21 Sep 2018
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April Fish - Album Review: An Alien Invaded The Circus

28 Feb 2018 // A review by Corinne Rutherford

I rubbed my hands together in glee at the thought of reviewing this CD. Sometimes something so unique and strangely alluring beckons you to it which you are powerless to resist. Weird, quirky and unusual are my inclination. April Fish is all of that. Not mass marketed and manufactured or in any way mundane. Bizarre, just the way I like it.  But I understand that for some, listening to this album will be like fingernails down a black board.

April Fish from Wellington consists of two creative people, first is Katie Morton who “handles the vocals and various keyboards” and second is John Costa on guitar(s). April Fish is the name which Katie uses for their original music that isn’t part of other projects; in a very clever play on words as they have dedicated April the 1st to be April Fish day.  


In an effort to continuously drive that stake into the heart of mainstream music; this band continues to tread a path, many may fear to go. They have previously said that not even they could describe their sound. This latest offering from the duo may be a bit sci-fi, chamber with a touch of carnival or perhaps melodrama. Others might just say odd.

This album is for nonconformists, and renegades who bulk at conventional popular culture seeping into our brains under the disguise of music. It is for those individuals who probably totally “get” this music and will philosophise about it for years to come.   

So, this brings me to aliens. And an extraordinary but rather beautiful CD cover. The album April Fish has released is called An Alien Invaded the Circus. I was sent a physical copy of this CD, so I could fully appreciate the artistic design and creative concept of the mirror effect on the front cover. I am so glad they decided I had to see that, because I am like a magpie and colourful shiny things catch my attention. Cover art is by Zephyr, and it is a joy to behold - it fits nicely with the quirky music it is wrapped around. I also found a teeny tiny alien on the inside of this shiny music holding receptacle, attention to detail has made it one of the coolest looking CD covers I own. But I have a sneaky feeling there are ambiguous messages in that cover somewhere.

So, what is the music actually like? I hear you cry. To sum up the whole album in my humble opinion you feel like you have been transported to a side show carnival or to be totally un-PC, a freak show. A theatrical edge and creepy whimsical lyrics add a dramatic feel, whilst brooding guitar mixed with chamber music style piano makes for a completely unique listening experience. 

I had two songs which stuck in my head and made me go hmmm. Tracks number three, Carrot & Stick and number ten, The Main Attraction (feat. The Klaus Vermillion Quartet). That is hmmm I will listen to that again and again just to make sure I like it, not hmmm I think I will run away screaming.

The mix of Warr Guitar, Double Bass, keyboard and other added instruments in various tracks kind of complimented each other, and at the end of the day the album started to make sense to me, maybe I have turned into a musical renegade, a lover of those melodic delights which fly under the radar. 


There may have been an alien sitting on my shoulder trying to decipher the meaning of this album to me, but I don’t think I fully appreciated what he was saying. I hope I got the general vibe and if you like fringe, bizarre, distinctive, Baroque, quirky and extraordinary music, then you are going to love An Alien Invaded the Circus.

4/5 Stars


Review written by Corinne Rutherford

 

About April Fish

A name born from the literal translation of the French term for "April Fools (day)", April Fish is pianist/singer-songwriter Katie Morton ably backed by John Costa. The music is a concoction of soundscapes with an artistic freedom that is so left of the middle, it's as if Tim Burton and Kate Bush are in command of the Starship Enterprise as it boldly accompanies Alice down the rabbit hole. Or put simply, to borrow the words of Katie's niece: "It sounds like an alien invading a circus."

In their first full length release they have given birth to a Kiwi album unlike anything you’ve ever heard before.

Part sci-fi jazz melodrama, part cabaret-rock fever dream, Blurred gleefully milks all the musical sacred cows Kiwi artists have traditionally been afraid to, while spawning a unique New Zealand Gothicism. Blurred is at some points space opera, at others an unapologetic insight into New Zealand subculture attitudes towards status quo art; its poignant introspection and need to defy convention.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for April Fish

Releases

An Alien Invaded The Circus
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Blurred
Year: 2013
Type: Album

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