arch hill

arch hill on Elsewhere by Graham Reid - Browse our selection of content tagged 'arch hill'.

White Swan Black Swan: Castle of Useless Junk, (Arch Hill)

White Swan Black Swan: Castle of Useless Junk, (Arch Hill)

This five-song EP by the Auckland duo of Ben Howe and Sonya Waters is a charming little collection: a little bit alt.country, a little bit alt.pop. Considered and quiet -- and needlessly modest. Check their label www.archhill.co.nz (Good website all round)

Beach House: Devotion (Arch Hill)

Beach House: Devotion (Arch Hill)

Anyone who was dropped into New Zealand music in the 80s and 90s would have thought that (for the most part) they had arrived in some grim North England industrial town: black moods, anger, negativity and cynicism -- and the shoe-gazing bands dressed to match. There was a lot of sullen music around and I guess young musicians thought that by...

The Clean: Mashed (Arch Hill)

The Clean: Mashed (Arch Hill)

What can you say? The Clean recorded live during their '07 national tour.Really, enough said: David Kilgour's guitar just gets more mercurial and expressive over time (if sometimes pulling back from the edginess of previous decades) and Hamish and Robert create and ride these often oceanic surges of sound. But nuance is everywhere also.Magic at...

White Swan Black Swan: White Swan Black Swan (Arch Hill)

White Swan Black Swan: White Swan Black Swan (Arch Hill)

An excellent earlier EP by this Auckland duo and friends made repeat appearances at Elsewhere previously -- and this follow-up is their "double mini album".W/B Swan are Sonya Waters and Ben Howe who have long and illustrious careers (in bands such as the Instigators, ICU in London, Orange, Superette) and they were together in the...

The Bats: The Guilty Office (Arch Hill)

The Bats: The Guilty Office (Arch Hill)

The first time and the last time I saw the Bats (at the dawn of time, at the Big Day Out in . . . 2008?) I loved them. In fact at that BDO gig I thought they were one of the best bands on the bill, they seemed utterly invigorated and quite driven. However I often felt I was enduring rather than enjoying them every time between those two...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Luke Buda: Vesuvius (Arch Hill)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Luke Buda: Vesuvius (Arch Hill)

This exceptional album by Buda of the Phoenix Foundation may take some getting used to for a few people: it is ambitious (and often lyrically funny or provocative) wide-screen pop which unashamedly doesn't shy from a McCartney-like hook, or deploying lap steel to fine effect -- as well as conjuring up the innocence of mid 60s pop (Electric...

Grand Prix: The Speed of Sound (Arch Hill)

Grand Prix: The Speed of Sound (Arch Hill)

While Neil Young berates his way down the highway on Fork in the Road, this well-established Wellington four-piece just get on with the business of making music which conjures up the driving energy and magic of an accelerator and open road, and in some places the wide terrain of Texas (or maybe Southland). With throbbing guitars which recall...

David Kilgour and Sam Hunt: Falling Debris (Arch Hill)

David Kilgour and Sam Hunt: Falling Debris (Arch Hill)

As we all know, song lyrics are rarely poetry -- and conversely poems, especially contemporary poems which don't bother with rhyme schemes, can't often be readily adapted into the service of a song. Singer-guitarist David Kilgour of the Clean here takes some of Sam Hunt's poems (despite the attribution, Hunt's distinctive sing-song voice...

Songs: Songs (PopFrenzy/Rhythmethod)

Songs: Songs (PopFrenzy/Rhythmethod)

This young pop band out of Sydney come, not so much trailing influences but shoving them up ahead of them: variously they sound like nasal Dylan '65 doing early Velvets drone (Farmacy), the Bats jingle-jangle (Something to Believe In), the fuzzy end of the Clean (Oh No), more Velvets-in-Dunedin (Retreat) . . . And those are just the first...

Pavement: Quarantine the Past; The Best of Pavement (Matador)

Pavement: Quarantine the Past; The Best of Pavement (Matador)

We'll make this a quick product description to coincide with this great alt.American band playing in New Zealand -- here is a remastered 23-track collection which draws on their singles, tracks from their classic albums (Slanted and Enchanted, Crooked Rain Crooked Rain, Brighten the Corners) and adds three early songs from before their...

The Ruby Suns: Fight Softly (Li'l Chief)

The Ruby Suns: Fight Softly (Li'l Chief)

The dreamy pop landscape that Ryan McPhun, mainman behind the Ruby Suns, conjures up usually wouldn't sound too far removed from that of bands on the PopFrenzy label which Elsewhere has always favoured. The last Ruby Suns album Sea Lion had an identifiable pop-folkadelic quality coming from the Pacific Rim (he's a Californian transplanted to...

George and Queen: Teenagers and Grownups (Universal)

George and Queen: Teenagers and Grownups (Universal)

For their third album, this duo (now a band) out of Dunedin (now Auckland) here deliver a particularly interesting amalgam of radio-friendly pop (the single Hut 234, the delightfully driving power-pop of Fly Man) and alt.rock (most of the other 9 songs) onto which they throw strange and strangely appealing guitar shapes and rhythmic twists....

GRAEME DOWNES OF THE VERLAINES INTERVIEWED (2003): Such brave, flawed diamonds

GRAEME DOWNES OF THE VERLAINES INTERVIEWED (2003): Such brave, flawed diamonds

If there were awards in local rock for candour beyond the call of duty, then Graeme Downes, linchpin of the formative and formidable Flying Nun band the Verlaines (1981-97), would be saying “Thank you” at the podium more than most. Always a straight shooter, Downes settles over lunch to chat about the long overdue...

THE VERLAINES; REISSUED AND RECONSIDERED (2010): Listened to Mahler, look over my shoulder . . .

THE VERLAINES; REISSUED AND RECONSIDERED (2010): Listened to Mahler, look over my shoulder . . .

Quite why anyone thought there ever was a "Dunedin sound" is bewildering -- without even hearing a note of the music all you had to do was look at the cover of the famous "Dunedin double" album of mid '82 to see how each of the four bands -- the Stones, the Chills, Sneaky Feelings and the Verlaines -- thought of...

Grayson Gilmour: No Constellation (Flying Nun)

Grayson Gilmour: No Constellation (Flying Nun)

We shouldn't feel too sorry for the profoundly talented Grayson Gilmour -- but I do sympathise with him at the moment: being the first act signed to the resurrected Flying Nun label means that has become the story and not this quite superb album. I have heard and seen Gilmour interviewed repeatedly and most of the time has been taken up with...

The Broken Heartbreakers: Wintersun (BHB)

The Broken Heartbreakers: Wintersun (BHB)

The self-titled debut album by this Auckland-based folk-pop band was among the Best of Elsewhere 2007 list -- and they have just been getting better. No surprise really given that alongside the core duo of John Guy Howell and Rachel Bailey are Sam Prebble (who, as Bond Street Bridge, appeared in the following year's Best of Elsewhere with his...

Surf City: Kudos (Arch Hill)

Surf City: Kudos (Arch Hill)

Possibly because this young Auckland four-piece have all that rolling energy of early Flying Nun acts (the Chills and the Clean especially) but turn it up to 11 and make it fat, it has hijacked my stereos (home and car, I take it for drives). They deliver such a thrilling racket it's hardly surprising they've been picked up by college radio...

Pine: Books and Magazines (Arch Hill)

Pine: Books and Magazines (Arch Hill)

In that great Kiwi tradition, Pine recorded this low-key charmer in a sitting room in Christchurch (the house since severely damaged by the quake apparently) and the trio here once again deliver intimate, spare but not skeletal-sounding pop. Actually, there is little needs to be said here because the Arch Hill label has an interesting...

Ash and the Matadors: The Mansion Tapes (Ash)

Ash and the Matadors: The Mansion Tapes (Ash)

This six-track EP by a Dunedin four-piece fronted by singer-songwriter, guitarist and keyboard player Ash Officer came out in June but has only just landed in Elsewhere -- which means some of the reviews have been done of it down south. Although none that I recall in northern climes. Ash/Matadors have a keen supporter in Southland Times...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Dear Time's Waste: Spells (DTW/Isaac)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Dear Time's Waste: Spells (DTW/Isaac)

The previous EP in '08, Room for Rent, by this Auckland singer/writer Claire Duncan was notable for its droning and hypnotic qualities (guitar washes) alongside delicately realised folk, and you detected a talent which could stretch in many directions, from a constrained Bjork-meets-JAMChain to slightly disconcerting meditations on love . . ....

Surf Friends: Confusion (SF)

Surf Friends: Confusion (SF)

Auckland two-piece Surf Friends -- guitarist/singer/drum machine handler etc and bassist/keyboards/singer Pete Westmoreland -- are starting out in almost exactly the same place as the early Clean and Chills whose sound they effectively hijack completely for some tracks on this interesting . . . and eventually quite convincing album. Produced...

John White: The Inkadies (Monkey)

John White: The Inkadies (Monkey)

This album could slip past as easily unnoticed as White's recent New Zealand tour, it whispers rather than shouts, is mostly dreamy rather than grounded. Formerly out front of Dunedin's Mestar, White recorded these airy but sometimes fuzzy, acoustic-framed songs in Wisconsin three years ago and apparently this one follows two previous...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Sven Olsen's Brutal Canadian Love Saga: Songs from the Bottom of a Hilltop (SOBCLS)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Sven Olsen's Brutal Canadian Love Saga: Songs from the Bottom of a Hilltop (SOBCLS)

Recently I heard this collection -- 400 copies only, two CDs, a thick booklet of artfully rendered lyrics, posters and more delivered in medium-sized pizza box -- being described as a cult item, bound to lose money, an ambitious conceit . . . but also pretty terrific. Right on all counts. Naming your ensemble after an obscure Norwegian...

Ghost Wave: Ghost Wave (Arch Hill)

Ghost Wave: Ghost Wave (Arch Hill)

With some of the momentum of their labelmates the Clean, urgent droning vocals and pure psychedelic guitar jangle, this debut EP by the Auckland-based three-piece touches a lot of familiar places – you could add JPSE and some of the Manchester guitar bands to those reference points – but they do it with such economy and style it...

The Mountain Goats: The Eternal's Deck (Merge)

The Mountain Goats: The Eternal's Deck (Merge)

The dramatic, almost declamatory, voice of John Darnielle (aka The Mountain Goats) is as distinctive as it is well enunciated. You get every word he sings, which means you are dragged from one poetic line to another where images tumble over one another (think Dylan '65-'66) and if there is a story it comes from an accumulation of ideas and...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: David Kilgour

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: David Kilgour

The new bio for David Kilgour starts with an arresting claim, "David Kilgour is a guitar god for guitar atheists". The evidence for this is of course his work in the Clean, with his band the Heavy Eights or on albums under his own name. Kilgour redefines a kind of electrifying electric-pastoral psyechedleic sound which can equally...

David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights: Left By Soft (Arch Hill)

David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights: Left By Soft (Arch Hill)

For his defining guitar playing in the Clean and beyond, David Kilgour has inspired two generations of acolytes: the first being the generation of Flying Nun followers in the Eighties and Nineties, and more recently young bands and Arch Hill labelmates like Surf City and Ghost Wave. Kilgour -- who has answered the Famous Elsewhere...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Sam Prebble (aka Bond Street Bridge)

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Sam Prebble (aka Bond Street Bridge)

Auckland singer-songwriter Sam Prebble -- who performs under moniker Bond Street Bridge (the actual bridge just around the corner from me, so he's one of my "homies") -- is a longtime Elsewhere favourite. His intelligent lyrics, understated delivery and sense of the melodic was all over his wonderful debut album The Mapmaker's Art,...

Spa: Spells for Travelling Forth By Day (Sarang Bang)

Spa: Spells for Travelling Forth By Day (Sarang Bang)

On a cursory listen, this album by the Auckland three-piece Spa (Steven Tait, Hayden Sinclair, Brian Donnelly) plus guests seems a little slight and unfocused. An acoustic instrumental opens proceedings, later there is indie.pop, alt.rock, a touch of Plastic Bertrand/Ramones-like punk-pop (Lionel Lopez, about a former sports star?), a little...

The 3D's: Early Recordings 1989-90 (Flying Nun)

The 3D's: Early Recordings 1989-90 (Flying Nun)

Inspired by everything from the Pixies and Neil Young's El Dorado EP, sonic noise and folk music, the 3D's were a Flying Nun band which inspired passionate loyalty for the visceral power of their sound and often weaving, beguling melodies (from singer Denise Roughan as well as the guitars). The re-release last year of their early albums...

The Vietnam War: The Vietnam War (Round Trip Mars)

The Vietnam War: The Vietnam War (Round Trip Mars)

Despite the explosive connotations of their name, Auckland's Vietnam War are far from an incendiary rock outfit. Rather, they are in that country rock lineage which reaches back to the Byrds (there's a little pre-Sweethearts Byrdsean jangle in the mid-ground of the opener High Window) and runs through the Band, and to the early Renderers and the...

The Close Readers: Group Hug (Austin)

The Close Readers: Group Hug (Austin)

From the literary suggestion of the band name and the chief songwriter here – Damien Wilkins – you could guess some serious lyrical chops. Wilkins is founding editor of the literary magazine Sport, and teaches creative writing at Victoria University in Wellington. He also has some small music credentials though. In the early...

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks: Mirror Traffic (Domino)

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks: Mirror Traffic (Domino)

The previous album by Malkmus (formerly of Pavement) with the Jicks was the very trippy Real Emotional Trash. But here, after touring again with Pavement, he gets into the studio with Beck Hansen as producer for 15 focused songs which place emphasis on, if nothing else, audability. His words -- droll, slightly self-torturing and...

Cut Off Your Hands: Hollow (Speak N Spell)

Cut Off Your Hands: Hollow (Speak N Spell)

Frankly, when I first encountered Cut Off Your Hands two things struck me: First, how do you do that? (You get one off and then . . .), and more importantly how their bouncy pop-rock would travel. When I heard they were going to the UK I thought, "coals . . . Newcastle". I understand things didn't entirely work out over there and...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Paul Kean of the Bats

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Paul Kean of the Bats

Standing next to Flying Nun founder one night at the Gluepot in about 1990 and the Bats are playing. The place is packed and jumping to the band's melodic guitar jangle where one song merges into another -- frankly every now and again I thought "didn't they play that earlier?" -- when Shepherd turns to me and says, "this is why I...

Snakedog: Road (Snakedog)

Snakedog: Road (Snakedog)

Singer-guitarist Dave Mulcahy (once of Flying Nun's JPSE back in the day) and drummer Steve Gilbero out of Christchurch in New Zealand have been chewing this one over for a while. Apparently they did the original demos five years ago, then looked at them again in '08 and finally this year re-arranged and edited the nine songs with assistance...

The Haints of Dean Hall: The Haints of Dean Hall (Arch Hill)

The Haints of Dean Hall: The Haints of Dean Hall (Arch Hill)

This off-kilter and eerily dreamy slice of Americana from a conjured up "South" comes from an unexpected source: the Haints of Dean Hall are in fact Stephen Reay and singer/photographer Kathryn McCool, the former from the rowdy Flying Nun band the Subliminals and the latter who now lives near Melbourne. A haint is an imagined ghost...

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