Music at Elsewhere

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Pickle Darling: Laundromat (digital outlets)

1 Jul 2023  |  <1 min read

The lexicon has a new sub-category: “cardigan pop”. That's how the quirky music of Pickle Darling (Christchurch multi-instrumentalist Lukas Mayo, they/them) has been described. Check their 2016 glockenspiel version of Lennon's Tomorrow Never Knows. Although they say Pickle Darling means nothing you'd hope for some vinegar astringency. But the 12 songs on this third album... > Read more

Traditional Aliens: What World Will You Live In (digital outlets)

30 Jun 2023  |  <1 min read

This duo of Pateriki Hura (guitars, bass, keys) and Cameron Budge (drummer) from Hastings previously appeared at Elsewhere when they were called Infinity. After a sensible name change (try locating a band called Infinity on the web), they return with their third album of polished, professional and mostly laid-back, slightly jazzy instrumentals which don't owe much, if anything, to... > Read more

Gat Black

Orangefarm: Inheritance (Failsafe Records/digital outlets)

25 Jun 2023  |  1 min read

Although not widely known beyond the capital, Nigel Mitchell's Orangefarm have been around the city for 20 years and now their melodic pop-rock in the lineage of Sneaky Feelings, early Straitjacket Fits and Bike finds fruition on this 13-song debut album. This is often guile-free, observational pop (Conversation with my Grandmother which, delightfully, is about exactly that) and vernacular... > Read more

Open

Jazmine Mary: DOG (digital outlets)

25 Jun 2023  |  1 min read

Even in the broad church loosely described as “alternative”, Australia-born, locally-based Jazmine Mary – identifying as they/them – stands out. Their debut album The Licking of a Tangerine – which won Best Independent Debut in the 2022 Taite Prize – had core elements of alt.folk. But with strings and saxophone embellishments there was also baroque... > Read more

Janelle Monae: The Age of Pleasure (digital outlets)

23 Jun 2023  |  1 min read

When compiling last year's edition of JB Hi-Fi Guide to Essential Vinyl (our third such volume), many of the choices were easy, like Janelle Monae's Dirty Computer of 2018. We said it was “a complex amalgam of funk, rap, futuristic pop, soul, hip-hop, electronica and more, but moulded into memorable songs it seems to follow a narrative arc of marginalisation and socio-cultural sexual... > Read more

Deepriver: Volume One (n5MD/Redeye/digital outlets)

20 Jun 2023  |  <1 min read

From the same US distribution company Redeye which brought us the languid guitar stoner sound of Jeffrey Alexander and the Heavy Lidders comes with expansively electronic ocean of atmospheric sound and gritty crackling textures. The project of Cape Town-based Jason van Wyk and Stockholm's Joni Ljungqvist, Deepriver here offer deep and wide sonics which evoke the snow-covered landscapes of... > Read more

Home

Kiki Rockwell: Rituals on the Bank of a Familiar River (digital outlets)

19 Jun 2023  |  2 min read

The late art critic Robert Hughes once said in a radio interview, with glib accuracy, that post-modernism simply meant one image is worth as much as any other. La Gioconda occupying the same frame and emotional space as Gyro Gearloose, the horse's head in Guernica of the same value as the one in The Godfather. In popular music the genres are mostly so circumscribed (country, rock, EMD)... > Read more

Tom Lark: Brave Star (digital outlets)

14 Jun 2023  |  1 min read

One of the many advantages of dream pop is that it delivers on its product description in a way that other labels – alternative (to what?), indie and metal – simply don't because they are so diverse, the terminology too inexact. But as with power pop, dream pop is an idiom which isn't too disparate and conforms to certain norms. In the case of dream pop they are a kind of... > Read more

Ratso: Live in Otautahi (digital outlets)

12 Jun 2023  |  1 min read

A friend – who has been worshipping at the church of Auckland garageband rock'n'rollers Ratso dozens of time – and I (a more recent convert) agreed on something important about this band. That of all the offshoots of the wonderful D4 – Jimmy Christmas' Luger Boa and bassist Dion Lunadon's solo albums or with A Place to Bury Strangers – Rasto, with D4 bassist Jake... > Read more

Loose End

Bob Dylan: Shadow Kingdom, The Early Songs of Bob Dylan (digital outlets/vinyl/CD)

10 Jun 2023  |  1 min read

During lockdown tireless old Bob Dylan released his exceptional double album Rough and Rowdy Ways (yep he was old, 79 at the time) and also -- in a typical sleight of visuals – presented a 50 minute black'n'white concert film (by Israeli director Alma Har'el) where he went way back in his catalogue for songs like Tombstone Blues, It's All Over Now Baby Blue, The Wicked Messenger and Just... > Read more

Tombstone Blues

Dead Famous People: Ballet Boy (digital outlets)

10 Jun 2023  |  1 min read

For about 30 years we didn't heard anything from Dead Famous People who disappeared off to London in the Eighties . . . and then in 2020 their debut album “Harry” appeared on Britain's Fire label, delivering a glistening collection of joy-filled Seventies power pop and straight-ahead Sixties jangle-pop. Singer-songwriter Dons Savage must have been cheered by the critical... > Read more

Come Back Liar

The Cosmic Debris: The Cosmic Debris (Carnival Din/digital outlets/limited vinyl)

9 Jun 2023  |  1 min read

About six years ago Alan Perrott (who DJs as House of Bamboo) and music archivist John Baker pulled together a fascinating Heed the Call compilation of New Zealand soul-funk and disco from various obscure albums and the vaults of musicians. It was a rare one because these were idioms which largely went by most artists. Hats off then to Auckland's Tony Richards who here presents 10... > Read more

Floating in the Air

Bad Taste: Bad Taste II (digital outlets)

6 Jun 2023  |  1 min read

We'll admit immediately we had never heard of Bad Taste until this album arrived, but we were certainly aware of David Alphabethead from the enjoyably noisy Wellington band All Seeing Hand. Alphabethead is here (on samples and electronics) with rapper Young Gho$t on a doom-laden collection of downbeat electro/hip-hop which delivers thrusts and slaps at the state of contemporary society,... > Read more

Looks Wrong

The Barnestormers: The Barnestormers (digital outlets)

3 Jun 2023  |  1 min read

Yes, the cynical might say he's done rock, soul and even a Christmas album . . . . so why wouldn't Jimmy Barnes do a rockabilly album? Fair point, but to hear him tell it he's been a fan of the pre-rock'n'roll style since growing up with it through his older brother John's collection, and then in Cold Chisel days listening repeatedly to a cassette of the Johnny Burnette Rock and Roll Trio in... > Read more

Gerald Cleaver: 22/23 (Positive Elevation/577 Records/bandcamp)

3 Jun 2023  |  <1 min read

New York's 577 Records has popped up at Elsewhere a few times, but so far for edgy free jazz. The label now has an interesting imprint Positive Elevation which is dedicated to electronic sounds and avant-soul. And that first category certainly suits Detroit's Gerald Cleaver who comes from the home of house music and musical innovation. On this, his third album for the Positive... > Read more

Leon Russell: Signature Songs (Dark Horse/digital outlets)

2 Jun 2023  |  1 min read

Bill Janovitz of Buffalo Tom has a fine parallel career as a music writer with his work appearing in The Observer, at esquire.com and his books on the Rolling Stones getting very favourable reviews: Rocks Off through St Martin's Press and his analysis of Exile on Main St through Bloomsbury 33 ⅓. His most recent work is the massive Leon Russell: The Master of Space and Time's Journey... > Read more

Delta Lady

Various Artists: New Zealand @ 33⅓, Volume One (Frenzy CD)

29 May 2023  |  2 min read

Just when you thought archivist Grant Gillanders couldn't find any new material to excavate from the Sixties he taps another vein of local nuggets. More on that recent discovery as it comes to hand – it's a cracker and unexpectedly raw. But meantime here's an interesting repackaging of deep cuts and obscurities: 33 tracks lifted from albums by the likes of the Merseymen,... > Read more

Dream Lover, by Dinah Lee

Rose City Band: Garden Party (Thrill Jockey/digital outlets)

27 May 2023  |  <1 min read

Elsewhere almost missed the delightful 2020 album Summerlong by this band which is a vehicle for multi-instrumentalist Ripley Johnson (Wooden Shjips) until we heard a glorious track of a compilation. Then we jumped on it for its lazy country stylings of steel guitar, bluegrass and Byrdsian jangle (think Wasn't Born to Follow and Ballad of Easy Rider). But dammit we missed their... > Read more

Anna: Intentions (Mercury KX/digital outlets)

22 May 2023  |  <1 min read

Brazilian-born Lisbon-based DJ electronica producer Anna's debut album Intentions is a gloriously warm collection of shimmering ambience which features the longtime Elsewhere favourite Laraaji on the spacious, seven minute Receiving.  As with Laraaji, Anna's ethereal and layered electronica has something of a spiritual aspect, a kind of meditative situation created for transformative... > Read more

I See Miracles Everywhere

Terrible Sons: The Raft is Not the Shore (digital outlets)

21 May 2023  |  1 min read

Behind the somewhat misleading band name is a measured folk duo from Ōtautahi Christchurch whose 2018 Half Awake, Half Asleep EP sprung the unexpected hit Tears Don't Fall, clocking almost 21 million Spotify streams. Gentle, philosophical and steeped in natural imagery, this debut album is better understood by its title referencing the difference between perception and reality,... > Read more

Sunset Swimming