Dons Savage, the creative force behind the legendary Dead Famous People, has had an extraordinary but brief career in the eighties – she sang on The Chill’s brilliant and aptly named hit ‘Heavenly Pop Hit’, signed to Flying Nun Records, moved to London from her native New Zealand just after the peak of the Dunedin sound in the UK when bands like The Chills and The Clean were making waves. There, she sang with St Etienne, signed with Utility Records – Billy Bragg’s short-lived label, before returning to New Zealand and apparently disappearing.
Now, having been tracked down by the admirable and productive Fire Records, Dead Famous People is releasing a new single – ‘Goddess of Chill’ – and announced a new album, ‘Harry’ on 20 October 2020.
And what a blistering return this is.
‘Goddess of Chill’ seems to have within its genetic code that special Dunedin element – Himalayan-range high choruses, sparkling jangling guitars and a gorgeous melodic sheen with an air of longing and melancholia. Savage’s voice is iconic and instantly recognisable. It makes you wonder what could have been had Savage continued to release records, but grateful that we can again witness this creative force:
Feature Photograph: Francis Carter