I was digging though one of my cupboards today and found an old psych-pop box set that I’ve had for ages, I’ve never played it too much as I only really like a handful of songs, but I’ve never wanted to part with it either. I’d even gone to the trouble of listing which songs I liked from which CD and thought I’d check some of them out…
First on the list was New Zealand band The Chills with the track ‘Pink Frost,’ a hazy psych nugget from 1984. The Chills emerged from Dunedin in 1980, founded by singer-songwriter Martin Phillips who became the only member that remained a constant throughout. Rising from a growing garage rock scene, The Chills became the best known of the Dunedin bands, their pioneering atmospheric sound paving the way for other New Zealand bands of the time.
‘Pink Frost’ may start with a jingly-jangly intro but it’s not long before a darker and more intense melody sweeps it away. Gathering momentum the song pulses with wonderful rolling drums and driving bass whilst wistful vocals rise and fall, their repetition a hook that definitely gets stuck in. This track appears on ‘Kaleidoscope World’ which is a compilation the group released in 1986 consisting of a collection of their early singles and EP tracks. Listen above.
Read more about ‘Pink Frost’ in this extract I have found written by Martin Phillipps himself. It’s the story of the Chills’ “Pink Frost” from its inception in Dunedin to recording in Auckland.