Posts Tagged ‘Captured Tracks’


jack tatum of wild nothing seated

On Laughing Gas, the third EP from Wild Nothing, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jack Tatum delves deeper into the territory where he thrives: namely, the synth and sophisti-pop of the 1980s. Working within a more mechanical and synthetic framework than his previous releases, Wild Nothing continues to delicately toe the line between the organic and the unnatural. These are still pop songs, but there’s an underlying sense of uneasiness that threads the music together.

Recorded in Los Angeles, CA and Richmond, VA with the help of Jorge Elbrecht, these five songs were originally imagined alongside last year’s Indigo and were written and tracked simultaneously with the album. When work on the full-length was nearing completion, Tatum set these ideas aside; they seemed to fit better on their own. In spare moments between tours, Tatum began to look back and piece the songs together at his home studio in Richmond, reconnecting with Elbrecht to mix the EP. With Elbrecht in Denver and Tatum in Richmond, the two went back and forth on the final touches, molding a common thread from the Lo Borges inspired new wave of Sleight Of Hand to the propulsive, icy synth funk of Foyer.

Often considered a secondary or transitional format, Wild Nothing has always used the EP to further explore new ideas and influences. Laughing Gas is no exception.

This May we’ll also be celebrating the 10 year anniversary of our first record “Gemini” with a string of shows with our friends Beach Fossils. Both of us will be playing our first records in full!

DIIV have just released a new album, “Deceiver”, on October 4th via Captured Tracks. This week they shared another song from the album, “Blankenship,” via a video. The tight track is akin to a shoegaze version of Sonic Youth’s “Titanium Exposé,” especially in the guitar sounds. Stout directed the video, which intercuts between the band performing the song indoors and a woman (Savannah Macias) seemingly lost in the desert.

Previously DIIV shared Deceiver’s first single, “Skin Game” . Then they shared another song from it, “Taker,” a somewhat languid shoegaze cut that grows with intensity as the track ends.

Deceiveris the band’s third album and the follow-up to 2016’s Is The Is Are. The band’s current lineup features Zachary Cole Smith (lead vocals, guitar), Andrew Bailey (guitar), Colin Caulfield (bass), and Ben Newman (drums). The album was recorded in Los Angeles in March 2019 with producer Sonny Diperri (My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails, Protomartyr), which is the first time the band has used an outside producer.

DRAHLA – ” Godstar “

Posted: September 29, 2019 in MUSIC
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We’re big fans of Drahla’s queasy, hypnotic psych rock and their choice to cover Psychic TV’s 1985 gem Godstar seems like a match made in musical heaven.

Leeds trio Drahla take on Psychic TV ‘s ‘Godstar’, a track which pays homage to Rolling Stone Brian Jones whilst hinting his death may not have been quite as accidental as first appeared. Psychic TV was formed by Genesis P. Orridge from the ashes of Throbbing Gristle and Godstar was their only hit from their most commercially successful album Allegory and Self. Of course, P. Orridge was never one for conventional thinking, was convinced that the track should have been a much bigger hit, and rather than accepting that chart position was based on other peoples poor taste and electing to buy more copies of other records he alleged there was a conspiracy. Namely that the BBC had been coerced by the Rolling Stones management not to play the track.

Psychic TV’s more ‘tune based’ approach after some to their more impenetrable experimental music was surprising given that Throbbing Gristle’s ethos had always seemed to be all about deconstructing and annihilating rock n roll, using ear bleeding, aural and visual art terrorism rather than feeding into the mythology. Instead, they often produced sounds devoid of melody, or anything resembling a tune.

A homage to Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, I remember buying the original 7″ in Woolworths, and playing it on repeat.

A homage to Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, I remember buying the original 7″ in Woolworths, and playing it on repeat. Times change, but this version more than does justice to the original. Available thru Captured Tracks Released on: 18th September 2019.

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B Boys’ meaningful punk vibe sees them fall in line with a growing number of bands who recognise that rock n’ roll has always had a role to play in subverting the most destructive aspects of mainstream political discourse. B Boys’ particular method of critique is artful enough to avoid the traps of being considered preachy; it’s more about leaning in close to see just how much they have something to say. B Boys’ anarchic, anti-capitalist analysis of ‘I Want’, which is plucked from the press release, is particularly helpful in steering us to where their head is at:

“’I Want’ was inspired by the frustration of having to demand for the things you innately deserve. It’s about overconsumption and dissatisfaction, as well as the infinite process of personal improvement” ”

Emphasising their allegiance to critical thinking further is the fact Veronica Torres of politically riled post-punk band Pill, is a guest on this track. Sonically, it’s adorned with complex rhythms underpinning commanding riffs with The Wire, Talking Heads, and The Clash great reference points.

Official music video for “Energy” by B Boys off their album, Dada. on Captured Tracks

Directed by Jarod Taber, it’s an artsy, tongue-in-cheek visual and loosely explores the single’s central theme of capitalist greed. Acted by B Boys frontman Britton Walker, the main character is a besuited, lonely man unblinkered in his adherence to the daily grind and desire for things. But the amount of agency the protagonist has is left up to question if we consider the following quote from the band about ‘I Want’ from the press release: “Sometimes life puts you in an ill-fitted suit, but you still have to wear it.” This leaves us some sympathy towards him and questioning of the power structures surrounding us.

Band Members
Andrew Kerr, Brendon Avalos, Britton Walker

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The second single from Drahla’s debut album, ‘Useless Coordinates’, out May 3, 2019. Drahla have already answered all the boring questions. In the video for their prickly single “Stimulus for Living” the droll Leeds punks elucidated the whens and the whys and the particulars of their formation and their motivation as a band. Sort of. Fuzzy tape rolls as a droll voice intones a series of questions (“How did the band form?”; “Drahla, what does it mean?”) and the band answer in cryptic abstractions (“In holy matrimony”; “It’s just letters from the alphabet”). This goes on a little over a minute; throughout the bit, their intentions remain opaque.

“The interview at the start of the video asks standardized questions, that have the same copy and paste answers every time,” says singer/guitarist Luciel Brown. “There’s far more interesting things to explore. Within the lyrics, the same [idea] has been applied to the everyday [observations] and points of interest that have stood out to me in regular situations, highlighting that there’s interest everywhere, you know, there is a stimulus.”

This mentality is part of what’s made them work as a band over the last couple of years. They work in a pretty traditional format—guitar, bass, and drums—but they’re able to wring a little more out of it because of their insistence on digging deeper. Browns riffs are abstract and pointillist, like something you might expect from the great grayscale post-punk records of the late 70s, or no wave’s idiosyncratic squalls. The muscular monochromes of Rob Riggs’ bass work are unpredictable and elastic. Mike Ainsley’s geometric drum work is reliable, but reactive, pushing the other players into woolier territory. They’re able to take familiar parts but push at their edges. It’s all part of trying to find access magnificent in the mundane.

“Pyramid Estate” Released by: Captured Tracks Single release date: 9 April, 2019

Mourn is a very young quartet formed from the friendship of Jazz Rodríguez Bueno and Carla Pérez Vas—both born in 1996 in ElMaresme, Catalonia, Spain. Official music video for Gertrudis, Get Through This! by MOURN, off their 7″ single. Buy Gertrudis,

The duo armed themselves with inspiration from PJ Harvey, Patti Smith, Sebadoh and Sleater Kinney and began writing material, which they quickly released, raw and acoustic, on their YouTube channel


Band Members
Carla Pérez Vas (singer and guitar)
Jazz Rodríguez Bueno (singer and guitar)
Antonio Postius (drummer)
Leia Rodríguez (bassist)

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In 2009, Wild Nothing’s Jack Tatum uploaded a dreamy cover of Kate Bush’s “Cloudbusting” and it spread like wildfire from blog to blog. Then a 21-year-old college student at Virginia Tech in  a quiet Blacksburg, town in Virginia, Tatum was hard at work on his debut album as Wild Nothing, 2010’s Gemini. The internet attention led to Captured Tracks releasing the LP, which was an excellent first full-length that highlighted Tatum’s near-obsessive fascination with ’80s music like Cocteau Twins and the Smiths. But more than that, it showcased a budding songwriter who could create his own gauzy and nostalgic world with a studious ear for timeless melodies.

Because of his talent and knack for developing lasting hooks, it’s no surprise that initial hype wasn’t a flash in the pan. Over four albums and almost a decade of recorded music as Wild Nothing, Tatum has constantly honed even the most compelling parts of his debut.

2012’s Nocturne, which was the product of his move from Virginia to Savannah, Georgia, and later to New York City, was a more intentional improvement on Gemini, in part due to the fact it was recorded in a bonafide studio. His 2016 return Life of Pause, which was recorded in L.A., found Tatum expanding his musical palate through subtle inspiration from soul music

Whereas Gemini was the sound of Tatum making the album he imagined in his bedroom and 2012’s Nocturne was the result of his first turn in a proper studio, followed by 2016’s Life of Pause, a multi-studio tinkering odyssey spanning time and spaces, this 2018 maturation finds Tatum arriving at total creative openness. “My entire 20s have been spent on this project, and in that sense you inherently find the limitations in what you make,” Tatum says. “With the last record I was trying to stretch out as far as I could, but with Indigo I’ve created something that has homed in on its own identity. My life has become less about chasing these creative bursts and more about learning to channel my creativity.”

Indigo, his most recent effort via Captured Tracks, is his most confident yet. Recorded in Los Angeles, it’s full of songs that cue from other acts like Roxy Music or Prefab Sprout but funneled through a lens that’s distinctly Tatum’s. Now a resident of Richmond, Virginia, Tatum has literally been unable to stay in one place, not just sonically.



On his 2010 debut album, Gemini, Jack Tatum’s frail vocals come warped in an oozing neon haze. Carefully orchestrated synth-pop arrangements, trebly guitar riffs and tattered drum machines blend together to create an intriguing, texturally rich glo-pop album that could come only from the young at heart.

Jack Tatum: I chose this song for a few reasons. I mean, it’s the first song on the record, but it’s also, if I remember correctly, the first song I ever wrote for this project and it just seemed like a cool place to start. The fact that it fades into the record always seemed like such a good introduction to this world, you know? I love fade ins and fade outs, even though some people hate them. When I started writing the first record, I was actually living in Virginia but I was spending the summer in Savannah, Georgia, because I had some friends down there at the time. I was hanging around in Savannah and just staying in my friend’s living room and I’d set up a recording zone there. That was the first song that I made.

At the time I didn’t really have a clear picture for what I wanted the project to sound like, I was just making stuff as I went and seeing what happened. I was obsessed with the Smiths at the time and the impetus was just that I wanted to write a song that sounds like “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out.” It was basically in my own way of trying to copy that song but it ended up turning into the sound of that first record, unintentionally. And so I think through making that song, I kind of created a framework for the rest of Gemini in a way. It’s actually one of the few songs on that record that I never get tired of playing.

We started to tour quite a lot on Gemini, which was all very new to me. I played in bands in college and had been working on my own music since I was a kid, but really not on that level. We had started touring Gemini basically right when the record came out. We were touring quite a bit and I decided that I wanted to move somewhere else and I had friends in Savannah. I moved to Georgia and I was touring so much when I lived there, I never really settled in a lot ways. I only lived there for a year and, basically, I was just either touring or when I was back I was working on Nocturne.



Nocturne, the sophomore album by Wild Nothing, is a window into singer/songwriter Jack Tatum’s “ideal world” of pop music. Written largely while living in Savannah, GA during 2011, the songs that became Nocturne speak to a new Wild Nothing where the lines between Jack’s influences and personality have been further blurred. The album features some open references to past music just as his critically acclaimed debut Gemini did, but it’s also an album that feels much less rooted in anything in particular and, well, more adult.

Gemini was written before there were Wild Nothing fans or even a live band; Nocturne is different. With an unexpected fan base to turn to, Jack spent more time perfecting his craft. The obsessiveness of Nocturne is inherent in it’s gentle harmonies, orchestrated synths, wandering voice, and songs that speak of his post-Gemini experiences as he explores new paradoxes of pop. And yet, Nocturne isn’t obvious, it is a strange and distinctive musical beast, the product of an obsessive pop vision that creates its own reality.

The writing process for Nocturne was very isolated, and driven by being in this new environment where I never really felt like I had the time to fully settle or immerse myself in the city. In that sense, I just threw myself completely into the writing of this record. Around that time that I set this precedent, which I didn’t really mean to do and it’s kind of like a habit, but I realized that I’ve moved every time that I’m about to release a record. I don’t know if I’m subconsciously or doing it on purpose now or what. It’s funny. I moved to New York right around the time that I was finishing Nocturne up, after that, I moved to Los Angeles before Life of Pause and now before Indigo I’m in Richmond.  With “Nocturne,” I was just like, “OK, this is the sound of the record.” That usually happens where there’s this one song and it’s just something about it that just clicks and every following song revolves around it in a sense. The original demo is also very true to the way it ended up. In some ways, it was me trying to introduce more of a pop lean into my songs. Which isn’t to say that the first record didn’t have pop moments but I think with “Nocturne” I was looking to Fleetwood Mac and figuring out why I love that band so much and how I can write songs like that.

Life Of Pause

Life of Pause

When Jack Tatum began work on Life of Pause, his third full-length, he had lofty ambitions: Don’t just write another album; create another world. One with enough detail and texture and dimension that a listener could step inside, explore, and inhabit it as they see fit. “I desperately wanted for this to be the kind of record that would displace me,” he says. “I’m terrified by the idea of being any one thing, or being of any one genre. And whether or not I accomplish that, I know that my only hope of getting there is to constantly reinvent. That reinvention doesn’t need to be drastic, but every new record has to have its own identity, and it has to have a separate set of goals from what came before.”

Nocturne, marked the first time he’d been able to bring his bedroom recordings into a studio, to be performed and fully realized with the help of other musicians. There has been a set of wonderfully expansive EPs in between each – hinting at new directions and punctuating previous ideas – but with Life of Pause, Tatum delivers what he describes as his most “honest and mature” work yet, an exquisitely arranged and beautifully recorded collection of songs that marry the immediate with the indefinable. “I allowed myself to go down every route I could imagine even if it ended up not working for me,” he says. “I owe it to myself to take as many risks as possible. Songs are songs and you have to allow yourself to be open to everything.”

After a prolonged period of writing and experimentation, recording took place over several weeks in both Los Angeles and Stockholm, with producer Thom Monahan (Devendra Banhart, Beachwood Sparks) helping Tatum in his search for a more natural and organically textured sound. In Sweden, in a studio once owned by ABBA, they enlisted Peter, Bjorn and John drummer John Ericsson and fellow Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra veteran Pelle Jacobsson, to contribute drums and marimba. In California, at Monahan’s home, Tatum collaborated with Medicine guitarist Brad Laner and a crew of saxophonists. From the hypnotic polyrhythms of “Reichpop” to the sugary howl of “Japanese Alice” to the hallucinogenic R&B of “A Woman’s Wisdom,” the result is a complete, fully immersive listening environment. “I just kept things really simple, writing as ideas came to me,” he says. “There’s definitely a different kind of self in the picture this time around. There’s no real love lost, it’s much more a record of coming to terms and defining what it is that you have; your place, your relationships. I view every record as an opportunity to write better songs. At the end of the day it still sounds like me, just new.”

I had a feeling about this song when I wrote it. When it was in the demo phase, it sounded a little bit different and I didn’t know if I could include the song on the record. To me, when I first wrote it, I thought it sounded like a mainstream pop song, at least the way that it was in the demo. I might’ve gotten too deep into my own head there. In retrospect, there’s always songs where I think it should’ve been a single. It’s equally discouraging but encouraging to see that the song in particular had been streaming so well based off of nothing other than just fans liking the song. It’s amazing to see but I keep thinking it should’ve been a single.

It’s my favorite song on the record, too, for a number of reasons. I like that it has a pretty intentional hook on the chorus. I like that it’s a pop song that also has roots in a lot of soul and R&B records that I was listening to.

For whatever people’s opinions of that record are, I really love Life of Pause. I think a lot of fans kind of didn’t know what to do with that record but I feel like I’ll always have this song. This song was the perfect encapsulation of what my intentions were making it. “Whenever I” is not only a favorite song off that record, but it’s probably one of my favorite songs that I’ve written, ever.


A lot of the songs on Gemini were like that, where I’d have an idea and record it in one day and move on. There might even be a few weeks where I wouldn’t record or work on anything. Whereas with this record, I finally set up a studio space in Los Angeles, that was kind of separate from my house so things had to be more intentional. It was weird. This record was much more about getting into a schedule of creativity, which sounds really dull but it was actually really interesting and just a different way to work. It was just like, “OK, I’m going to go into the studio to work for a little while and just see what comes out of it.”

It was one of the only songs on the record that I wrote in one sitting. I was just at home and I think my studiomate, who I was sharing my L.A. space with, was using the studio, so I was just at home. I wrote that song on acoustic guitar, which I rarely do except for maybe one or two per record. I started strumming around on some chords and wrote the lyrics, which I also rarely do. I’m such a procrastinator when it comes to lyrics. It was just a song that came together very quickly and I feel really proud of it.

To me, it sounds like a classic pop song. It’s got all the things in my mind that, that I love about listening to bands like Fleetwood Mac or Prefab Sprout or any reference point that I’m constantly looking to for inspiration. I actually personally think of it as an encouraging song about love but also has the vibe of that everyone is going to get their kicked teeth in. It could also be cynical about things as well.

the EP’s

Empty Estate

Empty Estate

In 2013, Tatum bookended the Nocturne-era with an EP, Empty Estate, that marked a real musical departure of its own; summery synth work and boisterous guitars an approach that swapped dream-pop for drone-pop.

In retrospect, it looks like a real precursor to Life of Pause, in spirit of intent if not in terms of its execution. “I thought that EP was great. A lot of people didn’t,” he laughs. “You know, one of the things that happened as I was finally getting off the road around that time is that I was beginning to relate to the music I’d been playing night after night. When I put out Gemini and Nocturne, I felt far too close to them to be able to analyse them, and there was a lot of paranoia in me about that. Especially in terms of going from being a new band to putting out a second record, because that’s when people really begin to form impressions about who you are, and what you’re interested in, and what you’re capable of.”

“Knowing that really bogged me down, and I had a lot of self-doubt about the music that I was making, so Empty Estate was this total reactionary thing, just me throwing a lot of stuff against the wall. I think that was probably the start of the shift towards trying to do things differently, and play around with a lot of fresh ideas.

The 7-song EP was recorded in Brooklyn at Gary’s Electric by Al Carlson in January and finds Jack Tatum exploring new sounds, new instruments and a new voice for Wild Nothing.

a great video from the “Empty States EP by Wild Nothing

The Body In Rainfall, Ocean Repeating (Big-eyed Girl), On Guyot, Ride, Data World, A Dancing Shell, Hachiko

Golden Haze EP

Golden Haze

Collecting the previously unavailable Evertide EP, a Gemini B-Side along with two new tracks, the charming and gorgeous Golden Haze EP is the culmination of Wild Nothing in 2010 and a stop-gap between the band’s debut, Gemini, and sophomore album, Nocturne.

Golden Haze, Quiet Hours, Take Me In, Your Rabbit Feet, Asleep, Vultures Like Lovers.


To Know You

To Know You

On February 19th, 2016, Jack Tatum will return with his Wild Nothing album, Life of Pause, the follow-up to Nocturne. It features the first two singles “TV Queen” and “To Know You,” which you can purchase now digitally or as a limited edition 7″!

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flying nun

It’s often said that isolation leads to innovative music. That’s certainly true for a country like New Zealand, 2,500 miles over the Tasman Sea away from its closest neighbor, Australia. The country is famous for producing a pioneering brand of guitar music that has influenced artists from Sonic Youth to Pavement, to the late Memphis punk legend Jay Reatard. Since the 1980s, the “Dunedin sound,” as it’s become known, has been used as a touchstone to define a group of bands with jangly guitars, lo-fi production, and a deadpan Kiwi approach to writing and recording music; it was really just a fancy name for a localized subculture related to punk rock. At the heart of the “Dunedin sound” were groups like The Clean, Sneaky Feelings, and The Chills,

Much of the fanfare centered around the workings of Flying Nun Records, an independent label founded in 1981 by Roger Shepherd, who at the time was a relative novice with no prior experience in the business. Shepherd’s approach was fiercely DIY. In the early days, he maintained his job at a Christchurch record store (he eventually quit in 1986) and ran the label on the side. His philosophy was simple: if he liked it, he’d find a way to release it. The financials would be arranged later, sometimes for the better, sometimes for worse. It depends on who you talk to. But as the label’s popularity grew, record industry figures came knocking, and in 1990, with Flying Nun close to bankruptcy, Shepherd signed a deal to incorporate the label with Festival Records (later known as Festival Mushroom Records). A further transaction in 2006 between FMR and Warner Music Group effectively turned Flying Nun into a legacy label.

Today, that heritage is well documented. A film titled Heavenly Pop Hits – The Flying Nun Story premiered in 2002; last year, Shepherd released a book, In Love With These Times: My Life With Flying Nun Recordsand in 2013, New York record label Captured Tracks started reissuing records from the Flying Nun back catalog.

In 2009, Flying Nun was purchased from WMG by a consortium of New Zealand music professionals (including Shepherd), and in recent years has started signing and releasing music by contemporary artists such as Fazerdaze, The Courtneys, and Mermaidens. Those artists undoubtedly benefit from the past and present versions of the label. Many other New Zealand artists benefit, too, simply by sharing a home base. But the association by proxy hasn’t always been welcomed. As Flying Nun has been mythologized in New Zealand music folklore, many contemporary artists have come to view the label as having an overbearing presence.

Referencing Flying Nun has become somewhat of a tokenistic gesture, a way of pigeonholing every New Zealand guitar band without really saying anything unique about them.

No matter how you slice it, in a small market like New Zealand, a label with a history like Flying Nun’s is going to cast a long shadow. On one side you’ve got the label’s legacy, which helps to draw attention to music being made in the shaky isles, while on the other side, it’s easy for music fans to flick through the Flying Nun catalog but bypass the artists sitting right next to it.

Today, much like in the past, there’s plenty of independent record labels operating in the margins. Many have cemented their own histories amongst a dedicated community of fans, but few have found the type of global infamy that is bestowed on New Zealand’s most recognizable label.

Fishrider Records


Ian Henderson started Fishrider Records in 2006 to release an album by The Dark Beaks. He says he had no intention of making it a permanent gig. “Enthusiastic feedback from customers, radio hosts, and reviewers around the world [and here in] Dunedin inspired me to continue,” he says. Early releases such as The Puddle’s No Love – No Hate and The Shakespeare Monkey resemble the famed “Dunedin sound” (the band has also released music with Flying Nun), but in recent years a swath of bands with new wave and post-punk tendencies have dominated the label’s roster.

“Today, there is even less of a ‘Dunedin sound’ or even a scene,” says Henderson. “Music and art have always overlapped here, and that overlap is where the interesting people and sounds are, and it’s always changing… I’ve always believed Fishrider releases the artists and albums no other label would release, and also that the label is more music arts and crafts than music industry.”

Henderson runs the label from his home in Dunedin, but partners with U.K.’s Occultation Recordings for European and U.K. distribution. It helps him save on the cost of shipping and allows him to run the label with “an art-before-commerce” approach. “The bands organize their own art and decide how they want to present themselves and their music. What I do is mostly project management and coordination, plus PR, administration, and bookkeeping. And lots of packaging and mailing,” he says.

Remaining partial to the creative process also allows him to enjoy music as a fan. “Everything released on Fishrider is something I really like and want to have in my own record collection and play,” he says. Henderson’s curation is central to the label’s success, and also helps the label maintain a certain aesthetic and sound. His love of tempered melodies and earnest storytelling define the first six years of Fishrider, which were dominated by The Puddle, Dark Beaks, and art-pop band Opposite Sex. Psychedelia started to become a theme with the first Shifting Sands record in 2012, and you can start to hear the influence of British shoegaze and American indie rock.

Melted Ice Cream

Christchurch label Melted Ice Cream is responsible for releasing some of New Zealand’s most defiant punk music. The label was started by Salad Boys guitarist/vocalist Joe Sampson in 2011 as a digital bootleg label, and later evolved into an original cassette label based out of his apartment. Brian Feary, who was living with Sampson when the label began, is now its custodian. Addressing the label’s origins, Feary recalls, “In the early days we were dubbing cassettes by hand on whatever tape recorders we could get our mitts on. We actually devised a method where we were playing all of the tracks into a four-track and recording both sides of a tape at once… In 2012 I managed to find a cassette duplicator being sold for $24 by a studio that was closing down. That was a watershed moment for the label—we could then dub a whole run of 50 tapes in about three hours!”

Feary highlights the release of a compilation called Sickest Smashes from Arson City, which features artists from the local Christchurch punk scene, as a pivotal moment in the label’s evolution. “It probably could be viewed as the initial launch of Melted Ice Cream as it is today,” he says. It included early singles by Salad Boys, as well music by dance-rockers The Dance Asthmatics and thrash punk band Transistors.

Like a lot of small independent record labels, Melted Ice Cream relies on the local music scene to keep the label upright. The label’s roster reflects this volunteer-run spirit. Feary says, “It’s a pretty casual thing, generally we know members of the bands or are even good friends with them, and of course we release music that we are involved with.” Feary is a member of X-Ray Charles and plays in The Dance Asthmatics alongside Sampson, who also plays in Salad Boys and T54. Both their fingerprints are scattered across the back catalog.


trace / untrace

Julie Dunn cites Melted Ice Cream and Fishrider Records, as well as Auckland’s Prison Tapes and Australia’s Flightless Records, as the inspiration for her label, trace / untrace. Dunn and Richard Ley-Hamilton started the label in 2017 and have released cassettes by four of their favorite Dunedin bands: The Rothmans, Koizilla, asta rangu, and Bediquette.

The label is headquartered in Dunn’s kitchen, which is where her tape machine is located. “Tapes are such an incredible format,” she says. “I had a tape player in my car for years and some of my favorite albums are ones I’ve listened to way too many times while driving. I also really like the compressed sound that tape lends to music, which acts as a kind of lo-fi gloss for anything. Design-wise, I love making up J-cards and think you can be so creative with the artwork for a tape case.”

Dunn says before starting her own record label, she had no prior experience in the music business—“other than going to a lot of my friends’ shows and helping them as their roadie and driver”—but she has big plans. Dunn wants to use her position to promote more inclusivity in the Dunedin music scene, which for decades has been heavily dominated by male artists. “I’m really interested in exploring ways to remove barriers to making music, especially for women, non-binary, and young people, Another big aim for me is to start a platform for sharing knowledge on really solid DIY practices for musicians, like how to make good quality merch cheaply, how to host a successful DIY show,how to record inexpensively—anything that makes it easier for people to make music and get it out into the world.”


The highlight of the trace / untrace catalog thus far is Asta Rangu’s excellent debut EP, PlasticineIt’s the work of label co-founder Ley-Hamilton, and is a fluid rock ‘n’ roll record full of tightly wound guitars and soaring vocal melodies. In the post-grunge era of the late ’90s it would have slotted in nicely beside some of the greats, but in a contemporary setting it still sounds fresh.

Lil’ Chief Records

Scott Mannion cites the lack of New Zealand record labels interested in pop music as one of the reasons for his decision to start Lil’ Chief Records with Jonathan Bree in 2002. While working together at a record store, the pair noticed a shift in the musical landscape—particularly in Auckland—towards a more aggressive style of rock music that emerged during what could be described as the post-Flying Nun era. “If Flying Nun had been around to sign The Brunettes and The Tokey Tones in the early days, we probably wouldn’t have started Lil’ Chief,” Mannion says. But given the circumstances, starting a label to release their own bands’ brand of pure-of-heart pop music made the most logical sense.

The first two releases on Lil’ Chief were of Bree’s band The Brunettes, a duo characterized by Bree and Heather Mansfield’s deadpan romanticism. Their love of ‘60s pop was endearing to fans, who saw them as a bedroom version of bands like The Beach Boys or Shangri-Las. The success of the first two Brunettes records was great for business. It cemented them as Lil’ Chief’s flagship band and helped to create the framework for a functioning, albeit very DIY, record label.


Those early releases proved the need for a DIY pop-friendly label to exist, and the Lil’ Chief roster expanded to include The Reduction Agents, Voom, and The Ruby Suns, who along with The Brunettes went on to sign with U.S. label Sub Pop.

thanks Bandcamp –Nick Fulton

Wild Nothing Announces New Album <i>Indigo</i>, Shares Lead Single "Letting Go"

Jack Tatum has announced a new Wild Nothing album. Indigo is scheduled for release on August. 31st via Captured Tracks.

Tatum has also shared the album’s first single, “Letting Go.” The single features sweeping synths and light vocal distortion, staying true to the ‘80s origins of the dream-pop sound. Its chiming guitar and Tatum’s sweet falsetto in the chorus bring you to a pastel-painted room where there’s a slow-motion pillow fight going on. Listen to the track down below.

Indigo is Wild Nothing’s fourth album and the follow-up to 2016’s Life of Pause. The album, produced by Jorge Elbrecht, features Cam Allen on drums and Benji Lysaght on guitar. The album is a culmination of almost a decade’s worth of Tatum’s music as Wild Nothing. Indigo is in it’s “own cyborg world, utilizing the artful mechanisms of human touch with the precision of technology to create the classic, pristine sound Tatum has been seeking his entire career,” per a press release.

Tatum has also said that he thinks about how his music will age and that “ideas of ‘timeless’ are going to be different—so if Indigo is not timeless then it’s at least ‘out of time.’”

Wild Nothing has announced a fall North American tour to support Indigo.

We’re excited to share our new single Twelve Divisions Of The Day – our first release via Captured Tracks. Blending wiry, dark post-punk with unpredictable art-rock, Drahla have established themselves as a formidable and distinctive band across their two sold out 7” singles and the 2017 Third Article EP. Formed in late 2015, Drahla quickly found their identity in Yorkshire’s fertile music scene with their minimal yet robust bass-heavy sound. Their reputation as a fervent live act is ever-growing, with the band being asked to share stages with the likes of Parquet Courts, METZ, Ought, Buzzcocks, Hookworms, The Cribs and more. Their Third Article EP, produced by Hookworms’ MJ, was released at the end of 2017 on the band’s own Blank Ad label followed by their first European tour supporting Metz. Third Article finds the band at their most captivating, with track ‘Silk Spirit’ exhibiting Luciel’s mesmerizing spoken drawl, paired with the steady unrelenting wall of sound from Rob Riggs on bass, and Mike Ainsley on drums.


After watching the band’s self-made video for ‘Silk Spirit’, Mike Sniper, founder of Brooklyn independent label Captured Tracks, was immediately hooked. The band signed to Captured Tracks shortly after.

The single will be released on limited clear 7” vinyl with an alternative mix by Black Ribbon and a fanzine on 20th July. This is a super limited 7″ on clear vinyl. It includes a 32 page fanzine made by Luciel Brown and Rob Riggs of Drahla.

Their tour begins on Saturday in Wakefield. We hope to see you at the shows.