Lindon Puffin – Hope Holiday (Independent)

Sometimes projects take on a life and a timeline of their own. That seems to be the case with Christchurch musician Lindon Puffin’s new album, Hope Holiday. Puffin had the album recorded a couple of years ago. But then he played the unreleased tracks to Dave Dobbyn manager Lorraine Barry who asked…”why don’t you do it properly?”  Stumped for a good answer, Lindon discarded the DIY tracks and enlisted the folks at Auckland’s Lab Studio to rethink his collection of songs. As a result, he wound up with the cream of Auckland’s indie scene playing on the album…Jol Mulholland, Andrew Keoghan, Brett Adams and drummer Wayne Bell, who also produced the project.

With the 11 songs redone and dusted, Lindon proceeded to plan a video shoot to coincide with the release. That shoot was scheduled to take place in Lyttleton at the end of February of this year. Mother Nature had other plans and the site of Lindon’s shoot ended up as a pile of rubble, thanks to the Christchurch earthquake. The album took a back seat as Lindon, his family and friends recovered from the quake.

Finally, just as the summer holiday season is about to begin in New Zealand, Lindon Puffin’s Hope Holiday is ready. Puffin’s bright, shiny pop songs make for the perfect soundtrack as the days get longer and the temperatures begin to climb.

Lindon began making music back in the late 90s in the glam-rock band The Puffins. He then moved on to a few years playing a folk-punk troubadour before finally settling down in his current incarnation as a pop-rocker. This latest style seems to be a natural fit. Puffin’s voice sounds like it was made for the breezy power-pop on display here.

His fellow musicians, including former partner Victoria Girling-Butcher, chime in with delectably radio-friendly oohs and aahs on songs like Fresh Cut Rose, Into The Evening and Dust & Doubt. The latter features a jagged little guitar riff and a lyric about finding inspiration and “figuring out my own way”.

The album ends on a rare downbeat note. The 7-minute Down To The Sea finds Puffin letting “the waves beat the black dog out of me”, indicating that there may be a dark cloud behind Puffin’s silver lining.

Nevertheless, it looks as though time and events have conspired to make Hope Holiday the perfect summertime listening experience.

Marty Duda

Click here to listen to Into The Evening from Hope Holiday