24 Feb 2020
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Kody Nielson - Album Review: Birthday Suite

24 May 2018 // A review by Darryl Baser

Well, it’s certainly a suite based on a singular motif. One could all too easily say the words ‘concept album’.

Every song on Kody Nielson’s Birthday Suite, is someone’s birthday, beginning with Bic’s Birthday, which sets the mostly instrumental baroque meets futurist 80's inspired synth tone of this LP.

There are definite similarities in each of the birthday tracks, all are synth heavy, with a definite baroque vibe, which stems from Nielson’s use of instruments sounding like harpsicords as well as the notes he chooses to accent in the chords.

It’s dark yet romantic. Jo Jo’s Birthday stands out for me, sounding as if there was a different producer and engineer, the drums are more natural than synth drum sounding, however on the following track Dee Dee’s Birthday, the baroque and roll sound is back, this time with what sounds like a motorbike sample thrown in.

To say that Kody and his brother Ruban are bordering on genius, isn’t far from wrong, from the up tempo quirky noisy pop of The Mint Chicks and now to this Kody’s second solo effort the technical ability, creativity, and sense of fun are all right up there.

Birthday Suite is driven by an organ, synth, that sort of thing. For the most part drums are synthetic. His tonal and modal choices do lean heavily toward baroque, if there were more guitars one could call Birthday Suite ‘baroque and roll’.

Birthday Suite is written, performed and produced by Kody Nielson, and beautifully mastered by Brian Gardner.

In the online liner notes Nielson thanks Bic Runga, for photos, and his bro Ruban Nielson, along with Sam Kristofski and Kristine Crabb.


Review written by Darryl Baser

 

About Kody Nielson

Former Mint Chick and Opossom frontman and winner of the 2016 Taite Music Prize with his futuristic alter ego Silicon - Kody has been vocalist, drummer and keyboardist.

His latest album Birthday Suite was released 9 May 2018.
Kody also works with Bic Runga and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Kody Nielson

Releases

Birthday Suite
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Devils
Year: 2013
Type: Album

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