Music at Elsewhere

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RECOMMENDED RECORD: The Phoenix Foundation: Friend Ship (Universal/digital outlets)

19 Oct 2020  |  2 min read

From time to time Elsewhere will single out a recent release we recommend on vinyl, like this one . . . .   “Five years have past; five summers with the length of five long winters! And again I hear” . . . the beguiling and welcome sound of Phoenix Foundation with their soft murmur. In the five years since GUYD (Give Up Your Dreams), the various members of this... > Read more

Various Artists: The Land of Sensations and Delights (White Whale/Southbound)

19 Oct 2020  |  2 min read

Although some people didn't get it, the Turtles hit Elenore in '68 was pisstake. Pushed by their record company to replicate the success of Happy Together, the band simply rewrote it with inane lyrics like “Elenore, gee, I think you're swell, you really do me well. You're my pride and joy, et cetera . . .”. It appeared on their album The Turtles Present the Battle of the... > Read more

Josephine Foster: No Harm Done (Fire/digital outlets)

19 Oct 2020  |  1 min read

To paraphrase the old joke about Yoko Ono: “Josephine Foster has a voice that comes once in a lifetime. Unfortunately it came in ours.” Now that is cruel and unfair, but the fact is American singer-songwriter Foster's wobbly and warbling voice – which we have written about previously – is going to be a bridge too far for most. The old-time country settings... > Read more

Neon Quaver: Human Time Ocean Spirit (neonquaver)

18 Oct 2020  |  2 min read

In the Eighties, the Cotton Cub in Auckland run by the late Pat Shaw – usually at the now long-gone Mandalay in Newmarket – was a place for unexpected jazz concerts. Shaw would bring through old bluesmen like Sammy Price and Alton Purnell, the jazz-fusion Sanguma from Papua New Guinea, Ellis Marsalis from New Orleans (father to Wynton and Branford) and many more. Lots of local... > Read more

Julie Lamb Outfit: How Humans Think ( outlets)

12 Oct 2020  |  1 min read

As with her 2017 album Ordinary Days under her own name, we again acknowledge Wellingtonian Julie Lamb and the time, effort and artistic presentation of this plain-looking CD which -- when opened out as a quad-fold -- has a pocket containing hand-drawn cards for the lyrics of each of the eight songs, liner note credits and a pop-up cut-out which you should discover for yourself (all by artist... > Read more

Tobin Sprout: Empty Horses (Fire/Southbound/digital outlets)

11 Oct 2020  |  <1 min read

Photo-realist painter Tobin Sprout is perhaps best known for being a key member of Ohio's Guided by Voices alongside Robert Pollard but also ran a solo music career, especially after he left the band for more than a decade in the late Nineties and even when the group re-formed. Now in his mid-60s, his weary voice suits his chosen idiom of lowkey, downbeat Americana and his painterly,... > Read more

Dead Famous People: “Harry” (Fire Records/Southbound/digital outlets)

9 Oct 2020  |  1 min read

Perhaps more spoken about than heard, Donna Savage's band Dead Famous People tapped into a shamelessly enjoyable mainline of power pop in the late Eighties which was as uplifting as it was melodic. But after their emergence and swept up a little by a brief Flying Nun association, they left for London where the Brits – other than John Peel – were largely indifferent to... > Read more


esbe: Saqqara (New Cat/digital outlets)

26 Sep 2020  |  <1 min read

An album for those of the esoteric/world music/Enya/exotic soundscape persuasion. Named for the oldest pyramid in Egypt, Saqqara, this album by London producer/singer and acclaimed acoustic guitaristt esbe here delivers a very seductive collection of ethereal songs within a dreamy, folkadelic atmosphere which often oozes sensuality (Carry Me Away which alludes to Cleopatra and Mark Anthony)... > Read more

RECOMMENDED RECORD: Pitch Black: Electronomicon (Dubmission)

26 Sep 2020  |  1 min read

From time to time Elsewhere will single out a recent release we recommend on vinyl, like this one . . . . Has it really been 20 years since this seminal, electronica album by Paddy Free and Mike Hodgson? Their debut Futureproof in '98 established Pitch Black as a recording act as much as a massive live attraction – it sold 4000 copies and won best electronica album at the... > Read more

Darren Watson: Getting Sober for the End of the World (Lamington Records/digital outlets)

25 Sep 2020  |  2 min read  |  1

As with his previous, excellent Too Many Millionaires two years ago, singer-songwriter and guitarist Darren Watson again steps even further away from his previous incarnations as a fiery electric player and in a series of acoustic-framed songs – recorded at home with a few sympathetic fellow players -- touches some deeper and different places.... > Read more

RECOMMENDED RECORD: Sola Rosa: Chasing the Sun (Kartel/Border/digital outlets)

25 Sep 2020  |  1 min read

From time to time Elsewhere will single out a recent release we recommend on vinyl, like this one . . . .  There's a swag of retro-soul around right now: from Troy Kingi repurposing and sometimes replicating the styles of the late Sixties/early Seventies on his album The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, through the sensitive/falsetto-ache of many young pretenders who never offend on an... > Read more

Bright Eyes: Down in the Weeds Where the World Once Was (Dead Oceans/digital outlets)

19 Sep 2020  |  2 min read

There's a typically quirky opener here, Pageturners Rag, and you need to be patient. It takes a while to kick in, there's an announcement in Spanish and an audience talking through the woozy, Thirties piano music and then some woman taking about plants . . . So initially it seems that Conor Oberst and friends are out to provide something of an amusement and an enjoyable... > Read more

Riki Gooch/Alistair Fraser: Rangatira (Noa Records/digital outlets)

18 Sep 2020  |  1 min read

It was not that long ago – around the time Shihad first appeared – that traditional Maori instruments (taonga puoro) were barely heard in the mainstream. The work of Richard Nunns, Brian Flintoff and Hirini Melbourne in bringing the instruments out of the museum cases seemed like a kind of ethnomusicology project for many. And although the likes of Ngahiwi Apanui (notably on... > Read more

The Flaming Lips: American Head (Bella Union/digital outlets)

14 Sep 2020  |  2 min read

Longtime fans of Oklahoma's Flaming Lips – the pivotal figure being the delightfully humorous but here deadly serious Wayne Coyne -- know how frustrating they can be. Elsewhere goes as far back as Transmissions from the Satellite Heart ('93) and even before that courtesy of the '98 triple CD compilation Finally the Punk Rockers Are Taking Acid 1983-1988. But their digressions... > Read more

Emily Barker: A Dark Murmuration of Words (Thirty Tigers/digital outlets)

12 Sep 2020  |  1 min read

Those who were engrossed by the British version of the television series Wallander (guilty!) about a Swedish detective played by Kenneth Branagh – and many Swedes I've met preferred it to the local original – might recognise the name of this Australian singer-songwriter. She wrote the haunting theme music for that BBC series, which alone might be recommendation enough for this... > Read more

Throwing Muses: Sun Racket (Fire/digital outlets)

7 Sep 2020  |  1 min read

It's idle but interesting to speculate on how this 10thalbum by the decades-long Throwing Muses would be received if it was the debut by some hitherto unknown group. Those who have followed the career of key Muse Kristin Hersh have long been used to her often dark, brooding and sometimes explosive songs. But newcomers may be suitably enchanted by the pure spirit... > Read more

Dan Penn: Living on Mercy (Last Music/digital outlets)

7 Sep 2020  |  1 min read

At 78, Dan Penn doesn't have to prove anything to anyone: after all he's the guy who wrote (or co-wrote) such Southern soul classics as Dark End of the Street, The Letter, Do Right Woman Do Right Man, I'm Your Puppet, Cry Like a Baby, It Tears Me Up . . . An inspirational writer who drills deep into the human condition and hurt, he also obviously doesn't feel the... > Read more

The Lemon Twigs: Songs for the General Public (4AD/digital outlets)

31 Aug 2020  |  1 min read

The debut album Do Hollywood by New York brothers Michael and Brian D'Addario created a buzz in hip circles but in truth it was an uneven affair. And as we noted at the time it was a lot of parts and never the sum of them. We let their follow-up Go to School – a concept album – go right past us but felt it was time to check in with them again because they certainly had a little... > Read more

Another Sky: I Slept on the Floor (Fiction/digital outlets)

30 Aug 2020  |  1 min read

There's no reason why, at the furthest point away from them on the planet, we should know of this London-based group which caused quite a ripple with live and television performances which had UK reviewers raving about the voice of front-woman Catrin Vincent. And her powerful, sweeping vocals which can soar with Anohni or swoop down into a strident rock delivery when the band kick in with a... > Read more

The Wild Kindness: Faulty (Orchard/digital outlets)

30 Aug 2020  |  1 min read

During the first Covid closure in New Zealand we here at Elsewhere were bombarded by bands and artists who had recorded their lockdown single, EP or album and were anxious to get attention for it. That it coincided with New Zealand Music Month simply meant that literally more than a score of music releases would arrive ever week, some recorded beforehand and others just banged off in... > Read more