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Crowded House Follow Immaculate Pop Instincts on ‘Gravity Stairs’

An impressive new chapter for the legendary AU/NZ pop-rock band on eighth LP

Crowded House

Refusing to coast on past glories, original Crowded House members Neil Finn and Nick Seymour welcomed an old friend (Mitchell Froom, producer of the band’s first three albums) and fresh blood (Finn’s sons Liam and Elroy) into the band in 2020, the five-piece gelling wonderfully on this loose, gently psychedelic LP that’s still guided by Finn’s immaculate pop instincts. 

Opener “Magic Piano” channels a stoned Beatles vibe that would make Paul McCartney envious, and “Teenage Summer” proves Finn is still the Southern Hemisphere’s undisputed king of jangle pop. 

Both Elroy and Liam Finn make valuable contributions, the latter writing album highlight “The Howl” (a song that also features in a slightly different form on Liam’s excellent new album Hyperverse). 

It’s an impressive new chapter for Crowded House that hints toward there still being plenty of interesting corners of the pop universe left for them to explore. 

Stream: Crowded House, Gravity Stairs

This review features in the June-August 2024 issue of Rolling Stone AU/NZ. If you’re eager to get your hands on it, then now is the time to sign up for a subscription.

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