The first release to cement the partnership between Fire Records and New Zealand sonic luminaries The Chills is a collaboration with acclaimed contemporary artist Shane Cotton. “Somewhere Beautiful” is a triple LP set of live recordings featuring lavish packaging 3 x 180gm LPs and 2 exclusive prints of Cotton’s artwork. CD digipack.
All songs on the three LPs were performed by The Chills and recorded at a private party on New Year’s Eve 2011, in Central Otago, New Zealand. Each portfolio contains a unique art print inscribed with lyrics by Martin Phillipps of The Chills. Music and art are brought together in this contemporary object, where text intertwines with image in order to generate the sensational and the unexpected. The collaboration between The Chills and Shane Cotton came about via Conceptio Art and David Telpitzky, who brought the two artists together. Shane painted the diptych “Rolling Moon” as a response to the live performance featured on this record. The Chills are a band from Dunedin, New Zealand fronted by the rare talent of Martin Phillipps.
Originally formed in 1980, The Chills had a revolving cast of band members with Phillipps remaining the only constant. His knack for writing fantastic pop songs led to chart hits back home and a cult following around the world. With early releases via the legendary NZ label Flying Nun, The Chills produced a number of critically acclaimed records such as the single “Pink Frost” (their first hit) from the album Kaleidoscope World and the LP Brave Words. They made their first foray on to a major label by signing to Warners subsidiary Slash in 1988 after relocating to London. They released the album Submarine Bells in 1990, where their single, “Heavenly Pop Hit” garnered much international praise and press. The band returned to NZ as national heroes and proceeded to release several more albums including Soft Bomb and Sunburnt.
With a few years hiatus due to health problems, Martin picked up The Chills again in ’99 and throughout the 00’s playing shows around the world and reaching a wider audience and gaining a cult following. The band have many faithful friends around the world and a new generation (Peter Bjorn and John, Songs, The Go Find, Panda Bear, The Shins et al) are now covering or attempting to emulate The Chills unique sound. Martin has a single-minded determination to take quality, original NZ-sounding, melodic rock music global, stemming from the punk rock ethics of his musical awakening and from the subsequent proximity to people like Chris Knox who drove home how crucial it was to always deliver music with intensity and conviction // Joining Martin Phillipps for the latest phenomenal live incarnation of The Chills are:Erica Stichbury on keyboards, electric violin, rhythm guitar and backing vocals, Oli Wilson on keyboards and backing vocals, James Dickson on bass and backing vocals and Todd Knudson on Drums.
They all feature on the recording of “Somewhere Beautiful”, as Martin explains: “The third ever five-piece Chills (out of some twenty Chills line-ups) kicked into action over five years ago – and wonderful things began to happen! Soon we were asked to play at a private gig near Queenstown in New Zealand’s South Island for a combined birthday party and New Year’s Eve gig at the end of 2011. Of course equipment failed, all the things that should go wrong did their best to do so – but yet! we caught on tape (in the modern digital sense that is) a wonderful night, with many happy people enjoying The Chills in a raw but warm, relaxed and rewarding situation. The recording has been tidied up as little as possible – but as much as was necessary, and here it is!”
Tracklist: Night Of Chill Blue / Wet Blanket / Lost In Space / Part Past Part Fiction / I Think I’d Thought I’d Nothing Else To Think About / House With A Hundred Rooms / The Other / Walk On The Beach / Submarine Bells / True Romance / The Male Monster From The Id / Pink Frost / Soft Bomb Part One / February / Matthew And Son / Effloresce And Deliquesce / Canterbury Go! / Heavenly Pop Hit / I Love My Leather Jacket / Rolling Moon
Fire Records FIRECD298