Elsewhere by Graham Reid

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Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

renee louise carafice

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Malcolm Middleton: Sleight of Heart (FullTimeHobby/Rhythmethod)

Malcolm Middleton: Sleight of Heart (FullTimeHobby/Rhythmethod)

This astringent Scottish singer-songwriter and former Arab Strap member appeared at Elsewhere previously with his excellent album A Brighter Beat, the opening track of which was the brittle but bouncy We're All Going To Die. That song was released as a UK single before Christmas last year and started at odds of 1000-1 against becoming Radio...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Samuel Flynn Scott and Bunnies on Ponies: Straight Answer Machine (Loop)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Samuel Flynn Scott and Bunnies on Ponies: Straight Answer Machine (Loop)

Sam Scott is the singer and main songwriter of the Phoenix Foundation (alongside Luke Buda) and wrote the music for the feature Eagle Vs Shark but this, his second solo album, sounds like a man thoroughly enjoying himself (in a somewhat serious way) out of the confines of both of those. As with the PF this is pop which has a...

Various: Monkey Magic Vol II (Monkey)

Various: Monkey Magic Vol II (Monkey)

I doubt Auckland's Monkey Records has a motto, but I'm prepared to suggest one: "When you are smaller you have to be smarter." And although this label may be small it certainly is smart -- as this excellent CD/DVD compilation package proves. The label boasts many fine artists who have been posted at Elsewhere in the recent past...

Steve Abel and the Chrysalids: Flax Happy (Monkey/Rhythmethod)

Steve Abel and the Chrysalids: Flax Happy (Monkey/Rhythmethod)

Among the many unaddressed issues about the effectiveness of New Zealand Music Month is that of so many albums being released: they cancel each other out and some just won't get the attention they deserve. I sincerly hope that out of the mountain released -- around 50 albums in, or in time for, NZMM, which is just self-defeating -- that this...

Little Pictures: Owl + Owl (Lil' Chief)

Little Pictures: Owl + Owl (Lil' Chief)

Electropop married to slightly whimsical faux-naivety isn't an easy call and I have no doubt some will recoil from this bedroom music -- and when this Wellington duo quivers through the awful Tips for Domestic Bliss you can count me among the naysayers.But elsewhere here are charming little pop songs adeptly realised and working well within the...

Renee-Louise Carafice: Tells You To Fight! (Monkey)

Renee-Louise Carafice: Tells You To Fight! (Monkey)

Frankly I'm always suspicious about the whole music-as-therapy thing: most often the music is godawful, and the lyrics so tortured and self-referential that they rarely reach any further than the bedroom or hospital ward that spawned them.Which is why I come to Carafice -- institutionalised in Auckland with severe depression in 2005 -- with...

Malcolm Middleton: Waxing Gibbous (Pod)

Malcolm Middleton: Waxing Gibbous (Pod)

This somewhat eccentric Scottish singer-songwriter Middleton is not "an acquired taste" (which has a pejorative meaning) rather a taste that few in this country have acquired: despite being in Arab Strap and widely hailed by UK critics for his solo albums (this is his fifth) he has barely made a ripple outside of Britain --...

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...

The Tindersticks: Falling Down A Mountain (4AD)

The Tindersticks: Falling Down A Mountain (4AD)

At this point in their long and rather marvellous career I'm as sure as the various Tindersticks that they're never going to gatecrash into wider public consciousness, despite hypnotic and melodic music which insinuates into your consciousness rather than announces itself loudly. The previous album The Hungry Saw was an absolute, if slightly...

Renee-Louise Carafice: I Will Raise a Bird Army (Bird Army)

Renee-Louise Carafice: I Will Raise a Bird Army (Bird Army)

There is no doubt life has been difficult for Renee-Louise Carafice, her previous album (here) was born out of clinical depression and time in an institution . . .  and this one addresses the break-up of a relationship (which she concedes was always flawed) in chilly Chicago. Art wrought out of such personal crises can often be...

Edwyn Collins: Losing Sleep (Shock)

Edwyn Collins: Losing Sleep (Shock)

Scotland's Orange Juice fronted by singer-songwriter Edwyn Collins only had one persuasive album (You Can't Hide Your Love Forever in '82) and one UK hit (Rip It Up from the album of the same name, also in '82) but their arch, often ironic and non-threatening pop has recently occasioned a 6CD/DVD collection, a reflection of the high regard...

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...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Jeffrey Foucault: Horse Latitudes (Signature)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Jeffrey Foucault: Horse Latitudes (Signature)

For his first album of originals in five years – the follow-up to his gripping Ghost Repeater – this beardy and rustic Americana singer/songwriter ups the stakes as his strong, dark brown and assured voice takes on life, loss and love in iron-hard images which bring to mind Leonard Cohen (“strange birds on the fence line,...

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone: Etiquette (Pop Frenzy/Rhythmethod)

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone: Etiquette (Pop Frenzy/Rhythmethod)

Okay, if nothing else you gotta love the nom-de-disque that American singer-songwriter Owen Ashworth has adopted. It announces its lo-fi quality, and identifies its audience at the same time. Clever and funny. On the same Popfrenzy label as the wonderfully uplifting Camera Obscura (see tag), CFTPA go the other direction and deliver...

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