NZCA Lines: Pure Luxury review – dancefloor first-aid for dystopian times

Kitty Empire

Michael Lovett is a British indie disco eminence grise. A touring member of Metronomy, he played on Christine and the Queens’ first album; he’s also shared band members with Hot Chip on his previous outings as NZCA Lines. There’s a common aesthetic here, but Lovett is no bit player. His squelchy, impeccably produced music deserves a bigger stage – or at least credits on pro-writing teams supplying the stars.

The lyrics to the album’s title track might undercut the fantasy of a luxe life, but the music is all opulence. Disco strings scythe; backing vocals dissolve into spatially aware stereo pans. Everything is buttery; only once does Lovett jump the shark, on Opening Night’s space-prog-funk solo.

At one level this record is pure escapism; dancefloor first-aid for dystopian times, peppered with love songs that reiterate how a girl doesn’t need to “primp and shine” for him. Cut through all the velour, though, and Lovett is weeping for the breakup of the Larsen C ice shelf; Real Good Time is a study in post-2017 political angst. “Cos it’s making me nervous, see everything evil they’re gonna do,” Lovett burbles through a pitch-shifter.

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