Archives for posts with tag: Auckland

Polyester

Auckland five-piece band Polyester have mixed up a bit of 80’s synth-pop, some proto-disco grooves and some lyrical style to create their self-titled album, just released on cassette. Here’s “Honey” from the album.

“Honey” channels a huge chunk of the spirit and attitude of Orange Juice with its trebly disco strum, propulsive strolling bass-line, intelligent lyrics, and huge backing vocals. You can even imagine Edwyn Collin’s wobbly croon singing this, although let’s take nothing away from Polyester vocalist Sylvia Dew’s natural delivery here.

Polyester is a great band name too – polyester being the ultimate utilitarian fabric – durable, strong, and capable of mixing with and even imitating the appearance and feel of other fabrics.

It’s fitting therefore that the album packs colourful pop-art patterns of cheerful synth-melodies over stabbing guitar strums and some exotic disco-Latin touches. Keyboard player Amelia Berry produced the album, crafting an un-fussy direct sound that’s warm and immediate, wearing its self-made charm well. It’s pop: cool, casual, loosely woven, breathable and for all I know quite possibly moisture-wicking too.

 

 

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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.

 

K2K MirrorDay 15 of PopLib’s 31 Days of May  marathon for New Zealand Music month comes from Auckland based producer K2K (Katherine Anderson) and the dub-tastic dreamy dance music of “Pacha” –

“Pacha” is from K2K’s 4 track “Sugar” EP released on Margins.  If you like House, Techno, or any kind of leftfield dance/ electronic music this EP is an absolute treat.

All the EP tracks are heavy on the dense fog of atmosphere. Woozy tones weave fever dreams across the beats, while disembodied vocal melodies are beamed in from another solar system and all kinds of unexpected aural delights drift in and out of focus. Classy.

Troy KingiDay 2 of 2018’s 31 days of May madness for New Zealand Music Month, and time for a journey through time and space. Here’s the opening track “Aztechknowledgey” from Troy Kingi’s accidental concept album (and modern psych-soul masterpiece) “Shake that skinny ass all the way to Zygertron” 

It’s an album that defies all the conventional tropes of contemporary New Zealand Music yet it carries on a fine tradition from the 1970s of  soulful psychedelic rock from these shores – think Golden HarvestButlerTicket, & Collision.

Here’s the explanation of it all from the album Bandcamp page:

“This galactic Seventies funk album, is due to what he has been listening to over the last few years, especially Bill Withers, Shuggie Otis, Curtis Mayfield, Al Green and Marvin Gaye. Troy knew that he wanted an outrageous over the top album, and wrote down the most way out song titles he could imagine, all about being out in space. From there he went to the beach with his brother, and every night they would sit in their deck chairs, stare at the stars, and talk about one of the song titles. Each night they discussed the back story of a song, and from there Troy wrote the album. It was never originally intended to be a concept album, but it turned out that way, with three main characters appearing throughout the lyrics, until they all became one. “

“Shake that skinny ass all the way to Zygertron”  is self released and available on Troy Kingi’s Bandcamp as a download or gatefold CD.

 

Ha the UnclearHa The Unclear – “Alt-Pop/New Wave/Indie from South Dunedin based in Auckland, New Zealand” – are back with another brilliantly catchy single “Wallace Line”:

There’s a bit of an Orange Juice vibe about “Wallace Line”. Bouncy Afro-Beat guitar lines zing around over trebly rapid-fire strums, with glorious sugary vocal harmonies in the chorus.  Michael Cathro’s existential musings sung in that laconic but precise deadpan South Dunedin delivery tie it all together with a bow.

Ha The Unclear play at The Cook in Dunedin tonight.

Ha Tour 2018

Wax ChattelsWax Chattels is a three person band from Auckland. Bass, drums, keyboards. No six string guitarist. So far so much like The Peddlers! But Wax Chattels is no lounge trio. There’s no cha cha, no rumba, no swing here. “Stay Disappointed” is pure pneumatic post-punk at its finest.

There’s a bit of the spirit of The Gordons about this (the likes of Machine Song or Adults & Children come to mind) which is the first time the born-again Flying Nun Records (and US partners Captured Tracks) have re-connected with that particular dark part of its past in recent years.

Built upon the precision bass and frenetic bludgeoning drumming, “Stay Disappointed” takes wings when the distorted organ works its Gothic Phantom of the Opera style mayhem over top, particularly as the song intensity rises to its scouring terminal end point. Lovely stuff.

“Stay Disappointed” is available in NZ as a limited edition one-sided 7″ single with different stamped labels from Flying Out.