Various Artists: She Sings And Plays (Jayrem)

 |   |  1 min read

Turiiya: Thread of Gold
Various Artists: She Sings And Plays (Jayrem)

This 20-track collection of women artists on the Jayrem label -- a loosely chronological run from Naked Spots Dance in '83 to Donna Muir of last year -- is released as one of package of seven albums to coincide with the 35th anniversary of this interesting and diverse New Zealand indie label.

It is not just a useful retrospective but also allows us to hear the synth-heavy post-punk Eighties again (NSDance, Putty In Her Hands, Freudian Slips) when it was hooked to feminist perspectives of the time ("go play battleships, go blow your self to bits" by the FSlips on the funk-stacatto Don't Look Up), singers who would go on to higher profiles (Jan Hellriegel in Cassandra's Ears, the ethereal Jyoshna Latrobe in Turiiya) as well as some of the poets Jayrem gave voice to (Jenny Bornholdt, Michele Leggot).

Here too are the late Mahinarangi Tocker (When I Grow Up from her Hei Ha! album of 2002), Shona Laing (My Love Be Still) and When the Cat's Been Spayed (and the Cat's Charlotte Yates under her own name on Red Letter from the '90 album Queen Charlotte Sounds)

Jan Preston's Tango is a short piano piece (you will want to here more), and there will doubtless be names which may well have gone right past many.

Jane Devine is impressive on the APRA-nominated Killing Time which has a disconcertingly European feel (her life was cut short wthin weeks of the release of her Out of View album). Equally interesting is the Maori funk of Tuahine (Erana and Tiekewhare Hemmingsen and others, including what became Wai on backing vocals).

And there is Jordan Reyne's Karlsruhe from her Passenger album which was one of Rip It Up's 10 best albums of 2004, saw her a finalist in the best female artist category at the New Zealand Music Awards and was, according to cover notes here, described by me as "music and lyrics of dislocation . . . extraordinary". And it still is. Passenger is an excellent album.

And there is more here.

As an overview of Jayrem's women artists this is a fine indication of the diversity of talent -- from pop to poetry, from Reyne in Germany to Big Belly Woman in Ruatoki -- the label gave a home to.

And should send you searching for some of the original albums.

Like the sound of this? Check out Jayrem's story here.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Robert Scott: Ends Run Together (Flying Nun)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Robert Scott: Ends Run Together (Flying Nun)

The last time Robert Scott (of the Clean, the Bats and Magick Heads) appeared at Elsewhere it was for the cupboard cleanout of tapes which made up the lo-fi Tascam Hits. This collection of... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2015; THE EDITOR'S CHOICES

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2015; THE EDITOR'S CHOICES

As always, our selection of the Best of Elsewhere begins with qualifications: We didn't hear everything released this year (Didn't even try. Would you?) and so missed some which will be on... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Tim Guy

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Tim Guy

Singer-songwriter Tim Guy returned to New Zealand from Australia a few years ago and in that time has released three fine albums, the most recent being Big World. He has toured New Zealand... > Read more

BOB MARLEY FOR BEGINNERS (2012): Bob's business is big business

BOB MARLEY FOR BEGINNERS (2012): Bob's business is big business

With the DVD release of the doco Marley by Kevin MacDonald, interest is again ignited in this musical, political and religious figure who is often lazily billed as "the first Third World... > Read more