KIWI Jr – ” Maid Marian’s Toast “

Posted: July 24, 2022 in MUSIC

New Zealand did for jangle pop what Ireland did for shoegaze, or the Midwest did for emo. The “Dunedin sound,” coined by the 1982 Dunedin Double compilation EP, encompassed a certain subset of the country’s clattery pop bands, most of which were signed to the South Island’s foremost indie label, Flying Nun. This oceanic college rock profoundly informed the transatlantic bands that succeeded it. A case in point is Kiwi Jr., who named themselves in honour of their mood-board country (the “Jr.” suffix elevates things to a Mascis-approved cool).

Based in Toronto but hailing from Prince Edward Island, the four childhood friends released a flawless sophomore record, “Cooler Returns”, on Sub Pop Records last January, defined by very jangly open chords and Jeremy Gaudet’s detached delivery of learned lyrics. He straddles the bygone and the topical with musings on Toronto’s gentrification, turn-of-the-century baseball incidents, and election politics, while his surrogate bros harmonize around their 21st century Brian Wilson.

Despite being a snapshot of the pandemic-infused beginnings of this decade, “Cooler Returns” is truly a whole lot of fun.

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