Music at Elsewhere

These pages - with sample tracks and videos posted - introduce and review new music which may otherwise go unheard and unnoticed. Music from Elsewhere reviews new albums (and some important reissues) you'll play more than once at home or in the car, and will want to tell friends about.

If you do, pass the word: you heard it first at Elsewhere.

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Van Morrison: Duets; Re-working the Catalogue (Universal)

30 Mar 2015

Duet albums are often the last refuge of senior citizen scoundrels, the deceased (current artists singing along with a dead hero's classics) or phoned-in studio constructions. In his defense Morrison – senior at 69 – has a history of duets and collaborations, so this exploration of mostly lesser-known songs from his extensive catalogue is not career desperation.... > Read more

Bjork: Vulnicura (One Little Indian/Inertia)

30 Mar 2015

As with many interesting musicians -- Cohen, Dylan, Faithfull, Cave, Waits et al come to mind -- Bjork is of rock culture (in that she is written about in the rock press) but not really part of it. She makes sometimes very demanding art music which musically and often conceptually transcends the limitations of genre work and has created a territory in which at times she seems the sole... > Read more

Atom Dance (w Antony Hegarty)

Trinity Roots: Citizen (Trinity Roots/Rhythmethod)

30 Mar 2015

Those many of us who believed the two albums by the first incarnation of Trinity Roots were important statements about life here in Aotearoa will be disappointed – if not insulted – by this superbly produced but woefully undercooked album. There are frequently threadbare lyrics (“We got to find the diamond in the rough” is the least of it) and it's mostly dated... > Read more

El Kaptain

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

30 Mar 2015

Facing down an avalanche of releases, requests for coverage, the occasional demand that we be interested in their new album (sometimes with that absurd comment "but don't write about it if you don't like it") and so on, Elsewhere will every now and again do a quick sweep like this, in the same way it does IN BRIEF about international releases. Comments will be brief. Paper... > Read more

Skulls

Surf City: Jekyll Island (Fire/Southbound)

30 Mar 2015

On previous albums the Auckland-bred but now much traveled Surf City delivered increasingly impressive opening salvoes and you heard an increasing confidence . . . and a band finding its own voice. They have always worn their influences overtly -- Flying Nun, Jesus and Mary Chain, Ramones -- so they certainly weren't about reinventing anything. In part that was a measure of their success... > Read more

Hollow Veins

Anthonie Tonnon: Successor (Canape King/Southbound)

23 Mar 2015

Strange isn't it, how a single song by an artist can resonate in ways you can't comprehend? For me Anthonie Tonnon's song Barry Smith from Hamilton (on his Fragile Thing EP of 2010, when he was Tono and the Finance Company) had a strange frisson of sadness about it, and I played it repeatedly after a first hearing. Then I moved on to the other songs on the EP -- all equally good as it... > Read more

The Songs of Our Youth

Mark Knopfler: Tracker (Universal)

23 Mar 2015

Mark Knopfler's double album Privateering three years ago was his finest solo outing for its intelligent diversity of his often dour songs and his ability to weave a narrative. These 11 songs follow in the self-created genre (with thanks to the late J.J. Cale, notably on the boxer's story of Broken Bones) so there are slow shuffles, street songs and the occasional upbeat track.... > Read more

The Lights of Taormina

Gang of Four: What Happens Next (Shock)

16 Mar 2015

Among the remarkable things about Britain's post-punk Gang of Four – aside from their excellent albums Entertainment! and Solid Gold (in 79 and 81) where they pulled pulled politics, sonic punch and aggressive dance into the same space – is that they are still here . . . Albeit after various periods off-duty and now without founder member/singer Jon King whose style... > Read more

First World Citizen

Steve Earle and the Dukes: Terraplane (New West/Warners)

9 Mar 2015

The only surprising thing about Earle making a blues album – given he's done rock, country, folk and bluegrass – is that it took him so long. As a Texan where the tough electric players and Lightnin' Hopkins' backporch acoustic style came from, blues was certainly in his blood. And these songs – many written while back-packing around Europe by himself, presumably... > Read more

The Tennessee Kid

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

9 Mar 2015    1

Facing down an avalanche of releases, requests for coverage, the occasional demand that we be interested in their new album (sometimes with that absurd comment "but don't write about it if you don't like it") and so on, Elsewhere will every now and again do a quick sweep like this, in the same way it does IN BRIEF about international releases. Comments will be brief. Various... > Read more

Tuareg

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent releases

6 Mar 2015

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column picks up New Zealand artists. Comments will be brief. Jake Xerxes Fussell; Jake Xerxes Fussell (Paradise of Bachelors/Southbound): North Carolina singer/guitarist Fussell's father was a folklorist and... > Read more

Star Girl

Various Artists: Hang on Sloopy; The Bert Berns Story Vol 3 (Ace/Border)

4 Mar 2015    1

In his excellent 1989 collection of writing Ball the Wall, Nik Cohn included a superb and insightful piece about Phil Spector, who at that time – the very early Seventies – had retreated behind the walls of his LA mansion. “Money, music, style: in each of them his breakthrough was absolutely basic,” wrote Cohn.  “In the early Sixties, he seemed... > Read more

Am I Groovin' You

Public Service Broadcasting: The Race for Space (Southbound)

2 Mar 2015

The 2013 debut album Inform-Educate-Entertain by this British duo married sometimes driving rock or evocative soundscapes with spoken word samples from old British and American documentaries and films. The result was a thrilling mix which, with almost Futurist enthusiasm, embraced a time when progress (mail trains of the Thirties, the Spitfire), adventure (the ascent of Everest)... > Read more

Tomorrow

Various Artists: Follow Me Down; Vanguard's Lost Psychedelic Era 1966-70 (Vanguard/Border)

27 Feb 2015

Fact is, if  -- as the cover title suggests -- the psychedelic era was "lost" to anyone during the four/five years on this collection, it wasn't to the label's tripped-out audience at the time. It was perhaps to the label itself. Vanguard released many psych-albums including the exceptional debut by Country Joe and the Fish, Electric Music for the Mind and Body.... > Read more

A Nickel's Worth of Benny's Help

Kiasmos: Kiasmos (Erased Tapes/Southbound)

23 Feb 2015

One of the most interesting, if not visually engaging, artists at Laneway was electronica boffin Jon Hopkins who added edge and scratchy beats to elevate his sound above the quasi-ambience of his albums. As with Hopkins, you suspect this duo of Iceland's Olafur Arnalds and Faroe Islander Janus Rasmussen, could also up their game for a live audience. Because here across eight... > Read more

Dragged

Various Artists: Nippon Girls 2 (Big Beat/Border)

23 Feb 2015

From the same New Zealand distributor (Border, see here) as brought us the largely terrific Girls With Guitars album comes this, subtitled "Japanese Pop, Beat and Rock'n'Roll 1966-70". (Others in the series are "Pop, Beat and Bossa Nova") Although the Japanese very quickly got the original rock'n'roll of the Fifties (guys like this) and of course the Beatles, their... > Read more

Furi Furi 5

Ryan Bingham: Fear and Saturday Night (Universal)

23 Feb 2015

This 33-year old Americana/alt.country singer who played the Tuning Fork last year with his new band has a road-hardened, Bourbon'n'catarrh voice which belies his years. As some wag noted, he sounds more like Steve Earle's father. After a bender, I'd add. But, as with Earle, sometimes that raw edge is less expressive than it could be. Fortunately, if we may say this, Bingham... > Read more

Snow Falls in June

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

16 Feb 2015

Facing down an avalanche of releases, requests for coverage, the occasional demand that we be interested in their new album (sometimes with that absurd comment "but don't write about it if you don't like it") and so on, Elsewhere will every now and again do a quick sweep like this.  Comments will be brief. Sparrow Thieves: Lethargic Caffeine (sparrowthieves): There are a... > Read more

Le Printemps Arabe

Punch Brothers: The Phosphorescent Blues (Warners)

14 Feb 2015

Recently guitarist Chris Eldridge from this band said in an in-depth interview with Elsewhere that Punch Brothers wanted people to have to make time for this album and peel back its layers. Indeed. This collection opens with a 10 minute-plus piece which at times refers to the Brian Wilson/Beach Boys and minimalist classical composers like Steve Reich, and also has... > Read more

Little Lights

One Man Bannister: Birds & Bees (Thokei Tapes/bandcamp)

12 Feb 2015

Releasing an album on cassette in an age when most people no longer have a turntable let alone something as archaic as a tape player seems a bit like that Spinal Tap thing: Being more selective about your audience. It is however an interesting way of getting attention and I for one -- when I was offered a cassette of these songs, which prove to be quite sophisticated home recordings -- was... > Read more

B5 instrumental/A Boy and A Girl