Music at Elsewhere

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Mega Bog: Life, And Another (POB/Southbound/digital outlets)

2 Oct 2021  |  1 min read

On the idiosyncratic Paradise of Bachelors label (their previous releases reviewed at Elsewhere worth investigating), this fifth album by a very left-field alt.folk American band – fronted by songwriter Erin Birgy who seems to be Mega Bog – denies even that “left-field alt.folk” description. From the whispery speak-sing and almost childlike opener which slips easily... > Read more

Before a Black Tea

The Green Pajamas: Sunlight Might Weigh Even More (Green Monkey/bandcamp)

27 Sep 2021  |  1 min read

Elsewhere has sometimes told the story of a chance conversation over lunch before leaving for the Pacific Northwest, the friend mentioning his favourite band which I'd never heard of (Green Pajamas from Seattle), the dozen or so albums he brought around the following day, the sudden “Who are these amazing people and why haven't we been told about Jeff Kelly?” reaction and . . .... > Read more

High Tea With Miss Ava G 1979

Various Artists: The Myndstream Collection Vol 1 (digital outlets)

25 Sep 2021  |  <1 min read

At Elsewhere we make the distinction between New Age music and ambient, although we're prepared to acknowledge the border between is pretty porous. However this collection of ambient and meditative sounds recommends itself if for no other reason than the name players involved: by my count between them these people have had more than 30 Grammy nominations, more than half a dozen Oscar... > Read more

Glenn Bodger: I'll Leave the Light On (digital outlets)

25 Sep 2021  |  1 min read

Christchurch's Glenn Bodger was the singer in the Nineties Auckland rock band Braintree which recorded for Murray Cammick's Wildside and played extensively. On various instruments (notably acoustic and electric guitars) and with producer and multi-instrumentalist Darryn Harkness (Braintree, From Scratch, New Telepathics, Loud Ghost etc), Bodger here opens with a challenge: the eight minute... > Read more

Brigid Mae Power: Burning Your Light (Fire/digital outlets)

24 Sep 2021  |  1 min read

Irish singer-songwriter Power released a universally acclaimed album Head Above Water last year which garnered her considerable attention, even though it was her third album. She had also released a number of EPs and this, having just six songs (five covers and a traditional song). But at 27 minutes it's about the length of many albums which pass our ears so . . . This is quiet folk... > Read more

One More Cup of Coffee

Desu ExSounds: Figments (Naviar/bandcamp)

22 Sep 2021  |  <1 min read

Naviar Records out of London is certainly interesting in its ethos, it speaks of exploring the connection between contemporary experimental electronica and Japanese haiku. It seems to be a collective, has a weekly half-hour broadcast of new music which are responses to particular haiku and has released numerous albums (we stopped counting at 50). We have only reviewed one Naviar... > Read more

Low: Hey What (SubPop/digital outlets)

20 Sep 2021  |  1 min read  |  1

The American husband-wife team of Mimi Parker and Alan Sparhawk have built their alternative credentials over three decades now from a kind of slowcore guitar and casually melodic sound (elevated by Parker's terrific vocals, which in another context, could be profitably deployed in alt.country) and towards an increasingly experimental sound of distortion, surface noise, silences and scratching... > Read more

Motorists: Surrounded (digital outlets)

19 Sep 2021  |  <1 min read

We known absolutely very little about this Toronto-based three-piece. But after enduring the angst of Imagine Dragons ("I find myself in pieces, there are pills on the table" in the opener of their latest album) and a bunch of other artists whining about their lives or creating some fake image of themselves, there was something refreshing (if a bit early REM-familiar) about this... > Read more

Proteins of Magic: Proteins of Magic (digital outlets)

16 Sep 2021  |  <1 min read

PoM is New Zealand singer, songwriter and visual artist Kelly Sherrod who studied at Elam in Auckland, was in Punches, played bass in Dimmer (touring at home and in the US), moved to Nashville for a while and now back home should be out promoting this debut album when supporting Dimmer. But . . . Although some of those dates have been postponed, this is a... > Read more

Hopeful Symphony

Bruce Aitken: The Face Vol 1 (digital outlets)

13 Sep 2021  |  1 min read

Although he grew up in Invercargill and Wellington, drummer Bruce Aitken's career has largely been off-shore so his name is barely known here outside of musicians' circles. After playing in bands here from the Sixties into the Eighties he started to move, physically and musically: Sydney to Afghanistan and as a longtime resident in Nova Scotia; touring with the Irish Rovers and playing at... > Read more

Stinky Jim: It's Not What It Sounds Like (bandcamp)

12 Sep 2021  |  <1 min read

For three decades now Stinky Jim (Jim Pinckney) has been championing and playing a kind of outlier/outsider dub reggae and mix-up culture through his bFM radio show Stinky Grooves, some excellent compilations on his label Round Trip Mars which released SJD, Tourettes and many others (we recommend the old Sideways collection for newbies, long an Essential Elsewhere album) as well as being part... > Read more

Lucinda Chua, Antidotes (4AD/digital outlets)

10 Sep 2021  |  <1 min read

The lines between ambient and contemporary classical music are very blurred here – the album being her two EPs combined – by this cellist and singer-songwriter from London who presents weightless, hushed poetry/vocals in the context of slow keyboard chords, her cello and the ambient atmospherics. This is discreet music with a gentle, questing spirit which brings some of... > Read more

Amyl and the Sniffers: Comfort To Me (ATO/digital outlets)

10 Sep 2021  |  <1 min read

Melbourne's vice-tight, punk rock outfit fronted by the shouty but smart Amy Taylor here deliver another body blow full of assertion, humour and PG lyrics (they're Australian, remember). This bruising, fist-pumping pub rock-with-attitude and Taylor's bratty, flat-vowel mixes a kind of street poetry with anger. This is reductive but powerful punk rock'n'roll which sounds beamed in from the... > Read more

Various Artists: Heaven on Fire (Fire/digital outlets)

8 Sep 2021  |  <1 min read

Elsewhere rarely touches mixtape albums but this one has been compiled by Britain's Jane Weaver whose albums we have been most often entranced by, and she has gone into her Fire Records label to spotlight material by other Elsewhere favourites such as Vanishing Twin, Virginia Wing and Brigid Mae Power. It opens with the title track from Weaver's most recent and most excellent Flock... > Read more

Fat Freddy's Drop: Wairunga (The Drop/digital outlets)

5 Sep 2021  |  2 min read

Long before Six60, L.A.B. and Drax Project's domination of the local album charts, Wellington's Fat Freddy's Drop established themselves as one of our most important and innovative bands. Their distinctive amalgam of soul, reggae, R'n'B, jazz, dub and pop was delivered on cornerstone albums Based on a True Story which included their irrepressible breakout single Wandering Eye (2005),... > Read more

Tipene: Heritage Trail (digital outlets)

1 Sep 2021  |  2 min read

There is a remarkable and strong lineage of Māori hip-hop which runs from Upper Hutt Posse's Against the Flow through Dam Native's Kaupapa Driven Rhymes Uplifted to this ambitious, crafted album by Tipene Harmer who – like those illustrious predecessors – knows exactly who he is and where he's from. On the lyrical and rhythmical Ariki here he says, “I'm walkin' with the... > Read more

Mauri ft Ariana Henare

The Roulettes: Demosphere (bandcamp)

30 Aug 2021  |  1 min read

Pop music of the old style (verse/chorus, three minutes) appeals to Elsewhere and this Auckland band around guitarist/singer Justin McLean has always delivered something akin to power pop (yes!) and just enough from the glam/T Rex/Bowie end of the spectrum. This collection was recorded at home in Auckland or Hanoi where bassist/singer Ben Grant lives – hence the title and cover art... > Read more

Steve Gunn: Other You (Matador/digital outlets)

30 Aug 2021  |  1 min read

For someone whose music is heard regularly around the Elsewhere mansion, it's surprising that American singer/guitarist Steve Gunn's albums have only appeared at Elsewhere a few times (although we did do a major interview back in 2017). Inspired by the British folk styles of the Sixties (Davy Graham, Bert Jansch etc) and cult figures like Mike Cooper and Jack Rose, Gunn has as a broad... > Read more

James McMurtry: The Horses and the Hounds (New West/digital outlets)

23 Aug 2021  |  1 min read

Elsewhere has had a long affection for this exceptional singer-songwriter since interviewing him in late '89 on the release of his debut album Too Long in the Wasteland. I'd been immediately impressed by his dark, literary songs (the son of Larry) and leaving a Christmas function after exactly the right number of drinks for the phone interview I found him chatty, serious with a dry humour... > Read more

The New Existentialists: Poetry is Theft (bandcamp)

23 Aug 2021  |  1 min read

It's odd to note that this is the first finished studio album by Auckland's excellent pop-rock outfit the New Existentialists fronted by songwriter and singer George D Henderson  (of the And Band in the early Eighties then the enjoyable Puddle). Their previous release Didn't Have Time of last year was a terrific collection of “work in progress, 2019 – 2020” of which... > Read more