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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Neil Finn: Out of Silence (EMI)

18 Sep 2017  |  3 min read

Even if you don't much care for Neil Finn's music – and there might be one or two who don't – you can't help but admire how he has successfully negotiated (at perilously close to 60) the troubled waters of becoming a senior statesman in a pop-rock culture which has the Youth Audience as its default position. Finn has constantly pushed himself into subtle new directions... > Read more

Terrorise Me

The National: Sleep Well Beast (4AD)

14 Sep 2017  |  1 min read

On the fashionable foreshore in Copenhagen at a prime spot just around the corner from the busy Nyhavn tourist-magnet area is a cluster of up-market restaurants and bars in a beautiful building with views across the water. Among them is the Michelin-starred pair of Almanak and Studio. We mention this because they are co-owned by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National, a band... > Read more

Day I Die

Neil Young: Hitchhiker (Warners)

13 Sep 2017  |  1 min read

In a recent issue of Uncut, a diligent writer Tyler Wilcox looked at the “Lost Albums of Neil Young” and pieced together the track listings for nine albums Young recorded but never released, although most of the songs in one form or other turned up on other albums. One of the unreleased albums was entitled Hitchhiker, a 10-song solo collection recorded in a single session... > Read more

Give Me Strength

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

11 Sep 2017  |  3 min read

Facing down an avalanche of releases, requests for coverage, the occasional demand that we be interested in their new album (sometimes with that absurd comment "but don't write about it if you don't like it") and so on, Elsewhere will every now and again do a quick sweep like this, in the same way it does IN BRIEF about international releases and Yasmin Brown does for EPs.... > Read more

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

11 Sep 2017  |  3 min read

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column picks up New Zealand artists and Yasmin does with EPs. Comments will be brief. .   Graham Reynolds: A Scanner Darkly (Fire/Southbound) Elsewhere has frequently referenced Miklos... > Read more

ONE WE MISSED: Grayson Gilmore; Otherness (Flying Nun)

11 Sep 2017  |  <1 min read

Although there never was anything such as generic “Flying Nun”, Grayson Gilmore has always seemed quite far from the centre of the label's usual releases. At times – and especially here – you feel he is more akin to an art music composer who is bringing electronica into his orbit. This appropriately entitled 10-song collection rides on washes of synths,... > Read more

Be a Beacon

Queens of the Stone Age: Villains (Matador)

4 Sep 2017  |  <1 min read  |  1

While it easy to point out the obvious on this album – the skull-pounding riffery which is a QOTSA signature (notably on the closing overs of the pounding Evil Has Landed) and the involvement of producer Mark Ronson to add a twist – there are other and slightly unexpected elements which emerge: the subtle Bowie-as-heroic-political-balladeer influence in Josh Homme's vocals... > Read more

The Black Seeds: Fabric (Black Seeds)

4 Sep 2017  |  1 min read

In our overseas absence the Black Seeds got the media vibe going in anticipation of this new album, which of course went past us. But did we really miss the excitement? On the evidence of the album/artifact, not really. As much as the Black Seeds have often delivered some of our favourite local albums (and been a thoroughly engaging live act), this first studio release in five... > Read more

Ride On

Charlotte Yates: Then the Stars Start Singing (

4 Sep 2017  |  1 min read

Many musicians must be plagued with self-doubt when putting their music into the world, but spare a sympathetic thought for Charlotte Yates because for many years she was offering songwriting advice in the pages of NZ Musician magazine (now online here). So you could imagine her trepidation at being judged on the release of this album, but Yates – who was also prime mover behind... > Read more

Where Have You Gone

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 (

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

Public Service Broadcasting: Every Valley (PIAS)

7 Aug 2017  |  2 min read  |  1

The two previous albums by Britain's boffinish PSB – Inform-Educate- Entertain and The Race for Space – had an audience outreach in their sampled themes: voices from the past evoking speed, progress, science, energy and vigour propelling us into the future . . . Couple those themes with energetic music borne out of techno, rock, pop and dance, and the albums were very hard... > Read more

People Will Always Need Coal

This is the Kit: Moonshine Freeze (Rough Trade)

7 Aug 2017  |  1 min read

The previous album Bashed Out by the acclaimed UK alt.folk singer/writer and banjo player Kate Sables (aka This is the Kit) was a frustrating affair. Round my way the cry was always “turn it up” or that she should just punch in a bit harder. However this fourth album (produced by John Parish, with guests who do the punching on electric guitars, cello, saxophones and so on)... > Read more

By My Demon Eye

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


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

Arcade Fire: Everything Now (Sony)

31 Jul 2017  |  <1 min read

Always a band with ambition, this Canadian outfit have previously pushed the parameters and for their previous outing Reflektor went the whole double-CD. As we said at the time, like most double discs it was overlong but you did have to admire their willingness to experiment and, in that instance, throw themselves back into the Eighties. In that regard this more economic and... > Read more

Electric Blue


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 (

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


Benjamin Booker: Witness (Rough Trade)

26 Jun 2017  |  1 min read

This may only be Booker's second album but he has already proven the capacity to surprise, born out o his punk background in Florida coupled with a love for r'n'b', gospel and classic soul. Throw them into the blender – you can almost hear the blades grinding on the throaty opener Right On You which comes at you out of a thumping pulse and the assertive “I'll be damned if... > Read more