Music at Elsewhere

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Flea BITE: Bite Me (Border)

3 Dec 2018  |  <1 min read

And now something for our younger listeners. Or at least their parents or caregivers. Robin Nathan (aka Flea BITE) out of Wellington has been making children's music which has adult appeal for its musical and often lyrical cleverness. With Plan 9 (Janet Roddick, Stephen Roche and David Donaldson), Jeff Henderson and others this is a collection designed to amuse the young ones and... > Read more

Virus

ONE WE MISSED: Parquet Courts; Wide Awaaaaake! (Rough Trade/Rhythmethod)

30 Nov 2018  |  1 min read

This smart New York City outfit – transplanted from Texas – has a solid following here on the basis of a couple of shows but on album they have painted some pretty haphazard pictures and in some ways this doesn't reign in their catch-all tendencies. But with producer Danger Mouse on hand, some glistening songs like the classic dream-pop of Mardi Gras Beads, the pointed political... > Read more

Before the Water Gets Too High

Mark Knopfler: Down the Road Wherever (Universal)

26 Nov 2018  |  2 min read

Despite two fine albums (the self-titled debut and Making Movies. Other arguments on a postcard), there are those who will probably never forgive Mark Knopfler for Dire Straits: Too successful, sometimes too bland, the headband, Twisting by the Pool . . . But his solo career in recent years has been extremely impressive and albums like the highly recommended double Privateering of 2012... > Read more

When You Leave

Blair Jollands: 7 Blood (Glowb)

26 Nov 2018  |  2 min read

Elsewhere first encountered London-based expat and multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Blair Jollands in an odd Indian restaurant in Brick Lane in 2004. He was riding a measure of success having been nominated for an Emmy for his soundtrack work on the television series Shackleton which had got him a trip to Hollywood for the ceremony. "We got a limo to the show, didn't win and so got... > Read more

Not Enough

Josephine Foster: Faithful Fairy Harmony (Fire/Southbound)

25 Nov 2018  |  1 min read

Let us reiterate a point made about her previous album No More Lamps in the Morning, that Josephine Foster's voice and style is not for the casual listener. Really, it's not. She gets placed in the “folk” category but others will hear a strange take on front-parlour ballads from the Thirties around the piano, German lieder, odd waltzes, operatic drama, piano cut across by... > Read more

Lord of Love

Yoko-Zuna: Voyager (Loop)

19 Nov 2018  |  1 min read

With a lowkey Prologue, a Midterlude and an Epilogue, this cracking second album by Auckland's electronica/dance/hip-hip four-piece (with guests) Yoko-Zuna might be a tad too long at an hour and perhaps a little pretentious with those bookends and the halftime entertainment. But . . . that will seem a carping criticism of a play-loud collection which rides addictive beats, comes with... > Read more

Voltron

Mimi and Rivers: Simple Lives (digital outlets)

16 Nov 2018  |  1 min read

The Rivers here is Chris Baigent who is the singer-songwriter for the neo-folk band Rivers Edge and Mimi is his ex-partner Aimee Belton who here harmonise beautifully on these nine originals. There is delicacy here (Love Kills Fear brings extraordinary passion and acceptance to the threadbare phrase “I love you”) but these folk-pop songs also have real sinew: In the Light buoyed... > Read more

Rising Up

The Wooden Box Band: Far Far Away (woodenboxbandmusic.com)

11 Nov 2018  |  <1 min read

Formerly Paddy Burgin and the Wooden Box Band but now projecting the new band members and allowing Wellington guitar-maker Burgin to step back a little, this small ensemble recorded these 10 originals at Lee Prebble's Surgery studio. This is dialed down folk (trumpet, violin, mandolin, lap steel etc) where there sheer pleasure is evident in material like the softly jaunty but lyrically pointed... > Read more

Pitchfork

Tui Mamaki: Fly (digital outlets/tuimamaki.com)

10 Nov 2018  |  <1 min read

Singer-songwriter Tui Mamaki was central to the slightly confusingly named Mamaku Project (subsequently just Mamaku) but with their two albums seven years apart and this solo project under her own name four years on from the last – and her having lived in Bulgaria for the past three years – most would be forgiven for not knowing her. Pity because this quietly poetic, deftly... > Read more

Same Sun

ONE WE MISSED: George Ezra; Staying at Tamara's (Sony)

10 Nov 2018  |  1 min read

Somehow we missed this album when it came out way back in March, which is odd given we were so impressed by this British singer's showing at the Auckland City Limits festival just weeks earlier. At a festival – and indeed in a music culture in general – where most artists try to amplify their point of difference this 24-year old (he's 25 now) cleaved to simple old values such as... > Read more

Saviour (ft First Aid Kit)

Racing: Real Dancing (digital outlets)

9 Nov 2018  |  2 min read

Elsewhere always hails pop-rock/whatever delivered by musicians who feel they've just invented it. Their enthusiasm is infectious and worth a dozen by weight of music from more senior and crafted writers. Auckland band Racing -- whose members have been around a couple of years – have released four singles, and here hit the sweet'n'energetic spot between excitement and craft because... > Read more

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