For decades now, it has become quite a common occurrence that an artist from New Zealand comes up with the musical goods. From Split Enz, across The Chills and The Clean to most currently Lorde, Aldous Harding and Connan Mocasin, you name it.
In most cases since the 80s, those names were connected with New Zealand’s Flying Nun label, which seems to have a great knack at coming up with great musical surprises.
Well, here’s another one in the name of singer songwriter Reb Fountain, and her second album IRIS. So, what is the thing that really catches the ear here?
It is the fact that on surface Fountain’s music has the feeling of excellent pop with touches of noir. And when that noir term comes into play, there is always that element of stepping out of the usual, well-trodden pop formulas.
Fountain does that here with a lightness of touch, as it is something easy and natural to do. All seemingly light pop, with some dark overtones slowly creeping in throughout the album, as that is exactly the place where they should be.
Speaking of the goddess IRIS, after which the album got its name, Fountain says: “So many stories go unheard, so many aspects of our humanity are unsung; visibility is a contested and inequitable space where what is essential, and of beauty, is often ‘invisible’. I wanted and needed to give voice to this essential human spirit; to conjure and hold and commune with the very real, valid and invaluable voices within and around me.” And Fountain really conveys that through her music.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: REB FOUNTAIN – IRIS