The Map Room: Weatherless (themaproomband.com/Aeroplane)

 |   |  1 min read

Here Right Now
The Map Room: Weatherless (themaproomband.com/Aeroplane)

Elsewhere embraced the debut All You'll Ever Find by the Map Room – Brendon Morrow and Simon Gooding – two years ago for being that rare thing in New Zealand's musical landscape: adult and crafted songs which were intelligent, memorable and floated past on keen-eared pop structures and acoustic guitars.

In our world of indie.alt.quirky bands trying to find their point of difference, the Map Room found theirs by being almost unfashionable.

No surprise then that their music played well at RadioNZ National. Their was an older audience, and unashamedly so.

This time out they have shifted their ground but also stayed the same: the shift comes in the embrace of synths, electronic beats and samples (fitting, as both are studio engineers/producers) but what remains intact is their pop sensibility here given engaging breadth by drummer Andrew Keegan and bassist Jared Kahl.

So here are songs which stick on a first hearing, have a breezy and optimistic sensitivity, and broadcast on an AOR wavelength. On the hypnotic Show with a glistening guitar part they sing “I just can't wait to get home tonight, settle down and clear my mind . . .”

This is domesticated pop – a more ambitious and classy iteration of yacht rock at a pinch – by people who know exactly what they are doing.

At times during these airy, cleanly presented and crisply arranged songs (check the understated Knew From the Start) you might wish for a little more sinew – like the guitar solos on I Don't Mind and Any Other – to add depth and texture.

But tasteful, intelligent, refined and appealing songs – often with their blue-eyed soul in the Eighties -- are the Map Room's forte, and they again deliver that.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Gram Parsons: Warm Evenings, Pale Mornings, Bottled Blues (Raven)

Gram Parsons: Warm Evenings, Pale Mornings, Bottled Blues (Raven)

As Australian compiler Glenn A. Baker notes in the essay accompanying this excellent 21-track, 75-minute collection, country-rock visionary Parsons was never embraced by country audiences back... > Read more

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts: Greatest Hits (Blackheart)

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts: Greatest Hits (Blackheart)

If you quickly read the cover sticker on this belatedly released, 2010, 21-song double disc you'd be hooked,as you might think it pulls in eight songs by the Runaways (Jett's former band) alongside... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

KAL: Romology; Rock'n'Roma (Arc Music)

KAL: Romology; Rock'n'Roma (Arc Music)

Although this group from Belgrade led by singer-songwriter Dragan Ristic have been a very popular and energetic live act, and previous albums have topped world music charts, to casual... > Read more

BOB MARLEY'S INFLUENCE ON MUSIC AND CULTURE IN AOTEAROA (2016): A panel discussion with Tigi Ness, Leonie Hayden and Graham Reid

BOB MARLEY'S INFLUENCE ON MUSIC AND CULTURE IN AOTEAROA (2016): A panel discussion with Tigi Ness, Leonie Hayden and Graham Reid

It was my pleasure to take part in this panel discussion -- hosted by Duncan Greive -- about the importance and impact of Bob Marley in New Zealand popular music and culture. This was the... > Read more