy, catchy without becoming a confection, the band and Kilgour have created the kind of jangle-pop classic that’s hunted down a generation or two later. With their harmonies slightly askew, the tumble of strings soaked in sun and streaked with silver clouds, I couldn’t build a better mixtape of what’s endearing about their chosen era of admiration. It’s clear that the band are themselves curators and collectors of jangle-pop’s past and their enthusiasm creates a link in the lineage of ‘80s Dunedin that’s hard to resist for those of us that are always looking for more from this wellspring.




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Smokescreens – “I Love Only You”

More from the upcoming Smokescreens LP today, with another track of jangled joy produced by NZ legend David Kilgour himself. A bit slower than the previous patter of “Fork In The Road,” the dreamy strains of “I Love Only You” are smeared in a sundown haze. Slow thuds of drums, a spring-fresh piano pound and Rosi’s imploring vocals all lead to a bit of a damn breaka around the two-minute mark. Paired up with a bit of in-studio behind the scenes and street side busking, the video gives a nice breezy visual to the song. Today needs a bit of triumph and heartfelt hubris and Smokescreens are here to serve both. The new album is on the way from Slumberland October 30th.



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Smokescreens – “Fork In The Road”

It’s rare that the a band’s most prominent inspiration locks on to produce an album, but it seems that after a couple of LPs with clear inspirations from The Clean, L.A. janglers Smokescreens nabbed the nod from David Kilgour himself and a more perfect pairing couldn’t have been born. The Kiwipop luminary headed to The States to produce the band’s third LP, A Strange Dream. and his hand guides the band to a more crystalline version of their sound. He even contributes a cover painting to the record. The band’s clearly hitting their stride within the first few bars, and the first single from the upcoming record is a bittersweet saunter through South Hemi pop — pulling at not only The Clean, but from the ranks of The Bats and The Go-Betweens for inspiration. “Fork In The Road” swoons into view with a rambling guitar line that opens up into cloudy harmonies and hilly basslines. Here’s hoping (and betting) the rest of the record is as delightful as this. A Strange Dream is out October 30th on Slumberland.



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