Recently New Zealand resident musician and songwriter Annemarie Duff published a detailed Spotify List celebrating the plethora of extraordinarily brilliant antipodean female-fronted dream pop/shoegaze artists currently releasing music at the moment. It’s a stunning compilation reflecting the extraordinary level of talent:
She was very wise to include a few tracks from T.G. Shand, her very own creative project. Based in Ōtautahi/Christchurch, T.G. Shand has produced a series of gorgeous shimmering dream pop delights over the past few years and has just released an EP entitled ‘Cinnamon’ which is as enticing and delicious as the spice itself.
Duff, formerly of the legendary Melbourne shoegaze band Miniatures (on the iconic Saint Marie Records label) has an ability to capture in her sound that certain sunlight shimmer that comes off a glacial lake in the summer. Sounds that bend and distort like the light, twists and turns like a spirit.
Opening track ‘Notions’ features ambient sounds and noises in the ether before Duff’s voice enters at a distance – layered and haunting with guitars splashing and drums pattering. The effect is that of a lazy, sunny afternoon in a dreamy fugue, discombobulated and languid.
The title track has a slightly off-kilter guitar loaded with tremolo and reverb with the kind of warble often featured in an MBV track, before winding back into a snaky bass and arctic vocals. Duff’s vocals are louche and cool, the intensity of the music ebbs and flows with its sky-scraping melodies. It feels like some beautiful chemically-induced dream that leaves the senses reeling.
‘Fatwood’ with its muscular bass and bell-like guitars that chime features the magnificent range of Duff’s layered and angelic vocals.
‘WAWO’ – we are way off – continues down this sparkling path but with a little more muscle and a little more fuzz. The guitars reverberate and swell over a shuffling rhythm, etching celestial trails while Duff’s vocals softly weave in and out of the magnificent ethereal sounds.
Final track ‘Streets’ starts with a mesmerising drone, arpeggiated synths and glitchy drums. It is a song that floats, almost without form but full of feelings and emotions, dreamy and opaque.
There is a opaqueness and delicacy to T.G. Shand’s delivery that certainly recalls The Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser and an evocative range that references Kate Bush, but T.G. Shand stands on her own two feet as a purveyor of the most delightful sounds. ‘Cinnamon’ is a testimony to T.G. Shand’s ability to create shimmering glacial imagery from the sounds – waves of sparkle and glitter that flow through the notes and creates a mesmerising dream state.
‘Cinnamon’ is out now and available to stream and download through the link above and here.