8 Feb 2023
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Anxiety Club - Single Review: Carousel

24 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

Here we have the latest single from Wellington-based Anxiety Club, taken from the forthcoming album Old Dreams, but anyone expecting more of their guitar-led music is going to be in for quite a surprise as there has been a major shift in their sound, caused by circumstance as much as by design. Like many bands unable to perform or tour over the pandemic, they used the downtime to focus on new songs, but that was not their only issue. “Our drummer had just moved to Christchurch, the bass player had also left town, our rehearsal space was about to get bulldozed and I was nursing a pretty bad arm injury – I couldn’t even play guitar!” said lead singer, Kev Fitzsimons. This led to serious discussions between himself and keyboard player Clint Meech as to what the future held (and whether the universe was trying to tell them something), and they decided to undertake the album by utilising more synths and call in some mates to give them a hand. This included Chris Armour (Miles Calder) who has been the group’s guitarist since late 2018 and bassist Andrew Bain (Fur Patrol), while Zach Simao (an LA-based drummer) added beats and percussion and singer Maygen Lacey (also in the US) provided the vocal arrangements.

I don’t know if the whole album is going to sound like this, but what we have here is atmospheric dream pop which takes the listener into a whole new world. There are layers of keyboards as the support, delicate bass and nuanced guitar, wonderful harmonies, all there to provide the support for Kev’s vocals. It is the atmosphere which really lifts this as it is all encompassing, and the very slight lift in the guitars near the end provides a much-needed contrast to the incredibly polished production. This never sounds like an independent release and is a long way from the genres I normally review which makes it incredibly hard for comparisons but is the sort of song I would have expected to hear high in the charts back in the early 80’s, back when synth-based pop was on the rise. Melodic and restrained, this is music to relax into, as it takes the listener on a soft and gentle journey away from the trials and tribulations of daily life.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Anxiety Club

Wellington band Anxiety Club have been performing their alt-country/indie-influenced “feel-good anthems of heartache and despair” around Aotearoa since 2016. Over that time they have played stages big and small, released a series of singles and EPs to much acclaim, made numerous appearances on radio, and won fans wherever they were heard.

The band originally bonded over a common love for alt-country, adding their own unique twist of indie alt-pop pop and grunge, with electronic influences. They made their mark with the singles Be Still and I Don’t Want Anyone (But You), alongside a series of triumphant shows, including their sold-out debut at The Wine Cellar in Auckland. They’ve also chalked up acclaimed performances at numerous New Zealand festivals and events, from Coastella and New Plymouth’s TSB Festival of Lights, to playing at Gardens Magic in Wellington.

In October 2018 Anxiety Club continued their winning streak with the release of their first studio-recorded EP Black Heart.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Anxiety Club

Releases

Old Dreams
Year: 2022
Type: Album
Francine
Year: 2019
Type: EP
Black Heart
Year: 2018
Type: EP
Live EP
Year: 2016
Type: EP

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