The Chills — „Scatterbrain“ (May 14, 2021)
⇑ 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 (ish) 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.
Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
Album release: May 14, 2021
Record Label: Fire
01. Monolith 2:57
02. Hourglass 2:44
03. Destiny 2:55
04. Caught In My Eye 3:02
05. You’re Immortal 3:10
06. Little Alien 3:35
07. Safe And Sound 3:01
08. Worlds Within Worlds 3:23
09. Scatterbrain 2:40
10. Walls Beyond Abandon 3:38Review
By Barry Divola ⌊May 13, 2021⌋ Score: ★★★
⇑ For over forty years now, New Zealanders The Chills have been a band who have inspired a cultish following. If not a name immediately associated with commercial success, they have certainly inspired and influenced many. With frontman Martin Phillips the consistent heart of the band through their various evolutions over the decades, his well~documented obsessions with intensity and conviction should ensure a new album from The Chills is always something worthy of attention.
⇑ …His battle with a life~threatening liver disease and his miraculous recovery was outlined in a 2019 documentary The Chills: The Triumph and Tragedy of Martin Phillipps. His band’s second album since getting a second chance is both reflective and sobering.
⇑ On Destiny, over keyboards that peal like bells, he sings “Destiny, just set me free, I’ll set my own controls”, and that sense of life’s fragility, and taking charge of the time remaining, permeates Scatterbrain. The New Zealand singer~songwriter has previously confronted death in the most personal way in the iconic Pink Frost and I Love My Leather Jacket; here he wades in again on Caught in My Eye, getting bad news on the phone that wasn’t unexpected, but is still an emotional gut~punch. Meanwhile, he’s never been more overt about the state of the world than on the title track, ruminating about our current political climate’s deliberate sowing of confusion and misinformation.
⇑ Musically, there’s a digital sheen to the sound: the rhythms tend to tickle (Safe and Sound), boom (You’re Immortal) or crunch (Scatterbrain), while dominant keyboards add ’80s pop colours, whether string washes or synthesized horns and woodwinds. — smh.com.au