Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand’

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Heavy psychedelic / fuzz band who formed in 2016 in Wellington, New Zealand.  A male/female two-piece who play loud, energetic, disorientating songs, often with space and/or occult themes.  What do you get if you cross Black Sabbath with Stereolab?  Fuck knows, but listen to this Primitive Prog -it’s crazy cosmic jack!

This could well end up being a lot of peoples favourite album of the year – people whose twin loves are heavy fuzz and fantasy sci-fi…Sometimes music is supposed to feel weird and indescribable. It’s the moments of clarity within the dense, sonic mess that often feels the most satisfying. That’s the space that Earth Tongue occupy. At times, their songs are shrill and disorientating, other times their reverb-washed textures and instantly-familiar hooks can wrap you in a warm, loving embrace.

Now that is a good description, from the bands press release.  Another two piece band -drums and guitar, re-writing the rules and making Prog-influenced music sound simultaneously pop and primitive.

Named after a glutinous fungus (Glutinoglossum glutinosum) Earth Tongue consists of two earthlings:- Gussie Larkin (guitar – a master of the fuzz-smothered riff) and Ezra Simons (stunning, off-kilter drums). Both sing.  Their debut Portable Shrine EP was self-released in New Zealand but Floating Being is released this via Bristol (UK)  based independent label Stolen Body Records – home of a load of cool international bands.

Taken from the album Floating Being out on Stolen Body Records.

Earth Tongue embrace the imperfections in their playing and recording – drawing influence from early 70s psych and prog rock. The last thing they wanted was to create a shiny, over-produced record – with that in mind, they recorded the drums to an old 8-track Tascam reel-to-reel in a friend’s garage in Melbourne. The result is a punchy, raw and fuzzy journey into psych-rock with songs that weave between melodic and jarring. Unexpected twists and turns leave the listener in a disorientated yet satisfying haze.

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Having come together in 2013 after frontwoman Annabel Liddel recruited a group of musicians to support her solo performance, Auckland band Miss June have not wasted any time in establishing their unapologetic sound.

It’s raw and raucous; a hard-hitting explosion of fuzzed out punk riffs and wailing vocal melodies. With a string of consistently blistering singles under their collective belt, the four-piece belt through an energetic brand of 90’s garage that’ll kick you straight in the nose. On their most recent single Twitch”, the band showcase their penchant for vitriolic delivery. “I wrote Twitch in my first year of clinical placement for Medical School,” Liddel says about the track.

“The song is about the first time I operated on a living human being and how different this was to operating on a cadaver. I brought the lyrics and music to the boys and a year later it became the beautiful specimen it is today.”

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released May 29th, 2019

Annabel Liddell – vocals, guitar
Jun Cheul Park – guitar
Chris Marshall – bass
Tom Leggett – drums

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New Zealand indie-pop band Yumi Zouma released a new EP, EP III, last September via Cascine Records. This week they shared a brand new song, “Bruise,” that’s a standalone single and is a little bit more electronic and club-ready than their usual fare. And yet it still works gloriously.

The band has this to say about the song in a press release: “On EP III, we were literally finishing tracks the day before they had to be turned in and uploaded. This helped us to realize that we could release our next songs in a more direct way, and put ‘Bruise’ out independently. The origins of ‘Bruise’ were steeped in loss, but the track has become a beacon of optimism for us. We started writing the instrumental after our great friend Sam told us he was leaving the band and moving to Serbia. We were all distraught until Josh said, ‘Cheer me up guys – let’s write a song for Nelly Furtado.’ Nelly never replied but we came up with a smash.”

EP III was the follow-up to Yumi Zouma’s sophomore album, Willowbank,

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Aldous Harding release her third album, “Designer”, on 4AD Records. Designer finds the New Zealander hitting her creative stride. After the sleeper success of the internationally lauded Party, Harding came off a 100-date tour last summer and went straight into the studio with a collection of songs written on the road. Reuniting with John Parish, producer of Party, Harding spent 15 days recording and 10 days mixing at Rockfield Studios, Monmouth and Bristol’s J&J Studio and Playpen.

The New Zealand songwriter Aldous Harding with her third studio album “Designer”. At first glance it’s another album of her signature soft-spoken folk sound, but this time around there’s more meat on the bones. It’s her first record with drums on almost every song, and a broader instrumental palate lends the album a newfound sense of gravity. The emotional lows are lower and the highs are even higher than before.

From the bold strokes of opening track “Fixture Picture”, there is an overriding sense of an artist confident in their work, with contributions from Huw Evans (H. Hawkline), Stephen Black (Sweet Baboo), drummer Gwion Llewelyn and violinist Clare Mactaggart broadening and complimenting Harding’s rich and timeless songwriting.

The amazing new album from Aldous Harding is out today on 4AD Records/Flying Nun Records, on limited gold vinyl pressing.

Auckland psych-rock behemoth Ounce have unleashed their hugely anticipated debut album OZ, following hot on the heels of a mind-altering run of singles and senses-defying live shows. The incendiary six-piece’s ten track collection, released today via local independent mavericks 1:12 Records, features previously released favourites ‘Electric Eye’, ‘Satan II’ and ‘Crocodile’ alongside a fistful of fresh tracks, drawing upon a diverse sonic melting pot of influences including propulsive ‘kraut rock’ grooves, surf guitar and 50’s exotica percussive workouts. You can experience Ounce’s blazed double drum attack for yourself on their national album release.

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released March 1st, 2019

All words and music by Ounce except for Interstellar Overdrive riff by Pink Floyd in “Desert”. Recorded and mixed by Callum Rooney. Mastered by Patrick Haight. Art and design by Callum Rooney.

The Band

Antony Pike – Drums and percussion, some keys and backing vocals
Kieran Ruffles – Drums and percusion
Callum Rooney – Baritone guitar, vocals, keys
Yves Yang – Bass guitar
Fi Browne – Hand percussion

'Designer'

The first single ‘The Barrel’ has been launched today, with a delightfully off-kilter accompanying video that transmutes to film the intense and commanding energy seen in Harding’s live shows. Designer finds the New Zealander hitting her creative stride.  After Party, Harding came off a 100-date tour last summer and went straight into the studio with a collection of songs written on the road.  Reuniting with John Parish, producer of Party, Harding spent 15 days recording and 10 days mixing at Rockfield Studios, Monmouth and Bristol’s J&J Studio and Playpen.  From the bold strokes of opening track ‘Fixture Picture’, there is an overriding sense of an enigmatic artist confident in their work, with contributions from Huw Evans (H. Hawkline), Stephen Black (Sweet Baboo), drummer Gwion Llewelyn and violinist Clare Mactaggart broadening and complimenting Harding’s rich and timeless songwriting.

‘The Barrel’, by Aldous Harding. New album ‘Designer’ will be released on 4AD/Flying Nun on 26th April 2019.

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A rare blend of eloquent lyrical craft and explorative musicianship, the songs of Tiny Ruins are etched into the memories of crowds and critics worldwide. Traversing influences that cross genre and era, the artistry of Hollie Fullbrook and her band spans delicate folk, lustrous dream pop. Production by David LynchOlympic Girls bring ebullient psychedelia to the album.

More thoughts on the album (& many thank-yous) to follow…but for now I leave you to tackle these 11 songs, while I get some sleep in time for an early train to London!

New Zealand band Tiny Ruins have shared the fourth single from their forthcoming album Olympic Girls, out February. 1st on Ba Da Bing Records. It’s called “Holograms” and arrives with a beautiful new video,

“Holograms” follows previously released singles “School of Design,” “Olympic Girls” and “How Much.” Tiny Ruins, which originated as frontwoman Hollie Fullbrook’s solo songwriting project, has always been a nesting place for spare, delicate melodies and verses full of natural imagery and big ideas. But there’s nothing delicate about this latest batch of singles: “Olympic Girls” is warm, full and unexpected—a lively flute finds a home next to electric guitar; Fullbrook’s smooth alto sighs along with clashing cymbals.

“Holograms” is just as beautiful, and it’s one of Fullbrook’s biggest ideas yet. “Holograms is a conversation in a way, where one person posits the idea that technology will increasingly connect us,” she said in a statement. “That we will not just be emotionally or mentally connected, but that our bodies will transcend physical and mortal bounds via technology. That we can bring someone back.”

“How will we come back?” she sings. “Rise and shine as holograms?” It’s an eerie concept, one Tiny Ruins execute beautifully in the accompanying visuals. In the clip, Fullbrook and her bandmates (bassist Cass Basil, drummer Alex Freer and guitarist Tom Healy) search for meaning in a hypnotic model of the solar system. Fullbrook also shared the inspiration behind the video:

For the video, I wanted a sense of longing for this sparkly, colorful other realm, where everyone is connected, in unity. The director Martin Sagadin and I both started out talking about how the song called for a sense of sci-fi, which led us to planets, which led to the idea that we would build planets out of lanterns. This storyline arose where my character is trying to communicate or reach out to another field of existence, via technology. But we felt that the technology could be a bit old and not quite “of this time”—we were inspired by Kate Bush’s “Cloudbusting” video, or the TV series Maniac, in the sense that technology is kind of old and defunct, and there’s a timelessness or lack of specificity as to time. The idea of the video, is that I have a vision of this place I am trying to reach … I gather up particular objects that I feel will connect me to this place. But in the end, it’s futile—I try to reach the planet that appears through the wall, with all my technology revved up, and … it collapses in front of me.

The second single & title track from Tiny Ruins album ‘Olympic Girls’, due out on February 1st.

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Emily Fairlight is a poet and a songwriter. She describes her own music style as introspective alternative folk, written with a rock ‘n’ roll heart. Others have compared her sound to Natalie Merchant, P.J. Harvey, Grace Slick (Jefferson Airplane) and Cat Power.

Her voice ranges from the most intimate of whispers to the strongest of wails, delivering beautiful and honest lyrics with heartfelt melodies. Emily has been composing and performing for over a decade now, and in this time has played throughout New Zealand, Australia and the USA. Her third and most recent trip to the USA saw her record her sophomore album with Doug Walseth of The Cat’s Eye Studio in Austin, Texas, featuring some incredible Texan musicians including Cully Symington (Bright Eyes and Okkervil River) and multi-instrumentalist Kullen Fuchs.

Emily Fairlight writes both poems and lyrics, and you can tell. The New Zealand singer/songwriter makes music that feels purposefully introspective and intimate, the kind of thing you might listen to alone in the kitchen or with a few friends on the couch, but not too many friends—you’ll want to keep these sounds and words to yourself. She released a thoughtful new album, “Mother of Gloom”, in 2018, which landed her a spot as a showcasing artist at this year’s South By Southwest festival in March 2019.

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Based out of New Zealand, Alanna Eileen first emerged back in 2015, with a debut EP, Absence. That was followed two years later by Keepsake, and maintaining the theme of a new EP every two years, is set to return next month with a brand new eight-track offering. Alanna’s new single, Faded Image is the latest taste of Alanna’s recording sessions in America with producer Alan Weatherhead, known for his work with Sparklehore & Magnolia Electric Co. This fledgling partnership already seems to bearing a multitude of fruits; the production bringing out all the twanging, intimate beauty of Alanna’s songwriting.

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Atop a backing of easy-paced drums, piano flourishes and warm glides of slide guitar Alanna’s vocal is given plentiful space to shine. Despite her New Zealand roots, Alanna’s is a classic Americana-vocal, pitched somewhere between Marissa Nadler and Tiny Ruins’ Hollie Fullbrook.  Lyrically, it’s a classic piece of country, all lovelorn longing and subtle questioning of where and why things didn’t quite work out. We find Alanna falling back to the comfort of a lovers arms, but knowing she can’t bare to hear them speak another word. Ultimately though, it’s a song about moving on, or at least trying to, “will I ever have you in my life?”, she repeats, seemingly not only unsure of the answer but also whether that’s a good thing. Faded Image is a beautiful track, in some ways almost old fashioned, classic songwriting, which oddly with so little of it about in the mainstream, now sounds quite fresh and exciting: a quiet triumph.

Thanks FortheRabbits

Elizabeth Stokes named her band after herself, or, rather, her nickname. So it should come as no surprise, then, that the debut album from New Zealand-based rockers The Beths, Future Me Hates Me, is sharply self-aware. Stokes, a music teacher who quit her day job to tour the world with The Beths, pairs clever, refreshingly straightforward lyrics with uber-catchy guitar pop, and she never stutters in delivering even the most blunt assessments of her doubts, fears and anxieties. “Sometimes I think I’m doing fine / I think I’m pretty smart,” she sings on the album’s title track before, later, completing the thought: “Oh then the walls become thin / And somebody gets in / I’m defenseless.” On dizzying love song “Little Death,” she captures and tames all the butterflies swarming around in her stomach: “And the red spreads to my cheeks / You make me feel three glasses in.”

The Beths sound as if they’re already three albums in, playing with the musical and lyrical finesse of a much older and more experienced band. Every single song on this record arrives with as many contagious hooks and honest confessions as on the sparkly, frank “Little Death” and the toe-tap-inducing examination of overthinking “Future Me Hates Me.” Indie rock is alive and well in Oceania—The Beths, like their Australian neighbors Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, hit it out of the park in crafting one of the sturdiest rock debuts of the year.

“Little Death” is taken from The Beths‘ album, “Future Me Hates Me,” out now on Carpark Records.

A delightful pop collection full of power chords and sing-alongs about the confusion, angst, and pain as we fall in and out of love. Hard not to smile, even while you’re crying. The Beths have a way of giving luminescence and pep to even the most harrowing aspects of love and human relation; bright, bespoke chord progressions and glittering harmonies as the backdrop to self-destruction, the grief of loss, and the pain that can come with finding yourself with a crush. “Broke every window pane/so I can feel the cold rain/when I lie in bed catching death, trying to wash it all away…”

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