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(Credit: Rebecca McMillan)

Music

Bret McKenzie serves up second single ‘Dave’s Place’ from forthcoming new album

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Bret McKenzie - 'Dave's Place'
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Bret McKenzie has continued his astounding run of solo tunes with his second single ‘Dave’s Place’… and it’ll have fans crooning ‘Oooh, you’re a legend Dave’ in a toe-tapping heartbeat. Bopping and buoyant, it’s a change of tack from the first track ‘A Little Tune’ and it forecasts great things far beyond any Flight of the Conchords fan’s imaginings for the forthcoming album, Songs Without Jokes.

Like a lot of the very best art, McKenzie’s approach to the album seems to be akin to a musical Coen brothers’ film, in that it is genre-less and follows the whims of the weirdness of reality. Even the title, Song Without Jokes, is offered up with a wry smile because for all they may evade punchlines, they are far from drab anthems sticking stoically in the lane of solemnity in search of ‘oh wow’ reverence. 

This latest luscious ‘80s-adjacent effort, ‘Dave’s Place’, is the epitome of that. With elements of Alex Cameron-esque carefree synth pastiche, Katy J Pearson’s swooning melodies, and Tango in the Night-like hooks, and maybe even a touch of Don Henley, McKenzie turns an ‘80s musical aesthetic into something as fresh as cut grass, heralding a record that strolls to the beat of its own uncompromised drum. 

It would’ve been easy for McKenzie to sit in the singular pocket of the jazzy ‘A Little Tune’ and proudly proclaim, ‘You see, I am an original songwriting voice outside of comedy tracks’ but the wildly differing disposition of this top-down driving anthem is testimony to his daring artistry. As the record poignantly professes with a playful backbeat, “You only get one life”, why stick to one genre with it? 

It is a profound message that the Kiwi offers up with bliss that defies ignorance, and the sort of shoulder-swinging joy that could run the summer breeze through Moby’s non-existent locks. This is the sort of blue-sky song that could blow clouds away from a wedding precession and offer a sunny antihistamine embalmed hug to hay fever-riddled humbug. In short, it is another little belter.

The album is due for release via Sub Pop records on August 26th and you can check out the single below.  

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