Music at Elsewhere

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The Stroppies: Look Alive! (Tough Love/Southbound)

15 Jun 2020  |  <1 min read

This economic second album/long EP by the Stroppies out of Melbourne could just as easily have tracks posted under our From the Vaults archive pages and no one would be any the wiser. Across eight songs in 21 minutes they offer a lo-fi sound – jangle'n'drone – akin to what some Flying Nun artists were doing in the Eighties or a little indie-pop by that band out of Athens,... > Read more

Holes in Everything

Lorenzo Senni: Scacco Matto (Warp/Border/digital outlets)

14 Jun 2020  |  <1 min read

Get past the minimalist glitch'n'old school video game sound of the opener here Discipline of Enthusiasm and this electronica album by the Milanese musician and artist Lorenzo Senni opens up into something a bit more wide-ranging. XbreakingEdgeX and Dance Tonight Revolution Tomorrow superficially sound like more of the same but different, however careful attention shows them to be quirky... > Read more

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: The Fourmyula: Turn Your Back on the Wind (independent issue)

14 Jun 2020  |  1 min read

Actually, not so much a “reissue” as an “issue”, this vinyl-only release of an album that never was by the excellent Fourmyula wasn't even tied-in with the recent New Zealand Music Month. It is a limited edition labour of love by archivist/collector and Fourmyula fan Colin Linwood who – with permission from the band members and considerable assistance from... > Read more


Various Artists: Kiwi Animals (Strangelove Music/ bandcamp)

13 Jun 2020  |  1 min read

Were the Eighties the most exciting time for different and innovative music in New Zealand? Seems so. Alongside the emergence of political Pacific reggae (Herbs et al) and numerous independent labels (Ripper, Jayrem, Flying Nun, Xpressway, Braille etc) there was From Scratch and the flourishing of avant-garde music, some of which is now being reissued by the Rattle Echo imprint.... > Read more

RECOMMENDED RECORD: Devilskin: Red (Devilskin/digital outlets)

12 Jun 2020  |  1 min read

From time to time Elsewhere will single out a recent release we recommend on vinyl, like this one . . . Although this third album by New Zealand's hard rock, cross-generational quartet out of Hamilton might not to be to the taste of some Elsewhere listeners, we here are frequently in awe of their accumulated, taut musical firepower and the powerful vocals of Jennie Skulander, all of which... > Read more

Ruby Solly: Poneke (digital outlets)

8 Jun 2020  |  <1 min read

Now this is interesting, a blend of traditional and contemporary sounds. Ruby Solly is a composer and writer, and a performer on taonga puoro and cello who has worked with Trinity Roots, Al Fraser, Whirimako Black, the New Zealand String Ensemble and in the Bach Project with Yo-Yo Ma. Lot of fine credentials there, and she brings a keen sense of understatement and an ear for the... > Read more

Te Aro Pa

Mudbelly: Mudbelly (digital outlets)

7 Jun 2020  |  <1 min read

Quite how this Christchurch rock band could have gone past us for two years is something of a mystery: they are an explosive, disciplined but grimy rock-cum-boogie band alongside the powerful vocals of Bex Barrett who can blow like a humid swampy breeze or howl like a hurricane tossing around Led Zeppelin. Maybe its because they were off in the UK for a while, and presumably holed up... > Read more

RAC: Boy (Counter/Border/digital outlets)

1 Jun 2020  |  1 min read

The sensual pop electronica sound of Andre Allen Anjos (aka Portuguese-American RAC who lives in Portland) hits its apotheosis here on the second song where Luna Shadows' languid, almost post-coital vocals pull the listener into a world of pink sheets and a gentle Mediterranean breeze. And after that the rest of this 47 minute album by RAC – 18 tracks, some obviously little more... > Read more

Flying Lotus: Flamagra Instrumentals (Warp/Border/digital outlets)

30 May 2020  |  <1 min read

Now this is very interesting, the somewhat uneven Flamagra album by Flying Lotus released in the middle of last year now reappears in a Deluxe edition with an extra iteration where many of the tracks with vocals now reappear as instrumentals and remixes. If the half dozen or so vocals tracks on the over-stacked first version – 27 tracks of mostly fast-turnaround short-concentration... > Read more

Soda Boyz: Farewell Spit (Flying Out/digital outlets)

30 May 2020  |  <1 min read

Elsewhere has occasionally said we'd sometimes rather hear the debut album by a young band than the sixth by a careerist. That's because young people often play with enthusiasm and as if they have invented the genre whereas those who've been around the traps . . . Soda Boyz, a self-styled slowcore trio from Palmerston North via Wellington, work an interesting set of dynamics from... > Read more

Lucinda Williams: Good Souls Better Angels (Highway 20/digital outlets)

29 May 2020  |  1 min read

Artists who build a vast catalogue can fall victim to their own productivity. At what point do you feel you have exactly the right number of albums by Van Morrison, Neil Young or Elvis Costello in your collection? Or Steve Earle or Lucinda Williams? Williams has more than 15 albums to her name (one a double) and with almost half of them being essential you'd think her audience might... > Read more

Sunglass Moustache: Peaches (digital outlets)

29 May 2020  |  <1 min read

As we understand it this band is an offshoot of a project by Austin singer-songwriter Ben Millburn who released an album called Sunglass Moustache a couple of years ago. That album was 11 very diverse songs which roamed from rhythmically jerky New Wave through pop and . . . well, it's on Spotify and a bit hard to get excited about. Now nominally a band, SM offer a somewhat more focused... > Read more

The New Existentialists: Didn't Have Time (bandcamp)

22 May 2020  |  1 min read

With the subtitle “work in progress 2019-2020” and a blurb which downplays expectations (“raw unformed things that the world was not meant to hear”) the New Existentialists neatly present 10 songs as rough drafts completed during lockdown by synth player Fraser Hunter who co-produced this with mainman George D Henderson (the Puddle). And although pleasing ragged... > Read more

The Music Convention: The Charge of the Music Convention (Frenzy/digital outlets)

21 May 2020  |  1 min read

In the late Sixties Auckland's Music Convention – originally out of the Hamilton area as the Spectres and the Trends – released one of the baddest, greatest, noisiest New Zealand singles ever. It was Belly Board Beat which was an explosion of surf rock with sitar and sounded as if it had been recorded in a beachside ashram where instead of meditating the very stoned devotees... > Read more

US Girls: Heavy Light (4AD/Rhythmethod/digital outlets)

18 May 2020  |  1 min read

From the ambiguous album title – is it a play on opposites, or is the light heavy? – and through these teasingly accomplished songs which reference a swathe of pop history aural references (old school soul, Michael Jackson, r'n'b, disco), this seventh outing for US Girls (Juno-nominated Meghan Remy from Toronto) covers a lot of musical terrain. But it... > Read more

Various Artists: Blood and Dust; A Gothic Western (Venus Aeon/digital outlets)

16 May 2020  |  <1 min read

Given Elsewhere's unashamed affection for the Western genre (is The Good The Bad and The Ugly the best film ever made? A. Yes) and albums like The Unforgiven's self-titled sole outing we would naturally gravitate to this collection. The best Westerns reference Greek mythology as much as gunplay mayhem, and so the darkness of Goth music works into the heroic nihilism of the genre.... > Read more

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

15 May 2020  |  3 min read

The combination of lockdown and New Zealand Music Month has clearly meant a lot of musicians at home with nothing to do – or now the time to do things in – have recorded and released albums . . . and there is gridlock on the internet highway. It would be impossible for Elsewhere to deal with all the ones which have appeared rather suddenly in the past 10 days, so... > Read more

EOB: Earth (Capitol/digital outlets)

11 May 2020  |  1 min read

The EOB here who also doesn't appear on the album cover is in fact one Ed O'Brien, more widely known as a guitarist in Radiohead. That he slips this out with little fanfare around his reputation is admirable, and as a debut under his own name it is clearly an album with more modest ambitions than what bandmate Thom Yorke explores on his solo outings. O'Brien – with a cast which... > Read more

Hayley Williams: Petals for Armor (WEA/digital outlets)

9 May 2020  |  1 min read

Here's an “album” we mention, if only for it being emblematic of a current phenomenon in pop. In the olden times artists released singles, EPs and albums. They were generally different things – short, medium length, long – although of course an EP and/or album may also include the hit single. That was acceptable. Some acts didn't release singles so when the album... > Read more

Modern Studies: The Weight of the Sun (Fire/Southbound/digital outlets)

8 May 2020  |  1 min read

We're all allowed private passions and music which seduces us in a way we suspect others might enjoy but unfortunately never discover. And so it is with the British quartet Modern Studies whose previous two albums Swell to Great and Welcome Strangers (as well as an interesting remix of Swell to Great by Tommy Perman as Emergent Slow Arc) we have taken quiet delight in.... > Read more

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