Music at Elsewhere

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These Four Walls; This is Not a Future (digital outlets)

24 Apr 2020  |  1 min read

You have to hand it to this former Auckland hard rock band who relocated to Australia's Gold Coast. It might have taken them eight years for this follow-up to Living to Write The End but the album's title plays right into the zeitgeist. And the quiet two minute intro track sets it up with “this is the sound of breaking down” before the abrasive guitar riffery arrives on... > Read more

Rock Bottom

Sneaky Feelings: The Mercury Moment (Flying Nun/digital outlets)

20 Apr 2020  |  1 min read

For decades I wondered about that quote, “there are no second acts in American lives” (F. Scott Fitzgerald). It's been taken to mean that you don't get a second chance, when quite clearly America is a society which allows for that, even in those decades before you made the public apology on Oprah and were forgiven your transgressions. It could also mean – with... > Read more

Accept-Except Me

Betty Davis: They Say I'm Different (Light in the Attic/Southbound/digital)

19 Apr 2020  |  1 min read  |  1

No, this isn't here just so we can display the striking cover of the former Mrs Miles Davis looking like some astral traveller from Ziggy Stardust's planet. In fact this is something of lost soul-funk classic from '74 from a period of skin-tight silver pants, sky-high heels on the dancefloor and shoulder-wide Afros. In her own way Davis -- formerly Betty Mabry -- was well ahead of her... > Read more

He Was A Big Freak

Mali Mali: I Was Told to Keep An Eye Out (digital outlets)

17 Apr 2020  |  1 min read

Mali Mali is New Zealand songwriter/singer Ben Tolich whose 2016 EP As A Dog Dreams and 2018 album Azimuth met with a very positive reception at Elsewhere, despite us conceding there was a deep emotional intensity to the latter and that Tolich's psyche could be raw and his lyrics perhaps wordy in places. He tells us that right now he can't obviously promote this new outing, not the... > Read more

Nina Simone: Fodder On My Wings (Verve/digital outlets)

13 Apr 2020  |  1 min read

At the midpoint of this obscure, mostly out-of-print and now reissued album – with bonus tracks – which was recorded in '82, the much-troubled Nina Simone delivers a brutal rewrite of Gilbert O'Sullivan's Alone Again, Naturally about the death of the father she hated. “I realised I despise this man that I called father” and “just when I need him the most, he... > Read more

Liberian Calypso

Roedelius: Tape Archives Essence 1973-1978 (Bureau 8/digital outlets)

12 Apr 2020  |  <1 min read

By chance in the past few weeks Elsewhere has been pulling older albums off the shelves for reconsideration (see the on-going series here). Among them were Hans-Joachim Roedelius' 1979 album Selbstportait I and a couple of albums by Cluster (Roedelius and Dieter Moebius) with Brian Eno – Cluster &Eno, After the Heat -- from the same period. Swimming slowly in their... > Read more

KATHERINE MANSFIELD meet CHARLOTTE YATES AND FRIENDS (2020): Giving words wings

2 Apr 2020  |  4 min read

Five years ago, Northampton-based academic and Katherine Mansfield scholar Gerri Kimber discovered 26 poems by Mansfield in the Newberry Library in Chicago, only nine published previously. Written when Mansfield was in her early 20s around the time of an affair, pregnancy, an unconsummated marriage and a miscarriage, the poems made up The Earth Child cycle. In the subsequently... > Read more

Grimes, Miss Anthropocene (4AD/Rhythmethod)

1 Apr 2020  |  2 min read

Some musicians transition from being an enjoyable pop figure into An Important Artist. Rare ones – say, Jimi Hendrix and Billie Eilish – arrive with a significant debut album, but most take time getting there. Even David Bowie played Zelig-like roles from Beat-era r'n'b through glam pop and faux-soul before his innovative “Berlin Trilogy” in the late 70s which... > Read more

McLaney and Malik: The Old Traditions (Escape Artists/digital outlets)

1 Apr 2020  |  2 min read

Paul McLaney is doubtless among this country's most prolific musicians. But one of his finest series of albums this past decade were under the name Impending Adorations and they were seductive electronica available digitally (through bandcamp, here). And therefore they went past most people. This album was in fact recorded back in 2016 with pianist Raashi Malik, a spare series of... > Read more

Harry Styles, Fine Line (Sony)

31 Mar 2020  |  1 min read

In early 2017 Harry Styles  – formerly of One Direction (the guy with tousled hair) and briefly a Taylor Swift boyfriend – released his self-titled debut album. It must have been galling for those dismissive of 1D that it was so good. It was a smart, chart-busting pop record and Styles proved he possessed considerable vocal and emotional range. With his new Fine... > Read more

Beat Rhythm Fashion: Beings Rest, Finally – Rarities (Failsafe)

30 Mar 2020  |  1 min read

In the early Eighties, Wellington's Beat Rhythm Fashion delivered up spiky post-punk pop with Nino Birch's disdainful or cynically bored vocals up front. Not Necessary – which opens this 16 track collection of mostly live material impossible to find these days, is a litany of things not required: jobs (“I don't want to work”), a house, colour etc.... > Read more

None in the Universe

Yumi Zouma: Truth or Consequences (Polyvinyl/digital outlets)

30 Mar 2020  |  1 min read

About now we might have expected this New Zealand band to be touring on the back of this new album, but as with many artists they've had to take to the internet to play for their audience. Good on them. But let it be said, this third album is a very lightweight slice of synth-pop which frequently has about as much texture as a meringue and is just as overly sweet. In places they... > Read more

Las Kellies: Suck This Tangerine (Fire/digital outlets)

23 Mar 2020  |  <1 min read

Elsewhere takes its self-imposed mandate to guide you elsewhere quite seriously, so here we introduce this Argentinean duo of Cecelia Kelly (guitars, bass, vocals) and Silvina Costa (drums, vocals). Ramones-like all members past and present have use the surname Kelly – so they are Cici Kelly and Sil Kelly – and on this, their sixth album, they deliver up taut, likable if... > Read more

Matrixland

Maria McKee: La Vita Nuova (Fire)

23 Mar 2020  |  1 min read

Sometimes it's good to acknowledge you just aren't up to it, that an art is so demanding as to be beyond your comprehension or interest. So let me admit defeat in the face of this dramatic, literary, cathartic, almost operatic 65 minutes by Maria McKee, who has often presented a challenge. But nothing like this. Let's not mention her time in the popular country-punk band Lone... > Read more

Courage

Tidal Rave: Heart Screams (Fishrider)

22 Mar 2020  |  1 min read

Fishrider Records out of Dunedin has delivered some very gripping albums and artists (Emily Fairlight, Death and the Maiden, Prophet Hens and others) in the past decade and more. Their roster is worth checking out. And this six-piece out of Wellington with Ann-Marie Keating's nagging organ sound weaving through their smart indie-pop/polished garageband songs come up as being full of... > Read more

Dark Wizard

Roger Eno, Brian Eno: Mixing Colours (Deutsche Grammophon/digital outlets)

20 Mar 2020  |  <1 min read

But first, here's a little something which can keep you and the little ones amused. A few years ago Brian Eno introduced an app called Bloom which I've found invaluable to have on my phone. When nearby kids in a hospital waiting room are scratchy and their parents are worn out, when a bored toddler in a shopping market trolley is starting to squirm or when you are just sitting... > Read more

Sam Ford and Trudi Green: Sweet Sweet Love (Choice)

16 Mar 2020  |  <1 min read

With the kind of professional ease which comes from decades of playing, writing and immersion in soulful songs which might have come from America's South, Sam Ford and Trudi Green here gathered many old familiars for recording sessions in London (where they lived for more than a decade) and various Auckland studios. The result is a delightful 14-song album of understated, utterly... > Read more

I'm Still Here

Islet: Eyelet (Fire/Southbound)

13 Mar 2020  |  <1 min read

Islet out of Wales sound like an interesting couple of groups, maybe even a few. The openers here are languid dream-pop fronted by singer Emma Thomas but of little particular interest because they don't add much to that weightless idiom other than perhaps a slightly more chilly ambience through the repetition of the loops, although the seven minute Geese which closes the first third of... > Read more

Radel 10

Kate Owen: Not a Proper Girl (Southbound/digital outlets)

9 Mar 2020  |  1 min read

The interesting boxes are all ticked here: singer-songwriter Kate Owen is from Lyttelton (the Liverpool/Austin of Aotearoa?), recorded this with Ben Edwards there, had it mastered by Chris Chetland in Auckland, it is crowd-funded by believers . . . All it needs then is for Owen to deliver . . . and on an album which has prickly guitars alongside widescreen ballads and soundscape songs... > Read more

Heathen's Prayer

Luke Hurley: Happy Isles (lukehurley.co.nz)

9 Mar 2020  |  2 min read

Luke Hurley had been visibly making music around New Zealand for almost four decades, quite often busking but also opening for acts like Michelle Shocked, appearing at fringe festivals, with music on soundtracks and in radio interviews, live albums and collections, and tours in Europe . . .  In 2007 Monkey Records released a Best Of (1984 - 2013) collection, an excellent 18 song... > Read more