Music at Elsewhere

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Steve Reich: Pulse/Quartet (Nonesuch/Universal)

10 May 2018  |  1 min read

As much in the vanguard of tape manipulation and phasing as he was in minimalism, Steve Reich increasingly brought a refined musicality to his larger projects like Tehillim and his opera The Cave which explored his Jewish heritage with historical resonances. In some of his work – especially the more minimalist and layered pieces – he is not that far from a kind of... > Read more

Quartet: Fast Part 3

Modern Studies: Welcome Strangers (Fire/Southbound)

7 May 2018  |  <1 min read

We caught the debut album Swell to Great by this group now based in Scotland over a year after it rose without a trace in 2016 and was reissued on Fire in late 2017. That album breathed a contemporary and melancholy folk style coupled with loops, and we observed it seemed still on the surface but things ran dark and deep. We might says the same of this, except this is much more orchestrated... > Read more

Fast as Flows

Various Artists: Late Night Tales; Agnes Obel (latenighttales/Southbound)

7 May 2018  |  <1 min read

The Late Night Tales series always introduces unfamiliar artists in the selections but this collection by Agnes Obel is must more eccentric and eclectic than any others in the on-going series Opening with a disconcerting piece by Henry Mancini (The Evil Theme) and closing with Obel reading a poem of her own over percussion and a throbbing melody (Poem About Death), it digresses into Eden... > Read more

Glemmer Du, by Agnes Obel

Sandy Mill: A Piece of Me (She's Boss)

4 May 2018  |  2 min read

It has probably been said by everyone writing about his album but it bears repeating: Sandy Mill is the singer whose voice you've often heard (with SJD, Neil Finn, Dave Dobbyn, Don McGlashan and many, many more) but whose name may still be unfamiliar. This five-track EP -- which actually plays like an album in its breadth and I believe qualifies as such these days – is not just a... > Read more


Jamie McDell: Extraordinary Girl (usual streaming/download outlets)

3 May 2018  |  1 min read

Out here at Elsewhere we consider one of the healthiest signs of the state of our music industry in this particular New Zealand Music Month isn't the international profiles of artists like Nadia Reid, Aldous Harding, Marlon Williams, Delaney Davidson and so on or even the conspicuous successes of local artists, but the sheer diversity of talented artist out there who are working, recording and... > Read more

Gurrumul: Djarimirri/Child of the Rainbow (Skinny Fish/Southbound)

29 Apr 2018  |  2 min read

About three years ago when I was regular guest on Karyn Hay's now defunct Radio Live nighttime show I would play new (and obscure old) music for an hour every fortnight. Much of it was challenging or different, and e-mails would come in asking for more . . . or no more. The music ran the gamut from rock and hip-hop to quasi-classical minimalism and old blues, something to annoy everyone you... > Read more

Gopuru/Tuna Swimming

Delaney Davidson: Shining Day (Rough Diamond/Southbound)

27 Apr 2018  |  1 min read

Although most would, perhaps quite rightly, associate Delaney Davidson with dark Waitsean sounds, raw loops and frequently menacing songs at the midpoint of Hank Williams and Nick Cave, there has often been a very strong pop component in his work, catching the chords and structures of classic Fifties and early Sixties sounds. Just check Tell It To You on Lucky Guy (2015), or Old Boy... > Read more

Such a Loser

Bernie Griffen and the Thin Men: Doors Wide Open (usual streaming/download services)

27 Apr 2018  |  1 min read

From the Latin shuffle of the opener here on the self-lacerating My Brain Exploded (“I just can't focus, I argue with myself”) it is clear this journeyman songwriter and late bloomer (when it came to recording) is stretching into new areas, something very personal. By his own admission, Griffen is in ill-health – much of it self-inflicted – and here are intimations... > Read more

I Fell Out of the Sky

Kimbra: Primal Heart (Warners)

23 Apr 2018  |  1 min read

Further proof of the benefits of leaving the comfort of home and a loyal local following to try your hand in the wider world. Kimbra out of Hamilton made that leap early in her career when she started to feature on Australian electronica singles (most notably on the Gotye single Somebody That I Used to Know), became as big across the Tasman – where she had relocated – as she was... > Read more

Past Love

Death and the Maiden: Wisteria (Fishrider)

23 Apr 2018  |  2 min read

While it was only right, proper and long overdue that the Apra Silver Scroll award night should be held in Dunedin in 2017 you'd have to say it made for bloody awful television. Many of those there on the night – but by no means all from the naysaying this writer heard privately – attested to what a great night it was and -- with lashings of booze, old friends and a sense of... > Read more

River Underground

Emily Fairlight: Mother of Gloom (usual streaming outlets)

23 Apr 2018  |  1 min read

Taking its title from a line by Martha Wainwright and with song titles like Body Below, Drag The Night In, Private Apocalypse, Sinking Ship and Loneliest Race you'd expect a fairly dark ride on the second album by this Wellington-based alt.folk singer/songwriter recorded in Austin. But with her powerfully quivering voice – at time she calls to mind Buffy Sainte-Marie and a more... > Read more

Private Apocalypse

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

23 Apr 2018  |  2 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. .    Richard X Bennett: Away From The Many (usual download and streaming... > Read more

Tom Cunliffe: Template For Love (usual digital outlets, CD)

18 Apr 2018  |  1 min read

Anyone expecting this second album by folk-rocker (and then some) Tom Cunliffe to be more focused than its predecessor will be disappointed . . . but also perhaps pleased by the increased diversity here. If that debut Howl & Whisper seemed to have its roots in pubs (the Pogues were a reference point for a few songs) this steps sideways, right from the power-pop of the exciting and... > Read more

Primrose Hill

The Disappointments: The Disappointments (Morningstar)

16 Apr 2018  |  1 min read

Get past the self-deprecating band name and look closer: Here are singer-guitarist Hammond Gamble and bassist Andy MacDonald who, in the early Eighties co-founded one of the greatest blues-rock bands this country has ever produced: Street Talk. They toured extensively and fired off two terrific albums, their self-titled debut (somewhat knobbled by the production of big-noting American... > Read more

Jack's Got Work (But It Ain't All Good)

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

16 Apr 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. .    Chris Smither: Call Me Lucky (Signature/Southbound) This consistent but... > Read more

Mein: Mein (Rocket/Southbound)

14 Apr 2018  |  <1 min read

A kind of second-tier supergroup if you will, the four-piece Mein draws its members from the Horrors, the Earlies, Black Angels and Elephant Stone who pulled this together from shared audio files coupled with an Indo-influenced psychedelic ethos, and a touch of rave culture grooves (Happy Mondays/Black Grape etc) and a smidgen of Krautrock motorik. Which comes out more coherent than that... > Read more


The And Band: Outhern (Spacecase Records)

9 Apr 2018  |  1 min read

It's a game any seriously frivolous music lover has played, making up names for bands and albums. My imagined album title – probably for some lousy rhythm and blues band – is Cheap Muscatel and a Korean Guitar. I remember at school my mate Barry came up with The The and The And Band. And lo! It came to pass . . . This actual And Band was George D Henderson (later of... > Read more

Bill Frisell: Music IS (Okeh/Sony)

7 Apr 2018  |  1 min read  |  1

When Elsewhere profiled Bill Frisell in advance of his appearances at the Wellington Jazz festival in 2017 we headed the piece “Guitarist Without Portfolio”. And that was because – as the piece outlined – he has been claimed by and appeared in the ranks of jazz, avant-garde music and rock, played alongside the likes of Elvis Costello, Paul Simon, Brian Eno, Keith... > Read more

The Pioneers

Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Sex & Food (Jagjaguwar)

6 Apr 2018  |  1 min read

Much has been made of the various locations at which the tracks on this album were recorded – Seoul, Hanoi, Portland, Mexico City, Auckland and Reykjavik – as well as how eclectic it is: Prince-like soul, scouring rock, funk etc. But it is just how coherent and self-contained it sounds which is so impressive, despite those seemingly disparate factors of place and genre. It... > Read more

How Many Zeros

Eb and Sparrow: Seeing Things (Deadbeat/Southbound)

2 Apr 2018  |  1 min read

In which Ebony Lamb makes a convincing leap from the broadly folk territory into a singer of brooding soulfulness and coiled constraint (The Timbers, and Death which opens this impressive nine song collection). Here too however are persuasive reinventions of her classic, yearning country balladry (the lovely Baby Blue Eyes, the soaring and sensual Working) and timeless... > Read more

Mt Vic