||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (August 2009)|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2012)|
|Stylistic origins||Indie pop, jangle pop, post-punk, New Wave, psychedelic pop, punk rock, garage rock, lo-fi|
|Cultural origins||Early 1980s, New Zealand|
|Typical instruments||Vocal, guitar, bass, drums, keyboard|
Similar in many ways to the traditional indie pop sound, the Dunedin Sound uses "jingly jangly" guitar-playing, minimal bass lines and loose drumming. Keyboards are also often prevalent. Primitive recording techniques also gave this genre a lo-fi sound that endeared its earnest music, but occasionally hard-to-understand vocal accompaniment, to university students worldwide.
The Dunedin Sound can be traced back to the emergence of punk rock as a musical influence in New Zealand in the late 1970s. Isolated from the country's main punk scene in Auckland (which had been influenced by bands such as England's Buzzcocks), Dunedin's punk groups - such as The Enemy (which became Toy Love) and The Same (which later developed into The Chills) developed a sound more heavily influenced by artists like The Velvet Underground and The Stooges. This was complemented by jangly, psychedelic-influenced guitar work reminiscent of 1960s bands such as The Beatles and The Byrds, and the combination of the two developed into the style which became known as the Dunedin Sound.
New Zealand-based Flying Nun Records championed the Dunedin Sound, starting with their earliest releases (including The Clean's single "Tally Ho!" and the four-band compilation Dunedin Double EP, from which the term "Dunedin Sound" was first coined). Many artists gained a dedicated "college music" following, both at home and overseas. In July 2009, Uncut magazine suggested that "before the mp3 replaced the flexidisc, the three axes of the international indie-pop underground were Olympia WA, Glasgow, and Dunedin, New Zealand." The growth of the Dunedin Sound coincided with the founding of the student radio station Radio One) at Otago University, helping to increase the popularity and availability of the music around the city.
The development of parallel musical trends such as the Paisley Underground in California and the resurgence of jangle pop aided a growth in the popularity of the Dunedin Sound on college radio in the USA and Europe. The heyday of the movement was in the mid-to-late 1980s, although music in the style is still being recorded and released.
California's Pavement is but one overseas band that cites the Dunedin Sound as a major influence, and overseas artists such as Superchunk, Barbara Manning, Elf Power and Cat Power have covered Dunedin Sound songs on several occasions.
In 2000, a "Dunedin Sound" showcase was presented as part of the Otago Festival Of The Arts held in Dunedin. This showcase featured performances by the Clean, the Chills, the Dead C, Alastair Galbraith, the Renderers, Snapper, and the Verlaines. KFJC 89.7 FM, an American college radio station based in Los Altos Hills, CA, broadcast all six nights of the "Dunedin Sound" showcase live to the San Francisco Bay Area via their FM signal and worldwide over the internet. The following year, a double CD documenting these broadcasts was produced for the station's annual fund-raiser.
Though the artists themselves tend to eschew the genre title, "Dunedin Sound" artists include the following bands and soloists. Not all of these musicians are from Dunedin, but all show the influence of the music which emanated from that city in the 1980s:
References and further reading
- Bannister, M. (1999) Positively George Street. Auckland: Reed Books. ISBN 0-7900-0704-5
- Davey, T. & Puschmann, H. (1996) Kiwi rock. Dunedin: Kiwi Rock Publications. ISBN 0-473-03718-1
- Dix, J. (1988) Stranded in paradise: New Zealand rock'n'roll 1955-1988. Wellington: Paradise Publications. ISBN 0-473-00638-3
- Eggleton, D. (2003) Ready to fly: The story of New Zealand rock music. Nelson, NZ: Craig Potton Publishing. ISBN 1-877333-06-9
- Higgins, M. (1982) The Clean and the Dunedin Sound. In Rip It Up magazine, April 1982.
- Flying Nun 25th anniversary edition of Real Groove magazine, 2006.
- Flying Nun: Anything can happen (Television New Zealand documentary, 1990)
- Heavenly pop hits: The Flying Nun story (Television New Zealand documentary, 2002)
- Flying Nun history 1980-1995
- Martin Phillipps & The Chills' official homepage
- In Love With Those Times - Article on Stylus magazine
- Dunedin music in the press
- Roy Shuker Understanding popular music Routledge, 2001
- Staff, Bryan & Ashley, Sheran (2002) For the record: A history of the recording industry in New Zealand. Auckland: David Bateman. ISBN 1-86953-508-1. p. 144.
- Uncut issue 146, July 2009, p81
- Bruyninckx, Joeri. "Kraus, The Man from Uranus". Retrieved 29 June 2013.