Former frontman of NZ band Collapsing Cities, Steve Mathieson, has released a new track, Six-Out-Of-Ten Friend.
It’s all done under the project moniker Lunavela. The new record is the first taken from a forthcoming album Imposter Syndrome, which also features drummer Alistair Deverick (Boycrush) and bassist Hannan Carter (Steriogram, NO). Six-Out-Of-Ten Friend is a slight departure from the drum machine fronted tracks of Lunavela’s debut EP released in 2017.
The latest offering sounds and feels more organically in tune with Mathieson’s decently crafted melodies and narrative understanding. The rougher textures—the less distinct drum sound, the ethereal jangle of the guitars—provide a more persuasive accompaniment to the dryness and sneaky jabs of the lyric, an evocative match that results in an appealing hybrid somewhere between New Order and The Dandy Warhols.
Mathieson knows his stuff, fixing the more pop-centric verses to a rolling, drum groove and counterpointing that with a straighter chorus creates a dynamic that reinforces the lyric’s focus while revealing an efficient surprise, expectation, loop of a typical indie-pop song structure.
As Mathieson has said about his writing process, ‘I would say I follow a pop formula in terms of structuring the songs. But then some songs on the album have really weird form, i.e. the chorus is at the end of the song. So, yes and no. Keep the song simple and do my best to sing about stuff that I think is interesting but also relatable.’ Many boxes are ticked here, folks, whileSix-Out-Of-Ten Friend’s dreamy gesturing is kept in check by the lyric’s asperity, Mathieson’s performance regales you with its subtle hissing and courting.
‘‘The rougher textures—the less distinct drum sound, the ethereal jangle of the guitars—provide a more persuasive accompaniment to the dryness and sneaky jabs of the lyric, an evocative match that results in an appealing hybrid somewhere between New Order and The Dandy Warhols.
As he has said about the new track, ‘It’s celebrating those trivial small-talk interactions. The lyric ‘Influencers bore me to death’ was influenced by a real interaction with an acquaintance who told me that she couldn’t be friends with someone because they only had 100 Followers.
My intention with this song is for it to be a celebration rather than a scathing, misanthropic song.’ Mathieson has made his point and made it well. Despite its apparent irritations, Out-Of-Ten Friend is a very pleasant musical trip.
LISTEN TO LUNAVELA HERE WHEN RELEASED: