Music at Elsewhere

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The Clientele: I Am Not There Anymore (Merge/digital outlets)

1 Aug 2023  |  1 min read

This London-based ensemble around singer-songwriter Alasdair MacLean, bassist James Hornsey and drummer Mark Keen wooed and won Elsewhere with their God Save the Clientele of 2007 which was one of our best of the year picks for its charming, whispery pop. Their even more pastoral Bonfires on the Heath three years later was equally seductive. There's always been an understated... > Read more

RECOMMENDED RECORD: Golden Harvest: Golden Harvest (Frenzy)

31 Jul 2023  |  1 min read

From time to time Elsewhere will single out a recent release we recommend on vinyl, like this which comes as a remastered album, the first vinyl reissue of Golden Harvest's sole album. Check out Elsewhere's other Recommended Record picks . . .  Elsewhere has written about this cracking New Zealand album from the late Seventies a number of times, so it is a real pleasure... > Read more

Guided by Voices: Welshpool Frillies (digital outlets)

24 Jul 2023  |  1 min read

Pub quiz question: what American rock band formed in 1983 have released almost as many albums as Bob Dylan whose career started more than 20 years before them? Yes, let's raise our glasses to Ohio's Guided by Voice who here clock up their 38th studio album (Bob at 40 with his recent Shadow Kingdom), and their second this year. Not bad for a band which has had two hiatuses, label-hopped... > Read more

Magic Factory: Deliver the Goods (digital outlets)

21 Jul 2023  |  <1 min read

Five years after their debut Working With Gold, Auckland's rock'n'roll ensemble take another ride to the stoner Seventies' spirit of Aerosmith, Rolling Stones and soundtrack to Dazed and Confused. With members from Vietnam War, Drab Doo-Riffs, Raw Nerves and other bands, Magic Factory unashamedly deliver play-loud, riff-driven originals which also peel off from the country-rock of Gram... > Read more

Anohni and the Johnsons: My Back Was a Bridge For You to Cross (Rough Trade/digital outlets)

13 Jul 2023  |  1 min read

Formerly Antony and the Johnsons (Antony now Anohni and identifying as a woman), this soulful art-rock outfit from New York has delivered some extraordinary albums, notably I Am a Bird Now and The Crying Light (and the electronica-influenced Anohni solo debut Hopelessness) where queerness, emotional drama, chamber pop and the politics of the personal were bound together under the spell of her... > Read more

It Must Change

Brigid Mae Power: Dream From a Deep Well (Fire/digital outlets)

10 Jul 2023  |  1 min read

Bookending this fourth album with traditional Irish tunes (I Know Who is Sick and Down by the Glenside) and with a penetrating cover of Tim Buckley's I Must Have Been Blind before the midpoint, the remarkable Brigid Mae Power spans the ancient and recent past but brings them into the present in the context of personal songs like the airy Counting Down about being an absent parent while touring:... > Read more

I'll Wait Outside For You

Arthur Russell: Picture of Bunny Rabbit (Audika/digital outlets)

10 Jul 2023  |  2 min read

In 1992 the Point Music label, founded by New York contemporary classical composer Philip Glass, launched itself with John Moran's opera about Charles Manson's murderous “family”. “In hindsight, probably a mistake,” laughed Point's Rory Johnston in Auckland two years later for Jaz Coleman's Us and Them:Symphonic Pink Floyd concert, subsequently recorded with the... > Read more

Alayna: Self Portrait of a Woman Unravelling (digital outlets)

7 Jul 2023  |  1 min read

The title on this debut album from a Rotorua-raised singer might suggest something like an agonising screamfest of aural therapy. But here the soul/R'n'B singer offers thoughtful, intimate lyrics of gentle self-analysis and emotional sensitivity and songs which sit on soft beds of synths. Shaped as much by traditional singer-songwriters (she cites Dylan and Cohen) as contemporary soul,... > Read more

Cherry Tree

Vincent HL: Golden Sun (digital outlets)

2 Jul 2023  |  <1 min read

On this album following his absorbingly ragged gloom-rock 2018 debut Weird Days, Vincent H.L. – from Kumeu, south of South Auckland – can no more avoid comparisons with Neil Young than Liam Gallagher with Oasis. The difference being Gallagher was in Oasis. H.L.'s problem is compounded by his style – Neil of the early 70s – being not only up against old Neil but... > Read more

Pickle Darling: Laundromat (digital outlets)

1 Jul 2023  |  <1 min read

The lexicon has a new sub-category: “cardigan pop”. That's how the quirky music of Pickle Darling (Christchurch multi-instrumentalist Lukas Mayo, they/them) has been described. Check their 2016 glockenspiel version of Lennon's Tomorrow Never Knows. Although they say Pickle Darling means nothing you'd hope for some vinegar astringency. But the 12 songs on this third album... > Read more

Traditional Aliens: What World Will You Live In (digital outlets)

30 Jun 2023  |  <1 min read

This duo of Pateriki Hura (guitars, bass, keys) and Cameron Budge (drummer) from Hastings previously appeared at Elsewhere when they were called Infinity. After a sensible name change (try locating a band called Infinity on the web), they return with their third album of polished, professional and mostly laid-back, slightly jazzy instrumentals which don't owe much, if anything, to... > Read more

Gat Black

Orangefarm: Inheritance (Failsafe Records/digital outlets)

25 Jun 2023  |  1 min read

Although not widely known beyond the capital, Nigel Mitchell's Orangefarm have been around the city for 20 years and now their melodic pop-rock in the lineage of Sneaky Feelings, early Straitjacket Fits and Bike finds fruition on this 13-song debut album. This is often guile-free, observational pop (Conversation with my Grandmother which, delightfully, is about exactly that) and vernacular... > Read more


Jazmine Mary: DOG (digital outlets)

25 Jun 2023  |  1 min read

Even in the broad church loosely described as “alternative”, Australia-born, locally-based Jazmine Mary – identifying as they/them – stands out. Their debut album The Licking of a Tangerine – which won Best Independent Debut in the 2022 Taite Prize – had core elements of alt.folk. But with strings and saxophone embellishments there was also baroque... > Read more

Janelle Monae: The Age of Pleasure (digital outlets)

23 Jun 2023  |  1 min read

When compiling last year's edition of JB Hi-Fi Guide to Essential Vinyl (our third such volume), many of the choices were easy, like Janelle Monae's Dirty Computer of 2018. We said it was “a complex amalgam of funk, rap, futuristic pop, soul, hip-hop, electronica and more, but moulded into memorable songs it seems to follow a narrative arc of marginalisation and socio-cultural sexual... > Read more

Deepriver: Volume One (n5MD/Redeye/digital outlets)

20 Jun 2023  |  <1 min read

From the same US distribution company Redeye which brought us the languid guitar stoner sound of Jeffrey Alexander and the Heavy Lidders comes with expansively electronic ocean of atmospheric sound and gritty crackling textures. The project of Cape Town-based Jason van Wyk and Stockholm's Joni Ljungqvist, Deepriver here offer deep and wide sonics which evoke the snow-covered landscapes of... > Read more


Kiki Rockwell: Rituals on the Bank of a Familiar River (digital outlets)

19 Jun 2023  |  2 min read

The late art critic Robert Hughes once said in a radio interview, with glib accuracy, that post-modernism simply meant one image is worth as much as any other. La Gioconda occupying the same frame and emotional space as Gyro Gearloose, the horse's head in Guernica of the same value as the one in The Godfather. In popular music the genres are mostly so circumscribed (country, rock, EMD)... > Read more

Tom Lark: Brave Star (digital outlets)

14 Jun 2023  |  1 min read

One of the many advantages of dream pop is that it delivers on its product description in a way that other labels – alternative (to what?), indie and metal – simply don't because they are so diverse, the terminology too inexact. But as with power pop, dream pop is an idiom which isn't too disparate and conforms to certain norms. In the case of dream pop they are a kind of... > Read more

Ratso: Live in Otautahi (digital outlets)

12 Jun 2023  |  1 min read

A friend – who has been worshipping at the church of Auckland garageband rock'n'rollers Ratso dozens of time – and I (a more recent convert) agreed on something important about this band. That of all the offshoots of the wonderful D4 – Jimmy Christmas' Luger Boa and bassist Dion Lunadon's solo albums or with A Place to Bury Strangers – Rasto, with D4 bassist Jake... > Read more

Loose End

Dead Famous People: Ballet Boy (digital outlets)

10 Jun 2023  |  1 min read

For about 30 years we didn't heard anything from Dead Famous People who disappeared off to London in the Eighties . . . and then in 2020 their debut album “Harry” appeared on Britain's Fire label, delivering a glistening collection of joy-filled Seventies power pop and straight-ahead Sixties jangle-pop. Singer-songwriter Dons Savage must have been cheered by the critical... > Read more

Come Back Liar

Bob Dylan: Shadow Kingdom, The Early Songs of Bob Dylan (digital outlets/vinyl/CD)

10 Jun 2023  |  1 min read

During lockdown tireless old Bob Dylan released his exceptional double album Rough and Rowdy Ways (yep he was old, 79 at the time) and also -- in a typical sleight of visuals – presented a 50 minute black'n'white concert film (by Israeli director Alma Har'el) where he went way back in his catalogue for songs like Tombstone Blues, It's All Over Now Baby Blue, The Wicked Messenger and Just... > Read more

Tombstone Blues