In the Eighties and early Nineties, bands on Flying Nun Records made tiny, sheep-clogged New Zealand seem like indie-rock’s last wild frontier — an aboriginal paradise where post-Velvet Underground guitar rhapsody was pursued for its own transporting sake, untouched by irony or careerism. This anniversary retrospective samples thirty years of the label’s top kiwi-pop: zoned-out strum mania from the Bats and Clean, ornery skronk from the Dead C and Gordons, bedroom clatterings from the Tall Dwarfs and Chris Knox, and 2000s inheritors of the national pretty-noise gene like the Shocking Pinks. The capper is the Chills’ kaleidoscopically lush 1990 nugget “Heavenly Pop Hit,” a number-one single in NZ that can still sun up your private island too.
Listen to “Tally Ho!”:
• Photos: Random Notes