27 Sep 2020
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Dead Little Penny - Album River: Urge Surfing

13 Nov 2019 // A review by Lou Clement
Dead Little Penny released their debut album Urge Surfing on 13 November 2019. It’s nine tracks of electro-industrial, synthesiser-infused melodic, dirge-drifting fun. Lyrically, it’s introspective almost without a break, and throughout, it is driven by an interlacing of ethereal pop-like vocals. I think it has a commitment to authenticity, which widens its appeal. This release follows appearances from the band throughout the year and the release of their singles Depression, earlier in the year, and Dead Together, both of which feature on the album.


The 80’s feel of opening track Honeycomb reminds me of a road movie soundtrack. It drones in its repetitive drumbeats, like the repeat noise of wheels on tarmac. Its lyrics are a snapshot into an emotional decision, but delivered with a lightness, which, Hayley has said is personally how she deals with things and therefore, it is also what she brings to the music. Dead Little Penny’s music feels like it provides sanctuary through expression; its echoes and ticks of noises rise and fall multiple times within each track. The sound conjured is one I love.

The opening notes of Out Of Body Experience pick up the pace from preceding tracks and the mellow vocals hover somewhere in the distance, at times blending with a muted, but energetic electric guitar. It has an edginess to it, sort of a gothic electro rock in-tone. A sense of emotional unease pervades the feel of the album.

In Dead Together, I clearly see Smith’s vocal predecessor as Karen O. Although, in composition, the vocals are definitely being played down, blending metal influences rather than the rowdiness of punk. Throughout the album the guitar and synthesiser fillet the soundwaves, chopping them into tiny pieces, layer upon layer is blended into a cajoling surge of reverberations.

Defence Mechanism takes its lyrics "yes, I know I should do more…" almost a cliche from the self-improvement movement and provides a sobering sense of realism "….but I could do worse". The lyrics are sandwiched between synthesiser and tambourine, the chorus repeats throughout as the music swirls around them, meditative in its message.

Altogether, an awesome debut and a fine effort.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Dead Little Penny

Dead Little Penny is the coming together of guitar-slinging vocalist and songwriter Hayley Smith, and drummer/synth player Simon Buxton, who create a soundscape of noisy textures, fizzing guitars and ambient synth, paired with catchy fuzz-pop melodies.

What originally began as a dreamy alt-country project, tracks from their self-titled EP received radio play, with the band fast becoming popular amongst musicians in Auckland’s underground country scene.

What seems like an unlikely change of genre, Hayley feels more at home writing with a broken drum machine and an electric guitar. As a teenager, she began making pop- punk and wall-of-sound music in her bedroom with a guitar gifted to her on her 13th birthday. Playing at beer-fuelled house parties in Central Auckland, Hayley became a regular gig-goer, fast drawn to favourites The Mint Chicks and Die! Die! Die!

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Dead Little Penny

Releases

Urge Surfing
Year: 2019
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Lou Clement

Gig Review: Racing @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 31/07/2020
02 Aug 2020 // by Lou Clement
Racing took to the stage on the penultimate date of their Flashback tour. The four-date stop off comes ahead of their highly-anticipated second album release.
Read More...
Yumi Zouma - Album Review: Truth or Consequences
30 Mar 2020 // by Lou Clement
Yumi Zouma are a four-piece band who formed in New Zealand and have seen international success with their brand of dreamy beach pop – effortlessly upbeat and post-party feels. It’s music that I can always put on my playlist repeat loop.
Read More...
Sam Wave - Album Review: Rhetorical What
13 Jan 2020 // by Lou Clement
Sam Wave is the moniker of musician Sam Mehrtens. Sam's 13-track debut album Rhetorical What was released in late December.
Read More...
Gig Review: Fat Freddy's Drop @ Thames Racecourse, Thames - 28/12/2019
08 Jan 2020 // by Lou Clement
When Fat Freddy’s Drop announced their Summer Album tour, with dates across New Zealand, I had the feeling of the holiday season beginning. I went along to the first of the tour dates that began their extensive list of stop offs and took place in the lazy in between days of the Christmas-New Year break.
Read More...
Gig Review: Dead Little Penny @ Wine Cellar, Auckland - 15/11/2019
29 Nov 2019 // by Lou Clement
Dead Little Penny played their album launch gig at the Wine Cellar on K Road. Their debut album, Urge Surfing, was released the week of the gig and received many positive reviews, including my review for Muzic.
Read More...
Gig Review: Pitch Black @ Neck of the Woods, Auckland - 17/10/2019
18 Oct 2019 // by Lou Clement
The legendary Christchurch act Pitch Black whipped up an electronica storm at Neck of Woods, Auckland on their Third Light Tour on 17 October 2019. Taking the audience with them on a visual and musical journey, the duo kicked off their international tour, with this, their first date of twelve, which will take them to London, Amsterdam and Berlin over the coming months.
Read More...
Gig Review: Troy Kingi @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 26/09/2019
04 Oct 2019 // by Lou Clement
Troy Kingi delivered a mash up of reggae, funk and soul as he debuted an album of politically laced tracks and performed for an enthusiastic crowd at the Tuning Fork in Auckland. This was the first of a three date New Zealand tour, following the release of his latest album Holy Colony Burning Acres and tonight he played to a sold out crowd.
Read More...
Gig Review: JessB @ Raynham Park, Auckland
22 Sep 2019 // by Lou Clement
Artist JessB hit Auckland’s Raynham Park late on a Saturday night in September completing the third and final date of her New Views tour, following dates in Wellington and Christchurch. Special guests for the evening were Silva MC, Vayne and {half.
Read More...
View All Articles By Lou Clement

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • WAP
    Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion
  • MOOD
    24kGoldn feat. Iann Dior
  • HOLY
    Justin Bieber feat. Chance The Rapper
  • SAVAGE LOVE (LAXED - SIREN BEAT)
    Jawsh 685 x Jason DeRulo
  • LEMONADE
    Internet Money And Gunna feat. Don Toliver And NAV
  • HEAD & HEART
    Joel Corry feat. MNEK
  • IN THE AIR
    L.A.B.
  • GO CRAZY
    Chris Brown And Young Thug
  • MOOD SWINGS
    Pop Smoke feat. Lil Tjay
  • LAUGH NOW CRY LATER
    Drake feat. Lil Durk
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem