Music at Elsewhere

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Carnivorous Plant Society: The New King (Border)

16 Mar 2018  |  1 min read

The various members of CPS – Finn Scholes; Tam Scholes, Cass Basil and Siobhanne Thompson, Alistair Deverick – represent an aggregation of talent and are perhaps better known for who they appear with: Respectively Avalanche City and Neil Finn in the case of Finn Scholes, Tam and Thompson with Bannerman, Basil with Bic Runga and Tiny Ruins, Deverick with Lawrence Arabia and... > Read more

Don't Go Outside ft Don McGlashan, Tiny Ruins

David Byrne: American Utopia (Warners)

10 Mar 2018  |  2 min read  |  1

The title of this album by David Byrne, his first under his own name since Grown Backwards about 14 years ago, is timely when we consider the state of the Great Society today, a nation which has written into its raison d'ĂȘtre, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. As American government machinery crumbles from within, its people seem increasingly polarised –... > Read more

Dogs Mind

Frank Burkitt Band: Raconteur (streaming outlets)

9 Mar 2018  |  2 min read

Elsewhere has acknowledged this Edinburgh-born/Kiwi resident singer-songwriter previously and would say immediately that his up-front style of alt-folk-blues probably doesn't suit the laid-back, cheers-'bro mood of many in this country. Burkitt often writes and sings songs of emotional power within the orbit of sometimes strident and uncomfortably real songs which locates them a long... > Read more


Red River Dialect: Broken Stay Open Sky (Paradise of Bachelors/Southbound)

5 Mar 2018  |  1 min read

This London-based group originally out of Cornwall find themselves on the US label Paradise of Bachelors for their fourth album which – given each party's folk/guitar/thoughtful inclinations – makes excellent sense. With cello, banjo, harp, violin and dulcimer alongside guitars, piano and sometimes urgent drums, this series of songs evokes the windswept great outdoors near... > Read more


Dystopia: Rough Art of the Spiritual (Monkey)

5 Mar 2018  |  1 min read

A soft and engaging mix of languid spoken word/poetry by Liz Maw (who also did the cover art) and music by some very well known New Zealand players (among them Nigel Braddock on piano, keys and bass, trumpeter Kingsley Melhuish, saxophonists Ben Campbell and Ben McNicoll, and the late Sam Prebble on violin), these five pieces have a breezy, pastoral feel with the most subtle musical... > Read more

New Wet Weather

Grant-Lee Phillips: Widdershins (Yep Roc/Southbound)

2 Mar 2018  |  2 min read

Back in 2004 when we went on a two month, mostly aimless drive around the Southern USA, I only took one CD from home but on the first day out of LA as we headed east I banged it on. It was Grant-Lee Phillips' glorious 2001 album Mobilize and the lead song became our repeat-play. It was See America, a dreamy, weightless electro-pop affair about weariness and travel which has the... > Read more

Great Acceleration

Joan Baez: Whistle Down the Wind (Proper/Southbound)

2 Mar 2018  |  3 min read  |  1

Sometimes you just have to come clean and admit you were wrong: As I did in '94 when I wrote about Across the Great Divide, a box set of The Band, a group whose music I had found terminally dull when I first hear it. I was into noisy Zepp/Sabbath rock in the late Sixties and these guys just seemed prematurely old and boring. But I admitted, belatedly, I was wrong about them when... > Read more

The Things That We Are Made Of

The Low Anthem: The Salt Doll Went to Measure the Depth of the Sea (Joyful Noise/Flying Out)

2 Mar 2018  |  <1 min read

Formerly more folk-rock and assertive than this collection which drifts more towards the aquatic depths of its title, the Low Anthem out of Rhode Island here explore the nature of water, the sea and the idea of ambient immersion. At their most quietly poppy Give My Body Back offers an almost childlike wonder (it mentions an octopus' garden) and seems sung from the perspective of... > Read more

Toowee Toowee

Laurie Anderson/The Kronos Quartet: Landfall (Nonesuch/Warners)

26 Feb 2018  |  1 min read

Although they have long moved in similar circles this is, surprisingly, the first album violinist/storyteller and composer Laurie Anderson and the avant-classical Kronos Quartet have recorded together. Revolving around, recounting and recreating Anderson's experiences of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, it pulls together strings, electronica, subtle samples and Anderson's coolly dispassionate... > Read more

It Twisted the Street Signs

Salmonella Dub: Commercial Grates (salmonelladub)

24 Feb 2018  |  1 min read

There is no denying the impact Salmonella Dub had when they emerged 25 years ago. Aside from the exceptional shows and genre-defining, distinctive albums they also paved the way for bands like Shapeshifter, Fat Freddy's Drop, Black Seeds, Trinity Roots and many others, not to mention giving the band's one-time live sound guy then subsequently vocalist Tiki Taane the springboard for a... > Read more

Mercy (DJ Mu remix)

Dominic Blaazer: The Lights of Te Atatu (vinyl/streaming services)

24 Feb 2018  |  1 min read

Auckland keyboard player/singer/guitarist Dominic Blaazer is perhaps best known for the excellent bands he has been in, among them Greg Fleming's Trains, a stint in the Chills in the mid Nineties and the hipster favourites The Peter Stuyvesant Hitlist. But he was also in the power pop outfit Smoothy, was in the SJD band, has played with Don McGlashan and is currently in Ghost Town.... > Read more

Simple Love

Salon Kingsadore: Instant Compositions by Salon Kingsadore (Sarang Bang)

22 Feb 2018  |  1 min read

The Sarang Bang label helmed by Auckland guitarist/composer Gianmarco Liguori is a marvelous labour of love (my guess is it barely turns a profit) because it has released not just interesting albums but also some very important one. In the latter category would be the handsome double vinyl The Way In Is The Way Out which scooped up unreleased work by the late Auckland keyboard... > Read more

Marlon Williams: Make Way For Love (Caroline)

19 Feb 2018  |  3 min read  |  4

Late last year when Marlon Williams was back in New Zealand for a short while and playing a couple of shows at the Pt Chevalier RSA in Auckland, it was my pleasure to be invited to conduct an afternoon interview and a Q&A session with him before a small group of music writers and critics. The topic, of course, would be this then-impending album which I had been supplied a copy of.... > Read more

Make Way for Love

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

19 Feb 2018  |  3 min read

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column picks up New Zealand artists and Yasmin does with EPs. Comments will be brief. .    The Plot in You: Dispose (Fearless) From the first few whispered yet angry minutes of this... > Read more

Belle and Sebastian: How to Solve Our Human Problems (Matador)

16 Feb 2018  |  2 min read

It's an interesting overview title on this compilation of Belle and Sebastian's most recent three Eps which were released at approximately monthly intervals from December. That's because B&S out of Scotland have often dealt with human problems: some simple, others more existential, all relatable within B&S's sharply defined pop consciousness. So here when Stuart Murdoch... > Read more

Too Many Tears

The James Hunter Six: Whatever It Takes (Daptone/Southbound)

15 Feb 2018  |  1 min read

Aside from having a terrific and authentic soul voice along the line from Sam Cooke through Jackie Wilson to Smokey Robinson – and having sprung a series of solid albums, two of which have ended up in our Best of Elsewhere annual look back at the year – a few years ago James Hunter also rearranged the Beatles' pop hit It Won't Be Long into a piece of pure Stax soul. It was... > Read more

Don't Let Pride Take You For a Ride

Hex: The Hill Temple (digital platforms)

12 Feb 2018  |  <1 min read

Wellington trio Hex sidestep the outright gloom'n'doom of much Goth by virtue of the powerful melodic thrust and reach of their female voices, and styles which range widely from almost domestic grunge-pop (the quiet-loud dynamics of Billboard, the forward momentum on the Page of Pentacles) through the ethereal and declamatory (the punishing space-filling shoegaze guitar landscape on Sight... > Read more

Alan Brown: Composure (

12 Feb 2018  |  <1 min read

This very welcome release is another installment from improvised ambient sessions recorded on a Steinway by pianist Brown in the concert chamber of the Auckland Town Hall in August 2014. The first pieces released from that day appeared as Silent Observer in 2015 and at the time Elsewhere had very positive things to say, among them that we'd like to hear more from those hours of... > Read more


The Wild Kindness: Happy Now (all main digital outlets)

12 Feb 2018  |  1 min read

When singer-guitarist Mike Alexis from the four-piece San Francisco band The Wild Kindness got in touch about this, his band's debut album, he freely acknowledged that Sneaky Feelings and other bands associated with the “Dunedin Sound” were a profound influence . . . and through a search of those names he'd come across Elsewhere. Perhaps if he hadn't mentioned those... > Read more

Trace Yr Veins

Liminanas: Shadow People (Because/Southbound)

5 Feb 2018  |  <1 min read  |  1

This duo from Perpignan in Southern France near the Spanish border impressed with their previous Malamore in 2016 and now, on their fifth album, they again bring a kind of French ennui-cum-menace in songs midwifed by Brian Jonestown Massacre's Anton Newcombe in his Berlin studio. Which means in places there are shivers of his neo-psychedelic style in the archetypal and distinctive... > Read more

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