Opossom: “I kind of went mental. Became a hermit”

Kody Nielson, the ex-frontman of The Mint Chicks, notorious for flailing around haphazardly onstage has now emerged from recent hermitage in the form of a washed-out psychedelic-electronic pop act Opossom.

Kody shares a natural chemistry with his live line-up which consists of songstress and multi-instrumentalist Bic Runga and ex Mint Chick bass player Michael Logie. “The line-up came together quite naturally. I have always wanted to play with Michael again. He was the first person I had in mind for a bass player. And Bic just gets it. She’s keen. Its easy. Bic is overqualified for the job. She can play all of the instruments.”

The multi-instrumentalist and Auckland native was happy to finally be in control with Opossom. “I just went at it. I kind of went mental. Became a hermit… I have been involved in collaborations for the past couple of years and also produced Bic’s album. With this I was able to flesh out my own ideas and make my own mistakes.”

Opossom’s surreal debut record, Electric Hawaii, is like the soundtrack to a delightful drug-induced daydream. Complete with a special sixties pop nostalgia, that jingly-jangly Dunedin guitar sound, dreamy hooks and Kody’s distinctive edgy vocals. The record is euphoric and youthful. There is soft violent residue leftover from The Mint Chick’s punk past but Kody says that the songs literally fell out of his sleep state. “You know those dreams you have that leaves you with a song stuck in your head,” Kody says. “I woke up with them stuck in my head. Some of them I made up whilst recording.”

“It’s DIY,” he says casually, “I just recorded it by myself at home. It took a month.” The album is a result of experimenting in seclusion. “I wasn’t trying to make a record. Some songs I envisioned the way it sounded… I wanted it to be really 60s and 70s. Something funky, something groovy. And modern. But if you make music now it will always be modern.”

Although Kody acknowledges Flying Nun artists such as The Clean, Chris Knox, Shayne Carter, The Chills as an “engraved influence” he has carved out his own brand of retro groove and contemporary electronic pop. The track Blue Meanies captures the pan-Pacific mushroom picking experience, Cola Elixir is a psychedelic garage hymn and The Getaway Tonight is made of that stuff that sticks in your head.

Electric Hawaii is out now.

Catch Opossom on tour in August with Jinja Safari and White Arrows:

Wednesday 8th August – Astor Theatre, Perth

Thursday 9th August – Uni Bar, Adelaide

Friday 10th August – Hi-Fi Bar, Melbourne

Saturday 11th August – Hi-Fi Bar, Melbourne

Wednesday 15th August – ANU Bar, Canberra

Thursday 16th August – Bar on the Hill, Newcastle

Friday 17th August – Metro Theatre, Sydney

Saturday 18th August – Hi-Fi Bar, Brisbane