popfrenzy

Content tagged as popfrenzy.

The Softlightes: Say No! to Being Cool, Say Yes! to Being Happy (Modular)

The Softlightes: Say No! to Being Cool, Say Yes! to Being Happy (Modular)

There is always a place for translucent gentle pop, and it doesn't come much more summer-kissed or amusing than this debut from a Californian band which obviously also possesses a sense of humour: titles here include The Robots in My Bedroom Were Playing Arena Rock; The Microwave Song; If The World Had Cookies; and Black Skinheads in White...

The Clientele; God Save the Clientele (Popfrenzy) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

The Clientele; God Save the Clientele (Popfrenzy) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Whispery pop of the old style (verse, chorus, verse, chorus etc) always gets a good hearing at Elsewhere. There is something magical and dreamy about the best of it -- and this is one of the best. And both magical and dreamy. This London-based band have now added violin and string arrrangements to their breathy songs, and recorded this...

One Man Bannister: Moth (Powertool)

One Man Bannister: Moth (Powertool)

Auckland singer-songwriter and sometime member of Don McGlashan's band Matthew Bannister made some of the most charming, slightly unnerving and genuinely lovely music with his Flying Nun bands Sneaky Feelings and Dribbling Darts of Love, and in my opinion never really got his dues. He thought the same and wrote about his music and life in...

Lightning Dust: Lightning Dust (PopFrenzy/Rhythmethod)

Lightning Dust: Lightning Dust (PopFrenzy/Rhythmethod)

Said it before, will say it again: when albums come from PopFrenzy they rise to the top of the heap, just on the basis of previous albums from the label (the Clientele, Camera Obscura) being so damn good. No major disappointment with this one either where the shimmering, quivering voice of Amber Webber is quietly hypnotic in songs which are...

Institut Polaire: The Fauna and the Flora (PopFrenzy/Rhythmethod)

Institut Polaire: The Fauna and the Flora (PopFrenzy/Rhythmethod)

More 60s-framed pop for alternative radio from the PopFrenzy label (Clientele, Camera Obscura, Lightning Dust) which refers to the great bands who never really made it (The Association, Left Banke) as much as big names like Bacharach and the Monkees, as well the slightly psychedelic BeeGees and alt.country. Whatever really works, in fact....

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...

LLOYD COLE INTERVIEWED (2000): This changing man

LLOYD COLE INTERVIEWED (2000): This changing man

Lloyd Cole, the Derbyshire-born pop singer-songwriter who sprang to attention in the mid-80s for his introspective literate lyrics with his band the Commotions, quit Britain for New York in 1988 for six months - and has now stayed for 12 years. With his American wife and two children, he lives in the wilderness three hours north of...

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone: Advance Base Battery Life (Tomlab)

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone: Advance Base Battery Life (Tomlab)

When the superbly named CFTPA (Owen Ashworth from Chicago) played before a couple of dozen in Auckland a few years back he was utterly beguiling: a small selection of lo-fi keyboards; a voice soaked in melancholy; and pointed songs which had a bed-sit consciousness without moping or self-pitying. His 06 album Etiquette was chock full of...

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...

The Clientele: Bonfires on the Heath (PopFrenzy)

The Clientele: Bonfires on the Heath (PopFrenzy)

The charming, wispy and intimate pop of this London outfit has long been an Elsewhere favourite: their album God Save the Clientele was among The Best of Elsewhere 2007 and they share the same PopFrenzy label as equally delightful pop bands such as Camera Obscura, Lightning Dust, Radio Dept and Institut Polaire. The Clientele embark here on...

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....

The Phoenix Foundation: Buffalo (EMI)

The Phoenix Foundation: Buffalo (EMI)

After their excellent, Best of Elsewhere 2007 album Happy Ending -- and in the interim solo projects and the amusing, enticing and experimental pre-Christmas EP Merry Kriskmass -- expectation is high for this album by one of New Zealand's most interesting and enjoyable acts. More so even than the mostly laidback, slightly-delic...

Nightchoir: 24 Hours of Night (1157 Records)

Nightchoir: 24 Hours of Night (1157 Records)

Every May, being New Zealand Music Month, many dozens of albums arrive almost simultaneously -- over 40 in four weeks last year, which is kinda ridiculous -- so Elsewhere sifts judiciously (as best it can with that volume) and points to those which might fly beneath the radar. Let's hope this one doesn't. Nightchoir play what could...

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...

Magic Arm: Make Lists Do Something (Switchflicker/Yellow Eye)

Magic Arm: Make Lists Do Something (Switchflicker/Yellow Eye)

This techno-pop, Pro Tools-folktronic album by Manchester's one-man band Marc Rigelsford finally gets belated local release (it appeared in the UK a year ago). But it's timely with the Band on the Run reissue because Rigelsford's reference points are the younger McCartney and classic Beach Boys as much early Beck and pre-fame Bright Eyes...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Lloyd Cole

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Lloyd Cole

Lloyd Cole sprung to success with his band the Commotions on the highly literate and pop-memorable album Rattlesnakes in '84 but within a few years had moved to New York where he fell in with the likes of Robert Quine and Matthew Sweet. He has continued to explore his intelligent, probing and exquisitely crafted pop over a series of solo...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Nick Johnston of Cut Off Your Hands

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Nick Johnston of Cut Off Your Hands

New Zealand's Cut Off Your Hands crashed into the public consciousness with their debut album You and I in '08 after building a strong live following, then they did what so many Kiwi bands do. They moved to London. And unfortunately, as so many Kiwi bands discover, that is a bigger and tougher market with a natural scepticism about bands from...

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...

Camera Obscura; Let's Get Out of This Country (Popfrenzy/Rhythmethod) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2006

Camera Obscura; Let's Get Out of This Country (Popfrenzy/Rhythmethod) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2006

Gentle, shimmering pop where the guitars swell up and envelope you like sunshine and you can't help but nod along or tap your feet. Music that has you making a fool off yourself in the car as you sing along loudly and bang the steering wheel when the big chorus kicks in. I've just described the effect of this glistening album by a Scottish...

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone: Etiquette (2006)

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone: Etiquette (2006)

If nothing else, you had to raise a smile at the nom-de-disque which American singer-songwriter Owen Ashworth adopted. It announces its lo-fi quality, and identifies its audience at the same time. Clever and funny. But also ineffably sad. And the songs on this quite remarkable album -- like short stories rendered as poetry and set to...

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