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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Various Artists: Even a Tree Can Shed Tears (LITA/Southbound)

21 Aug 2017  |  1 min read

Subtitled “Japanese Folk and Rock 1969 – 1973”, this 19 song collection with very useful liner notes shines a spotlight on music you might thought would have been much explored in that lust so many have for the obscure or left-field. As Yosuke Kitazawa observes in the notes, Japanese pop has only made one lone impact on the mainstream charts outside of the country,... > Read more

Aoi Natsu/Blue Summer by Takuro Yoshida

Richard Thompson: Acoustic Classics II (Proper/Southbound)

21 Aug 2017  |  1 min read

For decades his fans have argued that Richard Thomson has been cruelly overlooked, but that only seems to apply to sales: he has been accorded just about every major songwriting and guitar accolade possible in the USA and UK and also has an OBE. But of course, none of that directly translates into a profile for a more mainstream audience. This album – the excellent sequel... > Read more

Pharaoh

Django Bates: Saluting Sgt Pepper (Edition)

21 Aug 2017  |  1 min read

Although you couldn't fault the timing of this album by British keyboard player/conductor/arranger Bates and the Frankfurt Radio Big Band, the result is somewhat less engaging. The 50th anniversary of the Beatles' Sgt Pepper album invited many such opportunistic tributes but too often this, by remaining extremely faithful to the original right down to the replication of animal... > Read more

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

Grawlixes: Set Free (Home Alone/Southbound)

14 Aug 2017  |  1 min read

This debut album for the Wellington indie.folk duo Grawlixes – Robin Cederman and Penelope Esplin, with violinist Alex Vaatstra in places here – appeared while Elsewhere was elsewhere so we missed their tour. Are we disappointed on the evidence here? Although the title track is an uninviting dirge as an opener – even at just two... > Read more

A Fine Rain

Ov Pain: Ov Pain (cocomuse.co.nz)

14 Aug 2017  |  1 min read

In the musical microcosm that is Dunedin/Port Chalmers these days, we might allow ourselves to consider the duo at the core of this multi-referencing Goth-cum-drone-cum-claustrophobically dark-rock-psyche release as something of a pocket-edition supergroup. Partners Renee Barrance and Tim Player are of Elan Vital and the very interesting Opposite Sex respectively. But, with all... > Read more

Cold as Ice

Mermaidens: Perfect Body (Flying Nun)

9 Aug 2017  |  <1 min read

This Wellington trio are quite rightly the hip, fashionable and classy name to drop because of their crafted, emotionally tense pop which holds up in the face of easy dismissal. To these ears so many young indie-rock groups lack any sense of bite let alone firepower. But Mermaidens walk a line between ethereal pop and brittle indie.rock which channels some of the essence of... > Read more

Satsuma

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Micronism; inside a quiet mind (Loop)

7 Aug 2017  |  1 min read

When Denver McCarthy released this album in the late Nineties the musical landscape in New Zealand was very different and electronica – although not a new genre – was very in the forefront of conversations. There was quite a schism between the electronica and rock factions (just as there had been previously between hip-hop and rock) and cheerleaders on each side took often... > Read more

eventide

Maria Dallas: The Best of Maria Dallas (Sony)

7 Aug 2017  |  2 min read

In 2013 – which was what we now know as “The Year of Our Lorde” – there was a huge upset at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. For the young people in the audience, their new pop-godhead Lorde had dominated their thinking and so a shockwave of “Who . . .?” went around the room when the award for the biggest selling album was announced.... > Read more

Don't Love Me Too Much

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Isaac Hayes, Shaft

31 Jul 2017  |  2 min read

It's not widely known, but Isaac Hayes was the first black artist to win the Best Song category at the Oscars, and he did with the memorable theme to the film Shaft which also won him a Grammy and pushed the double album soundtrack to become the fastest selling album on the Stax label to that time. If there's any irony it's that on The Theme, Hayes barely sung at all just did his sort... > Read more

Early Sunday Morning

Valedictions: Pieces (valedictions.co.nz)

3 Jul 2017  |  <1 min read

While we might bemoan the balkanisation of radio into tightly proscribed formats, at least from an artist's point of view they at least know where to pitch their music. No surprise then that this three-piece Auckland band got an early single Hey Lady on The Rock FM. (The title alone kinda recommends it, right?) They played a Big Day Out years ago, did some gigs more recently with... > Read more

Queens

Stevens, Muhly, Dessner, McAlister: Planetarium (4AD)

19 Jun 2017  |  3 min read

Elsewhere is of the firm opinion that the education system has failed young people if, by the age of 15, they haven't been introduced to some Shakespeare (Julius Caesar is an easy sell to teens), Picasso/Cubism and some start-off classical music (Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, Peter and the Wolf perhaps?). These are things in the arts which extend across all cultures... > Read more

Kuiper Belt

Algiers: The Underside of Power (Matador)

19 Jun 2017  |  1 min read

Two years ago the incendiary, distorted and angry self-titled debut album by this US political powerhouse spent some weeks in and out of our Favourite Five Recent CDs column. At that time we wrote: “Out of the torn traditions of America's gospel'n'blues Deep South but shot through with post-punk fury, this trio take a hammer to politics, religion and race but couch it in... > Read more

Cry of the Martyrs

The Miltones: The Miltones (miltones.com/Rhythmethod)

13 Jun 2017  |  1 min read

As we have observed previously, for a very long time in the Eighties and into the Nineties New Zealand musicians shunned the idea of being “pop” when indie was so much more cool, and it often has seemed that since then the idea of appealing to a more mainstream and even slightly older audience was anathema to many. The success of Dave Dobbyn, Brooke Fraser, Bic Runga, Anika... > Read more

Gypsy Queen

Chris Stapleton: From a Room, Vol 1 (Mercury)

12 Jun 2017  |  1 min read

Because we essayed this superb songwriter and gruff-voiced singer on the back of his debut album Traveller last year we won't revisit that ground . . . only to say here is a guy whose music has been covered by Adele but whose audience would also reach from Springsteen fans to Merle Haggard devotees and those with an appreciation of how he can also touch on something akin to Southern soul.... > Read more

Broken Halos

Infinity, Infinity (infinitymusic.co.nz)

12 Jun 2017  |  1 min read

Infinity are guitarist/bassist, keyboard player Pateriki Hura and drummer Cameron Budge from, I believe, Hastings and this is their all-instrumental debut. And you have to hand it to them, the opener is a spacious 11 minute piece entitled Infinity (they do seem to have a penchant for that word) which is three-part slice of enjoyably free-floating space rock which get tangentially David... > Read more

Caris' Land

Roger Waters: Is This Really the Life We Want? (Sony)

11 Jun 2017  |  1 min read

Elsewhere is of the unwavering opinion that most of Roger Waters' recorded output and ideas – most notably Pink Floyd's The Wall, a demandingly bleak and pretentious concept album – are more an endurance test or aural torture than they are insightful music. Yes, we know that The Wall is HUGE and popular, and knowing that we try sometimes to have another go at it, but to no... > Read more

Picture That

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Bob Marley; Exodus (Universal)

2 Jun 2017  |  1 min read

Rightly considered among Marley’s finest albums, some say the finest, Exodus was released six months after the attempt on his life and was recorded in London where he forced to hole up after getting out of Jamaica. It found him extending his musical palette (the deep martial beat of the title track, the poppy Three Little Birds which was “the most charming and stupidest... > Read more

Dodson and Fogg: Follow The Path (wisdomtwins)

29 May 2017  |  <1 min read

In which Elsewhere once again hopes to draw your attention to the very prolific Dodson and Fogg – aka Chris Wade – from Leeds (music, books, artwork, articles, film, see here!) whose releases come wrapped in interesting cover art by his wife Linzi Napier. They are quite the cottage industry . . . and very industrious. On this collection Wade plays everything himself and as... > Read more

Leave (Feel the Wind Blow)

Los Straitjackets: What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love and Los Straitjackets (YepRoc/Southbound)

29 May 2017  |  <1 min read

This classy American instrument outfit from Nashville – who have done three tours with the great Nick Lowe – here undertake 13 songs from his extensive catalogue to offer moody soundtrack-like treatments of ballads (You Inspire, I Read a Lot), Shadows-styled covers (All Men Are Liars, the title track), nods to Ventures and surf instrumentals (I Live on a Battlefield, Heart of... > Read more

You Inspire Me

!!!: Shake the Shudder (Warp)

24 May 2017  |  <1 min read

Cali-founded band !!! (aka Chk Chk Chk) – now in their natural home of New York's dance clubs – are not so retro in their disco/funk crossover that they are a signpost to the future. They are just enjoyably channeling the tropes of black and gay clubs in the Seventies and here – with a revolving door of female singers assisting – provide mirrorball movers which... > Read more

Dancing is the Best Revenge