Release Date: Aug 5, 2014
Record label: Merge
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Neo-Psychedelia, New Zealand Rock
Every few years, David Kilgour releases another excellent album that serves to remind his fans why his work is a perfect place to turn for intelligently crafted, melodically rich, emotionally powerful indie rock that doesn't truck with clichés and always delivers the goods. The 2014 missive End Times Undone is his third release with the Heavy Eights, and they provide wonderfully textured guitar-bass-drums backing for Kilgour's voice. Meandering peacefully through pastoral daydreams like "Light Headed," jangling in classic New Zealand fashion on "Christopher Columbus," or putting some country in the indie on "Comin' On," they show a nice bit of restraint.
“That record’s one of the best I’ve heard in a long time.” So the clerk praised my purchase of David Kilgour’s Frozen Orange a few years ago. That album featured Kilgour’s cover painting of a diver amidst bright coral and clear water, and so does this latest release. But on it, no diver can be seen, only coral. Perhaps End Times Undone hints at a more natural setting, or a more apocalyptic one? Whatever the reason for the title, these 10 short songs capture the buoyant mood of this singer and guitarist from longtime New Zealand indie stalwarts the Clean.
David Kilgour’s decades-long body of work, both solo and with his vastly influential New Zealand indie-pop band the Clean, has been remarkably consistent and reliable. That’s a horrible thing to say about an artist, even when meant with the best intentions, yet there it is: you can pick up any of Kilgour’s releases over the years and be assured, within a small margin of variance, that the music on said release will be jangly, charming, unassuming hummable, and non-cloyingly cozy. His latest, lovely solo album, End Times Undone, is no different.
David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights — End Times Undone (Merge)End Times Undone vibrates with a wilder fervor than 2012’s Led by Soft, its aim tending more towards exploring tone and atmosphere than well-behaved pop songs, its lingering taste derived more from guitar-amp-pedal combinations than vocal lines. Recorded intermittently over a three year period, the album has a luminous immediacy; it feels very live, very unpremeditated.Kilgour has long been an offhand craftsman. The quality of his songwriting comes clear only after repeated, clearing-the-fog listening.
Buffs of both Kiwi birds and Kiwi pop will be happy to hear that both are alive and doing well down in the God Zone. David Kilgour (and brother Hamish) are essential early influences in putting Kiwi pop, and specifically, the ‘Dunedin Sound,’ on the radar in the early ‘80’s. That region has a dizzying, almost incestuous intermingling of bands and musicians that you need a flow-chart to keep it all straight.