tokey tones

tokey tones Content tagged as tokey tones.

The Brunettes: Structure and Cosmetics (Lil' Chief/Rhythmethod)

The Brunettes: Structure and Cosmetics (Lil' Chief/Rhythmethod)

The quirky and sometimes playful pop of Auckland's Brunettes gets a real workout here: whether it be enjoying the left speaker/right speaker game on Stereo (Mono Mono); referencing Tommy James and the Shondells' 60s hit Crimson and Clover on their delicate Credit Card Mail Order; offering a title such as Obligatory Road Song; or simply bending...

The Phoenix Foundation: Happy Ending (Flying Nun) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

The Phoenix Foundation: Happy Ending (Flying Nun) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

In a cover so cheap-looking and unpromising that it reminds me of an intermediate school kid's doodle comes one of the best New Zealand albums of the year. Let's hope that godawful "artwork" doesn't put off any prospective buyers because if it does they will be missing one of the most nuanced, textured, seductively melodic and...

Tim Guy: Hummabyes (Monkey)

Tim Guy: Hummabyes (Monkey)

This gentle album is so light it makes the Bats sound like Thin Lizzy. Auckland-based singer-songwriter Guy has stripped his music back to airy arrangments for guitar and bass (with ukulele, slide, harmonica and triangle where required) but the whole thing has a summershine spaciousness and the smart production lets these whimsical (but never...

The Ruby Suns: Sea Lion (Lil'Chief/Rhythmethod)

The Ruby Suns: Sea Lion (Lil'Chief/Rhythmethod)

My theory goes like this: there is a unique sound emerging from Auckland -- and specifically from a house just around the corner from me, actually. The sound is quirky pop which isn't ashamed to acknowledge craftsmen such as Paul McCartney, has its ears turned to the more odd arrangements on Brian Wilson's Beach Boys albums in the late 60s,...

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...

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...

Speck Mountain, Summer Above (Blunt Brown)

Speck Mountain, Summer Above (Blunt Brown)

And if you are looking for more of that ethereal, drifting alt.pop with a slight space-rock country-folk atmosphere about it (you didn't know you were looking?) then Speck Mountain from Chicago have delivered this enticing and intimate item. I know nothing about them other than this album which is enchanting in a low impact way: recorded on...

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...

Split Enz: Mental Notes (1975)

Split Enz: Mental Notes (1975)

When Rip It Up magazine collated votes to determine the top 100 New Zealand albums in late 2000 it was inevitable Split Enz' dramatic 1975 debut Mental Notes would come out at the top. Such lists are often compiled with little sense of history beyond last year, but Rip It Up's chosen voters were admirably inclusive of all decades. Even...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Lawrence Arabia: Chant Darling (Rhythmethod)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Lawrence Arabia: Chant Darling (Rhythmethod)

In a blog at publicaddress.net about the 2009 Big Day Out I hailed the pop acts on the day while noting that in New Zealand we like pop music, but prefer it to come from somewhere else. We're a little suspicious of it when one of our own starts to make it. At least critics and radio programmers seem to be,  other people just get on and...

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...

The Phoenix Foundation: Merry Kriskmass EP (Phoenix Foundation)

The Phoenix Foundation: Merry Kriskmass EP (Phoenix Foundation)

If you believe the anti-hype, this isn't exactly the Phoenix Foundation's cash-in on Christmas but has been inspired by The Krisk who is -- and I am just quoting here -- "a small stuffed white man who rides a reindeer". It is he who appears on the cover, has inspired this six-song EP (plus uncredited but uninteresting soundscapes...

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...

The Fourmyula: The Complete Fourmyula (EMI)

The Fourmyula: The Complete Fourmyula (EMI)

In his recent book 100 Essential New Zealand Albums, the writer/broadcaster Nick Bollinger lists three albums by the Fourmyula (1967-71) out of Upper Hutt. Not bad for a band that only released three -- and one of those Bollinger cites was the unreleased Turn Your Back on the Wind. Confused? Bollinger doesn't list their self-titled...

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...

The Fleetwoods: Runaround (1960)

The Fleetwoods: Runaround (1960)

It was disappointing to see a blurb on the top of an article about Dudley Benson repeat the hoary line that he "bridges the gap between the pop music of Kylie Minogue" and  . . . in this case . . . the waiata of Hirini Melbourne. The Kylie reference -- something I suspect Benson made some years ago -- was utterly irrelevant with...

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...

Lloyd Cole: Broken Record (Tapete/Yellow Eye)

Lloyd Cole: Broken Record (Tapete/Yellow Eye)

Lloyd Cole may not command that massive audience he once did, but his modest tours always pull the loyalists -- and his songwriting skills haven't deserted him, even though his great chart-worrying album Rattlesnakes with the Commotions was closer to 30 years ago than 20. This new album, recorded in New York and spare in its...

Princess Chelsea: Lil' Golden Book (Lil' Chief)

Princess Chelsea: Lil' Golden Book (Lil' Chief)

Cleverly packaged to replicate a Little Golden Book (but with appropriately dark illustrations), this album by Chelsea Nikkel (with Jonathan Bree formerly of the Brunettes co-producing) walks a narrow line between twee sounding childlike pop and those more menacing undertones found in children's stories like the Grimms' fairytales. So...

The Tokey Tones: Butterfly, Caterpillar  (2007)

The Tokey Tones: Butterfly, Caterpillar (2007)

It’s a common occurrence: just when popular music has got up a head of steam, some supportive critical consensus, and is charging off in a particular direction along comes something which, by going the opposite way, captures the imagination. At the height of Day-Glo acid-dropping hippiedom along came the Velvet Underground in all their...

Various: Sideways (2007)

Various: Sideways (2007)

From Loxene Golden Disc Award albums in the 60s through the Class of 81 and the Dunedin Double (82), and the South Auckland Proud collection of 94, the breadth and texture of Kiwi music has often been represented on compilations. And, on reflection, those mentioned also defined their period. The Sideways collection of electronica,...

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...

Tags related to tokey tones