It’s been a long while between albums for Dead Famous People, the Auckland band who released an EP on Flying Nun before decamping to Europe (and international labels) in the late 1980s. Dead Famous People for all purposes disbanded in 1991, but vocalist and songwriter Dons Savage has been quietly working away writing a new album, ‘Harry’ for a long time.
‘Harry’ picks up where the all-female, originally 5-piece band left off 28 years ago, featuring catchy guitar pop songwriting, and some emotive vocals from Savage. There’s an air of the 1980s in the production, and the chiming guitars evoke an era when indie pop was at a peak, while the harmonies recall the great girl groups from the 1960s.
The songs on ‘Harry’ are philosophical in a time of uncertainty, while at the same time telling stories. Goddess of Chill considers creativity and inspiration, and the gorgeous, upbeat Looking At Girls tells the tale of a partner who has a car crash, because they were, as the title explains, looking at girls.
Giving the album its title is the lovely piano ballad Harry which, with its spectral, ghostly backing vocals is more personal, about Savage spending time with her son.
‘Harry’ is one of those rare albums that is thoughtful, catchy, and a delight to listen to – a melodic treasure that is a welcome surprise for fans of Dead Famous People and Dons Savage.