Very few New Zealand hits by New Zealand bands were in fact New Zealand songs in the late ’60s. The general idea was find a catchy but obscure number published overseas, perhaps a hit in some country other than the UK or the US, and have a local group record it.
This lot were an exception. This isn’t as famous as their big one, ‘Nature‘ but I like it just as much.
Wayne Mason, the bloke who wrote this (as well as ‘Nature’) used the line ‘the horizon is much closer than it seems’ in a mid-’90s song of his as well.
It’s a line which calls out for the #spockDissectsLyrics treatment – if something looks a certain way, it pretty much certainly seems that way as well.
Style wise, its half Brit invasion, half psychedelia.
I was about four when it came out – yes, I do remember hearing it on the wireless, when staying at relatives.
This, much later, song from the Chills, which came out the first year I was out of home, seems to me to have a similar vibe to it and I can’t help but wonder if Martin Phillips was influenced by the earlier New Zild outfit.
Both are about going to other worlds, somehow, in a dreamy rather than a dystopian sense.
It only occurred to me, many many years later, that perhaps ‘Kaleidoscope World’ was about drugs. At the time, I simply assumed it was about using the imagination to go to another place, at least internally.
Ah, well. I was never very good at picking up on these things.