Music at Elsewhere

Subscribe to my newsletter for weekly updates.

Loud Ghost: All in a Day (Tone Exchange/digital outlets)

12 Mar 2021  |  1 min read

Loud Ghost is the rock'n'roll outlet for Auckland multi-disciplined Darryn Harkness (New Telepathics, Serafin, From Scratch, poetry collections, artwork) who is now getting close to about 20 albums under his various guises. The previous self-titled Loud Ghost album was more than five years ago but in the interim (as you can tell) he has been busy on other projects, notably the expanded and... > Read more

Adjiri Odametey: Ekonklo/Other Side (bandcamp)

12 Mar 2021  |  <1 min read

This delightful 13-song album came to Elsewhere direct from Ghanaian-born, Berlin-based singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Odametey. He seduces you in with the intimate Kootse but then picks up the tempo with the gently joyful bounce of Ghana Groove with that seductive, tickling guitar style from that coast of Africa. (If you haven't a decent album since Paul Simon's Graceland start... > Read more

The Boys With The Perpetual Nervousness: Songs From Another Life (Kool Kat/digital outlets)

7 Mar 2021  |  <1 min read

Move right along folks, nothing to hear here . . . Unless you get the reference in this Scottish/Spanish duo's name and like the idea of elemental, jangling power-pop/soft-rock. For those not in the know the band's name refers to New Jersey's wonderful Feelies and their debut album Crazy Rhythms of 1980 (which had a track The Boy With the Perpetual Nervousness). It has long been one of... > Read more

Gitbox: Curveball + Gitbox in Concert (Rattle/digital outlets)

6 Mar 2021  |  1 min read

Recently I was invited to write the liner notes for this new release by Auckland's Gitbox guitar ensemble. Thirty years ago as Gitbox Rebellion -- some of the original members still in the current line-up  -- they launched the Rattle label, so this album was an anniversary homecoming. This is what I wrote . . . .  Time, as we live through it, seems linear. But sometimes we can... > Read more

Transglobal Underground: A Gathering of Strangers 2021 (Mule/digital outlets)

5 Mar 2021  |  1 min read  |  2

In the very early Nineties I made my way through London streets to an obscure doorway and went down narrow stairs into the heart of the fledgling record company Nation Records. I had been won over by their glorious genre/culture defying sounds where tabla and the glorious voice of Natacha Atlas sat alongside rap, strings, samples, programmes, trip-hop and so much more. Their albums were... > Read more

Hey You Shepherd

Citrus Clouds: Collider (Lollipop/bandcamp)

5 Mar 2021  |  1 min read

Elsewhere's unashamed enthusiasm for power pop and shoegaze gets another exercising with this new album by a trio from Phoenix, who seem to have had a line-up change around Erick Pineda since we encountered them with their excellent Imagination album in 2017. There is a subtle shift here into some very widescreen, dreamscape shoegaze pop (In a Dream and the majestic Pastel Sky which seems... > Read more

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Weta: Geographica, 20th Anniversary Reissue (Warners/digital outlets)

5 Mar 2021  |  2 min read

When Aaron Tokona died last year there was understandable shock and grief. He was just 45 when his big heart, which had pumped a remarkable career and touched so many, gave out. Often Tokona (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Maniapoto) seemed a musician-without-portfolio, taking his prodigious vocal and guitar talents wherever they were needed, or fancy took him. Spooling back: He... > Read more

RECOMMENDED RECORD: Jane Weaver: Flock (Fire/Southbound/digital outlets)

1 Mar 2021  |  2 min read

From time to time Elsewhere will single out a recent release we recommend on vinyl, like this one which comes with a download code but no lyric sheet unfortunately . . . .  Britain's Jane Weaver has appeared a few times at Elsewhere, once for the recommended Modern Kosmology of 2017 about which we said, “Across this album, which seems to stand outside of time, Weaver has... > Read more

rotor plus: Fugue States – After (digital outlets)

26 Feb 2021  |  1 min read

Words like “ambient” and “atmospheric” are used frequently to describe music which is often restful, quiet, spacious and understated. In recent decades these sounds have often been generated by synthesisers programmed for warmth and restfulness. Or from piano recorded so the notes have a long delay and seem to hang in the air. Brian Eno famously... > Read more

Foo Fighters: Medicine at Midnight (Warner/digital outlets)

26 Feb 2021  |  2 min read

Dave Grohl became such a part of rock's rich tapestry these past two decades you'd be forgiven for thinking he's always been something of a senior statesman. At 52, Grohl – Nirvana's drummer who emerged as the frontman/songwriter for his all-conquering Foo Fighters – is the well-adjusted rock star who has recorded with Paul McCartney, Queens of the Stone Age, Bruce Springsteen,... > Read more

Bilders: Move Along, Love Among (bandcamp)

24 Feb 2021  |  2 min read

Last year Bill Direen – aka Bilders, the musician, writer, poet and Swiss Knife of New Zealand culture – appeared as Ferocious on an album with composer/drummer Johannes Contag (Cloudboy, The Golden Awesome) and guitarist Mark Williams for their self-titled album on the Rattle label. Even in Rattle's expansive imprint, Ferocious was something unique in that it bridged many... > Read more

RECOMMENDED RECORD: The Besnard Lakes: Are The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings (Fat Cat/digital outlets)

22 Feb 2021  |  2 min read

From time to time Elsewhere will single out a recent release we recommend on vinyl, like this one which comes as double vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with a lyric sheet . . . Every now and again a 21stcentury psychedelic rock band emerges with its roots in the classic late Sixties/early Seventies sound of mind-expanding music with a widescreen delivery. Elsewhere has long had an... > Read more

Grant Haua: Awa Blues (Dixie Frog/digital outlets)

22 Feb 2021  |  1 min read

When singer/songwriter and guitarist Grant Haua was interviewed recently by Marty Duda for his 13thFloor website, he committed a great heresy. Haua laughed about how much he enjoyed recording his new album Awa Blues, “it wasn't like hard work”. What he should have said, to be taken as A Serious Artist, was that it was real struggle, there were a lot of anxious moments of... > Read more

This is the Place

Hearty Har: Radio Astro (BMG/digital outlets)

21 Feb 2021  |  1 min read

To give these two guys a break let's not mention their dad because too often that – as Julian Lennon would tell you – doesn't work in your favour much. However the offspring of some Big Names (Ziggy Marley, Liza Minnelli, Jakob Dylan, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Zac Starkey, etc) have done very worthwhile work. But let's just take this 11-song, post-punk but retro-garageband rock... > Read more

Virginia Wing: private LIFE (Fire/Southbound/digital outlets)

12 Feb 2021  |  1 min read

Last time out with the terrific Ecstatic Arrows, Elsewhere concluded of this Manchester electronica-cum-pop group that “now is the time to tune in”. Singer Alice Merida Richards' frosty and emotionally detached vocals sat well within the retro-futurism of the songs which shifted from art school to Goth and minimalism. On this, their fourth album, they again push the... > Read more

Private Life

We Will Ride Fast: Emotional Molecules (Fight Cave Records/digital outlets)

6 Feb 2021  |  <1 min read

Throbbing, danceable gloom-rock is not just alive and well in the hands of Kyle Sattler (The Bennies) out of Tauranga but, on this third album, pushing further into experimental guitar rock. With swathes of sometimes disconcerting electronics alongside Sattler's stentorian vocals declaiming the angst of the 21stcentury where many are cut adrift from the certainties and symbols of yesteryear... > Read more

Various Artists: True Colours, New Colours - The Songs of Split Enz (Warners/digital outlets)

6 Feb 2021  |  3 min read

Split Enz' 1980 album True Colours was a songwriting and commercial watershed for the group, springing memorable material like Tim Finn's edgy Shark Attack and Nobody Takes Me Seriously, his achingly lovely I Hope I Never and brother Neil's irrepressible I Got You. On the album's release, George Kay in Rip It Up wrote, “Words like 'showpiece' and 'classic'... > Read more

Rats on Rafts: Excerpts From Chapter 3 (Fire/digital outlets)

31 Jan 2021  |  1 min read

This Dutch band has only made one previous appearance at Elsewhere, back in '16 when were somewhat underwhelmed by a pairing with their noisy neighbours De Kift for a kind of supergroup which was big on thrash with horns. Here on their own however for their third album (subtitled The Mind Runs a Net of Rabbit Paths), the four-piece deliver something which seems like a concept... > Read more

Elijah Knutsen: Pink Dream (Memory Color/bandcamp)

25 Jan 2021  |  <1 min read

Inspired by Japanese ambient music of the kind collected on the impressive 2019 set Kanyko Ongaku -- where gentle atmospherics and equally discreet field recordings co-exist -- this evocative, 24-minute collection of four pieces is another in a series by Portland's Elijah Knutsen for his appropriately entitled Memory Color label. Released on cassette (but available through... > Read more

Pink Dream

Max Merritt: I Can Dream (Fanfare/Sony/digital outlets)

24 Jan 2021  |  1 min read

When Max Merritt died in LA just weeks before his induction into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame last year, it reminded us of how that first generation of local rock'n'roll stars was passing on. Merritt was being inducted as one of the founders of New Zealand rock'n'roll in the Fifties, although many people would say his song Slipping Away from '75 was not just his... > Read more

I Can Dream Can't I