Great Sounds Great; Bad Sounds Bad: Connan Mockasin ‘I’m The Man, That Will Find You’

Connan Mockasin

Great Sounds Great; Bad Sounds Bad is a column which sees a panel of writers for The Corner review a range of local singles and grade them out of 10. Check out the song below, read through their opinions and let us know in the comments section your own thoughts and what you’d like to see reviewed next time around.

[Soundcloud]

[Grade: 8.8]

Chloe Cairncross: Wow…This track just made my night. I have not had this much aural loving since the last time I was wooed at a party (which was a very long time ago). Slow and seductive, Mockasin takes his time; even then, he still leaves us lusting for more. Judging by the comments on SoundCloud, this track will be frequently compared to Ween which is no bad thing. The vocal production and trancy beat warrant this comparison. However, Mockasin should be taken seriously, unlike Ween’s propensity for humour. And when I say “taken seriously”, I mean take it on a beach in a heat-wave, with one arm around a beautiful, virile person and the other hand waving joss sticks. This NEEDS to be a part of your summer playlist. [10]

Hayden Currie: Woah, this is weirdly good. I mean good an’ weird. And good. Lush, gauzy, backwards looking Prince-gaze or something. And that soft-porn Eurotrash shot of the blonde guy, I assume Connan, with the little John Waters ‘stache, is perfect too. But it’d be nothing without this music, a nightmarish loop of lilting late-70s lounge-psych which make me feel as though I’m stuck in a scene from Boogie Nights. I admit that up ’til now I hated Connan based on nothing more than his name (one too many D’s, and Mockasin sounds like a sickeningly twee reference to his adorable spirit animal or something), and whatever off-key image I had of his music from the words and visuals representing him in print. This was wrong I guess, and I blame it on an overworked brain, now more than ever attacked by an endless array of colourful media crap all clanging and clawing for attention, requiring an arbitrary ad hoc judgement system to avoid lying awake at night in a state of terminal curiosity. Whatever this is though, I like it. [10]

Elizabeth Beattie: This song has a great funky base reminiscent of a cheesy 70s disco love track. The funky percussion and keyboard which introduce the song sound almost traditional, but this is wonderfully contrasted with Connan’s creepy vocal style. This song is brilliant, slinky, sexy and Willy Wonka weird. I love the repetitive vocals which sound like a sample played underwater at double speed. But this song is not just weird for the sake of weird, there’s also a really strong melodic structure underneath which makes this track addictive and makes me want to hit the repeat button. [10]

Ben Tuimaseve: Shakazulu! I was not expecting that….the groove is tasty but at the same time feels dirty (or dirtaay), like something Prince would jizz over. It’s bugging me because I can’t think the name of the song it reminds me of! But it’s reminiscent of the old school ‘music on drugs’ era, which makes me picture people tripping out on free love. I don’t agree on the vocal effects – its a bit too much for me – but the focus here is what’s behind that. It’s a pretty damn good song and it’s not trying to imitate a particular sound but to be reminiscent and take you back. [8]

Robyn Gallagher: This reminds me a lot of early ’90s Ween, back when they were doing that Prince-on-nitrous thing. It’s an ultra laidback track that takes some seductive soul basics and slows it all down to a stoner tempo. Because it’s a bit weird, it’s never going to work as an outright seduction track. Maybe date night for an alt married couple. BTW, I’m intrigued by the comma in the title. It suggests the line means “I’m the man” (if you insist, Connan) and then, ominously, “That will find you”. [6]

Vincent Michaelsen: Sexy stuff! I think this is awesome, it shows how far Connan’s music has developed since his ‘Sneaky Sneaky Dog Friend’ days while still retaining its quirkiness. Though, if anything, I’d like to hear this a little less vibey, a tiny bit less wishy washy. [9]

Michael Kerby: You return to your hotel room. It was a good night — it’s late, and you’re tired. You get ready for bed, and peel back the covers just as there’s a knock at the door — followed by what sounds like a child singing a slow jam.

You open the door to find a heavy-lidded Connan Mockasin swaying queasily in the hallway. His loose white shirt hangs open, his hair slick with sweat.

“…mmm, I’m the man that will find you…”

He stumbles a bit, pops the finger guns, and invites himself in. [8]

Oli Lewis: I really don’t know what to say about ‘I’m the Man, That Will Find You’. I was going to start with a jape about how Tommy Wiseau should remake The Room, replacing the cliché sex jams that make up the soundtrack, with the infinitely sexier, stranger sound that is Connan Mockasin. But that would be a disservice.

On first listen I was bemused. The strange vocal inflection that introduces the song is curious enough, what follows however is a masterclass in intrigue. A phased guitar licks floats gently over pillows of hushed vocals, creating a peculiar softness that sits easily atop the incredibly funky bass-line. And then Mockasin starts singing…

The only reference point I have to describe his voice is something I can only imagine: an opiated Michael Jackson. High pitched, ethereal and disturbingly childlike the chorus of ‘I’m the Man, That Will Find You’ is the most addictive thing I’ve heard in a long time. Gimme Caramel! [8]

Marc Swadel: Connan is outside musical fashion spins and oscillates in his own world. This track is Prince circa 1978 run through a David Lynch film filter. It is like being in a room where the oxygen is being replaced by Nitrous Oxide and you’re slowly hallucinating and reality is unravelling at the fringes. I was gutted to miss him playing in Shoredtich recently, and on the basis of this new track.. extra damnation for missing his gig! This is the sound of someone doing what he wants, and not what the label or anyone else says – which is most probably why he is signed to a french label. Connan if you read this – lets go and make a tour documentary film in Japan to just take the whole freaking thing to another level! [9]

Stephanie Fawcett: Title + vaguely 70s-esque pin up cover + sounding oddly like Barry Gibb = the soundtrack to a TV murder. Specifically one on Cold Case.

That’s not to say I don’t like it. In fact, I could listen to it over and over, but it gives me the creeping dread and the anguished screaming from about four minutes on is particularly unnerving. I imagine this is when the frenzied stabbing takes place. [9]

George Johnston: Connan is already one of my favorite guitarists from New Zealand so I’m probably a bit biased, but I don’t give a shit because this is great. I’m thoroughly enjoying that my kiwi guitar idols (see also: Ruban Nielson of UMO) are making this move into left wing porno groove soul music, and this whole song moves thick and sweet just like the name of the album it’s on. Matched with his usual childlike vocals, it makes for an interesting union of things that don’t sound like they should go together on paper but do. And just when you think it’s wrapped up, he slams you with a couple more refrains for good measure. I don’t know if there’s a single thing that could make this song better. [10]

4 Comments

  1. This is def my favourite song that Conan’s ever done.

  2. 0.0

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