Chant Darling came out last year down in New Zealand, and when it came out I made a mental note to pick it up, but that note got lost in some dusty corner of my skull. Thanks to Bella Union for the second reminder note which amounts to their issuing Lawrence Arabia‘s second album Chant Darling in the UK. Lawrence Arabia is the nom de plume of Jason Milne who has had his hand in many kiwi productions, most of them associated with the fine Lil Chief record label. Besides his own previous Lawrence Arabia album, Milne played with Ryan McPhun in McPhun’s Ruby Suns, and teamed up with McPhun again in the one-off Reduction Agents album. He’s also played with the Brunnettes and toured with Okkervile River and Feist.
Last year Milne struck out on his own in a couple of ways. He put Chant Darling out on his own Honorary Bedouin label and he packed up and left New Zealand for the UK. The self-title debut was too synth-heavy and fell little bit flat. No such problem with the new record, Chant Darling is a major step forward. It is a much more practiced and thought out affair. Milne kind of sounds (and looks) like a young Harry Nilsson meeting Louis Philippe for the first time and arranges his songs using the Brian Wilson by way of Fleetwood Mac school of pop. There are little effects like the gasp in the song Eye A and the submarine-like bass throughout the record begging you to listen to it on a big hi-fi. Milne’s time as journeyman musician has payed off, enabling him to incorporate influences from his previous bands like the Ruby Suns in the world music flavor of Auckland CBD Part 2, or the Reduction Agents in the country tinged I’ve Smoked Too Much. If you are a fan of psychedelic pop this record is a sure thing and a fine addition to the likes of the Crayon Fields, Brown Recluse and the Afternoon Naps. Bring on the new worldwide Elephant Six Collective!
mp3: Lawrence Arabia – Apple Pie Bed (from Chant Darling)
mp3: Reduction Agents – 80’s Celebration (from The Dance Reduction Agents)
mp3: Lawrence Arabia – Half the Right Size (from the self-titled debut)