Music at Elsewhere

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Vanishing Twin: Ookii Gekkou (Fire/digital outlets)

12 Nov 2021  |  <1 min read

This multi-culti British outfit around Cathy Lucas impressed us with their previous album The Age of Immunology in 2019 (prescient title, huh?) It was lightlydelic simmer of influences from astral lounge, motorik grooves and a bit of Sun Ra space exploration. This time out they get even more nuanced with a tasty suspension of slow-mo Can, the trumpet stylings of the late Jon Hassell,... > Read more

RECOMMENDED RECORD: Flying Lotus: Yasuke (Border/ digital outlets)

10 Nov 2021  |  1 min read

From time to time Elsewhere will single out a recent release we recommend on vinyl, like this one (which comes with a download code). Check out Elsewhere's other Recommended Record picks . . . .  Given what we said about the last Flying Lotus which crossed our path – that the instrumental album of Flamagra was more satisfying than the original version with its heavy... > Read more

Circuit Des Yeux: -io (Matador/digital outlets)

8 Nov 2021  |  1 min read

If we're honest, few albums truly catch us by surprise. As we noted when we wrote about the previous album by Circuit des Yeux (Haley Fohr from Chicago), much of what we hear conforms to familiar musical archetypes. But CdY's Reaching for Indigo certainly had us floundering a little. In a very good way.  She creates a kind of contemporary art music (our reference points... > Read more

George Henderson: Late Romantics (bandcamp)

7 Nov 2021  |  <1 min read

In a beautifully evocative and appropriately Ophelia-referencing cover by photographer Hayley Theyers comes this intimate interpretation by George D Henderson (the Puddle, New Existentialists) of two poems by the Romantics (Byron, Yeats) interpolated with instrumental passages. These poems praise the enchantment of a woman (Byron's She Walks in Beauty) and drink/death as only the Irish can... > Read more

Various Artists: Soul Time, New Zealand Style 1966-1971 (Frenzy)

3 Nov 2021  |  1 min read

Even the PR for this 32-song compilation admits there wasn't much of a dedicated “soul scene” in New Zealand during the years covered. New Zealand musicians certainly covered soul songs, but very inconsistently and perhaps our best interpreters were in the Maori showbands who were mostly off-shore. However the influence of black American soul – on the evidence here,... > Read more

Funky Street, by Leo DeCastro

Hollie Smith: Coming In From the Dark (Soundsmith)

2 Nov 2021  |  1 min read

In an interview Debbie Harwood, one of When the Cat's Away, said, “I know until I drop the last song on my setlist will be [the Cat's huge hit] Melting Pot. No original, solo recording will ever trump that in the public’s eyes”. Such is the curse of the hit single. Hollie Smith no doubt felt the same for a long time about Bathe in the River (written by Don McGlashan)... > Read more

Hand of Glory: 29 II 92 (Thokei tapes/bandcamp)

1 Nov 2021  |  2 min read

The story is so ridiculous it has to be true: this band from Hamilton in the early Nineties released their self-titled debut album and the following year went on tour. Their first show was in Palmerston North and “this was notable only for the small audience consisting of four nuns, and the haste in which the hosts hustled the band out of the venue”. After the tour –... > Read more

RECOMMENDED RECORD: The Bevis Frond: Little Eden (Fire/digital outlets)

1 Nov 2021  |  1 min read  |  1

From time to time Elsewhere will single out a recent release we recommend on vinyl, like this one which is a double album in a gatefold sleeve with lyric booklet and a download code. Check out Elsewhere's other Recommended Record picks . . . .  At this late stage in their (and Elsewhere's) career, there might seem little purpose in trying to draw attention to the Bevis Frond,... > Read more

And Away We Go

Stewart Allan: 9 Rooms (Rattle/digital outlets)

27 Oct 2021  |  <1 min read

Rattle Records – known for its jazz, contemporary classical music, taonga puoro recordings and some very left-field albums like Ferocious – has launched yet another edgy imprint: Seventh House, alongside its reissue of avant-garde music on Echo. So if you thought you could expect the unexpected from Rattle this album might surprise you even further, knowing what we thought knew:... > Read more

Chasing Stars in Paradise

Le Ren: Leftovers (Secretly Canadian/bandcamp)

20 Oct 2021  |  <1 min read

Le Ren is Canadian singer-songwriter Lauren Spear whose elegant but assured vocals sit easily within soft folk-country with an ethereal lightness, even as she addresses loss and damaged love on this debut which cleverly undersells itself with the title. Some have mentioned the late Karen Dalton with regard to her style but she has little of Dalton's resonant power although she possesses a... > Read more

Luke Buda: Buda (bandcamp)

17 Oct 2021  |  2 min read

When some artists go on a journey of self-discovery it can come off as indulgent, especially if the artist in question has just gone through a break-up and spent weeks in the bedroom writing bad poetry then putting the whining or accusatory “I/you” words to baleful music. Others however can use their experiences to connect with an audience. Although Adele's next installment... > Read more

Beef and Carrots

The Beatles: Let It Be. Remixed double CD edition (Apple/Universal/digital outlets)

17 Oct 2021  |  2 min read

The Beatles' Let It Be was always considered the runt of the litter. The circumstances of it creation – a cold, soulless London film studio in January, Harrison quitting, into a new location, aimless boredom – didn't bode well. And after the polish of Abbey Road (and appearing much later as the band broke up), Let It Be took the gloss off the glittering career. Even the... > Read more

One After 909 with Billy Preston (studio, take three)

Various Artists: Keepin' Secrets, A Failsafe Records Sampler (Failsafe/bandcamp)

16 Oct 2021  |  1 min read

Subtitled “best kept secrets in NZ alternative music”, this always good and sometimes excellent collection from Rob Mayes' Failsafe vaults gathers tracks by the well-known (Jay Clarkson's Breathing Cage, Throw, Springloader, Dolphin) alongside blinked'n'missed 'em (Eskimo, Astro 64, Hooster and many others). But a check in the margins uncovers some familiar names: Dave Mulcahy... > Read more

All Gone Now, by Deluxe Boy

Johnny Campbell and the Detours: Overtime, The Essential Recordings (Frenzy)

16 Oct 2021  |  1 min read

Archivist and Frenzy Record's Grant Gillanders draws attention to the older man standing behind the band, photographed in the early Sixties. “That's Max Merritt's father,” he says. And that's because this Christchurch band around guitarist Johnny Campbell played at Max's famous Teenagers Club which was managed by his parents. This stacked collection – 30 songs... > Read more

My Girl (1964)

Lake South: The Light You Throw (bandcamp)

15 Oct 2021  |  1 min read

Lake South is a Wellington-based multi-media artist: this album of a kind of folk-poetry pop-electronica comes as an insert in a 55 page A5-sized book of thoughts, lyrics, photos, talks and conversations. He's an interesting observational writer who both celebrates and critiques (Townbelt and New Bourgoizealand which open this 12 song collection). But at heart he has an optimistic... > Read more

You Were A Part Of It

Jay Clarkson: Kindle (Rose Hobart/Flying Out)

15 Oct 2021  |  1 min read

The Rheineck Rock Award – which gave a generous wedge of money to emerging artists to record – wasn't without its controversies in the late Eighties: after Ardijah's popular win in the inaugural event the following year the judges picked Headless Chickens which outraged many (notably radio jocks and the sponsors) and the year after that it went to Breathing Cage . . . who took two... > Read more

Rocky Bay Midnights: Songs About People We Know (bandcamp)

9 Oct 2021  |  1 min read

Because we recently brought this group and this impressive debut album to attention this will be brief, just to say that this professional five-piece from Waiheke Island deserve your serious attention. First let's state what is blindingly obvious from the opener Flint and Steel: this band of singer Meredith Wilkie, Kyla Dyresen (keyboards), bassist Dione Denize, guitarist/saxophonist Julion... > Read more

Blair Jollands: Holograms (bandcamp)

9 Oct 2021  |  1 min read

Ever since meeting expat-Kiwi Blair Jollands in London almost 20 years ago, Elsewhere has followed his career with considerable interest, whether he has been recording under his own name or The Thin Men, El Hula (the Violent Love album on Boy George's label), Lotus Mason or . . . He was Emmy-nominated for his soundtrack to the tele-series Shackleton in the early 2000s and works in sound... > Read more

Vera Ellen: It's Your Birthday (Flying Nun/bandcamp)

8 Oct 2021  |  2 min read  |  1

Drawing a line from the first Velvet Underground album and a bit of Patti Smith's poetics and drama, on through Eighties garage-band post-punk to melodic indie.rock, this enjoyably ragged, initially menacing and always hook-laden debut album under her own name astutely keeps attention by sheer force of Vera Ellen's edgy persona and her direct, confident vocals. Sometimes there's an... > Read more

The Lathums: How Beautiful Life Can Be (Island/digital outlets)

6 Oct 2021  |  1 min read

They used to say when the times get tough the songs get soft, but that's no longer true. These days many artists – most even? – are claiming their victimisation, marginalisation, waving banners for worthy causes or announcing how woke they are, or bemoaning their plight during Covid lockdown. It was refreshing when Britney, finally free from the clutches of her father,... > Read more