Music at Elsewhere

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Motorists: Surrounded (digital outlets)

19 Sep 2021  |  <1 min read

We known absolutely very little about this Toronto-based three-piece. But after enduring the angst of Imagine Dragons ("I find myself in pieces, there are pills on the table" in the opener of their latest album) and a bunch of other artists whining about their lives or creating some fake image of themselves, there was something refreshing (if a bit early REM-familiar) about this... > Read more

Proteins of Magic: Proteins of Magic (digital outlets)

16 Sep 2021  |  <1 min read

PoM is New Zealand singer, songwriter and visual artist Kelly Sherrod who studied at Elam in Auckland, was in Punches, played bass in Dimmer (touring at home and in the US), moved to Nashville for a while and now back home should be out promoting this debut album when supporting Dimmer. But . . . Although some of those dates have been postponed, this is a... > Read more

Hopeful Symphony

Bruce Aitken: The Face Vol 1 (digital outlets)

13 Sep 2021  |  1 min read

Although he grew up in Invercargill and Wellington, drummer Bruce Aitken's career has largely been off-shore so his name is barely known here outside of musicians' circles. After playing in bands here from the Sixties into the Eighties he started to move, physically and musically: Sydney to Afghanistan and as a longtime resident in Nova Scotia; touring with the Irish Rovers and playing at... > Read more

Stinky Jim: It's Not What It Sounds Like (bandcamp)

12 Sep 2021  |  <1 min read

For three decades now Stinky Jim (Jim Pinckney) has been championing and playing a kind of outlier/outsider dub reggae and mix-up culture through his bFM radio show Stinky Grooves, some excellent compilations on his label Round Trip Mars which released SJD, Tourettes and many others (we recommend the old Sideways collection for newbies, long an Essential Elsewhere album) as well as being part... > Read more

Amyl and the Sniffers: Comfort To Me (ATO/digital outlets)

10 Sep 2021  |  <1 min read

Melbourne's vice-tight, punk rock outfit fronted by the shouty but smart Amy Taylor here deliver another body blow full of assertion, humour and PG lyrics (they're Australian, remember). This bruising, fist-pumping pub rock-with-attitude and Taylor's bratty, flat-vowel mixes a kind of street poetry with anger. This is reductive but powerful punk rock'n'roll which sounds beamed in from the... > Read more

Lucinda Chua, Antidotes (4AD/digital outlets)

10 Sep 2021  |  <1 min read

The lines between ambient and contemporary classical music are very blurred here – the album being her two EPs combined – by this cellist and singer-songwriter from London who presents weightless, hushed poetry/vocals in the context of slow keyboard chords, her cello and the ambient atmospherics. This is discreet music with a gentle, questing spirit which brings some of... > Read more

Various Artists: Heaven on Fire (Fire/digital outlets)

8 Sep 2021  |  <1 min read

Elsewhere rarely touches mixtape albums but this one has been compiled by Britain's Jane Weaver whose albums we have been most often entranced by, and she has gone into her Fire Records label to spotlight material by other Elsewhere favourites such as Vanishing Twin, Virginia Wing and Brigid Mae Power. It opens with the title track from Weaver's most recent and most excellent Flock... > Read more

Fat Freddy's Drop: Wairunga (The Drop/digital outlets)

5 Sep 2021  |  2 min read

Long before Six60, L.A.B. and Drax Project's domination of the local album charts, Wellington's Fat Freddy's Drop established themselves as one of our most important and innovative bands. Their distinctive amalgam of soul, reggae, R'n'B, jazz, dub and pop was delivered on cornerstone albums Based on a True Story which included their irrepressible breakout single Wandering Eye (2005),... > Read more

Tipene: Heritage Trail (digital outlets)

1 Sep 2021  |  2 min read

There is a remarkable and strong lineage of Māori hip-hop which runs from Upper Hutt Posse's Against the Flow through Dam Native's Kaupapa Driven Rhymes Uplifted to this ambitious, crafted album by Tipene Harmer who – like those illustrious predecessors – knows exactly who he is and where he's from. On the lyrical and rhythmical Ariki here he says, “I'm walkin' with the... > Read more

Mauri ft Ariana Henare

The Roulettes: Demosphere (bandcamp)

30 Aug 2021  |  1 min read

Pop music of the old style (verse/chorus, three minutes) appeals to Elsewhere and this Auckland band around guitarist/singer Justin McLean has always delivered something akin to power pop (yes!) and just enough from the glam/T Rex/Bowie end of the spectrum. This collection was recorded at home in Auckland or Hanoi where bassist/singer Ben Grant lives – hence the title and cover art... > Read more

Steve Gunn: Other You (Matador/digital outlets)

30 Aug 2021  |  1 min read

For someone whose music is heard regularly around the Elsewhere mansion, it's surprising that American singer/guitarist Steve Gunn's albums have only appeared at Elsewhere a few times (although we did do a major interview back in 2017). Inspired by the British folk styles of the Sixties (Davy Graham, Bert Jansch etc) and cult figures like Mike Cooper and Jack Rose, Gunn has as a broad... > Read more

James McMurtry: The Horses and the Hounds (New West/digital outlets)

23 Aug 2021  |  1 min read

Elsewhere has had a long affection for this exceptional singer-songwriter since interviewing him in late '89 on the release of his debut album Too Long in the Wasteland. I'd been immediately impressed by his dark, literary songs (the son of Larry) and leaving a Christmas function after exactly the right number of drinks for the phone interview I found him chatty, serious with a dry humour... > Read more

The New Existentialists: Poetry is Theft (bandcamp)

23 Aug 2021  |  1 min read

It's odd to note that this is the first finished studio album by Auckland's excellent pop-rock outfit the New Existentialists fronted by songwriter and singer George D Henderson  (of the And Band in the early Eighties then the enjoyable Puddle). Their previous release Didn't Have Time of last year was a terrific collection of “work in progress, 2019 – 2020” of which... > Read more

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Various Artists: Accident Compilation (Failsafe/bandcamp)

21 Aug 2021  |  1 min read

Subtitled “Alternative Music from Christchurch New Zealand 1980-1984”, this excellent double CD collection – remastered from the original cassette by Rob Mayes of Failsafe – is very timely in the year Flying Nun celebrates its 40thanniversary. During the Eighties the indie sound and approach of Flying Nun was widely embraced by critics, student radio and audiences.... > Read more

All Over the World by the Newtones

ONE WE MISSED: DuhkQunt: Space Communion (Muzai/digital platforms)

20 Aug 2021  |  1 min read

This Leeds-based producer passed our ears a year or so back with an EP but now with a full-length album of his glitchy samples and a sonic collage of electronica with vocal snippets over nailed-down beats we can throw the spotlight on him . . . albeit a little late because this album came out in July. Not that timing matters, we doubt it has had too many reviews and he does... > Read more

Stephan Micus: Winter's End (ECM/digital outlets)

16 Aug 2021  |  <1 min read

This German multi-instrumentalist – the subject of this Elsewhere Art – is somewhat of an acquired taste because he is so hard to put in any particular box . . . other than one marked “Quiet”. Playing literally dozens of instruments collected on his global travels – notably in Africa for this his 24thalbum on ECM – in addition to singing (often what... > Read more

Yola: Stand For Myself (Easy Eye Sound/digital outlets)

16 Aug 2021  |  2 min read

When Belfast-born Van Morrison relocated to the US in the late 60s he said, “I'm into a completely different thing now, there is no limit to what I can do”. The result was his seminal 1968 Celtic soul album Astral Weeks, much of which drew on his past seen from a physical and emotional distance. For many artists, a new location can mean the opportunity for a new... > Read more

Durand Jones and the Indications: Private Space (Dead Oceans/digital outlets)

14 Aug 2021  |  1 min read

This beautifully slinky, synth-soul album slips around you like a comfort blanket from the glorious opener Love Will Work It Out through to the final falsetto soul of I Can See. But don't be fooled by the subtle grooves and warm synth-string backing because there are real messages here. That opener includes lines like “Folks overtaken by disease. All the people lost made me fall right... > Read more

Negative Nancies: Heatwave (Fishrider)

9 Aug 2021  |  <1 min read

As Flying Nun celebrates its 40thanniversary, the spirit of independence and post-punk DIY attitude it (and many other indie labels) advanced is as evident today as it was then. This mature Dunedin trio – keyboard/singer Tess Mackay, drummer/singer Emile Smith and guitarist/singer Mick Elborado – deliver a thumping and sometimes excoriating noise (the hypnotically repetitive and... > Read more

What Would John Say

Royal Blood: Typhoons (Warner/digital outlets)

9 Aug 2021  |  <1 min read

It has been a long time since this hard-rock Brighton duo passed our way (a great set at the 2015 Laneway in Auckland) so it seemed time to tune in, especially given overseas folk have been using the word “disco” about this album. That might be catching with rock bands: Foo Fighters doing the Bee Gees is fun but a bit surplus to requirements. Here Royal Blood don't go disco... > Read more