20 Sep 2020
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Marlin's Dreaming - Album Review: Quotidian

21 Aug 2020 // A review by Darryl Baser

Having been a reviewer of life and recorded music since the late 1980's, it is a rare and wonderful feeling to discover a band from my hometown who I haven’t heard of, until they drop a recording that takes my head clean off.

Dunedin band Marlin’s Dreaming have released Quotidian, and are about to (Covid willing) head off on a NZ tour in late September and early October.

Quotidian is a solid album, with layered guitars, flexing in and out with melodies weaving around each other like a small group of playing kittens.

The opening tune Cabbage Tree begins with what sounds like an early 1980's Casiotone drum machine before the guitars kick in, ahead of vocals and bass which join as they wish, adding depth and texture to the tune.

Sink or Swim is another brooding number, and on second, third, fourth listen, this album has both instant appeal and the longevity of songs which like onions reveal their texture over time.

Outristic, parts 1 and 2 are like different takes on the same theme as the title suggest.

Mr. Sun reminds me of a low key late period Beatles tune, kind of experimental, circa White album.

Moth Eyes begins where Mr. Sun left off, but builds up well into a hook-laden chorus.

As the album progresses, the very high production values become obvious. It is beautifully textured, and layered like a well cut head of hair.

At a shade over 42 minutes it’s a good length long player in this day and age of meme-driven youth, making 8 second Tik Tok videos. But I digress. Quotidian is a fantastic album with richly textured instruments. It’s got elements of shoegaze, and I swear I heard a nod to The Phoenix Foundation in there somewhere. It’s a bloody good album.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Marlin's Dreaming

Seeking inspiration from a dank eerie flat in Dunedin, steeped in the city’s rich musical history, Marlin’s Dreaming erupted onto the local scene in late 2017 with their debut album, Lizard Tears. The national & international success of the tasty indie-pop EP helped them escape the flat in favour of the road, with consecutive sold out tours across the country.

As the years went on, Marlin’s Dreaming’s sound grew with it, their 2018 EP Talk On/Commic retaining the wry humour of Lizard Tears, but donning a darker aesthetic, with 90’s fangs evoking many of the post-punk greats. Last year they took it on the road with the likes of Kirin J Callinan, The Chills and Ocean Alley, as well as their own sold-out Australian tours.

The band released Quotidian in April 2020, amidst the global lockdown, an accidentally prescient album about the claustrophobia of feeling stuck; directionless. Musically, it was a shift into more serious songwriting, and an exploration of the genre that garnered wide-ranging critical praise from mastheads like NME, American Songwriter, Brooklyn Vegan, and Atwood Magazine.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Marlin's Dreaming

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