Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand’

Everything changed for The Beths when they released their debut album, Future Me Hates Me, in 2018. The indie rock band had long been nurtured within Auckland, New Zealand’s tight-knit music scene, working full-time during the day and playing music with friends after hours. Full of uptempo pop rock songs with bright, indelible hooks, the LP garnered them critical acclaim from outlets like Pitchfork and Rolling Stone, and they set out for their first string of shows overseas. They quit their jobs, said goodbye to their hometown, and devoted themselves entirely to performing across North America and Europe. They found themselves playing to crowds of devoted fans and opening for acts like Pixies and Death Cab for Cutie. Almost instantly, The Beths turned from a passion project into a full-time career in music.

Songwriter and lead vocalist Elizabeth Stokes worked on what would become The Beths’ second LP, “Jump Rope Gazers”, in between these intense periods of touring. Like the group’s earlier music, the album tackles themes of anxiety and self-doubt with effervescent power pop choruses and rousing backup vocals, zeroing in on the communality and catharsis that can come from sharing stressful situations with some of your best friends. Stokes’s writing on Jump Rope Gazers grapples with the uneasy proposition of leaving everything and everyone you know behind on another continent, chasing your dreams while struggling to stay close with loved ones back home.

“If you’re at a certain age, all your friends scatter to the four winds,” Stokes says. “We did the same thing. When you’re home, you miss everybody, and when you’re away, you miss everybody. We were just missing people all the time.”

With songs like the rambunctious “Dying To Believe” and the tender, shoegazey “Out of Sight,” The Beths reckon with the distance that life necessarily drives between people over time. People who love each other inevitably fail each other. “I’m sorry for the way that I can’t hold conversations/They’re such a fragile thing to try to support the weight of,” Stokes sings on “Dying to Believe.” The best way to repair that failure, in The Beths’ view, is with abundant and unconditional love, no matter how far it has to travel. On “Out of Sight,” she pledges devotion to a dearly missed friend: “If your world collapses/I’ll be down in the rubble/I’d build you another,” she sings.

“It was a rough year in general, and I found myself saying the words, ‘wish you were here, wish I was there,’ over and over again,” she says of the time period in which the album was written. Touring far from home, The Beths committed themselves to taking care of each other as they were trying at the same time to take care of friends living thousands of miles away. They encouraged each other to communicate whenever things got hard, and to pay forward acts of kindness whenever they could. That care and attention shines through on Jump Rope Gazers, where the quartet sounds more locked in than ever. Their most emotive and heartfelt work to date, Jump Rope Gazers stares down all the hard parts of living in communion with other people, even at a distance, while celebrating the ferocious joy that makes it all worth it–a sentiment we need now more than ever.

releases July 10th, 2020

The Beths
Guitar: Elizabeth Stokes, Jonathan Pearce
Bass Guitar: Benjamin Sinclair
Drums: Tristan Deck
Vocals, Percussion: All

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Auckland, New Zealand’s Singer Songwriter Molly Payton has kindly unveiled a stunningly-shot live version of her stark and thoughtful new single “Corduroy”. The track is the latest she’s shared from her debut EP Mess, which she releases courtesy of TMWRK on April 30th.

“Corduroy” is the third single from Molly Payton’s debut EP ‘Mess’

Listen To Tidal Rave's Debut Album 'Heart Screams'

Pōneke six-piece Tidal Rave have at last revealed their debut album “Heart Screams”, following through on the winning promise of recent singles ‘FOMO’, ‘Dark Wizard’ and ‘Slow/ Fast’. Showcasing nine garage-pop tunes overflowing with jangly guitars and vintage organ sounds, the team of Emmie EllisEsther Gedye TaylorKristen PatersonAnn-Marie KeatingFrank Eggleton and Scott Hakkaart‘s record conjures a windswept gothic mystique reminiscent at times of The Terminals, while kicking up a storm and tugging at heart strings on such rollicking numbers as ‘Speed Of Sound’ and the title track. You can join Tidal Rave celebrating their album’s release at this Sunday’s absolutely rammed Newtown Festival.

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The Wellington based six-piece band Tidal Rave continues a New Zealand (and Australasian) tradition of dark, compelling guitar and keyboard lead garage rock.

‘Heart Screams’ is out now digitally and on limited edition compact disc via Fishrider Records.

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New Zealand’s Yumi Zouma are releasing a new album, “Truth or Consequences”, on March 13th via Polyvinyl, their first for the label. On Tuesday they shared another song from the album, “Southwark,” via a self-directed video for the track. The video intercuts between the band at the beach and performing the song indoors somewhere. “Southwark” continues Yumi Zouma’s remarkable track record of creating irresistible and effortless indie-pop.

In a press release the band’s singer/songwriter Christie Simpson says the song “feels like a dedication, a mantra, a promise to myself. I wrote the chorus line about the someone in particular that I was with at the time, but it now feels like a universal truth for my relationships, a dedication that goes to every person I’ve loved and those that I’m still loving now. I can be quite dramatic in love and relationships, and I don’t always do or say the right thing when I should, but I do throw myself in completely (for better or worse). I loved that idea of repeating that dedication – ‘I am imperfectly yours’…. This track has haunted me a little every time I listen, there’s something melancholy that sits in there alongside that overall feeling of quiet elation. I suppose that speaks to the classic dichotomy of love and relationships – nothing is ever 100% good or perfect, and that’s what I am constantly trying to come to terms with.”

Guitarist/vocalist Josh Burgess had this to say about the video: “A bit of a Yumi tradition is having at least one video on a record we shot ourselves. While we’re not going to be nominated for an Oscar anytime soon, it’s always fun to grab a camera and start shooting. It felt like too good of an opportunity to pass up having us all sitting there in a photo studio mere moments after the centerfold picture of our record. From there we headed off to the beach for sunset. Christie wanted to get into the water but the threat of hypothermia proved too much! It’s also the first video/time we’ve ever revealed lyrics so overtly! The fantastic Lorenzo Fanton’s typeface was too good to pass up!”

Previously Yumi Zouma shared Truth or Consequences’ lead single, “Cool For a Second,” via a video for the track The album also includes “Right Track / Wrong Man,” a song the band shared back in December.

Yumi Zouma’s glistening new single “Southwark” is taken from the group’s new LP Truth or Consequences, coming March 13th on Polyvinyl. Watch the video, shot by the band’s own Josh Burgess,

“Southwark” is taken from Yumi Zouma’s long-awaited third album, “Truth or Consequences”,

The band self-produced the album and it was mixed by Jake Aron (Solange, Grizzly Bear, Snail Mail). While formed in New Zealand, Yumi Zouma’s members currently reside in various cities around the world: New York City (Josh Burgess – guitar, vocals), London (Charlie Ryder – guitar, bass, keys), Christchurch, New Zealand (Christie Simpson – vocals, keys), and Wellington, New Zealand (Olivia Campion – drums).

The band released a new EP, EP III, in September 2018 via Cascine. EP III was the follow-up to Yumi Zouma’s sophomore album, Willowbank, which was among our Top Albums of 2017. In May 2019 they shared another brand new song, “Bruise,” .

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If guitar rock is dead, no-one told Bad Sav. The latest blast of Analogue Dunedin comes from the band that refused to be left behind. Although featuring Death And The Maiden guitarist/vocalist Hope Robertson and bassist/vocalist Lucinda King, plus Shifting Sands guitarist Mike McLeod (on drums here), Bad Sav are the primary strain from which both of those bands sprang.
When asked to describe her band’s sound in a 2010 interview, Hope suggested …a missed punch and a grazed fist. Sad, heavy, unpredictable loud pop”. Indeed, Bad Sav offer a far more guitar-oriented hard attack than Death And The Maiden their distinctive filtering and reassembly of influences from shoegaze, psychedelic noise-rock – and goodness knows where else – are combined using a uniquely electrified Dunedin sonic alchemy, bursting with colossal, majestic, melodic noise.

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They conjure epic maelstroms of distorted guitars, pounding drums, reverbed vocals and squalling noisescapes to teleport listeners into their bruised sonic universe. The carefully balanced ten track collection is sure to be a local highlight of the year for many.

Bad Sav are:
Hope Robertson – Guitar, vocals
Lucinda King – Bass, vocals
Mike McLeod – Drums

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Wellington based six-piece band Tidal Rave continues a New Zealand (and Australasian) tradition of dark, compelling guitar and keyboard lead garage rock. There’s something slightly claustrophobic and unsettling at times about the churning dense weave of the three guitars and bass backed by ghostly organ and insistent drum pulse.

Add the character provided by the interchange between three songwriter-guitarist-vocalists, one with distinctive vibrato reminiscent of The Terminals’ ominous baritone proclamations, and it’s possible to imagine this album as the product of another era.

Tidal Rave started out of bedroom jam sessions in a Nikau St flat in the inner-Wellington suburb of Newtown, developing into 6-piece band which released a self-titled EP in 2017 and toured NZ and Melbourne, Australia.

“Heart Screams” is the band’s first album. The 9 tracks by guitarist-songwriters Ellis, Gedye Taylor, and Paterson, woven together with backing vocals by keyboard player Keating, are alternately dark and euphoric; universal themes touching on inner hopes and anxieties, external threats (real and imagined), all set against the monotony of day to day living in the narrow streets of NZ’s wind-rattled capital city.

Tidal Rave include members of Sweaty Betty, Kittentank, Echo Beach and Housewitches in a stellar lineup that features no less than three women playing loud guitars, driven by a tight rhythm section. With all the hallmark melody, chime and squall of excellent indie rock.

Releases February 28th, 2020

Emmie Ellis (vox and guitar), Esther Gedye Taylor (vox and guitar), Kristen Paterson (vox and guitar), Ann-Marie Keating (vox and keys), Frank Eggleton (bass), Scott Hakkaart (drums).

Finally after two years of sweat and tears, we are happy to announce that our third album “Truth or Consequences” will be out on the 13th of march 2020, courtesy of our new friends at Inertia Music and Polyvinyl Record Co.

They’ve shared the latest single from the record, “Cool For A Second,” which follows the previously shared “Right Track / Wrong Man.” It has that now-signature nostalgic and above the clouds feeling that Yumi Zouma’s best offerings give you. With both of the songs that we’ve heard so far, the album is shaping up to be another winner from the New Zealand outfit.

We think it’s our most special record yet, and we hope you do too. To celebrate, today we have released a new video for one of our favourite songs on the record, “Cool For A Second”, shot by Nick McKinlay (Julia Jacklin, Stella Donnelly, Merpire).

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For those of us already in the know, the three years between New Zealand songwriter Nadia Reid’s albums have been an excruciating wait.  A wait no doubt earmarked by endless listens to her pristine sophomore album, Preservation.  On March 6th 2020, Nadia Reid will release her third album, “Out Of My Province”, on her own aptly named Slow Time Records.  The album will release outside of New Zealand on Spacebomb Records, and yes, she made the trek to Richmond, Virginia, to receive the full Spacebomb production treatment of strings and lush arrangements.  First single and video, “Best Thing” is already out.  Reid has a voice that is at once delicate, but also sturdy enough to command attention and instill an instant addiction.   A voice that stands up to any instrumentation thrown her way and earns whatever superlatives you care to apply.  Reid only first toured out of her native home to neighboring Australia in 2016 and maintained her job at a cafe up to that point.

Since then, Reid has performed in the U.K., Europe and barely in the U.S.  As her new album predicts, Reid will undoubtedly find herself extensively out of her province in the ensuing year.  Already having been nominated for numerous awards at home, the rest of the world will soon figure out that she is a necessary fixture in their listening libraries.

“Best Thing” off the album ‘Out of My Province’ due for release March 6th, 2020, on Spacebomb Records.

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New Zealand’s Sarah Mary Chadwick first made a name for herself as the singer/guitarist of the grungy band Batrider, but she’s been pursuing a solo career since 2012 and her fifth solo album, “The Queen Who Stole The Sky”, is a triumph like few others. Sarah, who normally plays guitar or keyboard, was commissioned by the City of Melbourne to perform an original piece on the Melbourne Town Hall’s 147-year-old pipe organ, the largest Grand Romantic organ in the Southern Hemisphere. Sarah Mary Chadwick has always been an artist who goes ‘all-in’ emotionally, and on this album, she’s playing the hand of her life.
The organ sound is ENORMOUS, and the songs are just superb. Her voice arches with the aching power of Bjork and the frail grace of Neil Young. It’s an overwhelming listen, with the emotional heft of of a Gorecki symphony. It’s an albums that renders pain, beauty, grief and joy into a singular, rolling wave.
Let it wash over you and take you where it will.

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That piece became The Queen Who Stole The Sky, which was recorded live and then turned into Sarah’s new album. It’s a concept that would be interesting even if the album wasn’t that fun to listen to, but it is fun to listen to. It manages to have both the accessibility of her earlier work and the pure uniqueness you would expect from a project like this.

On this album, I keep coming back to thinking she sounds like Amanda Palmer meets Bjork, and it’s rare to even hear someone attempt sounding like that, let alone pull it off as masterfully as Sarah Mary Chadwick does. I’d like to think that comparison is at least enough to make you curious enough to listen (if you haven’t already), but this is not really the kind of album you can compare to other artists anyway. Like Amanda and Bjork, Sarah Mary Chadwick is a true original on The Queen Who Stole The Sky. Not only did she have the technical skills to pull off this task, she was able to come out with a personal, emotional album in the process. The pipe organ is a grand, majestic instrument, but The Queen Who Stole The Sky still sounds intimate.

A ‘companion collection’ of live, whole takes recorded to 2” tape.

“I was very lucky to have 3 afternoons alone at Roundhead studios, in late 2017 and early 2018, when as a band we were just about finished mixing the full band versions I’m so proud of. Those had taken a long time to realise; it was a fun, beautiful, big project. So much happened during the process… I felt a need to get a snapshot of the songs at the end of it, with all that learning, reflecting on where they’d begun, and where they’d ended up.”

Released September 27, 2019

Written, performed and produced by Hollie Fullbrook