18 Jun 2021

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

Investigator - Single Review: Lovers & Loners Feat. Barker

11 Apr 2020 // A review by Callum Wagstaff

Adrian Drew left his commercial radio career to make music as Investigator. Johnny Barker left New Zealand to get away from his reputation as Shortland Street's Ferndale Strangler. Now they come together on a song written 7 years ago by Drew and brought to blissful, lollipop life by Barker.

Investigator & Barker's song Lovers & Loners is like a hybrid of The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Beatles. It's a subtle and affecting affair with melancholy undertones and a dreamy atmosphere provided by Barker's bubbly and ethereal musical nuances. A collage of colours and vague shapes accompany the song (also courtesy of Barker) as if they're run through a VCR, which aptly accompanies the warble of tape decay present in the margins of the song. My motion-sickness vulnerable friend can confirm that the video may induce headaches, so we advise caution.

Drew unearthed the artifact that would become Lovers & Loners because, like many artists with works being released at the moment, he felt that it was a good time for these particular lyrics. The song conjures images of lovers in close quarters finding themselves at each other's throats and questioning their relationship. It then juxtaposes that with the more serene scene of loners enjoying their digital relations in their favourite comfort gear and with the built-in appreciation that comes from having an allotted time to interact.

Sonically the song begins as a fairly straightforward 70's era inspired soft-rock song. Some nice panning techniques give it a sense of padded space and airy texture, but by the first chorus that wider space fills with those beautiful bubbles of sound and as it transitions, the tape warble bellows out and the bedroom dream-pop atmospheres begin to add new texture and context to the soundscape. These undulating pockets of bliss affected me at a physical level and made me melt inside my couch.

Obviously there is a whole new context in light of the current pandemic but it's quite interesting to dwell on the implications of the story in the time it was written. There seems to be a clear leaning towards the loner system as superior to the more traditional model of relationship.
But the chorus, it looks as though I was projecting, and the real story is more likely to be a trial separation that gave a couple the distance to stop being dicks to each other. Combining the contexts of 7 years ago and the present day leaves us with the nostalgic thought: "remember when this was an option?"

Those extra two interpretations are why a lockdown was the perfect time to release this song, because for the next 2 weeks at least, Lovers & Loners is 3 times more poignant. Nice move, Investigator. Nice move, Ferndale Strangler.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Investigator

Investigator is the brainchild of singer/songwriter & producer, Adrian Drew.

Now with a full band made up of experienced rockers, Investigator has been picked up by a dozen radio stations, here in N.Z. & throughout the US, Canada, South Africa, UK & Australia. Recently Livin’ in a Magazine was #1 for a record breaking seven weeks on Spiderweb Radio’s Top 15 & made KB Radio’s Song of the Year chart!

It's all about the melodies and soaring choruses, with catchy riffs & driving guitar. These are bright shiny songs with dark undertones, a juxtaposition reflecting life. The love, loss and societal stabs feature heavy... but within the dark brooding space there is always a hint of optimism.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Investigator


Year: 2018
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Callum Wagstaff

Oh Sweet Nothings - Album Review: The Math
31 May 2021 // by Callum Wagstaff
"Completely DIY and 8 years in the making, “a tribute to the pipe dreams of the struggling indie artist”.The tagline for The Math by Wellington based indie post-everything band Oh Sweet Nothings is a likeable description.
Personal Igloo - Single Review: Shades of Blue
19 Apr 2021 // by Callum Wagstaff
Personal Igloo is the solo project of Auckland based song writer/producer, Hamish Nixon. Following the release of the début EP Phone-in Serotonin, Shades of Blue takes on a new-found energy on top of Nixon's signature laid-back delivery.
Merk - Album Review: Infinite Youth
13 Apr 2021 // by Callum Wagstaff
Merk has been up and running since 2016, collecting a few accolades and getting some attention in that time. He is a Red Bull Music Academy alumni and winner of the Auckland Live Best Independent Debut award in 2017.
Tim Allen - Single Review: Love is a Pill
20 Mar 2021 // by Callum Wagstaff
UK born New Zealand artist Tim Allen has been a mainstay in the NZ music scene for the last decade. You might have seen one of his songs with Stormporter on New Zealand music TV or caught one of his shows on tour with Hangar 18.
Lasair - Single Review: Running
27 Feb 2021 // by Callum Wagstaff
After years making music constrained by labels and opinions, Lasair's musical approach is "genre fluid" and built from the inspiration he finds around him wherever it happens to come from. Rather than talk about his persona, Lasair prefers to let his music speak for him.
Magnalith - Single Review: Intimacy's End
27 Jan 2021 // by Callum Wagstaff
Magnalith is the brain child of Mathew Bosher (Decortica, Domes). Intimacy's End is a two-and-a-half minute monster mixed by Dave Holmes (Jakob, Saint Agnes, Maisha).
Pale Lady - Single Review: Lost and Found
19 Jan 2021 // by Callum Wagstaff
Pale Lady formed in 2016 when a bunch of guys with a love for rock and roll found themselves in the same music degree. By 2017 they had won that years Battle of the Bands competition.
Eli Moore - EP Review: Home Skillet
29 Jul 2020 // by Callum Wagstaff
In 2017 Eli Moore released his first full length album. Ship Life revolved around his experience as a cruise ship musician and referenced his appreciation of the harmonies and forms of jazz music within a classic pop context.
View All Articles By Callum Wagstaff

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • GOOD 4 U
    Olivia Rodrigo
    Doja Cat feat. SZA
    Olivia Rodrigo
    Russ Millions x Tion Wayne
    Olivia Rodrigo
    Olivia Rodrigo
    Justin Bieber feat. Daniel Caesar And Giveon
    Dua Lipa feat. DaBaby
    The Weeknd And Ariana Grande
    Lil Nas X
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