The Chills - Submarine Bells | RECORD STORE DAY

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The Chills' signing with Slash/Warner Bros. led them to producer Gary Smith, who helped make the New Zealand indie-popsters' most polished record yet. As it turns out, Submarine Bells is also their masterpiece, a genuinely gorgeous meld of nearly orchestral keyboard washes and melodies that refuse to leave your head (or, for long stretches, your CD player). "Sitting alone at night in my dark bedroom, trying to explain myself in a song to you," Martin Phillipps is more obsessive--about pop music, unhappy love affairs, death--than ever. On Submarine Bells, he passes a version of salvation on to you. --Rickey Wright