Music at Elsewhere

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Francisca Griffin: The Spaces Between (Coco Muse/digital outlets)

30 Jan 2019  |  1 min read  |  1

In an engagingly monochromatic voice which alludes to the dispassionate indifference of Nico or the battered dignity of recent Marianne Faithfull, singer/guitarist Francisca Griffin – formerly of Flying Nun's Look Blue Go Purple then Cyclops – here delivers her poetic alt.pop against backdrops of dark and driving folkadelics (the gripping opener One Eye Open and Martyn with Ro... > Read more

Bones and Lies

The Bevis Frond: We're Your Friends, Man (Fire)

28 Jan 2019  |  1 min read

On the opening track of this album the great helmsman of Britain's the Bevis Frond, Nick Saloman, announces “this is the product of my fevered mind, this is the sound of being left behind, this is a ritual dissection of the soul, I hope that you will enjoy it. This is the twentysomething swinging disc . . . I'm not even sure it's worth a second look”. Pessimistic at all, Mr... > Read more

Old Wive's Tales

Lonnie Holley: MITH (Jagjaguwar)

21 Jan 2019  |  1 min read

For a singer, 68-year old Lonnie Holley is an interesting sculptor. And while this album – only his third I believe, his first for Jagjaguwar – is not without interest (and it's black politics part of an important lineage) it is his backstory which is worth hearing first. About 35 years ago he began creating sculpture out of found objects then moved into painting. Known as... > Read more

Copying the Rock

Sharon Van Etten: Remind Me Tomorrow (Jagjaguwar)

21 Jan 2019  |  1 min read

The most interesting singer-writers are those who grow and take their audience on the journey, whether it be down to their personal depths or their new-found happiness. Of course, not all artists can effectively convey their developing persona – see the recent Deerhunter – but when the best pull it off (PJ Harvey and Jeff Tweedy spring to mind) they can be welcome fellow... > Read more

Comeback Kid

Maggie Rogers: Heard It In a Past Life (Capitol/Universal)

20 Jan 2019  |  1 min read

A friend recently bemoaned that young pop stars can make it on the basis of just one single that goes viral. They haven't paid their dues . . . and so on. He then cited by way of example Maggie Rogers whose recent single Light On he'd heard. Big mistake, given this bright poppy (if flawed) major label debut album which includes that catchy single and collates a number of reworkings... > Read more

Say It

Deerhunter: Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared? (4AD)

19 Jan 2019  |  1 min read

America's Deerhunter – and the offshoot of projects as Atlas Sound by the band's helmsman Bradford Cox – has long been an Elsewhere favourite, in fact two of the four previous albums we reviewed – this being their eighth – were in our end of year Best of lists. Those albums might have had a few shadows but mostly they were smart and frequently upbeat alt.rock which... > Read more

Plains

Steve Gunn: The Unseen in Between (Matador)

18 Jan 2019  |  1 min read

If there is to be a neo-psychedelic folk-rock revival – and round here we hope so – then it could hardly be in better hands than those of singer-guitarist Steve Gunn. He served just enough time in Kurt Vile's band the Violators to be a name known to a young and hip rock audience but has also traveled interesting paths through Anglofolk (most writers mention John Martyn, Bert... > Read more

Luciano

Paper Cranes: Voices (digital outlets)

14 Jan 2019  |  1 min read

This second album by the New Zealand duo of Fraser and Naomi Brown (and fellow travelers) builds on the excellence of their debut The Road Home, sometimes with pleasing digressions into territory once occupied by the emerging Fleet Foxes but here with a quieter, front-parlour elegance (the piano ballad Follow). These are beautifully crafted and arranged songs – from hushed intimacy... > Read more

ONE WE MISSED: Blair Parkes and Cardigan Bay: Little Rapids (bandcamp)

14 Jan 2019  |  1 min read

Christchurch musician/artist Blair Parkes has appeared previously at Elsewhere but this album arrived in November just as Elsewhere was mopping up paying work and folding its tents for a while so . . . Parkes is a remarkable character, not the least for writing this life-affirming piece at the very end of last year about previously being diagnosed with cancer, love and life when living with... > Read more

Active Listener

Larkin Poe: Venom and Faith (Tricki-Woo/Southbound)

14 Jan 2019  |  <1 min read  |  1

Although this band fronted by Atlanta-born and Nashville-based sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell are most frequently referred to as blues there is as much raw soul and edgy alt.rock on this fourth album which is frequently freighted with dark meanings (the menacing “ride at your own risk” on the chunky Bleach Blonde Bottle Blues, references to inviting the President to get in the... > Read more

Ain't Gonna Cry

Kikagaku Moyo: Masana Temples (Guruguru Brain/Southbound)

14 Jan 2019  |  <1 min read

Self-described “psychedelic” rock from Japan recorded in Lisbon by a jazz musician (Bruno Pernadas) and which opens with a sitar piece? Then gets into a bit of funk? And why not, we say. Umm, here's why not. This five-piece from Tokyo on their fourth album hardly push the envelope in terms of serious wig-out or even into new areas but rather meld together some very... > Read more

Majupose

The Bleeding Allstars: Uneasy Listening (Thokei Tapes/bandcamp)

4 Jan 2019  |  1 min read

When the former members of Sneaky Feelings – one of the finest and musically most durable of the first wave of Flying Nun – found themselves in close proximity after many decades they reformed and delivered the damn fine Progress Junction. The Sneakies major weapon was having a number of songwriters in their ranks and here one of them, David Pine, steps out under a band... > Read more

Oh It's Been Forever

Bruce Springsteen: Springsteen on Broadway (Sony)

29 Dec 2018  |  1 min read  |  2

When Bruce Springsteen took up residency at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York for a year of his autobiographical one-man spoken word and song shows, there was unanimous acclaim for it. He told a selected version of his life through anecdotes and acoustic reworkings of some of his classic songs over more than two hours. Night after night. He'd avoided the Elvis'n'Elton etc route to... > Read more

Dancing in the Dark (spoken word intro)

My Baby: Mounaiki – By the Bright of Night (Prehistoric/Rhythmethod)

19 Dec 2018  |  1 min read

Although this trio of Dutch-Kiwi connections play at Womad next year (as they should on the back of their meltdown of world music, blues and jazzy trip-hop), the intimate nature of this album suggests they might be better seen in a smaller environment. And happily enough they are undertaking an extensive tour starting soon (see dates below) which should take care of that. This more... > Read more

Shadow Dancer

Tempist Fujit: Time Flies (digital outlets)

17 Dec 2018  |  <1 min read

First let it be said that yes, their name is a deliberate play on “tempus fugit” (time flies, in Latin). And second that there seem to be two bands working under that moniker on this 12 song debut album by the Northland quartet. The first half are solid originals grounded in Bon Jovi and US stadium rock (and they acquit themselves well on the wall-shakers and ballads) then in... > Read more

Midnight Train

The Late Pages: Yellow and Grey (Ellamy)

10 Dec 2018  |  1 min read

Recorded by Louis Bernstone at his Ellamy Studios in Auckland (as was the recent Flaming Mudcats album) this searing album of 11 powerful power-pop, alt.rock and dynamic ballads all come from the pen of singer, guitarist and producer Andy Smith who formed the Late Pages seven years ago and has seen off an EP before this. So you get the sense there are, if not road miles then at least some... > Read more

Come and Go

DOG Power: DOG Power (Flying Nun)

10 Dec 2018  |  1 min read

No musician should ever be judged by their audience (although those Norwegian black metal bands did seem to attract “the wrong crowd” . . . for a reason, the bad fknbastards). And nor should musicians be held to press release or claims made in their PR. But you can't help but be diverted by the blurb sticker on the front of the vinyl release for this Christchurch-founded,... > Read more

King

Big Brother and the Holding Company: Sex, Dope and Cheap Thrills (Sony)

6 Dec 2018  |  3 min read

Aside from the great Beth Hart – who played her in a theatre production – few women singers today have any of the grit, depth and soul-scouring style of Janis Joplin. And even fewer seem to aspire to that kind of rawness. Joplin's influence isn't evident in many corners of rock these days – heaven forbid but Jewel seems more influential – and you do wonder if it was... > Read more

I Need a Man to Love (take three)

Mel Parsons: Glass Heart (Cape Road/Border)

3 Dec 2018  |  2 min read

Singer-songwriter Mel Parsons has been written up and interviewed a number of times at Elsewhere but not for an album like this which is quite some leap into new and rewarding territory for her. And there are a number of related factors which account for that: the shift from her more folk style into darker country-rock and deeply personal – sometimes emotional open-heart surgery --... > Read more

Breaking

Flea BITE: Bite Me (Border)

3 Dec 2018  |  <1 min read

And now something for our younger listeners. Or at least their parents or caregivers. Robin Nathan (aka Flea BITE) out of Wellington has been making children's music which has adult appeal for its musical and often lyrical cleverness. With Plan 9 (Janet Roddick, Stephen Roche and David Donaldson), Jeff Henderson and others this is a collection designed to amuse the young ones and... > Read more

Virus