26 Mar 2023

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Silk Cut - Album Review: Our Place In The Stars

22 Feb 2023 // A review by Peter-James Dries

Like Prometheus nicking fire, so too has Silk Cut’s Andrew Thorne stolen from the gods.

In a figurative sense of course. And that sense being, when you’re employed to play the Kiwi legends’ songs for them, you’re bound to learn a few new tricks you can use yourself.

And that’s definitely the case here. Silk Cut’s Our Place in the Stars is peppered with the familiar structures, tones, and nuances that catapulted the likes of Dave Dobbyn, Bic Runga, and the Finns further than a marketing team could ever throw them. It’s no small coincidence that Thorne has played for and with them.

You can regurgitate the best parts of the nation’s best artists all you want, but no one is going to eat it. Here though, the past is but the seasoning. The meat of the meal is what Silk Cut does with these references. The hardest part of appropriation is adding your own twist and owning it, and Silk Cut have pulled it off.

In feat achieved by only David Bowie before them, Silk Cut have put a panda in an astronaut suit and flung it in space. Like a piece of modern art, they’ve taken the familiar and put it somewhere you wouldn’t expect to find it. It’s Bic Runga’s Drive orbiting Mars. It’s Sir Dave Dobbyn’s Slice of Heaven in a tinny capsule on its way to Jupiter. These nostalgic, earthy, quintessentially Kiwi sounds, made to reverberate and expand in every direction. Space-age shoegaze, with a whole lot less fuzz. Atmospheric and introspective, one part soundtrack, one part journey, on a whole a new classic.

To quote Bic Runga’s quoting of Sir Dave Dobbyn; “as soon as you try to make a hit album you get all messed up – you’ve got to make yourself happy.” And I feel like that’s what Silk Cut has done here. They’ve made the music they want to make. Music that wouldn’t be a hit in the modern music industry. In the past though… Our Place in the Stars would be a BBQ staple for drunk middle class uncles. Thankfully, there are still curmudgeons like me that pine for the old days, and albums like this.

Later in that quote, Bic says “It’s such a permanent thing, recording a piece of music.” The idea of the permanence of music is as old as that quote, and as permanent as music is now. Which is not permanent. Music is now a temporary distraction during a TikTok. Songs are the skin you shed as you grow.

Keeping one foot in the past, back when music was good, back when it was engineered to be more than the backdrop to a TikTok, was a good move considering everything that’s come since my own personal taste freeze in the early 2000's. Because I can see me listening to this again, and for many years to come. A new Kiwi staple.

Five of five stars.

You can find Our Place in the Stars on the Silk Cut Bandcamp, or you can go see them at the Thirsty Dog on Friday, 24 Feb 2023. If it’s still there, and you’re reading this before that date.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Silk Cut

Looking to avoid ‘difficult third EP’ syndrome, Auckland band Silk Cut make their next release a full album, which is scheduled for release on 22 February 2023.

Apropos of the scheme of things it is entitled Our Place in the Stars.

Leading the band is guitarist, vocalist, and main songwriter Andrew Thorne. Aidan Phillips keeps to bass and backing vocals. One fine drummer replaces another, whereby Jayden Lee takes the place of Mike Burrows. Just in time to save a tidy riff from the dustbin with a great vocal and guitar is Justin McLean, making a seamless and satisfying joint composition with Andrew on track 2.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Silk Cut


Our Place In The Stars
Year: 2023
Type: Album

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