David Kilgour: Frozen Orange

NZ Listener

His name may be synonymous with the Dunedin sound, but Clean founder David Kilgour cut his fifth solo album not in that southernmost city, but in the home of country music: Nashville, Tennessee.

The offshore venture came about after Kilgour toured in the US a couple of years ago, opening for Nashville-based alt-indie orchestra Lambchop.

Various Lambchop members appear on Frozen Orange, along with their producer Mark Nevers. The result is an album that, though stamped with Kilgour’s signature, has a new sonic richness.

Though Kilgour has always been mellower in his solo role than as guitar hero of the Clean, he still defies the singer-songwriter tag; singer-guitarist might be closer to the mark. There is just enough song in each of these 11 tracks to give Kilgour something on which to hang his laconic vocal style and lovely ornamental guitar playing.

Yet, even as a guitar album, Frozen Orange is remarkably spare. There are no ostentatious lead breaks. Instead, it’s an album of textures; shimmering notes splashed around in an almost painterly fashion. For the listener it is like swimming in a pool of tone. Kilgour titles one of the songs “Gold in Sound”: if that is what he’s looking for, then he’s found it.

Tags: new zealanddunedindavid kilgourthe clean

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