Master of pop song craft and front man of Crowded House, Neil Finn, and his wife Sharon Finn have formed a new band called Pajama Club (formerly Pajama Party). The New Zealand-based group also include local indie musician Sean Donnelly, and in its touring incarnation, drummer Alana Skyring. Pajama Club’s self titled debut full-length will be released on Sept. 13 through Lester Records/Redeye.
The album is a mix of gritty, garage rock grooves and electronic bleeps and squelches, topped off by Neill and Sharon’s back-and-forth vocals. The couple have an alluring natural chemistry that forms the core of the band. Opening track, “Tell Me What You Want” romps along with a sexy, swampy lurch and introduces the nonchalant yet haunting sentiment that permeates throughout the album. The first early release track “From A Friend To A Friend” has sheets of noisy guitar lurking beneath Neil and Sharon’s serene vocals, which tell of a mysterious scenario of strangers and headlights.
The band’s debut has a spontaneous feel to it, which stems from the way in which it was recorded. The skeleton of the songs were formed when Neil and Sharon began jamming together just for fun at home, drinking wine, wearing pajamas and realizing they had something going on, other than a raw groove.
Eventually Neil added additional layers of guitar, keys, and other melodic lines to the bare-bones songs while he toured with Crowded House in 2009. The final piece of the puzzle came when Sean Donnelly began rounding out the tracks with electronic loops and texture, in a similarly independent, creative, and organic fashion that Neil and Sharon had first begun.
Pajama Club’s debut bursts with a joyous, free spirited energy at every turn. However it is Neil and Sharon’s impeccable melodies that bring it all together – burrowing in the listener’s brain while giving each song an immediate likeability.
The band will play several East Coast US tour dates in June, including the ‘Solid Sound’ Festival and will commence a short West Coast Fall tour in August.
— Troy Micheal. (innocentwords.com)
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