Music at Elsewhere

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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

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

25 Sep 2020  |  1 min read

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 innocuous Spotify playlist (but don't make a distinctive impression). And now the long-running Sola Rosa (Andrew... > 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

Baauer: Planet's Mad (LuckyMe/digital outlets)

23 Aug 2020  |  1 min read

Well, this London-based producer and big-beat DJ gets things right with the title of his second album at least. But much as this might benefit from being played loud for the thumping beats to get their full spine-rattling effect and the rhythms which will haul the interpretive dancers to the floor – the shapeshifting nature of these 12 pieces means you can't simply lock yourself into... > Read more

Exotic Sin: Customer's Copy (Blank Forms/digital outlets)

21 Aug 2020  |  1 min read

Although we respect the idea of pedigree when it comes to racehorses and dogs, it's often harder to make the case for the offspring of great musicians. But this London-based electronica duo of Naima Karlsson and Kenichi Iwasa would suggest synth/keyboard player Karlsson has certainly inherited some interesting musical sensibilities from her grandfather Don Cherry, her mother Neneh and her... > Read more

Stefan Wolf: Stiff Herbert (digital outlets)

19 Aug 2020  |  2 min read

And suddenly despite being elsewhere (in China as we shall see), former Paekakariki resident Stefan Wolf is kind of “everywhere”. Rather than review this typically idiosyncratic but attractive alt.pop-rock album by Wolf – who had an Eighties song on the excellent, recent Kiwi Animals collection, as Stiff Herbert – we thought we'd just reproduce the accompanying... > Read more

Si Si Es: Dos (bandcamp)

17 Aug 2020  |  1 min read

Si Si Es (the former members of the Eighties synth-rock band Car Crash Set under this new moniker) appeared at Elsewhere late last year with the bandcamp release of two pieces, Ode to Holger and Spaced, which found considerable favour round this way. Check those instrumentals out here which is where you also find this new release of four tracks. They are the clanking-into-life,... > Read more

Coreyah: Clap and Applause (digital outlets)

16 Aug 2020  |  1 min read

Having visited Korea a number of times (and interviewing the remarkable master musician Byungki Hwang there), Elsewhere has always had a keen interest in Korea folk, rock and their hip-hop artists who are among the fastest rappers on the plane. Billed enticingly as “psychedelic folk”, Coreyah were therefore bound to have some considerable appeal. Using traditional... > Read more

Milly Tabak and the Miltones: Honest Woman (digital outlets)

10 Aug 2020  |  1 min read  |  1

When singer/songwriter of the Miltones, Milly Tabak, said recently they sound more sensual live and that would come through on this new album, she wasn't kidding. There were steamy moments on their self-titled debut, notably on the brooding almost swampy Glory. But this one announces itself with opener Cognac (on Spotify, the title track comes first on record apparently) which –... > Read more

Gary Harvey: Outlaw (Wilde Records/digital outlets)

9 Aug 2020  |  1 min read

Guitar slinger Gary Harvey has been around since giants walked the earth, playing blues-rock in clubs and bars from North Auckland to North America, serving up blistering solos or ballads. Harvey has been doing this for so long he's doubtless taken for granted by many and certainly some might finds his genuine infatuation with Native Americans and the Old West (and new west of the Austin... > Read more

The Cakekitchen: Trouble Again in this Town (Ally/digital outlets)

7 Aug 2020  |  2 min read

Because it would take far too long to fill in just part of the fascinating career of Cakekitchen's mainman Graeme Jefferies, let us simply default to a recent biography at audioculture and you can follow his peripatetic life which has seen him back in New Zealand in recent years. His vehicle the Cakekitchen has a long, illustrious and internationally appreciated back-catalogue but... > Read more

Rei: Hoea (Kog/digital outlets)

3 Aug 2020  |  <1 min read

Rei is one of the most interesting and successful local artists who has successfully bridged r'n'b, pop and hip-hop as well as effortlessly using te reo as a vehicle, as he does on this album which is replete with strong songs and messages of positivity, self-determination and some amusingly explicit or metaphorical sexual imagery: “No matter how long I'm gone for, when I'm back it's on... > Read more