by Zolton in Video on Friday 6 June 2008

Back in the day, when I was a skinny teenager on the great pedestal of life, I had a real obsession for the understated, low-fi, deliciously melodic and somewhat blurry sounds of the New Zealand Flying Nun bands. I would pool my meagre savings and canvas the local record shops, scouring the racks for the latest cassettes from The Bats, The Chills, The Clean, and, later, The Straitjacket Fits. There was just something very romantic about the music that emanated from those permanently green hills of Dunedin. It seemed to resonate with a depth and a sense of integrity that only four chords and a Chris Knox four-track can provide. Despite the kitschness of some of the trends (Cabbage Patch Dolls, anyone?), the 1980s were wonderfully optimistic times. And, despite its minor key refrain, the Flying Nun ‘sound’ (which founder Roger Shepherd denies ever existed), was always exciting to me. It was unpretentious yet ambitious, as this track — Heavenly Pop Hit by The Chills — suggests.