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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Toiling Midgets: Sea of Tranquility (Green Monkey/digital outlets)

14 Oct 2019  |  1 min read

It has been about 15 years since we sat on the back deck of the Seattle home of musician Jeff Kelly and his artist wife Susanne. But we've never forgotten their hospitality . . . and the regular albums by Kelly and/or his band Green Pajamas (new or reissues) from the local label Green Monkey have just kept arriving. Green Monkey is the project of Tom Dyer and we are happily... > Read more

Beth Hart: War in My Mind (Provogue/digital outlets)

12 Oct 2019  |  1 min read

 Let it be said clearly: the 2015 Powerstation concert by American soul-blues singer Beth Hart was one of the most enjoyable, gripping, cathartic, vocally impressive and sometimes very funny and heartfelt shows that Elsewhere has seen in the past five years. Hart – coming off the back of her exceptional and personal Better Than Home album – sang with the raw... > Read more

Kim Gordon: No Home Record (Matador/digital outlets)

12 Oct 2019  |  1 min read

Points go on the board immediately for Kim Gordon with this debut under her own name after the collapse of Sonic Youth. This starts with a broody, discordant clash of sonics and electro-crunch on Sketch Artist as she menaces close to the mic for an unsettling, industrial mood-setter beamed in from Eraserhead or some collapsing, future technology. When she follows that with what sounds... > Read more

Air BnB

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some international releases

9 Oct 2019  |  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. .    Refuge: Haven to Heavy Soul Anyone looking for a fix of classic Seventies-framed rock... > Read more

Mousey: Lemon Law (digital outlets)

7 Oct 2019  |  1 min read

This assured debut by the young New Zealand singer-songwriter Mousey – Sarena Close to her family – from Christchurch comes straight out of the indie-pop genre. But it also manages to deliver up some serious handclap jangle-pop (With No You with a guitar solo, the bright shine of Extreme Highs which was on the longlist of finalists for the recent APRA Silver Scroll), some sultry... > Read more

Danny McCrum: Hustle Bustle (digital outlets/www.dannymccrum.com)

27 Sep 2019  |  1 min read

Over three previous albums since 2007, Auckland singer-songwriter and guitarist Danny McCrum has created an impressively well-crafted body of sharp pop-rock . . . which, as we are a bit tired of pointing out, has largely gone past most people. That despite having supported the likes of Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck among others, and getting a few tracks on radio.  If you care for a... > Read more

Rescue

Aly Cook: Caught in the Middle (SBD, Southbound/digital outlets)

27 Sep 2019  |  1 min read

Once again the gifted and independent singer-songwriter Aly Cook has crowd-funded herself into a new album – this her third – which charts a confident course through polished country, earthy Celtic-influenced melodies (The Garden Swing), rootsy acoustic ballads, anthemic feminist affirmation (We Hold Up Half the Sky), poetic stories of heartland people and lives . . . ... > Read more

Giant Sand: Recounting the Ballads of The Thin Line Men (Fire/Southbound)

25 Sep 2019  |  <1 min read

Many artists talk about how they'd like to revisit and re-record parts of their catalogue, but few have done it as assiduously as Howe Gelb, the mainman of Giant Sand. In the past decade he has gone back and re-hit, revisited and sometimes reinvented albums from their early catalogue. For this one he goes back to their '86 album Ballad of Thin Line Man where the songs owed a bit to... > Read more

Body of Water (2019)

Jay Som: Anak Ko (Polyvinyl/Rhythmethod/digital outlets)

23 Sep 2019  |  1 min read

A glance at the photos of some musicians in the gatefold sleeve of the vinyl edition of this third album by Jay Som alerts you to the idea that “she may not be from around here”. At a guess you'd say she was from the Philippines and her actual name being Melina Duterte would confirm that. In fact she is of a Filipino family but born in California and parlays... > Read more

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Straitjacket Fits: Melt (Flying Nun, vinyl and CD)

23 Sep 2019  |  1 min read

Wrapped in a striking cover (by the group's drummer/artist John Collie at a guess, my original copy has no notes), Melt was Straitjacket Fits' second album and the last with Andrew Brough who contributed the terrific, dreamy pop of the melodic Down in Splendour. Record company people and fans at the time rightly thought that could have been their breakthrough single in the US. It was... > Read more

Sulfate: Sulfate (Prison Tapes/digital outlets)

22 Sep 2019  |  1 min read

Sulfate is keyboard player Peter Ruddell of Auckland's famous “guitarless guitar band” Wax Chattels, a trio which delivers a sometimes melodic and often exciting noise live – and although that wasn't quite captured on their self-titled 2018 album it certainly pushed the envelope and was rightly shortlisted for the Taite Music Prize this year. If Wax Chattels can be loud,... > Read more

Paolo Russo: Imaginary Soundtrack (Odradek)

21 Sep 2019  |  <1 min read

In a world awash with ambient music styled for as-yet-unmade movies, atmospherically evocative and cinematic sounds not to mention bona fide film scores, the title here seems a bit unimaginative if not cliched. However this classically trained Italian composer, pianist and multi-instrumentalist (bandoneon, recorders, contrabassoon) has something larger but more specific in mind... > Read more

Volapyk/Mumbo Jumbo

Efterklang: Altid Sammen (4AD/Rhythmethod/digital outlets)

21 Sep 2019  |  1 min read

As with so many Scandinavian art music/rock bands, the Danes behind Efterklang bring some considerable influences from classical music (contemporary and traditional) to what they do. So baroque-pop and chamber music inclinations sit alongside intimate ambience, the broad scope of soundtracks, a symphonic grandeur and work with choirs or orchestral instruments (if not the... > Read more

Supertanker

Oh Sees: Face Stabber (Castle Face/digital outlets)

16 Sep 2019  |  <1 min read

You have to be dedicated or aurally nimble to keep up with California's Oh Sees who have explored post-punk, garageband rock, psychedelics, prog, jazz-rock, art noise and so much more across more than 20 albums (many under variants of their Thee Oh Sees imprimatur) since that late Nineties. And done it through a merry-go-round of members with singer-guitarist John Dwyer as the sole constant... > Read more

L'Epee: Diabolique (A Recordings/Southbound)

16 Sep 2019  |  <1 min read

L'Epee is something of a psychedelic/drone/shoegaze supergroup. The small print of brianjonestownmassacre.com perhaps alerts you to the presence of mainman Anton Newcombe . . . but here too are Lionel and Marie Liminana of the Liminanas, and actress/model/singer Emmanuelle Seigner (Ultra Orange and Emmanuelle, and fiftysomething Mrs Roman Polanski). They combine for 10 songs which brings... > Read more

La Brigade des Malefices

Charli XCX: Charli (digital outlets)

16 Sep 2019  |  1 min read

It seems a quaint old time when artists had to perform on others' albums under pseudonyms or anonymously. Now just about every pop and r'n'b album is a celebrity collision and – ironically under just her own name – here singer-songwriter, multiple award winner and nominee, Charli XCX (Charlotte Aitchison from Essex) is a collaborator nonpareil. Across these 15 songs in 50... > Read more

Cosmo and the Cosmonaut: Ultra Mega (Monkey)

13 Sep 2019  |  1 min read

It's not often Elsewhere gets a letter in crayon (see below) from an artist to accompany their CD and promo sheet. Then again, the author was an eight year old (Cosmo) and his expat Kiwi dad (NIgel Braddock aka the Cosmonaut) wrote the press release and laid down the elemental electrobeats for the 10 songs behind the little guy's raps about climate change (The World is Burning), favourite... > Read more

I Like Water

Mermaidens: Look Me in the Eye (Mermaidens/Flying Nun)

6 Sep 2019  |  1 min read

This Wellington band's previous album Perfect Body in 2017 was a canny blend of vibrant and melodic indie-rock, shiny but fuzzed-up pop and some dreamy vocals by Gussie Larkin and Lily West over the chiming, ambient guitars. This, their third album, pushes the envelope just that little bit further on cleverly constructed songs such as She's Running which comes with a layering of synths,... > Read more

She's Running

ONE WE MISSED: Misled Convoy: Sixteen Sunsets (digital outlets)

4 Sep 2019  |  1 min read

With a new Pitch Black album on it way, Elsewhere was in touch with Mike Hodgson – one half of that innovative New Zealand electronica duo with Paddy Free – and he mentioned an earlier album of his. It turned up recently (under the name Misled Convoy) and although released in November last year we bring it to attention here because it is a typically classy, engaging and layered... > Read more

Poles Apart

Katie Thompson: Bittersweet (Quirky)

2 Sep 2019  |  1 min read

It's been a while since we've heard the aching soul-folk and chiming country-rock of Katie Thompson, not since 2011's impressive Impossible in fact. And like that album, this seems to have been crowdfunded (with some well known musicians in the list) which confirms she is a self-starter with a wide and deep support base. As she deserves. Co-produced with Ben Edwards in his homely... > Read more

West Coast