Once you have got it, you never lose it. The self-titled debut of Neil Finn’s new outfit, Pajama Club, is testament to this. Here Neil, along with his wife Sharon, Sean James Donnelly (SJD) and Alana Skyring, a former member of the Australian band The Grates, have banded together to create our very own supergroup of supertalent.
First things first, this is not a second coming of Finn from his heydays. This is something entirely different with a strong influence from both SJD and Skyring. It is fresh and invigorated with elements of alternative funk and dub. This is clear from the outset of the album with the opening track ‘Tell me what you want.’ The song is overlaid with the sultry tones of Sharon Finn, taking her place as a temptress in this track.
The album varies between the ethereal ‘Golden child’ and the heavy-set ‘These are conditions,’ a song that will definitely remain tapping away in your head, long after hearing it. ‘Can’t put it down until it ends’ is a brilliant track with a bass line that boasts a deep funk.
Pajama Club is a welcome addition to classic New Zealand albums. The Finns prove that they still have the creative genius, and have endeared to stay contemporary and relevant. This is not just a must have for already established fans of Finn. Pajama Club is a pristine new band waiting to be discovered, not just re-discovered.
It’s always been the element of struggle that makes music human and exciting. Neil and Sharon Finn discovered that for themselves at home late one night in their pajamas, having their first jam, making a racket in the grand tradition of enthusiastic amateurs.
For Neil, after a career of writing songs and strumming guitars, it was liberating to be behind a drumkit, no chords or melody to navigate, just keeping time and making it swing. For Sharon, after raising 2 fine boys and coping with Neil it was just 3 notes, pure feel on the bass guitar.
It’s no wonder they both listened back to this music and felt like something exciting and fresh had been revealed. For the next few weeks it became a nightly ritual, a few wines and into the music room, pick up instruments and push record.