Reviewed by Brannavan Gnanalingam

FOLLOWING almost immediately on the back of last year’s excellent Songs from a Dictaphone, this year’s Dayglo Spectres is yet another brilliant release from one of New Zealand’s premier and unheralded musicians. But the new album is less the solo musings of Donnelly, but a collaboration with Donnelly and James Duncan – and the more collaborative approach finds the band finding their voice more. It’s a thrilling and intense listen. The sound shifts back to SJD’s earlier work, with the strong interplay of electronic and acoustic instrumentation. The Berlin years Bowie has now been married with strong hip-hop and electronic beats. The thematic and lyrical unity of Songs of a Dictaphone is pushed even further, and Donnelly’s voice sounds as fragile and powerful as ever (even if, at times, such as in the wonderful No Telling Where, he sounds remarkably like Bono). I wonder if SJD has openly accepted the continual marginalisation of his music (in spite of its ubiquity on recent advertisements – fair enough given that all the critical acclaim doesn’t necessarily pay the bills), but with another album as good as Dayglo Spectres it’s really starting to baffle why he hasn’t had statues and prostrations from the general public.