Music at Elsewhere

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Orchestra of Spheres: Mirror (Fire/Southbound)

8 Nov 2018  |  1 min read

Although the Wellington progressive, psyche-improve ensemble Orchestra of Spheres have not previously been consistently impressive in their recordings, they have certainly refined their focus since their first outings. And here you have to admire their courage in opening with 10 minute drone-based piece which has a backdrop sounding evocatively Tibetan with chant poetry lyrics and a... > Read more

Black and White

Barbra Streisand: Walls (Sony)

7 Nov 2018  |  2 min read

Despite what many might wish to think, President Trump has actually managed to achieve a lot in his reign . . . like inspiring 76-year old Barbra Streisand to start writing her own songs again. As we noted previously, this remarkable voice has mostly been in the service of other writers but every now and again – and far too infrequently – she has written her own material.... > Read more

Don't Lie To Me

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Jane Weaver; The Silver Globe (Fire/Southbound)

5 Nov 2018  |  <1 min read

British folkadelic singer-songwriter first came to attention at Elsewhere last year with her sixth (sixth?) album Modern Kosmology – one of our Best of Elsewhere 2017 choices – which had its feet in the past (Krautrock, Sixties psychedelic drones and alt.folk) but seemed to be gazing at the stars through electronica-tinted glasses. This reissue of her 2014 album shows how... > Read more

Arrows

Symmetrix: Being There (digital outlets)

3 Nov 2018  |  <1 min read

Marita Ryan from Melbourne delivers her self-produced indie-pop electronica music as Symmetrix. With guitars, keyboards and programmed beats, she hits a mid-ground between her chosen genres, erring more towards the alt.pop-rock end of the spectrum (the crackling Confide, the snippy pop-rock of The Others with precision guitar passages) in songs which are snappy and self-contained. Her... > Read more

Where Have You Gone

Quimper: Perdide (Soft Bodies/digital outlets)

2 Nov 2018  |  <1 min read

This UK outfit had me when they mentioned The Cleaners From Venus in their modest approach to Elsewhere. If you don't know that band then immediately seek out Giles Smith's Lost in Music which is hilarious and a somewhat true story about his time in that unsuccessful but now cult band: It is “one man's journey into the world of rock and then back to his Mum's.” In truth, one... > Read more

Christ in a Field of Caravans

Superturtle: Student Flat Reunion (Sarang Bang)

23 Oct 2018  |  1 min read

Superturtle is the project of Darryn McShane who has had a considerable career in various bands (Chainsaw Masochist and Figure 60 the most notable), as a bFM host, sometime music writer and producer/engineer. The last time we spotted him/Superturtle was back in 2013 with the Beat Manifesto album and then – as with the previous album About the Sun – we noted how much pop history... > Read more

Hit the Floor

MC Tali: Love and Migration (Fokuz)

22 Oct 2018  |  1 min read

Those who follow the great turning wheels of popular music taste may be surprised by a drum'n'bass album at this time. In many ways it seems almost anachronistic given that, to the casual passerby, drum'n'bass was an idiom from the mid Nineties and ran at its peak for about a decade or so thereafter. The many off-shoots kept the exciting and often staccato electronica alive but as a genre... > Read more

Various Artists: Baby I've Got It! More Motown Girls (Ace/Border)

22 Oct 2018  |  1 min read

The Motown sound is as distinctive as a fingerprint, but that's what happens when you have the same musicians, the Funk Brothers, on just about every session and a quality control panel before the songs are released. And songwriters like Holland-Dozier-Holland, Marvin Gaye, Ashford-Simpson, label boss Berry Gordy and others (not represented on this particular 24-song collection) contributing... > Read more

I'm Willing to Pay the Price, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas

Wild Sonic Blooms: Where We Overlap (Rattle)

21 Oct 2018  |  1 min read

Where We Overlap seems a very apt album title for a collection of pieces which brought together New Zealand sonic artists Megan Rogerson-Berry, Jeremy Mayall and Kent MacPherson with drummer/composer Reuben Bradley, taonga puoro by Horomona Horo and Japanese singer, composer and sound artist Haco from Japan. The artists' name however might be a little unrepresentative because while... > Read more

Pulse Arc

ONE WE MISSED: Macy Grey: Ruby (Mack Avenue/Southbound)

15 Oct 2018  |  1 min read

Strange how a great artist can arrive with fanfare and then there is an attrition of interest even if they maintain a consistently high standard. Think Alicia Keys. The extraordinary Macy Grey – here on her 10thstudio album – doesn't seem to get the attention she continues to deserve, especially for this album which is uplifting and joyous, witheringly accurate in... > Read more

Over You

Hater: Siesta (Fire/Southbound)

15 Oct 2018  |  <1 min read

With 14 songs running close to an hour this second album by a breezy and thoughtful Swedish band doesn't so much outstay its welcome as perhaps offer to much of a good thing. The result is the delectable individual flavours – shimmering guitar pop, electro-pop, indie-pop etc – can be easily lost over the full running time. There's a kind of autumnal ennui to much of this... > Read more

All That Your Dreams Taught Me

Various Artists: Make Mine Mondo (Ace/Border)

14 Oct 2018  |  2 min read

There's not a lot of fun and frivolity in pop and rock these days. You wouldn't expect U2, Coldplay, Radiohead, Beyonce or Taylor Swift, for example, to release anything as juvenile as Yellow Submarine or as dumb as Neanderthal Man. It's true that a gimmick song can make you a bit of money but can also kill a career. It's hard to come back after one, especially if you have something more... > Read more

The Thief, by Motion

Loretta Lynn: Wouldn't It Be Great (Sony Legacy)

14 Oct 2018  |  1 min read

About 14 years ago while traveling around the US for a few months we went to Loretta Lynn's estate at Hurricane Mills in Tennessee -- Loretta Lynn's Dude Ranch, the sign said. This was where she used to live in the antebellum mansion, had replicas of the crude home she grew up and her Daddy's coal mine, and a museum of dolls, gold discs and memorabilia. Not long before she'd worked with... > Read more

Ain't No Time To Go

Connan Mockasin: Jassbusters (Mexican Summer/Southbound)

13 Oct 2018  |  <1 min read

Best to be honest. Elsewhere has tried to like albums and performances by Connan Mockasin but has mostly found them frustratingly unfocused to the point of being, as we have said, a kind of ADHD experience. This eight song, 35 minute album doesn't come with an inviting either: it relates to the “five-part melodrama film” Bostyn'n'Dobsyn which he has made . . . and many... > Read more

Last Night

Paul Kelly: Nature (Universal)

12 Oct 2018  |  2 min read

The first important things to be said about Nature – Paul Kelly's 24thstudio album – is that the first two singles, With The One I Love and A Bastard Like Me (For Charlie Perkins), are not representative of the rest of the album. Both are Kelly originals, the former an uptempo acoustic-driven number in his unmistakable style and with a lyric open to multiple interpretations, and... > Read more

Mushrooms

JOHN LENNON, IMAGINE EXPANDED (2018): Just gimme some truth . . . and more

8 Oct 2018  |  6 min read

John Lennon's exceptional and essential Plastic Ono Band album of December 1970 was a self-lacerating autobiographical statement which drilled into skeletal and viscerally spare music, was courageous and emotionally naked. It was a farewell to Beatle John and the decade his band dominated and defined. It was imbued with anger and resentment, and in its final... > Read more

I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier Mama (take 11)

Various Artists: Planet Beat; From The Shel Talmy Vaults (Big Beat/Border)

8 Oct 2018  |  2 min read

In the early Nineties there was a compilation entitled What About Us? and it collected Merseybeat bands from the Beatles era who had largely been lost to posterity or whose names – other than the Searchers and Tommy Quickly – were barely know outside of Liverpool. The title was appropriate, although it did suggest there was greatness residing within, and that proved not to be... > Read more

Everybody Knows, by Sean Buckley and the Breadcrumbs (w Jimmy Page)

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

7 Oct 2018  |  4 min read

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column picks up New Zealand artists and Yasmin does with EPs. Comments will be brief. . Alejandro Escovedo with Don Antonio: The Crossing (Yep Roc/Southbound) The great Hispanic songwriter and... > Read more

Loudon Wainwright III: Years in the Making (Storysound/Southbound)

6 Oct 2018  |  2 min read

Even longtime fans of this enormously prolific songwriter – who has often performed open-heart surgery on his failed relationships, family, psyche, politics and every damn thing – find it hard to explain him to outsiders. He's almost a documentarian – he appeared on MASH as a singing soldier, did weekly political songs on NPR – but also comedic (his early albatross... > Read more

Cheatin'

Harry Lyon: “To the Sea” (Norm/Southbound)

5 Oct 2018  |  2 min read

It should come as no surprise that Harry Lyon writes a great album, after all he has some prior form in Hello Sailor and Coup D'Etat. He also wrote Muscles which was on Mitch Marsden's Burning Rain album and was nominated for a Silver Scroll back in '91. Muscles appears here again, but it now sounds very different and bears the aural fingerprint of the album's producer Delaney Davidson who... > Read more

Christmas in Dublin