20 Sep 2020
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Gareth Thomas - Single Review: My Dog

09 Aug 2020 // A review by Mike Alexander

Gareth Thomas has always had a knack with words and a persuasive way of weaving them into appealingly off-kilter pop songs. Think back to the days of Goodshirt and the delicately spun and woozy Sophie, and Fazerdaze's churning guitar epic Misread or the gentle rush of The Google Song from his 2010 debut solo album Lady Alien.

His new single My Dog could almost be a parable for our times, with a narrative that’s recalls the time he scoured the streets of New Plymouth for two days after the family dog had gone missing. The feelings of anxiety that ensued are nicely paralleled thematically with the struggle that those with mental health challenges have facing the “black dog”.

In the press release that accompanies the release, Thomas says: “Our dog didn’t come home for two days. Late at night I found the panicked little guy halfway across New Plymouth. He was running up Tukapa Street frantically looking left to right to left to right. Too many corners to choose from. Panting furiously, his heart beating in a flutter and his eyes were glazed over. That was exactly how I felt. Too many turns to choose from, too many decisions and too many expectations.”

The song itself slithers along on a steady beat and a pulsing Moog synthesiser, which then bristles into an off-kilter, chorus of sorts that never quite knows what direction it wants to go in. Thomas’ vocal is almost reflectively disoriented, with some delightful over-lays from Simon Gooding, and a shift to a higher pitch when the chorus, as such, unfolds.

My Dog isn’t as baited as obviously as some of Thomas’ aforementioned songs but it still hooks you in with its fuzzy logic, a simple but effective video, and an endearing story that has a deeper message to it.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Gareth Thomas

Kiwi solo-artist Gareth Thomas is a master architect of indie pop simplicity. Whether it’s delivering the iconic singles Sophie and Buck It Up as part of legendary local act Goodshirt, or crafting clever computer-driven tunes under his own name, Gareth’s left of centre approach to a catchy hook has continued to evolve alongside his legacy as one of Aotearoa’s most innovative artists.

Gareth’s passion for songwriting, production and a hefty dose of experimentation began in the late 1990’s. While most local bands were spending their hard earned cents on studio recording time, Goodshirt looked to the future and officially became the first NZ band to record an album on a Pentium 486 PC, in a garden shed, and take it to the top of the charts. Gareth’s computer may be long gone, along with the shed, but his proudly DIY and ‘outside the box’ approach to music making continues to underpin his work.

Gareth released his debut solo album Lady Alien to critical acclaim late 2010, with the Dominion Post stating the album as “Kiwi indie pop at it’s best”. The single Google Song received an honourable mention at the annual International Songwriting Competition in 2010, which was followed up by another nod in 2016 with the single All Eyes In The Room, a cut from his follow up album, Fizzy Milk.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Gareth Thomas

Releases

Fizzy Milk
Year: 2016
Type: Album
Lady Alien
Year: 2015
Type: Album

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