Hatched from Dunedin’s dreamy but dark 21st century pop underground, The Prophet Hens bring a ghostly reminder of the decaying southern city’s musical past, when bands crafted melodic, chiming jangle-pop in seedy bars. The band, and the songs on the album, started when songwriter and guitarist Karl Bray was laid up at home recovering from major surgery to repair an ankle he’d smashed up while escaping a night-time mugging in downtown Dunedin. He jumped over a wall to get away, and, in the darkness, fell 12 foot…
The album was recorded with Penelope Esplin (keyboards & vocals), John White (of Mestar, The Blueness, on bass) and Sefton Holmes (Black Yoghurt, on drums). The current line-up of the band sees Karl and Penelope joined by Robin Cederman on bass and Darren Stedman (The Verlaines) on drums.
The Prophet Hens music is marinated in the melodic sounds of that mostly fictional ‘Dunedin Sound’ – think The Chills, The Bats, Magick Heads, plus a little bit of The Clean and The Orange. But the combination of Karl’s and Penelope’s voices adds extra magic.
“perfectly encapsulates the big bold ambition of Dunedin music with the quiet drama of isolation on a South Pacific island: part Chills organ-drenched pop, part bedroom angst”
- Did Not Chart (UK)
“I really like that… I’ll be playing more tunes from that in future, no doubt about it”
- Marc Riley (The Fall), BBC6 Music 22/7/2013
“If you are a fan of the jangly New Zealand guitar bands we like here, you need to make a note of Dunedin’s The Prophet Hens.”
- When You Motor Away (US)
"I urge any fans of literate, chiming melodic pop records particularly those made in 1980’s Dunedin to give this a try."
- Clinton, Norman Records (UK)