Melodys Echo ChamberTime for another Psychedelic Sunday don’t you think? Can’t get much more psychedelic than “Desert Horse” from the just-released new album by extraordinary French musician Melody Prochet, as Melody’s Echo Chamber.

Back from a serious accident and full of an urgent desire to enjoy a new lease of life, “Desert Horse” indicates the new album “Bon Voyage” is a bold exploration of a futuristic  psychedelia by a free spirit of music-making.

The track is, quite frankly bonkers, and I mean that as the highest praise. It makes The Flaming Lips at their most luminescent seem almost pedestrian. There’s all manner of exotic sounds caught up in this phantasmagorical whirlpool of sound. Words are not enough though, so listen and watch too:

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Say Sue MeSay Sue Me are from Busan, South Korea and their new album, released in April is a delight. Here’s “But I Like You”.

Sumi Choi is the guitarist, vocalist and lyricist and also presumably the origin of the band’s name. She rates Yo La Tengo as an influence and also the kind of long-lasting music making institution she aspires to.

Early Yo La Tengo is also a good reference point for the manner in which Say Sue Me effortlessly assimilate a wide range of stylistic influences, and incorporate elements of surf music, classic 60’s girl-group pop (as filtered through The Jesus & Mary Chain’s fuzz & reverb), French Ye-Ye pop, 80’s guitar pop, garage rock and shoegaze – sometimes in the same song.

The album “Where We Were Together” is a perfect collection of guitar pop songs in a range of styles, performed in with unaffected enthusiasm, with Sumi delivering lyrics balancing melancholy with optimism. Highly recommended for fans of Alvvays, Trick Mammoth, Fazerdaze, and, of course, Yo La Tengo.

Oh, and The Shop Assistants too:

 

KosmetikaKosmetika are a duo from Auckland/ Khabarovsk/ Melbourne, and “Ya Ueda” is a single from their forthcoming album.

Kosmetika are Mike Ellis & Veeka Nazarova, supplemented on this song by drummer James Sullivan. The song was recorded in Auckland and Melbourne and sung in Russian.

Regardless of the language the vocals are sung in the song is the international language of guitar pop understood by popLib and PopLib followers, so enjoy please…

The song appears to be about escaping boredom, leaving a “waste grey city” finding a new life and “in the cafe the machine promises noisy music. I do not want to go home”. Right then, I think we can all find some common ground in those sentiments, which is pretty much the history of rock and roll in a song lyric really. Perhaps Khabarovsk – the most populous city in Eastern Russia, located on the Amur River in southeastern Russia, near the border with China – is that “waste grey city”?

Peach Milk 2017Day 31 of PopLib’s 31 Days of May marathon for New Zealand Music Month ends the month with the dark minimal techno of Auckland producer Peach Milk and “Heretic”

Peach Milk’s “Finally” EP has been a favourite round here for a while now.  Electronic musician/ producer Madison Eve  has created something as Peach Milk that is part Euro-dance/ post-dance music, part ambient soundtrack/ soundscape.

“Heretic” is superbly tasteful in the sounds and the moods created, the dark sheen and shimmer of the synth washes, the understated beats, and the icy ambient minimalism. When vocals appear they are injected into the ether, dancing through atmosphere of the music like ghostly spirits as a disembodied presence. It’s what Peach Milk leaves out that gives “Heretic” and the music on all of the wonderful “Finally” EP the space to set the mind free to wander and imagine.

Thanks for following these posts throughout May. While it’s easy to be cynical about the tokenism of one 12th of the year being a time to recognise NZ Music – Every month is New Zealand Music Month – it is an excuse to do something like PopLib’s 31 Days of May, and hopefully turn people on to new music they may not have heard before. As always, if you’ve found something you love here share it, and let others know.

 

for the quailDay 30 of PopLib’s 31 Days of May marathon for New Zealand Music Month is “Election Drinking Party” by Dunedin post-rock/ post-punk/ post-everything trio For The Quail.

For The Quail are Evan Sunley James (Guitar, vocals), Karl Bray (bass, backing vocals) and Samdrub Dawa (Drums). The song was written, recorded and released to mark New Zealand’s 2017 General Election, and captures an essence of the squabbling frustration of the 3 year political cycle of blame and claim, truth and lies and mis-use of statistics. Enough to drive anyone to drink.

The second half of the 8 minute epic goes off into space in a pretty wonderful way with delay guitar looping back on itself over and over to provide a noisy blanket of swirling sound as the percussion starts to become motorik and mechanical and steadily disintegrate and it ends in a kind of apocalyptic ambience.

 

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The Prophet Hens – photos by Phoebe Lysbeth Kay http://www.phoebelysbethk.com/

Day 29 of PopLib’s 31 Days of May marathon for New Zealand Music Month is “Friends” from Dunedin “jangle-pop” guitar & Casio keyboard band The Prophet Hens.

“Friends” is from The Prophet Hens second album, “The Wonderful Shapes of Back Door Keys” released in 2016 just before the band went into indefinite hiatus. While The Prophet Hens tended to be cursed with the ‘Dunedin jangle’ sound thing (in NZ at least – that was seen as a positive overseas) their influences were more from UK 1980s guitar pop and US guitar pop. “Friends” wears its early REM/ Peter Buck influences on its sleeve.

Keyboard player (playing the legendary Casiotone given to her as a child) and vocalist Penelope Esplin and bassist Robin Cederman are now the Wellington-based duo Grawlixes. Esplin is also now part of French For Rabbits.

Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Karl Bray is busy these days as bassist for post-rock ensemble For the Quail along with the recording engineer for this album Samdrub Dawa and Evan Sunley James. It was in the sophisticated country-ish pop ensemble The Sunley Band (“Dunedin’s least fashionable band” they claimed) that I first saw Karl and Penelope play, many years ago. There are several Dunedin-linked NZ music rabbit holes to fall down in this post – each one well is worth the diversion.

Dear Times Waste 2009

Dear Time’s Waste, Dunedin, 2009

Day 28 of PopLib’s 31 Days of May marathon for New Zealand Music month is a trip 9 years back in time to “Clandestine” from the first EP release of now-retired musical entity Dear Time’s Waste

“Clandestine” is the opening track on the 1st release by Dear Time’s Waste – the “Room For Rent” EP, released in March 2009.

It’s a song that transfixed then, and – as some music is inclined to do – transfixes still, nine years later, from the moment those two drum beats herald its start.

Following the “Room for Rent” EP, Claire Duncan, as Dear Time’s Waste – sometimes with a band, sometimes without – released two ambitious, excellent, and essential albums; SPELLS (2010) and Some Kind Of Eden (2012).

Afterwards came the intriguing slow development of a new and darker NZ Gothic enterprise, called i.e. crazy.

“Emerging from a mist of shoegaze in my early twenties, I yearned to discover a stronger mode of communication” explained Claire in this tribute to 5 of her favourite NZ songs published on The Wireless.

While i. e. crazy is certainly a “stronger mode of communication” it’s worth noting that the lyrics and atmosphere of the Dear Time’s Waste right from the start contained many hints of what was to follow, as a careful listening to “Clandestine” reveals.

That “mist of shoegaze” produced two of my favourite albums and this 5-song “Room for Rent” EP which is my equal-favourite 5 song EP along with the 1st Jean Paul Sartre Experience 12″ EP released in 1986.