Music at Elsewhere

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Polar Extremes: Strange Visions (digital outlets)

20 Feb 2019  |  1 min read

Okay, this is just odd fun . . . with a sense of smarts and cultural history behind it. Not too many locals might even recognise the horse-flesh resonance of the opening title, Racing This Time (did the great commentator Reg Clapp coin that phrase?), but the album begins with a hip-hop funk take on what sounds like lo-fi Talking Heads beat-driven pop filtered through the sensibilities of... > Read more

Captain Zodiac's Dictionary

Various Artists: Roma Soundtrack (Sony)

18 Feb 2019  |  <1 min read

It may not be a fair test, but one way of assessing a soundtrack as a standalone item outside of the images is how it works if you haven't seen the film. Many soundtracks these days are compilations rather than music created specifically for a film – a practice many date back to the success of Flashdance in '83 which toped charts everywhere and spawned the compilation/soundtrack... > Read more

Ciudad Perdida

Methyl Ethel: Triage (4AD)

15 Feb 2019  |  <1 min read

Their location (Perth in Western Australia) and the band name (which brings to mind Nick Cave/Grinderman's raucous Depth Charge Ethyl) might conjure up some pretty brittle and aggressive. But as we've noted in previous reviews of this project of Jake Webb, there's something a lot more glam-poise and danceable electro-influenced dance pop going on here (as on the Prince-like Real... > Read more

Real Tight

ONE WE MISSED: Brisa Roche: Father (Black Ash)

14 Feb 2019  |  1 min read

We forgive ourselves – and of course you – because this one went past unnoticed. Elsewhere only discovered it when a fan/supporter here sent a on copy of this quietly gripping album from last year. American-born musician-poet Roche – now 42 – spent most of her life in Paris where she performed across a variety of genres, recorded an album and was signed to Blue Note... > Read more


Johno: The Road Not Taken (RNT Records)

14 Feb 2019  |  1 min read

Although the Johno here comes with a fairly substantial press release when it boils down it's short on gritty specifics. We glean he is London-born of Irish parents and we'll accept he was a jazz musician who ended up doing a lot of production, and that now he lives on a coast in Greece but spends a lot of time traveling through Europe, Africa, the Balkans and Middle East. With all of that... > Read more

The Long and Winding Road

The Lemonheads: Varshons II (Fire/Southbound)

14 Feb 2019  |  1 min read

We can only look at promise unfulfilled in the wayward and often self-destructive career of Evan Dando, the Lemonhead who foreshadowed so much with the early work (notably the Favourite Spanish Dishes EP and the albums Lovey, It's a Shame About Ray and some of Come On Feel The Lemonheads). But thereafter the wheels came off, the music more intermittent, the guest appearances were... > Read more

Old Man Blank

Beirut: Gallipoli (4AD)

11 Feb 2019  |  1 min read

There's a fairly prevalent belief that if you look busy, people will think you are; that if the surface looks impressive there's probably real substance beneath it; and that if you write in the world of whatever passes for “indie rock” these days (the genre which appears when you drop this new Beirut album into a computer) that you don't need to bother about troublesome things like... > Read more

Gauze fur Zah

Cherry Glazerr: Stuffed and Ready (Secretly Canadian)

11 Feb 2019  |  <1 min read

Some part garageband with a dollop of power-pop alongside songs which could fill a stadium, this trio from California around singer-guitarist Clementine Creevy hold fast to some old values which sometimes also marry punk energy with studio polish. Despite that collision of styles and references – all of which have pop values at core – there is sameness among many of these 10... > Read more


Beat Rhythm Fashion: Tenterhook (Failsafe/digital outlets)

9 Feb 2019  |  2 min read

To be honest, I can't say I ever saw Wellington's late Seventies/early Eighties band Beat Rhythm Fashion . . . and until now maybe not even much, if anything, of their music, other than perhaps in passing on bFM. They were however a band – just three singles – many of us in Auckland were “aware” of. Ever since the seven year gap between a couple of Blue Nile... > Read more


Aro: Manu (Aro)

6 Feb 2019  |  1 min read

The premise here may sound a bit twee – 10 songs about New Zealand native birds, at some remove from Dudley Benson's art music we would add – which were written by Aro (Charles and Emily Looker) while they were traveling the country in their mobile home. Sound a bit close to the ever-favourite Kiwi acoustic strum on a beach in summer? And yes, there are some songs are... > Read more


Tiny Ruins: Olympic Girl (Milk! Records vinyl/digital outlets)

4 Feb 2019  |  1 min read

At some point in the late Sixties, British folk music got a little psychedelic, baroque and more interesting than much of the earnest finger-picking style which had preceded it. People like Donovan – on songs such as Sunny Goodge Street, Three Kingfishers and so on – found these new musical settings opened up and allowed for new avenues of lyrical expression. Hollie Fullbrook... > Read more

School of Design

TOY: Happy in the Hollow (Tough Love/Southbound)

4 Feb 2019  |  1 min read

At the recent Laneway a friend and I commented about a decent young local band that it sounded like they'd grown up with their parents' Eighties records (Smiths, Cure, Joy Division etc). There's perhaps an inevitability about that . . . and here it comes again with this UK outfit who here on their fourth album channel similar sources alongside a bit of Mazzy Star/shoegaze drone and motorik... > Read more

Move Through the Dark

Marlon Williams: Live at the Auckland Town Hall (digital outlets)

2 Feb 2019  |  2 min read

More than just a memento of last year's sell-out concert in May, this cleanly recorded set launches Marlon Williams' turangawaewae tour (dates below) and perhaps after that allows him to put some of his more cathartically beautiful material behind him and look ahead. Here with the excellent Yarra Benders – capable of everything from the most delicate piano ballads to... > Read more

I Didn't Make A Plan

Francisca Griffin: The Spaces Between (Coco Muse/digital outlets)

30 Jan 2019  |  1 min read  |  1

In an engagingly monochromatic voice which alludes to the dispassionate indifference of Nico or the battered dignity of recent Marianne Faithfull, singer/guitarist Francisca Griffin – formerly of Flying Nun's Look Blue Go Purple then Cyclops – here delivers her poetic alt.pop against backdrops of dark and driving folkadelics (the gripping opener One Eye Open and Martyn with Ro... > Read more

Bones and Lies

The Bevis Frond: We're Your Friends, Man (Fire)

28 Jan 2019  |  1 min read

On the opening track of this album the great helmsman of Britain's the Bevis Frond, Nick Saloman, announces “this is the product of my fevered mind, this is the sound of being left behind, this is a ritual dissection of the soul, I hope that you will enjoy it. This is the twentysomething swinging disc . . . I'm not even sure it's worth a second look”. Pessimistic at all, Mr... > Read more

Old Wive's Tales

Lonnie Holley: MITH (Jagjaguwar)

21 Jan 2019  |  1 min read

For a singer, 68-year old Lonnie Holley is an interesting sculptor. And while this album – only his third I believe, his first for Jagjaguwar – is not without interest (and it's black politics part of an important lineage) it is his backstory which is worth hearing first. About 35 years ago he began creating sculpture out of found objects then moved into painting. Known as... > Read more

Copying the Rock

Sharon Van Etten: Remind Me Tomorrow (Jagjaguwar)

21 Jan 2019  |  1 min read

The most interesting singer-writers are those who grow and take their audience on the journey, whether it be down to their personal depths or their new-found happiness. Of course, not all artists can effectively convey their developing persona – see the recent Deerhunter – but when the best pull it off (PJ Harvey and Jeff Tweedy spring to mind) they can be welcome fellow... > Read more

Comeback Kid

Maggie Rogers: Heard It In a Past Life (Capitol/Universal)

20 Jan 2019  |  1 min read

A friend recently bemoaned that young pop stars can make it on the basis of just one single that goes viral. They haven't paid their dues . . . and so on. He then cited by way of example Maggie Rogers whose recent single Light On he'd heard. Big mistake, given this bright poppy (if flawed) major label debut album which includes that catchy single and collates a number of reworkings... > Read more

Say It

Deerhunter: Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared? (4AD)

19 Jan 2019  |  1 min read

America's Deerhunter – and the offshoot of projects as Atlas Sound by the band's helmsman Bradford Cox – has long been an Elsewhere favourite, in fact two of the four previous albums we reviewed – this being their eighth – were in our end of year Best of lists. Those albums might have had a few shadows but mostly they were smart and frequently upbeat alt.rock which... > Read more


Steve Gunn: The Unseen in Between (Matador)

18 Jan 2019  |  1 min read

If there is to be a neo-psychedelic folk-rock revival – and round here we hope so – then it could hardly be in better hands than those of singer-guitarist Steve Gunn. He served just enough time in Kurt Vile's band the Violators to be a name known to a young and hip rock audience but has also traveled interesting paths through Anglofolk (most writers mention John Martyn, Bert... > Read more