Favourite Five Recently Reviewed CDs

Five of the best albums from the recent postings at New Music From Elsewhere. Music too good to let slide into the archives. The Elsewhere place if you are looking for a quick fix of great and interesting albums.

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Mice on Stilts: Hope for a Mourning (bandcamp/Aeroplane)

11 Apr 2016  |  1 min read  |  1

A couple of years ago in a music lecture I made light-hearted comments about prog-rock of the Seventies (maybe I said “pretentious” or “bloated”) and after the class a nice young man approached me. He was into prog and good-natured enough not to have taken umbrage . . . but did suggest I listen to Mice on Stilts, an Auckland ensemble in which he sometimes... > Read more

And We Saw His Needs Through the Casket

Loretta Lynn: Full Circle (Sony)

28 Mar 2016  |  <1 min read

Opening this album of old originals, standards and duets with Willie Nelson and Elvis Costello, we hear Lynn speaking about – then singing – the first song she ever wrote, the lovely Pacific-flavoured country ballad Whispering Sea. Thereafter between standards (the always delightful Secret Love, a strong Always on My Mind, In the Pines, a lightly stepping honky-tonk Band... > Read more

Whispering Sea

Jeff Healey: Heal My Soul (Warners)

28 Mar 2016  |  <1 min read

Blind blues guitarist Healey – who died in 2008 – would have been 50 this year and these previously unreleased songs confirm he was in a class of his own (Mark Knopfler, George Harrison, Benmont Tench and many hardcore black blues musicians happily played alongside him). A Canadian, he had jazz and the sound of old 78rpm records in his soul, but couldn't be confined to any... > Read more

Daze of the Night

Heron Oblivion: Heron Oblivion (Sub Pop)

21 Mar 2016  |  <1 min read  |  1

Although billed in overseas critical circles as a psychedelic supergroup, we're forgiven for not having heard of the bands this San Franciscan quartet come from. Unless Comets on Fire and Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound have been on your radar. Only singer/drummer Meg Baird may be familiar from the excellent ambient folkadelic albums by Philadelphia's Espers which have turned up... > Read more

Oriar

Arsen Petrosyan: Charentsavan; Music for Armenian Duduk

21 Mar 2016  |  1 min read

The acknowledged master of the Armenian duduk — a double-reed flute capable of deep emotional expression in the right hands — is Djivan Gasparian, but already the young Petrosyan is spoken of as being in the same league. He is already acknowledged as a prodigy in Armenia and this deep, resonant and moving album of traditional music is the soulful evidence. Somewhat oddly the... > Read more

Havik