Connan Mockasin is a New Zealand troubadour. More connected than Al Capone. His voice is something else, distinctive, unique, almost childlike. His lyrics are mental at the best of times, never mind when he starts drifting off into his own made up language.
Within the first ten seconds of Forever Dolphin Love opener ‘Megumi The Milkyway Above’, when you are greeted by a three year old child, you can sense that this is going to be a bit special. Fast forward 10 tracks later and you’ve been dragged ears first through the backdoor of another dimension.
It wouldn't be so wrong to describe Connan as a twenty-first century version of Syd Barrett. Sitting in his own world, writing cosmic songs laced with pop DNA that nobody else could pluck out of the clouds. Like Barrett, his gorgeous songs are unlikely to be appreciated by every man on the street. If you want an idea of what Forever Dolphin Love is like, picture Syd Barrett performing Pet Sounds. Like TBrian Wilson, he’s not afraid of singing in an uncomfortably high register. At times sounding like a five-year-old Chinese girl warbling. Yet somehow he pulls it off with aplomb.
Title track ‘Forever Dolphin Love’ is a ten minute trip. Don’t know where from, don’t know where to, but I enjoyed it and all its veerings off into galactic jazz odysseys. Thankfully instead of disappearing up his own arse, out of nowhere there emerges a bloody catchy refrain. A bass driven groove that is surprisingly reminiscent of The Horrors' last LP. The song doesn’t feel like it is overly long, which for a ten minute opus is refreshing.
It is a strange, seemingly effortless record. Filled with drum driven fantasy romps and psychedelic lullabies, interspersed with jazz interludes. For the most part, you aren’t really aware of any songs. Everything segues into one mass of sound.
There isn’t exactly a rush to go anywhere. You just strap in and enjoy the journey, routinely failing to guess what is around the next corner. ‘Megumi The Milkyway Above’, ‘Egon Hosford’, and ‘Please Turn Me Into The Snat’ are the upbeat, drum led romps. They’d probably be the singles if anyone still bothered with singles nowadays.
It is great that this New Zealand space cadet with a penchant for horrible jumpers, who routinely can be found living in a tent in his garden, doesn’t restrict himself with any limits or rules. On this showing you can understand why he is continually name dropped by so many of his fashionable peers.
8Andrew Kennedy's Score