Music at Elsewhere

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Flying Lotus: Flamagra (Warp/Border)

17 Jun 2019  |  1 min read

Jazz composer/trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and his cheerleader Stanley Crouch often used to talk about how much “musical information” there was on certain albums. You'd like to hear how they might interpret and decode this one by Flying Lotus aka Steven Ellison: Years in the making; a celebrity collision of guests including Thundercat, Anderson.Paak, George Clinton, Toro Y Moi and... > Read more

Debbie is Depressed

Marianne Faithfull: Come and Stay With Me (Ace/Border)

16 Jun 2019  |  2 min read

On her Strange Weather album in '87 and No Exit (live from 2016), Marianne Faithfull delivered more definitive versions of the song As Tears Go By which Jagger-Richards wrote for her in 1964 when she was a seemingly chaste Catholic schoolgirl full of innocence. Back then she sang it as if in a drawing room, the young Elizabethan girl looking out the world beyond the window and knowing she... > Read more

Counting

Scott Mannion: Loving Echoes (Lil' Chief)

10 Jun 2019  |  1 min read

Although recorded in Spain, Norway, New Zealand and Wales over six years with a cast of Lil' Chief artists and fellow travelers, this debut album by Scott Mannion – who came to attention with the wonderful Tokey Tones in 2003, and has lived in Spain since 2013 – holds together as a musically coherent work. His reflective and understated lyrics follow the arc of a relationship... > Read more

Somebody Else's Dream

Eli Paperboy Reed: 99 Cents Dreams (Yep Roc/Southbound)

9 Jun 2019  |  <1 min read

Channeling the sound and spirit of classic soul (Smokey, young Otis and Marvin, Al Green, Sam Cooke and more), Eli Paperboy Reed -- a white guy originally from Massachusetts, now in his mid 30s – has seriously immersed himself in blues and soul. His track record has been convincing and this album – recorded at Sam Phillips' studio in Memphis with local black backing singers the... > Read more

Lover's Compensation

Vanishing Twin: The Age of Immunology (Fire)

8 Jun 2019  |  <1 min read

As the Felice Brothers stare into the abyss of Amerikkka on their current Undress album, this UK-based group of migrant members (Belgium, Japan, Italy, France and the US) – helmed by writer Cathy Lucas – deliver an album which willfully denies the borders erected between people and musical genres. So they offer hope (the seven minute-plus folk-jazz drift of You Are Not An... > Read more

Backstroke

Felice Brothers: Undress (Yep Roc/Southbound)

8 Jun 2019  |  <1 min read

After all these decades people still cheer, perhaps more loudly these days, when Bob Dylan sings “even the president of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked” in It's Alright Ma. The idea of the trappings stripped away – rather than literal nakedness – propels the opener/title track here where the long-running country-rockers Felice Brothers tear away... > Read more

Socrates

Jimmy Barnes: My Criminal Record (Bloodlines)

7 Jun 2019  |  1 min read

The great Australian rock legend JImmy Barnes has undergone a kind of soul-baring resurrection in recent years with his autobiographies Working Class Boy and Working Class Man, his garrulous interviews and a candour which endears him to an audience which can identify with his fuel-injected years in Cold Chisel and his songs about the harder edges of life which he sings about so persuasively.... > Read more

The National: I Am Easy to Find (4AD/Rhythmethod)

27 May 2019  |  2 min read

For almost two decades the National, originally out of Ohio but these days its members living on various continents, have inspired an almost slavish loyalty from those who, rightly, acclaim their smart amalgam of an almost art-rock approach to edgy but straight-ahead rock. And it has come with just enough of a whiff of avant-prog leanings which found its zenith on their previous album Sleep... > Read more

Roman Holiday

Elroy Finn: Elroy (Rhythmethod/digital outlets)

27 May 2019  |  1 min read

After years playing in various bands with the likes of Lawrence Arabia and Connan Mockasin, in the vanity project Pablo Vasquez, as well as Finn family line-ups (notably on father Neil's dreamy and darkly beautiful Out of Silence album), multi-instrumentalist Elroy Finn releases this, his debut album. Out of those diverse experiences, this self-titled album emerges more along the lines of... > Read more

Stubbleman: Mountains and Plains (Crammed Discs/Southbound)

27 May 2019  |  1 min read

The great and diverse landscape and the lure of the road with the freedom it offers has been a constant in American life since white settlers arrived and wondered what was over the horizon. Great writers and filmmakers have been seduced by it, Native Americans understand it, people plunder it and Europeans often are in awe of the sheer spaciousness of the country and the huge sky is lies... > Read more

Great River Road

Jeff Kelly: Beneath the Stars, Above the River (Green Monkey/digital outlets)

20 May 2019  |  1 min read

Seattle's Jeff Kelly has appeared many times at Elsewhere for over a decade, initially when we made the case for his classy and literate pop-rock with the band Green Pajamas (intelligent indie-pop and sometimes hitting the perfect pop-rock point of the Beach Boys and Beatles 1965-66), then in a different incarnation on acoustic-framed and artistic albums and now . . . His travels to Spain... > Read more

Kiss the Moon Hello

Taking Back Sunday: XX (Craft/Southbound)

18 May 2019  |  <1 min read

To be honest, Elsewhere has never previously encountered this New York band . . . which is a considerable oversight given this is their 20thanniversary retrospective. But unless you have a thing for yelping emo-angst and that peculiarly Eighties/Nineties American take on what they called punk rock (No Doubt, Blink 182, Green Day before American Idiot and so on) then you haven't missed much.... > Read more

All Ready to Go

The Budos Band: V (Daptone/Southbound)

17 May 2019  |  <1 min read

Combining the horn fire-power of the Daptone label with hefty rock guitar, a soul thump and Ethiopian jazz, this nine-piece American band deliver an instrumental album which fairly races out the gate and straight to the dancefloor. However, there's a psychedelic quality at work too (The Enchanter with its dirty guitar part and strange organ) alongside what could be blaxploitation... > Read more

Spider Web Part 1

Peter Doherty and the Puta Madres: Peter Doherty and the Puta Madres (Strap Originals/Southbound)

17 May 2019  |  1 min read

If you believed the British rock press a decade or so ago, Pete Doherty was a lyrically insightful genius who was like Keats, Ray Davies and Oscar Wilde all wrapped up in a rock'n'roll ball of swagger and addiction. With Kate Moss at his side. If that were even remotely true then all we can say is how the mighty fell, and so far. Although there were enjoyably louche and... > Read more

Lamentable Ballad of Gascony Avenue

Death and Vanilla: Are You A Dreamer? (Fire Records/Southbound)

15 May 2019  |  <1 min read

This Swedish trio out of Malmo – Marleen Nilsson, Anders Hansson and Magners Bodin – create some deliciously dreamy, quasi-ambient and gentle psychedelia which exists somewhere between delicate drone-pop, the woozy end of the Cocteau Twins, celestial ambience and a nudge of assertive electronica. Vocalist Nilsson occupies the middle-distance in most of these pieces, her voice... > Read more

The Hum

Big Thief: UFOF (4AD/Rhythmethod)

13 May 2019  |  1 min read

At first blush of the opening track Contact on this, the New York four-piece's third album, they seem to conform very much to the doe-eyed, laconic and slightly world-weary figures who lounge limply on the cover: It's all hushed harmonies, gently chiming guitars and “Judi, please turn the page for me . . . wrap me in silk . . . ” Three verses of ennui and the intention seems... > Read more

Strange

Soak: Grim Town (Rough Trade)

6 May 2019  |  2 min read

It has seemed a lifetime (four years) for this young Irish singer-songwriter to follow up her slightly uneven but impressive debut album Before We Forgot How to Dream. If that album suffered a little from some arch poetry it was forgivable, she was 18 when the album came out so those were pieces written when she was 17 and probably still in school. Now 22 and with... > Read more

Knock Me Off My Feet

Sonic Delusion: Anything Goes (Turn Up the Pop/digital outlets)

6 May 2019  |  1 min read

In New Zealand Music Month, magazines and sites like Elsewhere expect to be inundated with requests for reviews by artists who have decided to release their music at a time when everyone else has had exactly the same idea. That seems pretty self-defeating but . . . Artists with an established career or a point-of-difference invariably get the attention. Sonic Delusion out of New... > Read more

Moments in Time

Kevin Morby: Oh My God (Dead Oceans/Rhythmethod)

5 May 2019  |  1 min read

When artists head down a spiritual path they inevitably get comparisons with Bob Dylan in his gospel phase, the more questioning moments of Van Morrison or Leonard Cohen, and maybe a bit of Bono. Most of whom have been invoked in considerations of this album by Kevin Morby whose Dead Oceans debut Singing Saw was something of a quiet if referential alt.country gem. Certainly when the... > Read more

Sing a Glad Song

Versing: 10000 (Hardly Art)

3 May 2019  |  2 min read

In July 2011, the respected UK critic David Hepworth wrote a hilarious column in The Word about indie rock. He started by demolishing the adjective “indie” as essentially meaningless but that we somehow “get it” as a shorthand. Originally it actually meant independent, but these days with streaming services and such just about everybody really is independent, even... > Read more