Haling from Dunedin, The Chills are a 80’s and 90’s band with aural stories that recall childlike wonder and a free-wheeling and expansive youth in the South Island of New Zealand. There’s a happy-go-lucky psychadelic pop and folk sound that (possibly) found its way into the sound of Split Enz and Crowded House later on.
The Chills came to prominence in 1982 in the Dunedin Double compilation which featured four acts (The Chills, The Verlaines, Sneaky Feelings and The Stones) who all hailed from this dark and stormy corner of New Zealand, a city in the deep south.
The Chills along with the other bands all embodied the distinctly lo-fi and DIY ethic at the heart of the burgeoning Flying Nun label. Flying Nun Records became legendary for championing the indie and experimental music scene in Dunedin during the 80’s and 90’s that was centred around the the creative hotbed of the Univerity of Otago. As a result, we can thank Flying Nun for a plethora amazing and often little known musical treasures. Many of these bands are still going strong and touring today with collectors edition vinyl by these artists still in hot demand.
The most well known track by The Chills and probably my favourite is Pink Frost, a haunting and eerie sounding track with a hint of desolation and a yearning for connection to the wider world. It was Flying Nun Records’ ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ moment and is one of the most well-known songs to come out of Flying Nun Records over the years.
Fast-forward 30 years and the music of The Chills still sounds full of jazzy kookiness and oozes excitement and melancholy.
Flying Nun have re-released LP ‘Kaleidoscopic World’ on vinyl.