Daydreamy Dance Pop
It’s seems that for a lot of people, when they aren’t skateboarding, making music comes in a close second, or vice versa. New Zealand’s Miles McDougall was studying Jazz drumming when he fractured his ulna while skateboarding. The accident required reconstructive surgery and left him unable to skate or play drums. It was while this former member of New Zealand’s Tiger Tones was recovering, however, that he found the time to write and record his self-titled debut album as Pikachunes.
McDougall is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, but during his convalescence he only had electronic production tools as a musical outlet. As it turns out, those tools suit him just fine and led him to release eight modern disco tracks with an innocent indie pop heart. Maybe his time off gave the dance songs their daydreaming quality — like New Order born into a softer, gentler world. On twinkly tracks like “Shout It Out,” filled with warm, fleshy synth, he comes off like a more sedate version of FM Belfast.
The young artist’s tender-side is his best asset. He’s more believable when he’s singing about holding hands on “Just a Boy” than he is when he’s singing about drinking and doing drugs on “New Fiend.” But he’s at his very best when neurotically deconstructing the culture of indie music in a quavering baritone as he does on “Nervous.”
His ability to bring his bedroom-built pop tunes to the stage has made him a favorite in the clubs of Auckland and he’s been gigging abroad quite a bit too. Maybe his drum machine dreams are coming your way.
Photo courtesy of Pikachunes.