Zenxith I Was Named After Dan Traecy

Part Time Records
15th December 2023


Based on a true story, Zenxith is the music of 21 yr old Newcastle musician Daniel McGee, a rolling, melancholic pop nugget that somehow worms through all the influences to create something unique and uncanny. “I Was Named After Dan Treacy” is, unbelievably, McGee’s 11th album and pays homage to the 80s indie pop we all know and love with big dollops of strangeness thrown in.

McGee’s guitar sound, with it’s light Chorus and Flange (I think?) effects chiming out, blends with his lower register vocal to glorious early-Felt effect. Much of Zenxith feels like listening to a classic 1983 indie pop album in the Twilight Zone, which is a vibe not many do and we’re not really sure why? “This Is Not A Rattlesnake” has a Cure-esque guitar line and the lyric “What do you think of rattlesnakes?” Head to the equally greatly titled “Cinderella’s Dead” and you get a brilliant whiff of the sort of stapled together weirdo pop that Children Maybe Later and Violent Change do, it’s like if you left a Television Personalities record out in the sun slightly too long and it gets over ripe.

One of many commendable qualities on this tape is McGee’s tongue in cheek songwriting that manages to skate perfectly along the line of deadly serious and deadly funny. The last song is called “The New Zenxith Single.” The chorus is “Have you heard the new Zenxith Single? It made me cry” and it kind of made me laugh and cry at the same time. The mixing is eccentric, with the vocals gliding stealthily under the guitar, almost a croony whisper, and at others times the eccentricity bleeds into Pooh Sticks-style self-awareness. The thing is, there’s enough casual brilliance through out the tape that leads you to think that McGee is kind of just throwing this out, direct to tape or Garageband or whatever, writing a song with a killer, weirdo hook, getting it down, on to the next song, fuck it.

Daniel McGee was literally named after Dan Treacy and I think both his dad and namesake would be proud.