NZCA Lines – ‘Pure Luxury’ album review

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NZCA Lines, the project of producer, multi-instrumentalist and sometime-member of Christine and the Queens’ live band Michael Lovett, are all set to release the mainly self-produced third album ‘Pure Luxury’. The record may have been inspired by key social and political moments on both sides of the Atlantic, but that won’t take away the big beats and foot-shuffling moments.

You’ll have heard the title track that opens the album (you know, the one that sounds like the ident hook on the BBC’s Glastonbury Festival coverage) and it’s a joy from the first note. Combining funk, falsettos, breakdowns and an expertly played drop at three minutes – followed by a supreme guitar solo – it’s a fantastic introduction to NZCA Lines’ ‘Midnite Vultures’-era Beck meets Metronomy sound. And it carries through to the appropriately titled ‘Real Good Time’ – a song dripping with horniness as its husky, vocoded Barry White vocals grapple with soulful backing: ‘Just me and you’; ‘We’re gonna have a real good time’.

‘Prisoner of Love’ combines the unbridled joy of Nile Rodgers with the electronic expertise of Hot Chip before throwing in some unrequited love and memories of heady days: ‘Later, if you take me home, after all these years I know how it goes. You say that it is real, but it’s easy to see through’. A beautiful, glorious pinao sound blends with a seductive bass line on the grand ‘For Your Love’ while ‘Take This Apart is an anthem about heartbreak: ‘A dagger in your heart, we’ll drag it out one more day’; ‘I know the truth’; ‘Just hold me closer’. ‘Larsen’ is also a break-up song – but this time about the fall of the Larsen C ice shelf in 2017. It’s about the human relationship with nature and how we all need to be more aware of how we’re destroying it: ‘Carry a warning sign, we don’t have that much time’.

‘Pimp & Shrine’ is six and a half minutes of pure P-funk-meets-Justin Timberlake genius as Michael urges a future suitor ‘You want that dress, than you go treat yourself’. The closing ‘Tonight is All that Really Matters’ is full of fractured beats and a resounding message about embracing the here and now as you look towards a brighter future: ‘Now the party’s over. It’s getting close to daylight. Won’t you pull me closer, if only just for tonight’.

The final line on this album sums up its ethos – and it’s one we could all learn to live by: ‘Tonight is all that really matters, as long as we keep dancing’. Treat yourself to some ‘Pure Luxury’.

 

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