Review Summary: Dream pop's luckiest girl
During a performance in last year’s edition of German festival Immergut, Amelia Murray couldn’t get her guitar to work. There was a cruel irony in the way the cursed instrument decided to go mute exactly at the time the band started playing “Lucky Girl”, Amelia’s groundbreaking single and stand out track of her debut Morningside
. She gracefully powered through the act, with her guitar agonizing in her arms as she sang the extremely magnetic hook... ”I’m a lucky girl, I’m a lucky lucky girl”
in lovely surrendered confusion.
Because the issue with Fazerdaze's music is precisely that, not much to do with luck but with grace, charm and captivating power. Amelia’s songwriting has a sting that is subtle and painless but the after effects take forever and after to fade away. With a voice capable of enveloping the listener in a soft blanket of heavenly melodies and warm fuzzy guitars, Fazerdaze’s first full length is an accomplished dream pop album that blasts her bedroom doors and reaches out to the world outside. The New Zealand phenomena has come a long way since her self-titled and first EP saw the light in 2014. In the safety of her room she wrote her introductory card, with the impossibly sweet “Jennifer” being the tip of the iceberg that she has aptly melted with the release of Morningside
. Because if one thing can be said about this long play is that it tastes, smells and feels like a summer breeze through a coast ride at night in a convertible. On the other hand, Amelia doesn’t speak of happy summer days, on the contrary, Morningside
deals with anxiety and the confusing nature of human relationships. What on the surface feels like a light hearted indie pop album is in its core the late night reflections of a girl trapped in her own fears and the insecurities of adulthood.
Amelia’s music is frugal, she only uses what she needs and nothing else, as deep cuts like “Shoulders” and “Half Figured" prove, she can make much with very little. Opening with “Last to Sleep”, Amelia’s slightly distorted voice plays along a joyous drum beat with confidence, somehow knowing that everything that is coming next is as good as those initial three minutes. It doesn’t take long until the magic of “Lucky Girl” takes the spotlight of the album, consistently shared with the purity of “Jennifer”. These two tracks are partly the reason why Fazerdaze has quickly grown too big for her room but there’s much more to be discovered in Morningside
. The intensity of tracks like “Misread” or “Friends” represent the point where Fazerdaze reaches the loudest peak, with generous bursts of distortion that contrast with the gentle fuzz that overlays the rest of the tracks. The album closes with a throw back to the old bedroom days cleverly titled “Bedroom Talks”, a slow and dreamy tune that draws the curtain for Morningside
while the sweet and sour after taste still lingers like a nebulous dream.
It’s clear that Fazerdaze is more than a promise to be believed, one of the many hidden talents in countless bedrooms that sing in a low voice drowning in modesty not to bother the neighbours. Fortunately for the audience, this one kicked the door open and decided to take on the world with graceful expertise. Lucky for her, and lucky for us.