Tuesday, July 03, 2007

White on white

John Vanderslice - Kookaburra

John Vanderslice reminds me of Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius and New Zealand pines. Mainly the first two, though; because I can pretty much only think of driving to Pompeii on a tour bus and it was so so green and the mountain was so huge and I had his other, older album on my headphones. His new album Emerald City is green, a deep shade, surprisingly fertile, even with the shiniest of production. It’s digitally organic, a tree made of pixels, weirdly clinical. Pixel leaves fall away from his vocals, blown by guitars distorted in a signature way, clean and controlled. It's best for headphones, there are a lot of little particularities going on. He sings about things I know, theyre familiar, a frangipani tree, a kookaburra, although I don't really know many of those, even in Brisbane, where it’s really warm and sunny in and it smells like Spring even though it’s July. I like John Vanderslice because he uses these quite regular sounding melodies then it drops into ones that sound unique to him. I’m beguiled; he’s not to melodramatic, not too delicate that it’s heavy-handed. He is surely a perfectionist. Has he been to Australia? New Zealand?

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