Music at Elsewhere

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Tamburlaine: Say No More/Rebirth (Kiwi-Pacific)

11 Mar 2019  |  2 min read

This collection of both Tamburlaine soft-rock/folk-rock albums dates from the time of flares, aviator shades, lyrics like “a whiter shade of pale” (yes, they appropriate that here) and when a woman was “a lady”. Strange days? Indeed. This period – the early Seventies – saw the flourishing of post-Crosby Still and Nash acoustic bands and artists which... > Read more

Sleeper Awake (from Rebirth)

ONE WE MISSED: Devotchka: This Night Falls Forever (Concord/Southbound)

8 Mar 2019  |  1 min read

“Genre-defying” music is so familiar these days that even though it can mean anything it almost acts as genre in itself – but like “indie”, “world music” and "post-rock” it is just about as meaningless. This multi-instrumental American four-piece helmed by Nick Urata certainly cross easily between styles – ballet music,... > Read more

Empty Vessels

The Japanese House: Good at Falling (Dirty Hit/Sony)

7 Mar 2019  |  1 min read

After a string of singles, EPs and tie-in videos over the past four years, Britain's Japanese House (aka Amber Bain) finally releases this frequently attractive, poised and occasionally hollow but measured blend of electronica, folktronics and pop which steers a canny and artful path between pop hooks and sleepwalking beats. And sometimes falls at hurdles named “beats overkill”,... > Read more

Maybe You're the Reason

A.U.R.A.: Secret Intelligent Light (digital outlets)

6 Mar 2019  |  1 min read

This sophisticated, gorgeously produced album by AURA (Albert Mikolaj, with multi-instrumentalist/producer Ben Lemi of Trinity Roots and French for Rabbits) exists between dreamscape sonics on piano, synths etc (Assume Fire), lightly driving radio-friendly pop (Immensely I, the soulful GI Wonder), exotically elevating quasi-ballads (Lady in a Paris Dress) and softly psychedelic ambient music.... > Read more

Lady in a Paris Dress

Half Japanese: Invincible (Fire)

4 Mar 2019  |  <1 min read

And now something for those hardy few who live in that small space where the Venn Diagrams of sci-fi and horror intersects with post-No Wave rock and indie-pop. The longtime on-going project of Jad Fair (with a revolving door membership) Half Japanese here return with perhaps their most accessible outing yet. The outsider/art post-punk edges have increasingly been worn smoother over the... > Read more

The Walking Dead

David Yetton: Move to Trash (Thokei Tapes)

3 Mar 2019  |  <1 min read

Subtitled “Bits, Pieces, Offcuts and Stuff” this seemingly modest and quiet collection of 12 pieces comes via Thokei Tapes out of Germany which has been doing interesting things for New Zealand artists such as their releases by Tall Dwarfs, David Pine, Matthew Bannister and Chris Knox on cassette tape. David Yetton – of JPSE and Stereo Bus – has... > Read more

Head in the Clouds

Avalanche City: My Babylon (Guacamole Farm/digital outets)

2 Mar 2019  |  2 min read

In a bare few years Silver Scroll-winning Avalanche City (aka Dave Baxter) underwent highs (chart success and critical acclaim) and lows (litigation against a former manager, which he won handsomely) and seems to have come out the other side more determined than before to embrace/be embraced by a mainstream audience which respects his pop craftsmanship and ability to construct a song... > Read more

Left Behind

Mundi: The Pale Blue Dot (digital outlets)

1 Mar 2019  |  1 min read

Anyone who has endured as many press releases as Elsewhere will attest that an artist – or agent describing their client's work – often gilds the lily and makes references which often don't stack up. So hats off to Mundi who nearly nail their sound as “like Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti meeting Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson - filled with global colours, grooves and... > Read more

Still Song Goes On

Michael Chapman: True North (Paradise Of Bachelors/Southbound)

1 Mar 2019  |  1 min read

Elsewhere has frequently commented on reissues and recent albums by this fine British singer-songwriter. Michael Chapman has his soul in a kind of weird folk-Americana, counts Steve Gunn (who produces and plays guitar here), Mike Cooper, Thurston Moore and Elton John among the many he has performed with, and two years ago clocked up half a century in the game, the much acclaimed album 50... > Read more

Youth is Wasted on the Young

The Kentucky Headhunters: Live at the Ramblin' Man Fair (Alligator/Southbound)

28 Feb 2019  |  1 min read

Now this is exactly how you'd want to hear this disciplined, muscular, road-tested Southern rock band with two pivotal brothers in the quartet. It has its roots in the world staked out by the Allmans, Atlanta Rhythm Section (sorry but this link is funny), Skynyrd, Hatchett et al. The KHeadhunters are probably the unfashionable and enjoyably reductive end of Drive by Truckers. Here... > Read more

Ragtop

Julia Jacklin: Crushing (Liberation)

21 Feb 2019  |  1 min read  |  2

Might as well just say this straight away: the list for “best of the year” albums starts with this remarkable, mature second album by Australia's Julia Jacklin who here peels away emotional layers, takes a look through the prism at her recent life and refracts the views back through clever and often understated songs. Since her impressive and unexpectedly successful debut album... > Read more

Don't Know How to Keep Loving You

Polar Extremes: Strange Visions (digital outlets)

20 Feb 2019  |  1 min read

Okay, this is just odd fun . . . with a sense of smarts and cultural history behind it. Not too many locals might even recognise the horse-flesh resonance of the opening title, Racing This Time (did the great commentator Reg Clapp coin that phrase?), but the album begins with a hip-hop funk take on what sounds like lo-fi Talking Heads beat-driven pop filtered through the sensibilities of... > Read more

Captain Zodiac's Dictionary

Various Artists: Roma Soundtrack (Sony)

18 Feb 2019  |  <1 min read

It may not be a fair test, but one way of assessing a soundtrack as a standalone item outside of the images is how it works if you haven't seen the film. Many soundtracks these days are compilations rather than music created specifically for a film – a practice many date back to the success of Flashdance in '83 which toped charts everywhere and spawned the compilation/soundtrack... > Read more

Ciudad Perdida

Methyl Ethel: Triage (4AD)

15 Feb 2019  |  <1 min read

Their location (Perth in Western Australia) and the band name (which brings to mind Nick Cave/Grinderman's raucous Depth Charge Ethyl) might conjure up some pretty brittle and aggressive. But as we've noted in previous reviews of this project of Jake Webb, there's something a lot more glam-poise and danceable electro-influenced dance pop going on here (as on the Prince-like Real... > Read more

Real Tight

ONE WE MISSED: Brisa Roche: Father (Black Ash)

14 Feb 2019  |  1 min read

We forgive ourselves – and of course you – because this one went past unnoticed. Elsewhere only discovered it when a fan/supporter here sent a on copy of this quietly gripping album from last year. American-born musician-poet Roche – now 42 – spent most of her life in Paris where she performed across a variety of genres, recorded an album and was signed to Blue Note... > Read more

Carnation

Johno: The Road Not Taken (RNT Records)

14 Feb 2019  |  1 min read

Although the Johno here comes with a fairly substantial press release when it boils down it's short on gritty specifics. We glean he is London-born of Irish parents and we'll accept he was a jazz musician who ended up doing a lot of production, and that now he lives on a coast in Greece but spends a lot of time traveling through Europe, Africa, the Balkans and Middle East. With all of that... > Read more

The Long and Winding Road

The Lemonheads: Varshons II (Fire/Southbound)

14 Feb 2019  |  1 min read

We can only look at promise unfulfilled in the wayward and often self-destructive career of Evan Dando, the Lemonhead who foreshadowed so much with the early work (notably the Favourite Spanish Dishes EP and the albums Lovey, It's a Shame About Ray and some of Come On Feel The Lemonheads). But thereafter the wheels came off, the music more intermittent, the guest appearances were... > Read more

Old Man Blank

Beirut: Gallipoli (4AD)

11 Feb 2019  |  1 min read

There's a fairly prevalent belief that if you look busy, people will think you are; that if the surface looks impressive there's probably real substance beneath it; and that if you write in the world of whatever passes for “indie rock” these days (the genre which appears when you drop this new Beirut album into a computer) that you don't need to bother about troublesome things like... > Read more

Gauze fur Zah

Cherry Glazerr: Stuffed and Ready (Secretly Canadian)

11 Feb 2019  |  <1 min read

Some part garageband with a dollop of power-pop alongside songs which could fill a stadium, this trio from California around singer-guitarist Clementine Creevy hold fast to some old values which sometimes also marry punk energy with studio polish. Despite that collision of styles and references – all of which have pop values at core – there is sameness among many of these 10... > Read more

Daddi

Beat Rhythm Fashion: Tenterhook (Failsafe/digital outlets)

9 Feb 2019  |  2 min read

To be honest, I can't say I ever saw Wellington's late Seventies/early Eighties band Beat Rhythm Fashion . . . and until now maybe not even much, if anything, of their music, other than perhaps in passing on bFM. They were however a band – just three singles – many of us in Auckland were “aware” of. Ever since the seven year gap between a couple of Blue Nile... > Read more

Optimism