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Reviewed by Bing Turkby

GAVLAND: The Only Constant

Reviewed by Bing Turkby

GAVLAND: The Only Constant

Prolific Wellington-by-way-of-Whanganui musician Gavin Burgess (GAVLAND) surfaces again with a project of great personal meaning. Darling While You Sleep is a touching paean to a lost love. Initial impression are of bombastic (in a good way) ’80s-style synth-pop, except those are actual strings you’re hearing. Burgess’ background includes compositional study, which allows him to deftly add orchestral flourishes to his rock roots. There’s even a classy string quartet version of a previously released song. When the Bullshit Shows has a sound reminiscent of recent Phil Judd work. It’s a quirky pop vibe, and the vocals have a feeling of vulnerability underneath the strong delivery. Burgess adds a ‘radio mix’ of this song later on the disc, and I think it’s a good choice for a potential lead single. Drumming duties were performed by Neville Messent, strings by the Elios String Quartet, but everything else (from guitar to iPad synth bass) was done by Burgess, and he proves himself adept at all of it. By avoiding the trap of overplaying he makes each guitar chord or group of notes mean something. ‘The Only Constant’ is a tasteful and moving collection of songs.