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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THE LOCAL LIGHT TOUCH? (2021): Unobjectionable sounds for summer

5 Dec 2021  |  4 min read

Once upon a longtime ago reggae was rebel music and righteously indignant about the world. For the most part those days are long gone in Aotearoa reggae. Hard political issues (poverty, domestic abuse, homelessness, disenfranchised communities etc, we gotta lot to address) have been set aside for innocuous statements about love and family. Certainly a few step up (Troy Kingi, Tigi... > Read more

The War on Drugs: I Don't Live Here Anymore (Atlantic/digital outlets)

4 Dec 2021  |  1 min read

Although a lyrical guitarist -- as witnessed on previous albums Lost in the Dream (2014) and the Grammy-grabbing A Deeper Understanding (2017) -- The War on Drugs' Adam Granduciel here sometimes foregrounds acoustic and electric piano (and Hammond organ) to support his complex songwriting. This fifth WoD album extends his increasingly distinctive Americana-cum-psychedelic... > Read more

Ladyhawke: Time Flies (Warners/digital outlets)

4 Dec 2021  |  <1 min read

On her first album in more than four years, Ladyhawke (Pip Brown) returns to Eighties dancefloor electro-pop stylings but, despite the crafted surfaces, there's often downbeat reflection, even when channeling Prince-funk on Think About You (“We live in worlds apart, but still you have my heart”). The opener My Love sets a tone (“would it make you sad to lose my love .... > Read more

RECOMMENDED RECORD: Admiral Drowsy: The Gutter Boy Spectates (bandcamp)

3 Dec 2021  |  1 min read

From time to time Elsewhere will single out a recent release we recommend on vinyl, like this one. Check out Elsewhere's other Recommended Record picks . . . .  Unrequested, unannounced and unexpected – actually none of those, I'd forgotten prior correspondence – this vinyl album arrived at Elsewhere's door a week ago, the project of Luke Scott (Admiral... > Read more

Seagull Sun

RECOMMENDED RECORD: Dirt: Bloom (Big Pop/bandcamp)

29 Nov 2021  |  2 min read

From time to time Elsewhere will single out a recent release we recommend on vinyl, like this one (which comes in a gatefold sleeve with an insert lyric booklet). Check out Elsewhere's other Recommended Record picks . . . .   The final song at the end of the first side of this record opens with some familiar lines, but with its menacing, quasi-industrial beat it takes a moment... > Read more

AJ Sharma: Is There a Boat Anywhere? (Thokei Tapes/bandcamp)

29 Nov 2021  |  <1 min read

Hamburg's Thokei Tapes (yes, actual releases on cassette tape) continues to unearth and archive small corners of New Zealand music, here the lo-fi alt.folk/indie sound of singer-songwriter Aaron Sharma recorded in various South Island sites in 2018-19. Sharma is an aural documentarian of his life and feelings (Bus, Slugger) and we'd concede immediately that his uneven vocal style and these... > Read more

Stealing Sheep/Radiophonic Workshop: La planete sauvage (Fire/digital outlets)

28 Nov 2021  |  1 min read

While we know there are few things new under the sun, the Avatar film was a jaw-dropper for it technological and visual invention. As always, some couldn't contain their contempt for its somewhat ham-fisted message. But they were mostly cynical adults and not the 12-year olds whose eyes and minds were opened with wonder . . . and got the message. Giant blue humanoid figures had appeared... > Read more

Terr and Tiwa

Adam Hattaway and the Haunters: Rooster (digital outlets)

27 Nov 2021  |  1 min read

Back in the mid 2000s those who were lucky enough to catch Auckland rock band the Checks – and were familiar with the r'n'b sound of the early Stones as much as garaeband rock'n'roll – were smitten by this young group which had swagger and style, and seemed to know that history. You'd think that excitement would be common enough (Dead Flowers and Straitjacket Fits other... > Read more

Robert Plant, Alison Krauss: Raise the Roof (Rounder/digital outlets)

22 Nov 2021  |  1 min read

Aside from the unexpected nature of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss coming together for the Raising Sand album in 2007 was the fascinating selection of material they covered: songs by Everly Brothers, Gene Clark, Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt, blues . . .  That they, the band and producer T-Bone Burnette shaped this diverse material into a cohesive whole made for one of the best albums of... > Read more

Dodson and Fogg: When the Night Draws Near (Wisdom Twins/digital outlets)

18 Nov 2021  |  <1 min read

Our favourite British alt.folk duo – who is actually a solo artist, Chris Wade -- returns with this modest five track release, once again wrapped in colourful artwork by Wade's wife Linzi Napier. This time out there is a discernible bluesy/JJ Cale quality about the first two of these songs (the title track and It Ain't Up To Me) but thereafter Wade reverts to his appealing... > Read more

Why Don't You Come Inside For a While

ONE WE MISSED: Jordan Rakei: What We Call Life (Ninja Tune/digital outlets)

18 Nov 2021  |  1 min read

Expat singer/producer and multi-instrumentalist Jason Rakei has certainly fallen on his feet in London these past six years: signed to Ninja Tune; collaborating with Common and Nile Rodgers; appearances at various festivals and live radio sessions; coverage in Pitchfork, The Guardian, Observer, Pop Matters! Etc; covering a Donald Byrd track for the Blue Note: Re:Imagined compilation; a Late... > Read more


Greg Fleming: Same City (digital outlets)

15 Nov 2021  |  1 min read

For over a decade, Auckland singer-songwriter Greg Fleming has brought a focused, observational eye to his lyrics. Although also a working journalist, Fleming is more akin to a photographer capturing stark images where his subjects are the hard working, downtrodden, the greedy among us, Auckland as a character in itself, blended families and tested relationships. These real life stories... > Read more

The Dallas Four: The Complete Recordings 1965-1969 (Frenzy)

14 Nov 2021  |  1 min read

Forming in early '64 at the peak of the Beat-era and, after many line-up changes, morphing into Karma at the end of the decade, the Dallas Four were enormously popular with an Australian tour, residencies at Auckland's Platterack and Monaco, appearances on C'mon and numerous recordings. In the typically excellent booklet accompanying this Frenzy compilation – 30 tracks, some... > Read more

Don't Worry Baby

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu: Candy Racer (digital outlets)

13 Nov 2021  |  1 min read

Elsewhere would not pretend to understand even 1% of what goes on in the work of Japanese pop star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. But our attention was drawn to her a few years back by a pre-teen and the video clips she showed us were . . . Hilarious, strange, disturbing and very kitschy hi-tech. Some of her songs were also annoyingly catchy hyper-real pop. We were so taken... > Read more

Vanishing Twin: Ookii Gekkou (Fire/digital outlets)

12 Nov 2021  |  <1 min read

This multi-culti British outfit around Cathy Lucas impressed us with their previous album The Age of Immunology in 2019 (prescient title, huh?) It was lightlydelic simmer of influences from astral lounge, motorik grooves and a bit of Sun Ra space exploration. This time out they get even more nuanced with a tasty suspension of slow-mo Can, the trumpet stylings of the late Jon Hassell,... > Read more

RECOMMENDED RECORD: Flying Lotus: Yasuke (Border/ digital outlets)

10 Nov 2021  |  1 min read

From time to time Elsewhere will single out a recent release we recommend on vinyl, like this one (which comes with a download code). Check out Elsewhere's other Recommended Record picks . . . .  Given what we said about the last Flying Lotus which crossed our path – that the instrumental album of Flamagra was more satisfying than the original version with its heavy... > Read more

Circuit Des Yeux: -io (Matador/digital outlets)

8 Nov 2021  |  1 min read

If we're honest, few albums truly catch us by surprise. As we noted when we wrote about the previous album by Circuit des Yeux (Haley Fohr from Chicago), much of what we hear conforms to familiar musical archetypes. But CdY's Reaching for Indigo certainly had us floundering a little. In a very good way.  She creates a kind of contemporary art music (our reference points... > Read more

George Henderson: Late Romantics (bandcamp)

7 Nov 2021  |  <1 min read

In a beautifully evocative and appropriately Ophelia-referencing cover by photographer Hayley Theyers comes this intimate interpretation by George D Henderson (the Puddle, New Existentialists) of two poems by the Romantics (Byron, Yeats) interpolated with instrumental passages. These poems praise the enchantment of a woman (Byron's She Walks in Beauty) and drink/death as only the Irish can... > Read more

Various Artists: Soul Time, New Zealand Style 1966-1971 (Frenzy)

3 Nov 2021  |  1 min read

Even the PR for this 32-song compilation admits there wasn't much of a dedicated “soul scene” in New Zealand during the years covered. New Zealand musicians certainly covered soul songs, but very inconsistently and perhaps our best interpreters were in the Maori showbands who were mostly off-shore. However the influence of black American soul – on the evidence here,... > Read more

Funky Street, by Leo DeCastro

Hollie Smith: Coming In From the Dark (Soundsmith)

2 Nov 2021  |  1 min read

In an interview Debbie Harwood, one of When the Cat's Away, said, “I know until I drop the last song on my setlist will be [the Cat's huge hit] Melting Pot. No original, solo recording will ever trump that in the public’s eyes”. Such is the curse of the hit single. Hollie Smith no doubt felt the same for a long time about Bathe in the River (written by Don McGlashan)... > Read more