The self-titled album from Hamilton’s DateMonthYear has been some time in the oven. Head chef/band founder Trevor Faville has been working on this material for the last five years and the results show dedication to the craft, both in musical arrangement and aesthetics.
This is an album that, despite being created by “independent music bohemians”, is professionally astute. It is paired with quirky lyrics and memorable hooks that will no doubt ensure its popularity.
Opening number, entitled, ahem, Numbers, is a great example. The vocals of Emma Koretz float breezily over the instrumental but spike surprisingly in the ear. Lines like, “…dancing with Machiavelli’s Ghost” followed quickly with “Supermarket queue on a Saturday” combine the elaborate and the mundane so succinctly.
With the punchy Flowers the instrumental prowess of Brooke Baker (guitar, keyboards), Tyler Leet (guitar) and Hayley Schwass (bass) come to the fore in support of Koretz’ smooth vocal delivery.
July (“July/making hay while the sun shine’s down”) is the album’s lead single with squelchy guitar and soaring vocals enough to keep fans of everyone from early Neil Young to Fur Patrol hanging onto every note.
It would be easy for these songs to be lumped into something quintessentially Kiwi with some similar sounds to other local heroes like the bass lines of Lucid 3, or the understated yet complex drumming of someone like Ross Burge of The Mutton Birds, but there is something more here.
That Kiwi-plus factor may well be what is being picked up by listeners as far-flung as England, Argentina and Germany, (where DateMonthYear are already getting airtime). The smaller the world becomes, the bigger a band like this will be able to be and this self-titled record stands as a mighty fine statement.