Sugarbug: Flutterbye (Powertool Records)

 |   |  <1 min read

Sugarbug: Shadows
Sugarbug: Flutterbye (Powertool Records)

As I understand it, this quietly fascinating collection by a Wellington four-piece is a reissue of songs previously unissued.

To backtrack then: Some of these 10 songs topped the capital's Radio Active charts in the 90s and others did well on bNet stations. Hardly surprising as they mine that profitable post-Flying Nun ethos (they do the Clean's Do Your Thing as an eloquent soundswell ballad) but also bring something of their own.

If the chug'n'strum of Bunny's On the Run recalls some big-bash Nun bands (with a vocal delivered with Keith Richards' languor), the more menacing and psychedelic Shadows could be the 3D's on Mogadon and you probably can't hear Lost in Space without thinking of Sneaky Feelings' command of a pop song. Sugarbug have that too in their own sweet way.

But for every reference like that, elsewhere they step well away from the obvious templates. As on the weary and slow Big Picture, the alt.pop of Flicker and the lo-range psychedelia of Dusk and Another Time and Place.

On the delightfully dreamy ballad Alien Pod Creature they bring a South Pacific sound to a song that lives up to the strangeness of its title.

Again, the past surprises the present. 

Share It

Your Comments

Michael Higgins - Jul 29, 2013

Looking forward to this. I was very taken with the horn playing on the tracks I heard from them.

post a comment

More from this section   Music at Elsewhere articles index

Norah Jones: Day Breaks (Blue Note)

Norah Jones: Day Breaks (Blue Note)

Although some suggest Jones has been making variants of her Come Away With Me debut for some time, little could be further from the truth. No, she is not going to suddenly turn into Kate Bush,... > Read more

Ian Morris: a and b the c of d

Ian Morris: a and b the c of d

Despite lockdown limbo when one day was much like another, time steadily implodes as months, years and decades telescope in the memory. Last month, had he not been murdered, John Lennon would... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Clarence Carter; The Dynamic Clarence Carter

THE BARGAIN BUY: Clarence Carter; The Dynamic Clarence Carter

One part smooth Otis Redding, one part the more sedate end of James Brown and steeped in Southern soul, the great singer Clarence Carter was one of the finest interpreters of a song, even if he... > Read more

THE BETHS, REVIEWED (2020): The sheer pleasures of certainties

THE BETHS, REVIEWED (2020): The sheer pleasures of certainties

The group of about 10 excitable teenage girls – probably age 15, dressed to party, one with a large love heart in lipstick on her cheek – were sitting on the ground outside the Auckland... > Read more