The Chills, “When the Poor Can Reach the Moon”

Jes Skolnik

The ChillsSilver Bullets was one of the most pleasant surprises of the year—the first new Chills material in nearly a decade, it holds up along the band’s classic ’80s material like “Pink Frost” and “Heavenly Pop Hit”. Pure candy hooks with smart lyrics, opaque and in some cases acerbic enough not to leave a saccharine film in one’s mouth, this is New Zealand indie pop at its finest.

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Their new single, “When the Poor Can Reach the Moon”, is a three-minute gem originally nested at the end of another track on Silver Bullets, “Pyramid”, and its message of genuine (rather than condescending) compassion in a world of consumption and economic stratification is entirely appropriate on Black Friday and beyond. The visuals are derived from the 1956 petroleum promotional cartoon “Destination Earth”, created by John Sutherland, a fascinating moment in Cold War oil-industry propaganda. (How did we get to this point? The video asks and answers.)

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