Music at Elsewhere

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Adam McGrath: Dear Companions (vinyl/CD/download)

17 Apr 2023  |  3 min read

Lord knows there are any number of artists these days who will tell us on their album of their isolation during Covid or their recent break-up or how they feel outsiders and so on. The album as therapy? Songs asking for sympathy? It is a pleasure – a sad one as you may read – to introduce this extraordinary album by Adam McGrath, the man with the lumberjack physique, the... > Read more

Trouble With This City

Peter Case: Doctor Moan (digital outlets)

10 Apr 2023  |  1 min read

Has it really been 37 years since Peter Case's superb self-titled solo debut (after years in the terrific power-pop band the Plimsouls) crossed our path? And if so – and regrettably it is so – why, when that is one of our favourites and a longtime Essential Elsewhere album, have so few of his subsequent albums come into our view? We only have three or four out of his... > Read more

Josephine Foster: Domestic Sphere (Fire/digital outlets)

9 Apr 2023  |  1 min read

As many would realise, Elsewhere sometimes looks very far afield and elsewhere in its choices: we suspect few other webmags would give space to the sui generis and idiosyncratic sounds of noemienours, Mali Mali, Jandek, John Jacob Niles, Hasil Adkins . . . Let alone have a whole section called Further Outwhere. The music there make Yoko Ono and the Shaggs positively top 40... > Read more

Birthday Song for the Dead

Grecco Romank: Wet Exit (digital outlets)

8 Apr 2023  |  1 min read

Gotta love 'em for the product description of this Auckland-based electronica trio of Billie Fee, Mike Sperring and Damian Golfinopoulos. Their PR says it is “perfectly suited for a European Dungeon Rave” (their debut album Red Tower came with a perfume named Leathery Coward) and they have released “luxuriously bogan techno tracks [of] sewer pop”. These enjoyably... > Read more

Fever Ray: Radical Romantics (bandcamp)

8 Apr 2023  |  1 min read

Given we've listened to a fair bit of the dark but poppy electronica by Sweden's Fever Ray (Karin Dreijer) -- one half of The Knife and now close to 50-- it surprises us they/them (was married, has two daughters, identifies as gender fluid) hasn't appeared at Elsewhere before. That said, they've hardly been prolific under the Fever Ray moniker: their self-titled debut was in 2009, the... > Read more

Even It Out

ONE WE MISSED: The Golden Dregs: On Grace and Dignity (4AD/digital outlets)

3 Apr 2023  |  2 min read

Although some Americana artists work in the area of social observation and comment, it has been British writers who have a deep and abiding engagement, probably because of a culture steeped in class and social division.  From the Beatles, Stones, Who, Ray Davies and the Small Faces through the Sex Pistols, Clash and Crass to Blur, Paul Weller, Pulp and Madness and up to recent releases... > Read more

RECOMMENDED RECORD: Mali Mali: Spirit Tide (Home Alone/digital outlets)

3 Apr 2023  |  2 min read

From time to time Elsewhere will single out a recent release we recommend on vinyl, like this one which comes with an all-important lyric sheet. Very limited edition (70 copies only) and comes with unlimited streaming and MP3 download. Check out Elsewhere's other Recommended Record picks . . . As Mali Mali, singer-songwriter Ben Tolich has created his own path in literate, sometimes... > Read more

Piano Ringing On

Shana Cleveland: Manzanita (digital outlets)

2 Apr 2023  |  1 min read

Reviewers of this intimate folk album by California-based Shana Cleveland invariably mention she leads the indie surf rock band La Luz, implying she's moved from the twang'n'tremolo sound of West Coast surf groups as she embraced British folk artists of the late 60s and early 70s. However 2021's self-titled La Luz album was a thoughtful affair, some distance from their earlier sound and... > Read more

Van Morrison: Moving On Skiffle (digital outlets)

2 Apr 2023  |  <1 min read

The master of Celtic soul from the late 60s into the 80s subsequently alienated his audience with decades of disappointing albums. More recently his curmudgeonly, often spiteful, persona morphed into conspiracy nonsense and bizarre pronouncements about Covid restrictions, so it's hard for many to return to him with goodwill. Van Morrison is best when reaching for the spiritual sky or... > Read more

RECOMMENDED RECORD: Aftab, Iyer and Ismaily: Love in Exile (Verve/digital outlets)

31 Mar 2023  |  1 min read

From time to time Elsewhere will single out a recent release we recommend on vinyl, like this one which comes as a double album in a gatefold sleeve. No download code unfortunately. Check out Elsewhere's other Recommended Record picks . . . .  When Arooj Aftab's album Vulture Prince appeared in 2021 it so utterly seduced Elsewhere that we made one of our year's best albums (we... > Read more

To Remain To Return

Andy White and Tim Finn: AT (Floating World/digital outlets)

31 Mar 2023  |  1 min read

Tim Finn's past has been very present in recent years: the 2021 album Caught by the Heart with Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera (who produced Split Enz' '76 album Second Thoughts); the '22 expanded double vinyl reissue of the 1995 Finn Brothers album (which reminded what a fine collection it was and important in both Neil and Tim's separate careers) and the Forenzics' Shades and Echoes... > Read more

Extra Virgin Orchestra: Dust of Angels (digital outlets)

30 Mar 2023  |  1 min read

Behind this amusingly whimsical band name are some serious talents: multi-instrumentalists David Bowater and Rob Sinclair were in Schtung in the late Seventies then Big Sideways and 3 Voices in the Eighties and much more recently delivered the quirky Price of Fish album. Also here are classical composer Helen Bowater (piano, vocals) and lyric writer Andrew Caldwell. Needless to say... > Read more

Humans Are Stupid

Unknown Mortal Orchestra: V (digital outlets)

26 Mar 2023  |  2 min read

To begin at the far end. The final track, Drag, on Ruban Nielson's Unknown Mortal Orchestra album V is a loose, six minute jam. It's of the kind you'd expect to hear on a bootleg of the early 80s Stones in a New York studio as Nielson, his brother Kody on drums and bassist Jake Portrait close this double album with a lazy, funky bluesy shuffle. It's a wayward journey to this point, the... > Read more

Lankum: False Lankum (Rough Trade/digital outlets)

25 Mar 2023  |  1 min read  |  1

One of Elsewhere's best of 2019 albums was The Livelong Day by Ireland's exceptional trad-cum-alt-folk outfit Lankum. And that's from one who doesn't naturally gravitate towards the folk genre. But Lankum's compelling drone (closer to Velvet Underground than hey-nonny songs) and their pulling apart of the traditional Wild Rover was, and remains, enthralling. That Velvets... > Read more

The New York Trader

An Arrow Made of Air: An Arrow Made of Air (digital outlets)

20 Mar 2023  |  2 min read

We wish luck to those trying to keep up with the output of Auckland-based musician and facilitator Paul McLaney. Aside from albums under his own name, those with his band Gramsci (their first three albums just released on enticing vinyl), his online project as The Impending Adorations and whatever else, now comes An Arrow Made of Air, a duet with Wellington's Oscar West... > Read more

A Slow Burning Flame

Guy Wishart: Where the Water Runs Through (Rattle/digital outlets)

20 Mar 2023  |  1 min read

Auckland's Rattle label has had more than 30 years of releasing innovative contemporary classical and avant-garde music, taonga puoro albums as well as jazz, innovative electro-acoustic sounds and . . . Easier perhaps to say what Rattle hasn't released (rock, reggae). Singer-songwriters haven't been in the label's orbit, but then in 2021 it went with the 9 Rooms album by... > Read more

Someday Soon

Surf Friends: Sonic Waves (Flying Nun/bandcamp)

17 Mar 2023  |  1 min read

When we reviewed Surf Friends' 2010 debut album Confusion – by Auckland's Brad Coley/Mark Westmoreland duo – we noted their unashamed influences from the Clean and the Chills (“whose sound they effectively hijack completely for some tracks”)  although concluded “there is also more than enough hints and suggestions of various possible directions... > Read more

Dreaming

Mice on Stilts: I Am Proud of You (digital outlets)

13 Mar 2023  |  1 min read

Ben Morley of this Auckland-based band is honest enough to admit it's been a while since their last album. True, we wrote about their previous Hope For a Mourning  back in 2016 and were very impressed by it's gentle folk-prog aspects and musical ambition. The band (and singer-writer Morley) were exceptionally accomplished with a guiding intelligence which kept the worst tendencies... > Read more

Devotion Decline

The Loving Arms: Dreaming Over You (Ghost Records/bandcamp)

13 Mar 2023  |  1 min read

In a recent Facebook post an enthusiastic fan described this Auckland band as “the National meets Neil Young meets the Magic Numbers”. For those who only got two of those three references, the Magic Numbers were an excellent, melodic British band who enjoyed considerable popularity and acclaim in the early-to-mid 2000s and, although still out there, have seen diminishing sales... > Read more

Running Club: Beach Glass (digital outlets)

10 Mar 2023  |  1 min read

The duo who are Running Club quickly come up for attention because of who they are and what they've done so far: they are Steve Reay (of the sonically dense Subliminals, the dark but short-lived Americana band The Haints of Dean Hall) and artistic polymath Blair Parkes (All Fall Down, The Letter 5, Creeley and others, plus solo projects). This debut album is a fascinating... > Read more

Some Distance