Sheep, Dog & Wolf: Egospect (Lil' Chief)

 |   |  <1 min read

Sheep, Dog & Wolf: Problems/Canvas
Sheep, Dog & Wolf: Egospect (Lil' Chief)

On Auckland's Lil' Chief label which brought us the charming Tokey Tones a decade ago, the Brunettes, the barbed-pop of Princess Chelsea and more recently ex-Brunette Jonathan Bree's melancholy Primrose Path break-up album (and others), comes this debut from 19-year old former Aucklander Daniel McBride who's already been named “a young Sufjan Stevens” by The Guardian for his earlier EP Ablutophobia.

The name McBride (who has studied composition in Wellington, and writes and performs everything here) has chosen hints at the various personae this album adopts.

The songs are multi-faceted, rarely rest in one melodic place, and adopt mood swings between off-kilter electronica, multi-tracked vocals over shifting time signatures, pastoral folk, minimalism and multi-layered arrangements for horns, voices and guitars.

Lyrically there's emotional claustrophobia and frustration in abundance (“There are problems, I've tried but I can't look away”) which – coupled to ebb'n'flow arrangements – have a neatly unsettling effect.

But, musically sophisticated though this is, it doesn't make for easy entry. In one piece he admits he can't be everyone's masterpiece, but is trying hard to please.

This isn't familiarly cute or clever Lil' Chief pop, more an arthouse album-cum-calling card which announces a talent which might need to reign itself in for wider acceptance . . . but here offers a shape-shifting, mind-moving headphone experience.

The years may be kind to this.

Interested in challenging pop like this? See here.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent releases

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent releases

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column picks up New... > Read more

Dylan LeBlanc: Cast the Same Old Shadow (Rough Trade)

Dylan LeBlanc: Cast the Same Old Shadow (Rough Trade)

The 2010 debut album Pauper's Field by this 22-year old traveler from the dark side of alt.country was quite the quiet killer with its broody-noir quality leaven by flickers of Southern soul.... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Bob Marley and the Wailers/Scientist: In Dub Vol 1 (Universal)

Bob Marley and the Wailers/Scientist: In Dub Vol 1 (Universal)

With only a few exceptions, these 11 BMW tracks dubbed up and down by Scientist are disappointing and in many instances surprisingly unadventurous. This collection originally appeared on-line a... > Read more

Amsterdam, Holland: Ink on skin

Amsterdam, Holland: Ink on skin

Three days before he was sentenced on firearms charges, I was looking Tame Iti directly in the eye, his stare unblinking. The room was all but empty, just my wife and me, and his was the first... > Read more