Wellington-based producer Age Pryor presents long-player 'City Chorus', a tasty selection of finely crafted songs featuring exquisite arrangement and collaborations with a veritable mob of local musicians representing several of our city's finest, including Fat Freddy's Drop, TrinityRoots, Twinset and The Black Seeds.
The album follows the 2000 release 'Homerecordings: Tess and Adrian'. Sophisticated pop with a classical bent, 'City Chorus' opens with the delectable "Curious Boy", with Tessa Rain leading the vocals. It's a pretty song chronicling the first stages of love, with the inclusion of cello and violin adding a strain of melancholy. The duet "Spirit Friends" displays a perfect blend of vocals, enhanced by Pryor's delicate acoustic guitar. Another gem track is "Eyes Rarely Meet", presented with Pryor's soft, almost whispered vocals embedded in a stunning arrangement of guitar, piano, cello and violin. "Barefoot Breakitdown" is a funky cut-loose instrumental, featuring Toby Laing on Hammond and Warryn Maxwell on alto sax.
Other collaborators include Chris O'Connor, Paul Hoskin, Dan Yeabsley, the Video Kid, Nigel Collins, Kerry Wood, Al Fraser, Tim Jaray and Rob Hinkley. Additional mixing is courtesy of Dr Lee Prebble, with mastering by 50Hz. The cover design places the track listing on the front cover, and musician credits within. Full lyrics are included - helpful as the vocals are occasionally obscured in the mix. Written, recorded and produced by Pryor, 'City Chorus' has been lumped with the rather unwieldy label of "heavy-bottomed deep pop". Genre conundrums aside, it's undeniably pop, but refined, grown up and thoughtfully expressed, utilising an impressively wide range of instrumentation. A good effort.