New music critiques: Crowded Home, NOV3L, Schwey, Waxwing and extra

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New Zealand quintet Crowded House aren’t chasing instant hits on their first new album in a decade

Author of the article:

Stuart Derdeyn Neil Finn (top left) was the permanent leader of Crowded House, which released Dreamers Are Waiting, its first album in a decade. Photo by BMG

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Full house

Dreamers wait | BMG

Genre: Pop.

Key track: Love is not difficult at all.

In all of its various formations, Crowded House has always been a fixture in singer / songwriter Neil Finn.

Finn is a master at writing near-perfect pop songs, dating back from his early years in Split Enz to the brilliant projects of the 7 Worlds Collide group and solo work by Seymour – the only other permanent member of the group – and drummer Paul Hester in 1985 Melbourne, Australia. This is still the case in the latest version of the on / off again project.

With their current formation of Finn and Seymour as well as producer / keyboardist Mitchell Froom and Finn’s sons Liam and Elroy, the band has released their first new music in a decade. Anyone who thinks Finn is coming to Fleetwood Mac as a tour member could rub off the writing, rest assured that the New Zealand star is still going his own way.

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Best of all, the band is going on tour so that a new generation of fans get the chance to enjoy exquisitely crafted, pure pop. Here are five things you should know about Dreamers Are Waiting:

1. Bad times are good: The opening song is classic Finn who wastes no time getting to the big waves of the melody. A simple acoustic beat opens the melody, then a distant piano trill follows and the pulsating beat starts softly. Strings, percussion, bass, guitar, drums, backing choirs and more come together every minute to somehow still sound quiet. That is abundant production.

2. To the island: An early single, this is one of the more rocky songs of the dozen on the album. Over a sustained drum beat, slightly psychedelic lyrics with “Hey Yo” chants are sure to make people think this is someone who’s spent time with the Beatles’ catalog. Again, production is massive, but never bloated. The Calliope break in the middle is like a ride on a classic carousel.

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3. Whatever you want: For all the beauty of the Crowded House sound, the lyrical content is often cynical. This route does not express their criticism of those people who “tell you anything you want” in order to get what they want. More than a little poison drips from the cut verses.

4. Too good for this world: Which album is not complete with a slightly trippy shanty? The merging of visual images of sails and islands – a fairly common theme for the Kiwi – is a story of lost love opportunities. You can easily imagine a couple gracefully dueling across a boat deck in a classic Hollywood music dance routine with this soundtrack.

5. Lower: The set ends with a typical story about hungry eyes and imaginary lovers who summon you to go on in search of love. The song is wrapped in pathos curtains, but leaves you melancholy and satisfied at the same time. It’s a great choice to complete a fairly introspective collection of songs. No, this does not include Don’t Dream It’s Over.

Graham Brown Band

mind and soul | grahambrownsongs.com

Genre: Rock roots.

Key track: Mind and soul.

Eleven new melodies from the productive pen of lead singer / guitarist Graham Brown and his crack band, which deliver everything a fan of solid roots rock could wish for. The title track is a clinking, driving rocker with one of those choruses that make you reach for a lighter in an arena to appreciate the emotional impact of the vocals. Then the lead guitar burns in and destroys the slightly clinking pop quality of the melody. Let’s Get High (On Love) is a perfect power pop number, while Naturally is an acoustic and harmonica hotdown. Brown’s vocals improve with each release, and multi-instrumentalist Rob Blackburn’s harmonies are spot on too. Drummer Mark Gruft and bassist John Werner are one of the most solid rhythm groups on the local roots scene.

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NOV3L

Non-fiction | Flemish eye records

Genre: Post punk.

Key track: Termination.

Three years in the making, the latest from this Vancouver group reflects the realities the creators lived under when creating the 11 tracks. From losing his home in the city to the endless march in property prices to dealing with the opioid and psychological crisis that is happening everywhere, the tracks deliver driving punk / funk a la Gang Of Four, complete with somber percussion and a piercing jaded Sensitivity. The fact that the crew is doing it so well makes it sound more topical than another coming to terms with the past. One wonders what a slightly larger budget could have done with the end product that is a little thinner than it should have been. The bass in Group Disease is supposed to hurt, not itch.

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Schwey

Schwey 2: Cyber ​​soul | 604 records

Genre: R&B / Pop.

Key track: It was you

Fans with a penchant for space funk with a moonboot firmly placed in the classic R&B of the late 70s / early 80s will nod to the fancy grooves of the opening number podcast seconds after the song. It’s a busy funk, powered by rubber bass and drums that sound like they’re made up of a collage of different beats. It’s foggy and sets the tone for this young, dynamic band from Vancouver’s 11-track record. Sometimes the game is so big that it threatens to obscure the song structures. But the band knows how to keep it in your pocket. It’s just a very large bag. If they were from LA they would be under contract with Brainfeeder.

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Waxwing

Flickering down | Songlines

Genre: Chamber jazz.

Key track: That day.

In its 2015 follow-up to A Bowl of Sixty Taxedermists, the trio of guitarist Tony Wilson, cellist Peggy Lee and saxophonist Jon Bentley delves even deeper into expanding its tonal atmosphere by bringing in unique instruments like a tank drum from a recycled propane tank , as well as expanding the samples and programming. Flutist and “Space Echo” are also provided by guest artist Miranda Clingwell. On 18 tracks, ranging from the freely improvised, minute-long Fweeo Walks By to the luxurious beauty of the eight minutes of Joe’s Theme. All in all, everything flows wonderfully. Name Bentley’s excellent production work and the genius of each player with the moving end results. This is jazz for classical music lovers, classical music for jazzbos and something recommended for everyone.

sderdeyn@postmedia.com

twitter.com/stuartderdeyn

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