Music at Elsewhere

Subscribe to my newsletter for weekly updates.

Nabihah Iqbal: Dreamer (Ninja Tune/digital outlets)

11 May 2023  |  <1 min read

Very much an artist's artist – she was commissioned to compose music for the Turner Prize, an exhibition at the Tate Modern and a Basquiat retrospective – this London-born child of Pakistani parents has also worked as a broadcaster, lecturer and in the field of human rights. This belated second album following her acclaimed 2017 debut Weighing of the Heart was conceived during... > Read more

The Church: The Hypnogogue (digital outlets)

8 May 2023  |  1 min read

Among the many hundreds of albums Elsewhere lost in the January 2023 floods were a few much loved Australian albums, among them two terrific double albums by the Easybeats taking them from chart-toppers to the decline into psychedelic music and a compilation of the early Church which carried them through their Paisley Underground years. These were albums which were the domain of obsessive... > Read more

No Other You

RECOMMENDED RECORD: Natalie Merchant: Keep Your Courage (Nonesuch/digital outlets)

7 May 2023  |  1 min read

From time to time Elsewhere will single out a recent release we recommend on vinyl, like this one which comes in a gatefold sleeve as a double album with an all-important lyric sheet, extensive liner notes (including a piece about the Jeanne d'Arc cover) and four extra songs from earlier albums not previously available on vinyl and unavailable on the CD or streaming versions. Check out... > Read more

Come On, Aphrodite

Rickie Lee Jones: Pieces of Treasure (BMG/digital outlets)

7 May 2023  |  1 min read

There's a photograph of Frank Sinatra in 1948 at a studio piano learning a song from a long haired, bearded guy. Had it appeared 20 years later we'd identify the guy – eden ahbez, who favoured the lower case – as a hippie. But ahbez was man ahead, and out, of his time. Sandal-wearing, vegetarian, mostly living outdoors and studying esoteric literature, ahbez wrote the song... > Read more

Just in Time

Immaterial Possession: Mercy of the Crane Folk (Fire/digital outlets)

5 May 2023  |  1 min read

Elsewhere has always had a thing for left-field psychedelic folk which we can trace back to a teenage infatuation with very early Pink Floyd, the Incredible String Band and Donovan as he moved out of the folk period with Season of the Witch, Sunshine Superman, Three Kingfishers and so on. Artists like Shawn Phillips also passed our radar and of course those who went to the more... > Read more

Cypress Receiver

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

1 May 2023  |  2 min read

New Zealand Music Month invariably sees a landslide of releases, all competing with each other as well as international releases. It's hard to catch up let alone keep up so we here offer potted acknowledgements of four local releases. . Terrible Sons: The Raft is Not the Shore Ignore the band name which seems out of punk London in 1977 but take the poetic,... > Read more

The National: First Two Pages of Frankenstein (digital outlets/vinyl)

30 Apr 2023  |  1 min read

Plagued by writers' block, Matt Berninger of the National opened Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein and read of the narrator heading to the North Pole, invigorated by the promise of the journey: “I feel my heart glow with an enthusiasm which elevates me to heaven, for nothing contributes so much to tranquilise the mind as a steady purpose – a point on which the... > Read more

Tiny Ruins: Ceremony (digital outlets/vinyl)

30 Apr 2023  |  1 min read

On her 2011 debut album Some Were Meant For Sea, Hollie Fullbrook – as Tiny Ruins – opened with an intimately whispered conflation of Chaucer and Shakespeare: “Lean in friend and I'll tell you a tale . . . as I tread the stage awhile”. Fullbrook had much to tell: in Bristol she'd learned cello and assimilated British folk and James Taylor; the family moved... > Read more

Sam Ford, Trudi Green and the Soulahula Band: OOOEE! (Choice/digital outlets)

24 Apr 2023  |  1 min read

The irrepressible and enthusiastic Sam Ford and Trudi Green make a welcome return with their horn-driven Pasifika-soul. Recorded during lockdown with the musicians sending their various parts for collation, these 11 songs sound freshly minted and anxious to be delivered live – see below – for full appreciation of their Southern swing (the title track, the funky political... > Read more

A Picture of a Palm Tree

boygenius: the record (digital outlets)

23 Apr 2023  |  1 min read

The American alt.folk-cum-rock supergroup of Lucy Dacus, Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker – downplaying with the lowercase band name and the humble title of this debut album – will doubtless find an audience which remembers 90s bands like the Breeders, Throwing Muses and Belly, but who these days prefer their grunge-era aggression more subdued. boygenius cleverly balance the... > Read more

RECOMMENDED RECORD: Vera Ellen: Ideal Home Noise (Flying Nun/digital outlets)

22 Apr 2023  |  1 min read

From time to time Elsewhere will single out a recent release we recommend on vinyl, like this one which comes with an insert sleeve and a download code. Check out Elsewhere's other Recommended Record picks . . . .  Vera Ellen emerged from the folk and indie.pop scene in P┼Źneke Wellington, recorded and toured with her high school band Maple Syrup and has established herself in... > Read more

Damien Binder: Bright Side (digital outlets)

21 Apr 2023  |  1 min read

If you consider the artists expat singer-songwriter Damien Binder has been favourably compared with – moody Springsteen, the Triffids, Jackson Browne, Lloyd Cole, the Go-Betweens – you'll see the high level at which he works, and the regard in which he's held. Of his 2016 album New World we said, “he writes songs which in a better world would find themselves all over... > Read more

Don't Know What

Dinner Party: Enigmatic Society (digital outlets)

21 Apr 2023  |  1 min read

When the rock band Cream emerged in the mid-Sixties they were immediately hailed as a supergroup, although outside of Britain few were especially familiar with the credentials of Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker other than by repute. Clapton everyone knew. Because jazz musicians move between bands and leaders so frequently many of the line-ups are supergroups by definition: Miles Davis' quartets... > Read more

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