One reason to enjoy Feel is the cameo spots from David Kilgour, Robert Scott, Lesley Paris (Look Blue Go Purple), Jay Clarkson and Robbie Yeats (Dead C). A bit of Dunedin rock royalty there. But Mike Mcleod (The Alpha State) is responsible for vocals, guitar, piano, synths, organ and percussion. Most importantly The Shifting Sands is his vision; his songs.
The core trio is McLeod with bassist Tom Bell and drummer Rob Falconer but to me it’s about Mcleod. The sleepy feeling of a David Kilgour solo record is occasionally evoked, fans of The Bats will enjoy the wistful Outta Here and other versions of melancholia. But always there’s a tune attached – so simple, right?
Well you try telling other songwriters that.
Feel has a lovely shimmer to it (Vila) but there is more than just a wafting, floating feeling. It drifts, it moves, it circles and loops – all things you might expect from both the album title and band name but these songs are still pinned down. Sharp, perfect compositions: pop songs. And that is why this album really shines.