27 Sep 2021

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Goodspace - Album Review: Under the Loquat Tree

14 May 2020 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Goodspace started life in 2017 as a more grunge influenced band called Restless Electric before refining their line-up and reconvening their efforts in a more lo-fi indie Britpop capacity. In 2019 they emerged as Goodspace, dedicated to helping listeners feel present and providing a more connected experience; "from our goodspace to yours".

Under the Loquat Tree is a greatly endearing piece of work. Each of the 6 tracks is a conscientiously condensed taste of their unified but eclectic aesthetic. It comes across as without pretence, an album of service, designed to offer something mood altering to the listeners without demanding any attention to sub-plots or side thoughts.

Under the Loquat Tree takes the ethos of "all killer, no filler" and applies it to a sound that has the scope to provide a listening arc, and not just 6 singles from the last few months of jams. The funky strokes of donotsleep blend a Gorillaz-esque pelvis gyrating beat into a big-assed synth bomb and then before you can think about wandering away they've already veered into Amy, with a Supergrass/Kasabian/Beatles groove and a mind expanding sense of space adorned with the cute glow-in-the-dark stars of fanning frequencies and delays.

Without warning the beautifully moody and sultry Makeshift Spaceship comes and goes, briefly playing with focus and musical bedding, hinting at the textural exploration that continues with Braces: a lounge room song that feels like cigarettes and vinyl in silk satin evening wear. It handles Britpop melodies with a deftness that bares passing reminiscence to The Last Shadow Puppets. Braces takes the liberty of cradling us with a gentle stop, more careful and constrained than the brainstorms of the last 3 track endings. It signals a turning point where I feel my body begin to trust Goodspace and let them show me where we're going next without any nervous twitches of anticipation.

So Sweet Are introduces a new vocal approach inside the same vibe of sleepy revelry. Hearing the titular "loquat tree" lyric does that thing where you hear the title of the movie and you can't help but think "hey it's the title of the movie!" The vibe they've built up is so tangible that you feel like you're listening to Under the Loquat Tree while lying under a loquat tree in the space inside your head. It's like the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland drew you the picture with his weird caterpillar opium smoke.

At 1:57 Get bucks the trend of long last songs on albums and encompasses the sound of the album with the character addition of a horn section. And then it's over.

With Under the Loquat Tree Goodspace make no demands on the listener - only offerings. They conjure a world that is at once vivid and literal but also abstract. It's a contradiction that you have to feel to understand. I really gravitate to what seems like a release strategy of smaller bites in higher frequencies from Goodspace. I think they got the proportion just right. Under the Loquat Tree is not only interesting in a critical sense, but really enjoyable and mood altering.
I got Goodspaced.
Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Goodspace

Goodspace make music from their goodspace to take you to your goodspace.

You might describe their sound as lo-fi, indie, brit rock with hints of hip-hop and songwriter sensibilities evoking artists like: Damon Albarn, Massive Attack, Radiohead ad Tune-Yards.

Based in Auckland and forming in 2019, the 3-piece promptly self-released one eponymous EP and are releasing their second album (Under the Loquat Tree) on the 8th May, 2020.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Goodspace


Under The Loquat Tree
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Year: 2019
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Callum Wagstaff

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