Music at Elsewhere

Subscribe to my newsletter for weekly updates.

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Various Artists: Accident Compilation (Failsafe/bandcamp)

21 Aug 2021  |  1 min read

Subtitled “Alternative Music from Christchurch New Zealand 1980-1984”, this excellent double CD collection – remastered from the original cassette by Rob Mayes of Failsafe – is very timely in the year Flying Nun celebrates its 40thanniversary. During the Eighties the indie sound and approach of Flying Nun was widely embraced by critics, student radio and audiences.... > Read more

All Over the World by the Newtones

ONE WE MISSED: DuhkQunt: Space Communion (Muzai/digital platforms)

20 Aug 2021  |  1 min read

This Leeds-based producer passed our ears a year or so back with an EP but now with a full-length album of his glitchy samples and a sonic collage of electronica with vocal snippets over nailed-down beats we can throw the spotlight on him . . . albeit a little late because this album came out in July. Not that timing matters, we doubt it has had too many reviews and he does... > Read more

Stephan Micus: Winter's End (ECM/digital outlets)

16 Aug 2021  |  <1 min read

This German multi-instrumentalist – the subject of this Elsewhere Art – is somewhat of an acquired taste because he is so hard to put in any particular box . . . other than one marked “Quiet”. Playing literally dozens of instruments collected on his global travels – notably in Africa for this his 24thalbum on ECM – in addition to singing (often what... > Read more

Yola: Stand For Myself (Easy Eye Sound/digital outlets)

16 Aug 2021  |  2 min read

When Belfast-born Van Morrison relocated to the US in the late 60s he said, “I'm into a completely different thing now, there is no limit to what I can do”. The result was his seminal 1968 Celtic soul album Astral Weeks, much of which drew on his past seen from a physical and emotional distance. For many artists, a new location can mean the opportunity for a new... > Read more

Durand Jones and the Indications: Private Space (Dead Oceans/digital outlets)

14 Aug 2021  |  1 min read

This beautifully slinky, synth-soul album slips around you like a comfort blanket from the glorious opener Love Will Work It Out through to the final falsetto soul of I Can See. But don't be fooled by the subtle grooves and warm synth-string backing because there are real messages here. That opener includes lines like “Folks overtaken by disease. All the people lost made me fall right... > Read more

Negative Nancies: Heatwave (Fishrider)

9 Aug 2021  |  <1 min read

As Flying Nun celebrates its 40thanniversary, the spirit of independence and post-punk DIY attitude it (and many other indie labels) advanced is as evident today as it was then. This mature Dunedin trio – keyboard/singer Tess Mackay, drummer/singer Emile Smith and guitarist/singer Mick Elborado – deliver a thumping and sometimes excoriating noise (the hypnotically repetitive and... > Read more

What Would John Say

Royal Blood: Typhoons (Warner/digital outlets)

9 Aug 2021  |  <1 min read

It has been a long time since this hard-rock Brighton duo passed our way (a great set at the 2015 Laneway in Auckland) so it seemed time to tune in, especially given overseas folk have been using the word “disco” about this album. That might be catching with rock bands: Foo Fighters doing the Bee Gees is fun but a bit surplus to requirements. Here Royal Blood don't go disco... > Read more

Daphne Walker: The TANZA Recordings 1955-1959 (Frenzy)

7 Aug 2021  |  1 min read

Daphne Walker might not have liked some of what she sang (notably the ever-popular Haere Mai (“everything is ka pai”) or even the songs of Sam Freedman which he gave her, but the effortless purity of her voice sold them in the Fifties when she was backed by the bands of Bill Wolfgramm and Bill Sevesi. The style of the era was Hawaiian tropical warmth and that is what... > Read more

Mapuana

The Wallflowers: Exit Wounds (New West/digital outlets)

4 Aug 2021  |  2 min read

When Elsewhere interviewed Jakob Dylan of the Wallflowers almost two decades ago he was 32 and onto his fourth album with his band of 10 years, so there was a lot to talk about other than what he politely called “the peripheral stuff”. That being the famous surname. Given his achievements at that point, his dad was a subject easy to not let into the conversation.... > Read more

Billie Eilish: Happier Than Ever (Interscope/digital outlets)

1 Aug 2021  |  1 min read

Anyone who thinks contemporary pop is just working familiar tropes – and let's be honest, much of it is – should turn their attention to recent releases by the likes of Squirrel Flower, Merk, Jane Weaver, Virginia Wing, and Billie Eilish whose 2019 debut When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? was an astute, subtle and largely understated and downbeat outing from the then 17-year... > Read more

Diamond Field: Diamond Field (Sofa King/digital outlets)

1 Aug 2021  |  1 min read

Hey Andrew, the Eighties just called and said, “Job well done”. This shamelessly enjoyable album helmed by expat Kiwi, longtime NYC-based Andrew B White (musician, producer, album cover designer) pretends to be nothing more than the pleasure principle as filtered through Pat Benatar/Flashdance (as presented by fellow expat Miriam Clancy), Howard Jones-styled synth-pop, Nik... > Read more

Kikagaku Moyo and Ryley Walker: Deep Fried Grandeur (Husky Pants/digital outlets)

29 Jul 2021  |  1 min read

Although the name of the Japanese psych-rock band upfront here may not be familiar (we were underwhelmed by their Masana Temples album), many will know of American singer-guitarist Ryley Walker whose reference points are in the experimental Anglo-folk of Bert Jansch, Tim Buckley and John Martyn (and of course Nick Drake) as well as Astral Weeks-era Van Morrison (alluded to on his Primrose Green... > Read more

Salmonella Dub: Soul Love Trippa (Salmonella Dub/vinyl release)

26 Jul 2021  |  1 min read

The mighty Salmonella Dub out of Christchurch who, alongside Pitch Black, paved the way for dance-electronica and magnificently produced soul-infused dub-dance were trailblazers. Without them the path for the likes of Fat Freddy's Drop, Black Seeds, Shapeshifter and many others might have been more difficult. After a dozen or so albums, many EPs and scores of remixes down the decades... > Read more

RECOMMENDED RECORD: Squirrel Flower; Planet (i). (Polyvinyl/digital outlets)

25 Jul 2021  |  <1 min read

From time to time Elsewhere will single out a recent release we recommend on vinyl, like this one which comes on orange vinyl, has an eight-page booklet of lyrics and offers a download code . . . . This second album by American Ella Williams (aka Squirrel Flower) is one of those slow-grow albums which exists between alt.folk and indie.rock as she and her small band explore cold fury,... > Read more

Anthonie Tonnon: Leave Love Out of This (Slow Time/digital outlets)

12 Jul 2021  |  2 min read

Despite more than a decade of recording, touring (locally and internationally) and a Silver Scroll nomination for songwriting, Whanganui-based Anthonie Tonnon – who first appeared as Tono and the Finance Company – seemed destined for that netherworld reserved for “critics' favourite”. Yet his music has never been especially difficult or challenging. Yes, along... > Read more

When I'm Wrong

RECOMMENDED RECORD: The Cinematic Orchestra: Ma Fleur (Border)

12 Jul 2021  |  <1 min read

From time to time Elsewhere will single out a recent release we recommend on vinyl, like this one which is a double album on clear vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with three bonus tracks . . . .   Although the great soul singer Fontella Bass appears (with great restraint) on a couple of tracks on this widescreen, evocative and yes, cinematic, 2007 album, the real attention in the... > Read more

Familiar Ground

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Leila: Like Weather (digital outlets)

11 Jul 2021  |  1 min read  |  2

Were it not for the chance discovery of an Uncut magazine from earlier this year we would not have known about this album from '98 by the Iranian-born, London-based electronica artist Leila Arab. This was her debut – recently reissued on vinyl – and Uncut singled it out in a Rediscovered column. Like some submerged or subterranean slo-mo trip-hop compilation where each track... > Read more

The Shins: Oh, Inverted World; 20th Anniversary Reissue (Sub Pop/digital outlets)

9 Jul 2021  |  <1 min read

Within three months of the release of this sometimes but only occasionally delightful, joyful, retro-referencing and slightly skewiff debut album by Albuquerque's four-piece the Shins, the world was indeed inverted when the Twin Towers fell. In those days before the darkness descended, it was mid 2001 and multi-instrumentalist/songwriter and singer James Mercer was a pop craftsman with his... > Read more

The Murlocs: Bittersweet Demons (ATO/digital outlets)

7 Jul 2021  |  <1 min read

Been finding it hard keeping up with Melbourne's King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (closing in on 20 albums, their most recent Butterfly 3000 finding them moving into synth-rock) . . . then try this off-shoot band? The Murlocs are helmed by KG's Ambrose Kenny-Smith with fellow Lizard Cook Craig (guitars) and they are a more straight-ahead power-pop band (with dirty blues harmonica when they... > Read more

Troy Kingi: Black Sea Golden Ladder (bandcamp)

4 Jul 2021  |  2 min read

With his new album Black Sea Golden Ladder, Troy Kingi turns towards the home stretch of his ambitious 10-10-10 series: 10 albums in 10 different genres in 10 years. This album – a collaboration with co-writer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Delaney Davidson, written and recorded as part of Kingi's Matairangi Mahi Toi Artist Residency in Wellington -- finds him at the... > Read more