New Pink Frost

Prior to releasing their first new album in years, Martin Phillipps’ The Chills have re-recorded the classic Pink Frost single from 1982. A moody and compelling early slice of indie pop with a plaintive vocal line and doom-ridden lyrics set against an exquisitely deep guitar riff, the original was probably the greatest single piece of music which came out of New Zealand’s legendary Dunedin scene and the Flying Nun label.

First the original, with a video shot around a faux Scottish castle on the Dunedin peninsula.

Compare it with the new version after the break…

A brave move perhaps taking another shot at your greatest hit. Phillipps has said his main motivation was to record the song as it is performed today, and certainly The Chills’ back catalogue is plagued by poor recording quality and limited availability. I think it was worth it- Phillipps voice is in fine form, and while the performance loses some of the original’s mystery, it gains in euphoria.

3 thoughts on “New Pink Frost

  1. Probably need to listen to them both a few more times but on first go the second is definitely “lighter” but to my mind wouldn’t be out of place in the 80’s either.

    Think I prefer the second version but will listen to them again.

  2. Weirdly for someone who considers himself something of an 80s-ophile, I feel a bit “perhaps you had to be there” about the original on first listen. Sounds to me a bit like a lighter-weight take on The Cure’s “A Forest” or the Bunnymen’s “The Disease”.

    I definitely prefer the fuller, warmer re-recording. (And I definitely prefer the only Chills song I previously knew, “Heavenly Pop Hit”, which I bought on 7″ back in the day.)

  3. I don’t know the original, I think I missed a lot of music in the ’80s, for various reasons, although I did like The Cure. Anyway, for what it’s worth, I really like the new version, not so keen on the original.

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