NZCA Line - Pure Luxury
NZCA LINES, aka producer and multi-instrumentalist, Michael Lovett, releases his new album Pure Luxury on 10 July 2020 via Memphis Industries. His first album since 2016’s Infinite Summer, it’s funk filled and frenetic, fizzing with electricity and teeming with invention.
Written and produced almost entirely by Lovett, yet featuring a wide range of collaborators, Pure Luxury revels in both the insular – the sound of one man processing anxiety-inducing world events - and the communal. It is a record of diverse styles, voices and textures, expanding the musical universe of Lovett’s previous albums whilst cementing his own playful voice with an inescapable sense of joy and excitement.
Tired of the now over-familiar sound of Big Analog Synths and words like glacial, austere, and wistful, he set out with one clear intention: to be Extra. Extra is the governing musical direction on Pure Luxury, accepting that we live in a world of dwindling attention spans whilst acknowledging that traditional notions of accessible musical form are fast becoming irrelevant in a world of online streaming. Simply put, Lovett says, “I didn’t see the point in pulling punches and restraining myself. We are able to access a near-infinite stream of music that we might like based on what we already listen to; it’s an inspirational cul-de-sac. I couldn’t afford to feel like I was making something that sounded boring”.
The notion of being Extra is perhaps best encapsulated by the frenetic title track. Written in New York during a freak February heatwave, Pure Luxury is a response to the notions of luxury, status, and the insanity of pursuing material wealth in the face of environmental catastrophe. Lovett takes us on a technicolour joyride dripping with sarcasm, a hyped-up version of 21st century excess where gold trim hides rotten plywood facades, muscle cars are bought with credit cards and barbed wire fences separate luxury resorts from the slums beyond their walls.
Indeed, perhaps that’s what we need most when the world seems to be falling apart. Tomorrow might be scaring the hell out of us, but, as Lovett reminds us on the album’s closing track, “Tonight is all that really matters, as long as we keep dancing”.
After the celestial adventures of Mr. Ben and the Bens’ previous issue, band-leader Ben Hall finds all the magic he needs on earth with his new album, Life Drawing. On 2019’s Who Knows Jenny Jones?, Hall plotted the story of a young, shy Pitsmoor woman who returned from an alien encounter newly armed with serious disco-dancing know-how. Life Drawing, meanwhile, looks closer to home for its inspiration – Sheffield and thereabouts – for twelve brightly plaintive, character-driven vignettes, set to warm, acoustic, indie-folk-pop backdrops after its predecessor’s close encounters of the synth-driven kind.
A “cloudy thread of narrative” is present, Hall explains, but this time it’s left open for listeners to map routes through it. “The idea with the title is that the songs are character sketches, and their stories coalesce in a place that has a bit of all the towns in the North of England I’ve lived in. Bits of myself in the stories came out unintentionally, so I’d like it if the listener could find those semi-truths from the songs and place them into their own experiences.”
1. Pure Luxury
2. Real Good Time
3. Prisoner Of Love
4. For Your Love
5. Take This Apart
6. Opening Night
8. Primp & Shine
9. Tonight Is All That Really Matters
Artist: NZCA Lines
Label: Memphis Industries
Format: Vinyl LP
Cat Number: MI0603LPX
Released: 10th July 2020
Available on Indies exclusive neon pink vinyl LP