Bye Bye Fishes_1_photo_credit_Jessie_McKay (1)

Bye Bye Fishies – photo Jessie McKay

It’s May! It’s New Zealand Music Month. Yes, of course, it’s New Zealand music every Godzone Month here at PopLib. Except for when we are writing about bands from other places who probably wish they lived in New Zealand.  Trouble is, while there’s technically space for more people here, there are not enough houses, they are increasingly unaffordable, the transport infrastructure’s stuffed, we have terrible public transport by international standards and most of the rivers are now polluted by the industrial scale dairy farming dominating the farmland. But there’s always the music.

Here’s the first of 31 of the finest hand-selected, ear-tested, New Zealand songs you’ve (probably) never heard of for May. “Frugali-Tehe” is from Dunedin’s Bye Bye Fishies:

Bye Bye Fishies (Angus McBryde) is a Dunedin graphic designer currently living in Liverpool. His debut album as Bye Bye Fishies is terrific fun and brilliantly executed. It’s a kind of Blur vs. Gorrillaz cartoon pop-as-social-commentary style which veers all over the place musically, in a good way. The lyrics are great too – part comedy, part satire, serious social commentary, and all adding up to a very well crafted concept album of sorts.

The manic tin-can punk of “Frugali-Tehe” is built on the obnoxious notion that young people could afford to buy their own house if they were a bit more frugal. Like buying budget brands at the supermarket. It’s a view expressed by older generations who spent on average only 10% of their income on housing in the 1980s, lecturing younger people, who typically now spend well over 30% of their income on housing, and often have student debt from studying and little job security.  Understandably, it’s an infuriating, glib and patronising kind of comment to make, so mainstream print, radio and TV media love giving air to these kind of obnoxiously simplistic ideas, rather than investigating and reporting on inter-generational inequality in NZ society and helping create an informed discussion to bring about a political will for change.

Maybe that’s a big ask, so in the meantime just buy the Bye Bye Fishies album so Angus doesn’t have to live on rice and chick-peas when he gets back to Dunedin thanks.

Bye Bye Fishes

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