This NZCA Lines article was written by Jake Willis, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Macon Oxley.
After the success of ‘Two Hearts’, ‘Infinite Summer’ has been a hotly tipped and wildly anticipated album to kick off 2016, and NZCA Lines have not disappointed with their second album. Taking a step away from going solo, Michael Lovett (the man behind the name) has taken on board Hot Chip drummer Sarah Jones, as well as Ash and Bat For Lashes guitarist Charlotte Hatherly to record his second studio album.
‘Infinite Summer’ is a deep, bass-fuelled album that showcases Lovett’s knowledge of the current music scene, producing songs that are both catchy and moody to create a wavy but driven album, rife with hard-hitting drum beats and distinctive electric sounds throughout.
It is easy to see the influence that Jones’s career with Hot Chip has had on the album, but that is not to say that ‘Infinite Summer’ is a note-by-note imitation of the electro giants by any means. Lovett has managed to create the perfect middle ground between Hot Chip and Metronomy, introducing a style that drifts in and out of dance and the surreal.
An obvious contender for the best song on the album is by far ‘Two Hearts’ – a song that has rightly been doing the rounds throughout every mainstream radio playlist – but songs such as ‘New Atmosphere’ and ‘How Long Does it Take’ combine electric ambiance and pop foundations to create atmospheric, head-bobbing songs that are topped to the brim with passion.
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The album is full of unexpected treats that come in a variety of packages – from the steel drums of ‘Persephone Dreams’ (an instrument that can make even the most macabre pieces of music instantly brighter), the layered vocals of the album’s namesake track and the complex beat patterns of ‘Sunlight’. It is a chameleon of an album that shifts from song to song yet manages to maintain a distinct form from start to finish.
Whereas the majority of the album is packed full of dark synthesisers and pulsating bass lines, ‘Jessica’ is a refreshingly upbeat move away from the tone of the rest ‘Infinite Summer’. The introduction of an acoustic guitar, driving beats and pleasant harmonies between Hatherly and Lovett creates a catchy and melodic record that, while keeping the overall tone of NZCA’s sound, feels separate from the surrounding tracks.
What is missing from the album, however, is flow. The aptly-named ‘Approach’, the album’s introduction, ends all too abruptly and the following ‘Persephone Dreams’ fails to carry on the anticipation created by the atmospheric strings and rising basslines produced in the majestic opener of ‘Infinite Summer’.
That being said, the album is still one to listen out for and, after the success of ‘Two Lines’, be sure to see a lot more of NZCA Lines in the upcoming months.
‘Infinite Summer’ is out now via Memphis Industries.