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The Chills

Where The Chills are concerned, there’s no simple summary of who, what and why. Perhaps only ‘when’, and even then the last 30 years seem to blur. This is testament to the physical persistence of Chills founder and centrifugal force Martin Phillipps, but also his kaleidoscopic, obsessive and idiosyncratic nature. For no other Flying Nun associate had such gumption to reach out overseas, nor was beset by both simple and turbulent twists of fate. Which meant no one could keep up with Phillipps’ wayward path - hence The Chills’ now infamously documented personnel changes (there are over 20 line-ups to peruse if you choose).

At least the music remains, and here there is much more certainty. The Chills were exemplars of the so-called Dunedin Sound – an often moist and melancholy, simultaneously dark and breezy amalgam of Western garage-pop roots but invested with an otherworldly aura, as if those overseas influences had indeed seeped in upside down. But only Phillipps was this quixotic, bridging folk and bubblegum, Bowie and Syd Barrett, with feverish shivers and childlike whimsy. (No one else would have dared wear pixie boots with no irony, only joy.). If music has a psycho-geographical bent, then it’s the air, waves and light of the Otago peninsular, and the spaciousness and remoteness of NZ itself, that glows and thrums through his songs.

The Chills - Kaleidoscope World (2016)

Flying Nun Records

The Chills - Kaleidoscope World (2016)

From $35.00

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FN425 Various - Scarfies (1999)

Flying Nun Records

FN425 Various - Scarfies (1999)

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FN377 Various - 15 (1995)

Flying Nun Records

FN377 Various - 15 (1995)

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FN148 The Chills - Submarine Bells (1990)

Flying Nun Records

FN148 The Chills - Submarine Bells (1990)

From $12.00

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FN677 Various - In Love With These Times (1989)

Flying Nun Records

FN677 Various - In Love With These Times (1989)

From $20.00 Sold Out

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FN097 The Chills - Wet Blanket (1988)

Flying Nun Records

FN097 The Chills - Wet Blanket (1988)

From $14.00 Sold Out

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FN090 The Chills - Brave Words (1987)

Flying Nun Records

FN090 The Chills - Brave Words (1987)

From $20.00 Sold Out

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FN045 Various - Tuatara - A Flying Nun Compilation (1985)

Flying Nun Records

FN045 Various - Tuatara - A Flying Nun Compilation (1985)

From $20.00 Sold Out

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COLD 004 The Chills - The "Lost" EP (1985)

Flying Nun Records

COLD 004 The Chills - The "Lost" EP (1985)

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