Posts Tagged ‘The Chills’

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


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.


“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

Martin Phillipps and The Chills are among the founding pioneers of the iconic Dunedin Sound, a ground-breaking musical movement of the late 80s that inspired seminal musicians around the world and ushered in a vibrant alternative culture in New Zealand. The story of lyrical genius, Martin Phillipps and his band, is a cautionary tale, a triumph over tragedy, and a statement about the meaning of music in our lives. This intimate portrait bears witness as the eccentric Phillipps battles the jarring reality of his own mortality. With a startling sense of humour even in the blackest moments, Martin reconciles a lifetime’s worth of curious collections, looks back on a catalogue of heavenly pop hits and reclaims his place in the iconic Flying Nun Records and Dunedin Sound.

Notable Pictures, in association with Fire Films, reveal the feature-length documentary The Chills: The Triumph & Tragedy of Martin Phillipps’  is now available to watch worldwide via Video On Demand. The film charts a life-affirming battle between disease and creation for The Chills frontman, illustrious musician Martin Phillipps.

“This is what a living legend looks and sounds like” 
Rolling Stone
The Guardian
“Sometimes in isolated places, amazing things happen”
Neil Finn

Luna have a new digital EP that collects of of their recent limited 7″ singles released on Sonic Cathedral, PIAPTK and Feral Child. They include a few covers plus “Something in the Air” (with Sean Eden on lead vocal), instrumental “The Oort Cloud and Kuiper Belt” (a pair of Luna original instrumentals) and a remix of “Gin.”

Postscripts collects Luna’s recent limited 7″ singles (now out of print) Among other tracks are “California Blue” (Roy Orbison), “Inside Your Heart” (Monochrome Set), “Lonesome Cowboy Bill” (VU),
released September 6th, 2019

Luna was formed in 1991 by Dean Wareham after the breakup of Galaxie 500, with Stanley Demeski of The Feelies and Justin Harwood of The Chills. Guitarist Sean Eden joined in 1994, Lee Wall replaced Demeski on drums in 1997, and Britta Phillips replaced Harwood on bass in 2000. Luna released their final album, “Rendezvous”, in 2005 after playing their final concert at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC.


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’

A wonder that it exists at all, Martin Phillips and co have produced a stunning record of infectious pop tunes which manages both to capture the essence of the Chills as well as updating their sound for the 21st century. Miraculous just about covers ‘Silver Bullets’ and it’s a worthy record to add to your collection.

Taken from the Chills album Silver Bullets  Last night at Albany Street Studios, Dunedin, we Chills celebrated the completion of the recording of our new album ‘Silver Bullets’ with a fish and chip meal shared with long suffering family members and then the playback of one hurriedly mixed track.

The album will be mixed in London in August/September and we are now discussing release dates.

I am thrilled to report that, after fifteen days of twelve hours plus work (with brilliant sound engineer/co-producer Brendan Davies doing considerably more than that) we have completed this challenging adventure with everyone not only still talking to each other but, in fact, closer, friendlier and all excited at having produced something special which we know will stand proudly alongside anything The Chills have released to date.
I can’t wait until you all get to hear it and decide for yourselves.




The Chills the Dunedin, New Zealand-based band whose early records were released by Flying Nun—haven’t put out a full-length since 1996’s “Sunburnt”. (In 2004, they put out a mini-album, Stand By, and in 2014, a single and a tour EP.) Their next LP, “Silver Bullets”, arrives on October 30th via Fire. Listen to “America Says Hello” above.
The album also features a re-recording of “Molten Gold”, which was released two years ago.
For this album, Chills main man Martin Phillipps is joined by James Dickson, Todd Knudson, Erica Stichbury, and Oli Wilson. While Phillipps is set to play solo shows later this year, a full band tour is in the works for next year. The album was recorded at Albany Street Studios in Dunedin.
Silver Bullets:
01 Father Time
02 Warm Waveform
03 Silver Bullets
04 Underwater Wasteland
05 America Says Hello
06 Liquid Situation
07 Pyramid/When The Poor Can Reach The Moon
08 Aurora Corona
09 I Can’t Help You
10 Tomboy
11 Molten Gold