Dictaphone Blues: On the Down and In (Blah-Lah-Lah)

 |   |  1 min read

Dictaphone Blues: 100 Suns Inside My Lungs
Dictaphone Blues: On the Down and In (Blah-Lah-Lah)

If this year's New Zealand Music Month of May is anything like the last -- and there's no reason to think it will be otherwise -- then somewhere in excess of 50 albums will be released by local artists to coincide with it.

Some will rise to the top by virtue of publicity more than merit, some will be lousy (that's not unpatriotic, just a fact Jack), some will be terrific but probably always on the margins of the media (try this and this) -- and a few will be excellent but may well be ignored by a media drowning in "review my album please" letters.

In the latter category are new albums by Elsewhere favourites The Puddle and Wild Bill Ricketts, both highly recommended.

Then there will be the rare ones: those which get publicity and really deserve it. This album by Edward Castelow is certainly in that zone. There have been a few interviews with him already, many noting he was previously in the pop-friendly Ruby Suns and the Brunettes.

Elsewhere has previously banged on about the many virtues of shameless verse-chorus contemporary pop (Mika, MGMT, Of Montreal) not to mention classic pop craftsmen like Buddy Holly, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, the Beatles and power-poppers like Big Star and the Dwight Twilley Band.

And Dictaphone Blues fits right in along that lineage with songs which are frequently powered by big, open-hearted chords and hung on memorable and massive choruses, and sometimes have that soaring ambition of Luke Steele (of The Sleepy Jackson and Empire Of the Sun).

Yep, this big and often slightly quirky guitar-based pop -- someone else can write the thesis on his oddball, funny and sometimes very pointed lyrics -- but there is a sunny, exuberant and uplifting quality about these late-summery sounds which reference classic Sixties pop (Beatles, Beach Boys harmonies) as much as including touches of glam pop, light psychedelia and Britpop.

So lotsa musical references for trainspotters, but mostly just a damn fine album that grabs immediately and doesn't let go. Just like the best pop music really, right?

 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Richard Hawley: Lady's Bridge (Mute) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Richard Hawley: Lady's Bridge (Mute) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

If you believed what you read in the British press about this album by former Longpigs and Pulp guitarist you'd probably cross the street to avoid it. Distance lends us a better view I suspect,... > Read more

Bears: Greater Lakes (Misra/Southbound)

Bears: Greater Lakes (Misra/Southbound)

Breezy pop – from the Beach Boys through the Shoes and Wannadies to much overlooked recent acts like Camera Obscura, the Clientele and Institut Polaire – is a noble lineage of close... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Jack Nitzsche with Merry Clayton: Poor White Hound Dog (1970)

Jack Nitzsche with Merry Clayton: Poor White Hound Dog (1970)

There's quite an implosion of Stones' references which come with this track by the great producer, arranger, composer and Phil Spector protege Jack Nitzsche. He was commissioned to write the... > Read more

Dub Inc: Paradise (Naive)

Dub Inc: Paradise (Naive)

Although little known in this country, the multi-culti Dub Inc from France coming here for Womad this weekend have been around since the late Nineties, have played in over 50 countries and released... > Read more