Posts Tagged ‘Martin Phillipps’

New studio album from the Dunedin (NZ) songsmiths helmed by the enigmatic Martin Phillipps with artwork by Trees’ David Costa.

Dunedin’s finest, The Chills release their seventh studio album ‘Scatterbrain’, a glorious self-examination of Martin Phillipps’ songwriting hot on the heels of the hugely successful ‘Snowbound’ (2018) and the critically-acclaimed movie ‘The Chills: The Triumph And Tragedy Of Martin Phillipps’ a year later.

“It’s about artistic integrity, self-realisation, self-acceptance and a reflection on mortality.” The Guardian

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Now in 2021, Phillipps is now taking stock of things – everything. Yes, everything. The result is this triumphant new Chills’ album ‘Scatterbrain’, a thought-provoking and evocative take from a man who has lived through good times and bad.
A mature and honest reflection on life, destiny and the fate of our times delivered in beautiful melodies with Phillipps’ trademarked incisive turn of phrase.
Viewed from the perspective of a man understanding his age and indeed his own mortality, the new album takes a mature look at matters arising with a side order of perspective. “While browsing for Monolith images I came across old UFO magazines from the 1970s. This was a big craze back then and I instantly thought it had a great aesthetic and lent a humorous element to a fairly literal song about ancient stones. The final video contains a mix of genuine articles and ones I’ve made up!“

‘Scatterbrain’ is a life passing before your ears as uncertainty increases and fake news rumbles on; during which aliens invade, Phillipps scales the walls beyond abandon as he probes the minutiae of worlds within worlds and the hourglass fills. A landmark album from one of the great modern song writers, it’s pure pop music for the new normal and we can’t wait to see how it ends… 

Releases April 25th, 2021

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New Zealand greats The Chills are back with a majestic new single, “You’re Immortal.” With a goth-tinged, baroque arrangement, this is orchestral pop that tips its hat to groups like Love and The Left Banke but was clearly written in 2020.

“These are unprecedented times but, as usual, the young feel invulnerable and the elders are concerned,” says frontman Martin Phillipps. “The old people (like me) want to feel more involved but they also know that their time of influence has largely passed. So we learn from the young and admire them as they make their own mistakes yet still, hopefully, shape extraordinary history we could not have imagined.

No word on whether this is a teaser for something larger, but The Chills’ label, Fire Records, says 2021 is “set to be an exciting year.”

“You’re Immortal” through Fire Records Released on: 16th December.

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“Submarine Bells” is an album by New Zealand group the Chills, originally released in 1990. This was the band’s first album on a major label, as Martin Phillipps signed to Warner Bros. Records subsidiary Slash Records, to release the album in the U.S. The album reached No#1 on the New Zealand album charts and had significant support from American college radio. The Chills’ second album from 1990 is their much-praised major label debut. A rich tapestry of sound with a nod to Postcard, early Teardrop Explodes and a host of indie pop legends.

On a major label for the first time, Phillipps crafted a lovely record indeed, a mere thirty-six minutes and not a second wasted. Lead-off track and single “Heavenly Pop Hit” remains the most famous track and deservedly so, over a rapturous keyboard/rhythm combination, Phillipps sings just that, an inspiring lyric with a soaring chorus, aided by additional backing vocals from guest Donna Savage. From there it’s one high point after another, never losing the sense of elegance and drive that characterizes the band’s work. Phillipps’ at-once strong and amiably regular-guy vocals and astonishingly intelligent but never overly obtuse lyrics are both wonders, while Andrew Todd’s excellent keyboard work provides both energy and lovely shading. Add to that a fine rhythm section in bassist Justin Harwood and drummer James Stephenson, and it’s no wonder this version of the Chills succeeds as it does.

One fantastic example of their work together is “Singing In My Sleep” with Phillipps giving heavy tremolo treatment to his guitar as everyone else creates something that’s not too far from Neu!’s motorik throb, in a gentler pop vein. More such Krautrock-inspired chug has plenty of echoes on Bells, following in the same vein as “I Love My Leather Jacket” — check out the brisk delivery on “The Oncoming Day” or the skipping intensity of “Dead Web.” Otherwise, there’re hints of the gentle folky/medieval touches they enjoy on “I SOAR” and “Don’t Be–Memory” and more straightforward rocking out on the sharp “Familiarity Breeds Contempt,” where Phillipps’ New Zealand burr comes through with intensity. The title track, with serene orchestration filling out the grand arrangement, is a note-perfect way to conclude such a fantastic release.

The Chills distilled post-punk with the sweet delivery of Phillipps, making it sound like The Fall paying homage to Prefab Sprout. Something that rare.” Perfect Sound Forever Built around Martin Phillipps’ off-kilter vocal; all accent, all attitude, it reels around folk-like couplets with brusque punk swagger fed through psychedelic hues; so timeless it still simmers beautifully. It includes the effervescent, euphoric opener ‘Heavenly Pop Hit’.

Reissue Released August 3rd, 2020

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The Chills release their new album, Snow Bound, this weekend . It’s a heavier, darker record than 2016’s Silver Bullets (and maybe more than any in main man Martin Phillipps’ career). You can hear that on single “Complex,” which marries fuzzy power chords to thick synthesizers and Phillipps’ patented spiderweb wordplay. There are actual spiderwebs — and the arachnids who make them — in the “Complex” video too. Directed by Phoebe Lysbeth Kay Mackenzie, the gorgeously shot video brings Phillipps’ lyrics to dark life.

The Chills – Complex Taken from the album, ‘Snow Bound’