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Damien Binder - Album Review: A New World

06 May 2016 // A review by Peter-James Dries

NZ Music Month is dead, read a misquoted article. The proliferation of local music has taken it from a niche market of second rate international knock-offs to an over-abundance, removing the novelty and therefore the need to celebrate something so common place.

But if New Zealand music is everywhere, then where is it? Why is it that every time I accidentally land on the Edge TV, or take a ride in a car with FM all I hear is the repetitious and easily forgotten international pop of this age? 

Semi ex-pat though Damien Binder may be, aren’t we as a nation are usually quick to reappropriate our assets when others (generally Australia) claim ownership. Then where are the artists like Damien Binder when I’m channel surfing?

If Dave Dobbyn was just starting out today, would he have the same impact? Would he garner the same airplay?

I ask because that is the sound of Binder’s A New World. Relaxed rock with a hint of country, notably present on the track Evergreen. Gone is the dark grungy defiance from the days of Second Child, but that is expected, as I imagine a lot of the band and fans’ adolescent angst has dissipated over the past twenty years. 

What remains when all the anger is gone is a collection of musing observational and reflective pieces with lyrics of love and life laced with the cynical remnants of a bygone rebel, an evolution that comes with maturity and open eyes. There’s an appeal in that to me, more than there is in bunting, fighting, excessive drinking and made up words.

Perhaps it’s the generation gap, it could be I’m at the age of self-reflection and reminiscence. Maybe I’m just one of those old people, out of touch with the modern world, whose opinion counts for naught. Whatever the case, if it was up to me, there would be more music like A New World in the world today.

You can find A New World on the Damien Binder Bandcamp Page.


About Damien Binder

A New World is the new album from accomplished NZ singer/songwriter Damien Binder.

This album, Binder’s fourth long-player, showcases his effortless ability to swing from soulful hymn-like ballads to moody rock and country-tinged numbers. The ten new songs find him in an expectant and buoyant frame of mind with meditations on destiny hope and rejuvenation. The chiming melodic guitars, combined with Binder’s compelling voice and lyrics, make for a dynamic and stirring collection of tunes.

Recorded in both Australia and New Zealand, the album features significant contributions from Sydney producer Michael Carpenter (Perry Keyes, Youth Group, Bryan Estepa) as well as long-time collaborator Bob Shepheard, legendary NZ drummer Wayne Bell (Bic Runga, Tim Finn, Dave Dobbyn, Gin Wigmore), guitarist Dave Hatt (Bryan Estepa Band) and Kylie Whitney providing backing vocals.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Damien Binder


A New World
Year: 2016
Type: Album
While The Wind's At Your Back
Year: 2009
Type: Album
Til Now
Year: 2003
Type: Album
Damien Binder
Year: 2000
Type: Album

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