Music at Elsewhere

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Harry Lyon: “To the Sea” (Norm/Southbound)

5 Oct 2018  |  2 min read

It should come as no surprise that Harry Lyon writes a great album, after all he has some prior form in Hello Sailor and Coup D'Etat. He also wrote Muscles which was on Mitch Marsden's Burning Rain album and was nominated for a Silver Scroll back in '91. Muscles appears here again, but it now sounds very different and bears the aural fingerprint of the album's producer Delaney Davidson who... > Read more

Christmas in Dublin

Rhian Sheehan: A Quiet Divide (Loop/digital outlets)

1 Oct 2018  |  1 min read

Given that Wellington-based electronica artist and soundscape creator Rhian Sheehan had a previous album Stories from Elsewhere in 2013 we were always going to be interested at Elsewhere. In fact, we had been interested long before that because his work was so enticingly subtle and rose above the ambient into cinematic shapes as it conjured up visual images. That his work has frequently... > Read more

Bad Sav: Bad Sav (Fishrider)

1 Oct 2018  |  <1 min read

They say this album by a Dunedin trio – guitarist Hope Robinson and bassist Lucinda King of Death and the Maiden, with Mike McLeod of Shifting Sands (here on drums) – was 10 years in the making, which might suggest these folks work at a pretty leisurely pace. Let's just pretend they've “been busy”. Because there's nothing laidback about this simmering crockpot of... > Read more

Hen's Teeth

Across the Great Divide: Uncommon Ground (CurioMusic)

1 Oct 2018  |  <1 min read

This mostly instrumental album which steers a path between Celtic music, its roots in Americana and more contemporary takes on those sources plays its aces in the second half, notably on pieces the delightfully airy Sleeping Tune which was originally on pipes but here translates delicately to a lute-like piece courtesy of Karen Jones's Celtic harp, and the exceptional Long She Waits written by... > Read more

The Patriot

Jimmy LaFave: Peace Town (Music Road/Southbound)

30 Sep 2018  |  1 min read  |  1

When Texas singer-songwriter Jimmy LaFave died about 18 months ago many mourned the passing of not just a great writer but a wonderful interpreter of others' songs (notably Bob Dylan but also Donovan and Woody Guthrie. In the wider world he is best – and perhaps only – known for aching version of Walk Away Rene but Elsewhere has reviewed many of his albums and caught in concert... > Read more

Goodbye Amsterdam

Christine White: When the Things That Heal Us Hurt Us and the Things That Hurt Us Heal Us (digital outlets)

24 Sep 2018  |  2 min read

From the late Eighties and well into the Nineties singer-songwriter Christine White was a fixture on the Auckland music scene and she sprung a number of recordings with her band or under her own name (if I recall, I certainly recall writing about her a lot). She was also an exceptional guitarist, tough and bluesy when required. She seemed to be everywhere – if... > Read more

Falling Down

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Darcy Clay; Jesus I Was Evil (Sony)

24 Sep 2018  |  <1 min read

Darcy Clay was like skyrocket which illuminated the New Zealand music scene 20 years ago and then exploded leaving barely a trace. His suicide was as sad as it was annoying, you felt that he had so much more in him . . . but he was a man who walked on an unsteady rope and perhaps his fall was inevitable. What he left behind was a six-song EP which included the scouring Jesus I Was Evil and... > Read more

Jesus I Was Evil (live, 1998)

Tash Sultana: Flow State (Sony)

17 Sep 2018  |  2 min read

Anyone who has caught this Australian multi-instrumentalist live and in full flight, as she was at the Auckland City Limits 2018 festival, would come away impressed by her versatility and stage energy . . . but also realising that her free-form playing – where one thing morphed into another – and her songs (if that is what they were) needed some refining and distillation. As she... > Read more


Juanita Stein: Until The Lights Fade (Nude)

16 Sep 2018  |  <1 min read

On this, the second album under her own name in as many years, the former singer-guitarist in ex-Australia, London-based alt-rockers Howling Bells continues here affection for Americana rock, nods towards Patti Smith directness and Chrissie Hynde-inflected pop-rock (both collide on Forgiver written with Brandon Flowers of the Killers) with convincing swagger. There are smatterings of tender... > Read more


Richard Thompson: 13 Rivers (Proper/Southbound)

15 Sep 2018  |  1 min read  |  3

Longtime fans and loyalists – count Elsewhere among them – have long admitted defeat with Richard Thompson OBE: no matter how good the albums are by this extraordinary British guitarist and songwriter, and many are exceptional, his fan base never seems to expand. So despite us here reviewing his albums and conducting interviews we assume that the same small cabal of aficionados... > Read more

The Dog in You

The Warratahs: Drivin' Wheel (Southbound)

14 Sep 2018  |  <1 min read  |  1

This double disc 30thanniversary collection reminds you not just how prolific the Warratahs were in their heyday (things slowed down in the new century when singer-songwriter Barry Saunders and writer Wayne Mason released solo albums) but also how consistent they were with their considered country-influenced pop and rock. The non-chronological 24 song collection includes gems like Kupe's... > Read more

Cape Turnagain (w Sam Hunt)

Paul Simon: In the Blue Light (Sony)

14 Sep 2018  |  1 min read  |  1

At the end of his recent, valuable if slightly flawed, authorised biography of Paul Simon by Robert Hilburn, the musician said his next project would be to go back and re-record and re-arrange some of his favourite but overlooked songs from his vast back-catalogue. “He'll never finish that album. It won't be challenging enough,” Simon's friend, the artist Chuck Close, said.... > Read more

How the Heart Approaches What It Yearns

The Chills: Snow Bound (Fire/Southbound)

14 Sep 2018  |  2 min read

In a typically forthcoming interview with Elsewhere recently, Martin Phillipps – mainman of the Chills – observed that their last album Silver Bullets of 2015 (19 years on from the previous studio album Sunburnt) was in small part a clearing house of songs he'd been sitting on. So he could understand why some said it was just him tidying up scraps . . . but, he asserted, this new... > Read more


The Changing Same: Creative Evolution (Powertools)

12 Sep 2018  |  2 min read

Outside of the folk tradition (and maybe Don McGlashan every now and again) there's not a great lineage of songs which gently and often lovingly skewer specific places and people's mores in this country. On this new collection by the band helmed by Matthew Bannister (Sneaky Feelings, Dribbling Darts of Love, the Weather, One Man Bannister and solo albums) there is a delightfully lightweight... > Read more

Favourite Clown

Paul McCartney: Egypt Station (Capitol/Universal)

7 Sep 2018  |  2 min read

In our Famous Elsewhere Songwriter Questionnaire we ask, “The one songwriter you will always listen to, even if they disappointed you previously, is?” Names like Bob Dylan, Gillian Welch, Joni Mitchell and Bon Iver have come up a few times. But to the best of our recollection Paul McCartney never has, which is strange given an impressive track record in two Very Big Bands... > Read more

Come On To Me

Princess Chelsea: The Loneliest Girl (Lil' Chief)

7 Sep 2018  |  1 min read

Behind many fairytales there lurks a sense of unease, and so it is with the music of Princess Chelsea (aka Chelsea Nikkel), the Auckland singer-songwriter who has created an interesting persona for herself which she effectively plays with, but frequently delivers music which seems to possess all the magic of dreamy fairytale. But, as we know with fairytales . . . The Pretty Ones here... > Read more

The All Seeing Hand: Syntax Error (usual digital outlets)

3 Sep 2018  |  1 min read

Frankly, Wellington's All Seeing Hand confuse me. They were thrilling at a Laneway two years ago when they delivered a magnificently punishing set which had all the intensity and power of pneumatic drill and a concrete cutter with metal-edge throat singing and stabbing synthesiser and furious percussion. They were the undoubted and most memorable high point of a busy day. But their album... > Read more


Passenger: Runaway (usual digital outlets/Border)

31 Aug 2018  |  3 min read

British singer-songwriter Passenger (Mike Rosenberg) has not only etched himself in his homeland – an Ivor Novello Award for Let Her Go, the most performed song of 2014 there, which gave him a number one single here – and a couple of his subsequent albums did serious damage to the charts in this country. His album Young As The Morning, Old As The Sea of two years ago got a... > Read more

Ghost Town

Steve Young: To Satisfy You (Ace/Border)

30 Aug 2018  |  1 min read

The late Steve Young – who died in 2016 – was one of those literate and interesting singer-songwriters who was nominally country but also had a burnt-blues voice when required. He was a fine songwriter whose work embraced the nascent country-rock/outlaw country genre, flicked out the fine Seven Bridges Road album and gave signature songs to Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams Jr... > Read more

The Contender

Avantdale Bowling Club: Avantdale Bowling Club (digital outlets, Flying Out etc)

27 Aug 2018  |  2 min read

You don't need to know anything about Tom Scott's life because in the compelling seven minute opening track Years Gone By here as he emerges under another imprimatur, he sketches in his autobiography. It is of moving from the UK as child, growing up in Avondale, getting a job, his jazz-bassist dad Peter getting leaving then getting busted and doing time, a friend dying, hitting headlines... > Read more

Old Dogs