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

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop)

A propos of not much, Fleet Foxes' chief songwriter Robin Pecknold recently recorded New Zealand singer-songwriter Chris Thompson's Where is My Wild Rose? for an EP and it appears on You Tube (just... > Read more

Joe Henry: Blood From Stars (Anti)

Joe Henry: Blood From Stars (Anti)

There is something pointless and not a little depressing writing about another fine Joe Henry album: the 18 people who love his work probably already know of the album, and as for the rest . . . ?... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST ARTIST HANNA ISAAC opens her personal sketchbook

GUEST ARTIST HANNA ISAAC opens her personal sketchbook

[Editor's note: When Elsewhere reviewed the album Fight from the Inside by Into the East (here), we noted the delicate cover art and that lead to this invitation to the artist Hanna Isaac... > Read more

ELVIS PRESLEY, AN ESSAY ON THE MAN 15 YEARS GONE (1992): The once and future King

ELVIS PRESLEY, AN ESSAY ON THE MAN 15 YEARS GONE (1992): The once and future King

This year, 1992, Elvis Presley - the first and only king of rock’n’roll - has been gone 15 years, yet, ironically, he often seems more alive than ever these days. Living Colour may... > Read more