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Album Review
Psychosis of Love

Psychosis of Love
by The Gladeyes

Lil Chief

Review Date
21st December 2009
Reviewed by
Brannavan Gnanalingam

The Gladeyes album is the best local release of the year. Simple as that. Having been hyped for years before an album was released (of course, relatively speaking given this is New Zealand), signed to an iconic label (Lil’ Chief), and utilising many of the label’s key figures, could all have submerged the final product. However, the duo (Jade Farley and Gwen Norcliffe) have managed to come up with something fiercely idiosyncratic and memorable, chock full of great pop moments and compelling production ideas.

The duo use their musical limitations to great effect. The lo-fi home recording and uncomplicated playing contrast sharply with the duo’s mellifluous vocal performance, and the tension between the two strands gives the album its drive. Other instruments are used at perfect moments too – strings, youth choirs and flutes for example add flavour but aren’t over-used.

The album gets off to a great start: opener ‘Monika’ falls somewhere between the Shangri-Las and Pavement, ‘Bad Town Blues’ is perhaps one of the best pop songs released this year, and ‘There He Goes’ manages to pay homage to both the Velvet Underground and the La’s in title and musically. The rest of the album features great moments too – a Die!Die!Die! cover ‘Shyness Will Get You Nowhere’ stands out as the album took a break from its narrative of romantic no-hopers (based around the characters of “Monika” and “Damien”). This remarkably assured debut is an intricately constructed and unpredictable listen. The album, to use a bad pun, has left me psychotically in love with it.

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