27 April 2020 (released)
27 April 2020
The opening line on ‘Cabbage Tree’ presciently intones ‘I’ve been stuck inside for a while … now’ before then stating that ‘rays come from my screen’. Is this the first Covid-19 Lockdown LP, despite being penned prior to the enforced incarceration?
In this Brave New World Order where context and consensus have completely collapsed and the only sanctioned interaction is through the clanging chimes of Zoom ©, ‘Quotidian’ does what is says on the tin. The everyday (or what remains of routine) is dismantled and reassembled on an eclectic collection that incorporates grungy guitars (‘Lick the brains’, ‘Outristic. Pt.2), surf rock (‘Sink or Swim’), sardonic sonics (the Pavement evoking ‘Moth Eyes’, those connoisseurs of arch indie-rock) and Enoish hypno-ambience (‘False Start’).
With further lyrics that address how to pass the hours (‘Filling in time’ and its warning ‘this is how we die slowly’) the album is a crystal ball of profusion.
Hailing from Dunedin, New Zealand, the album – the quartet’s second - fits neatly into that area’s historiography and lineage: Flying Nun records and that label’s lauded acts such as The Chills, The Clean, The Bats etc.
‘Alike’ and ‘Outristic Pt. 1’ share similar pop-smarts to Sunderland’s Field Music, carefully orch-coordinated melodies and delicate lyrical and elliptical deliveries.
‘Colourful Disarray’ lifts the finger-picking riff from Talking Heads’ ‘Don’t worry about the government’. An apposite homage considering New Zealand’s government has seeminglyhandled this crisis better than other (s)elected representatives we could care to mention, where it’s more a case of ‘constant disarray’ as vocalist Semisi Maiai sanguinely and languidly opines.
‘Outristic 2’ has a haunting ambience with the repeated mantra ‘kiss the barrel until it shines. FOR YOU’. Gun or keg of beer, it’s unclear.
‘Mr Sun’ is a Summer of 1967 psychedelic whimsy along the lines of Syd Barret’s (re)imaginations and The Beatles’ array of place oddities that warrant attention. Musically, this ambling acoustic number is a fork in the road, a detour away from and towards somewhere, anywhere, nowhere. A soothing blast of positive-Vit D.