The Prophet Hens previous release 'Popular People do Popular People' has to be one of the most thrilling Antipodean releases of recent years perfectly updating that Chills sound with a heap of sparkling tunes. We are very excited then to hear this magnificently titled follow up which promises a marriage of C86 jangle, early REM mystery pop and of course whatever it is that has been passed down from their Flying Nun forefathers.
LP £15.99 EUROPA7E0044
Sophomore LP from awesomes New Zealand people on Occultation.
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CD £11.49 EUROPA7E0044CD
CD on Occultation.
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Oh, Clinton is going to love this. The honour of this review falls upon me as our resident jaded Yorkshireman isn’t here, he’s presumably sunning himself somewhere exotic (He's definitely in Yorkshire - Stand-in Ed.). But not in New Zealand I’ll wager, where this lot The Prophet Hens are from and continue to update the classic, breezy jangle-pop sound of famed Dunedin residents, The Chills.
Opening track ‘Oh Wait, It’s Me, Isn’t It’ jaunts along without a care, summoning up a reference I’m about to make: The Verlaines. You know the drill by now: tautly pretty guitars, bouncily melodic bass, crisp snare drums and droney organ bring about effervescent and evocative pop music. In an echo of their previous LP, Popular People Do Popular People, It’s incessantly catchy. They even hark back to some of the high-water marks of groups like the Au Pairs, with Penelope Esplin’s plaintively melodic voice riding the crest of many a wave on this keenly chiming record. Bassist Robin Cederman is new to the band this time out, his songwriting placing the keyboard player’s vocals at the fore. It’s a trick that works particularly well on the charming ‘Good Shadow’
‘The Wonderful Shapes of Back Door Keys’ is a (fantastically titled) record that perfectly distills the wide open spaces and introspective dramas of the best of Dunedin and the South Pacific. I urge you to get your ticket and climb on board for this journey to part-isolated paradise pronto. Clint’s probably there by now. (
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