Archives for posts with tag: Auckland

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.


Scott Mannion

Here’s another PopLib’s  send as a gift tip for the month. We’ve missed several days of send as a gift new music tips but I hope you have used those days wisely to search out your own selections on Bandcamp. We resume now with the welcome return of Scott Mannion, who runs Lil’ Chief Records and was once part of the fabulous Tokey Tones.

“Your Kinda Love” was released earlier this year and features Clara Viñals, a name you may recognise from the new Jonathon Bree single (also on Lil’ Chief Records). Or, if you are knowledgeable about pop music from Spain, from the wonderful Renaldo & Clara.

This is recommended to send as a gift to lovers of finely crafted bittersweet pop, and fans of The Tokey Tones. However, with lines like “there’s something beautiful about the way you lie” be careful who you send it to. Sometimes people take song lyrics very personally.

Alternatively, try the latest single “Not Exactly Deep” just released last week:



soccer practise_2017Here’s PopLib’s 5th send as a gift tip for the month, featuring “Cold Hard Surfaces”,  a track from the just-released and wonderfully adventurous debut album by Auckland experimental electronic-soul-pop 4 piece SoccerPractise.

You may be wondering what the hell the genre hybridisation of “experimental electronic soul-pop” means. Well, this song – and the whole album – is full of twitchy, glitchy rhythms, deep sub-bass and sampled sound layers.

So, it is ‘experimental’ in the sense that it’s taking risks, straying beyond what’s tried and true in electronic music, in soul and in pop, by creating unusual new beats and combining sounds in different, unexpected ways – particularly the fusion of twangy reverb guitars with danceable musique-concrete style sampled sound beats & electronica.

It’s definitely soulful with those fine vocals from Geneva Alexander-Marsters, and it’s very accessible and radio friendly (if not exactly mainstream commercial radio-friendly, but that’s another story in NZ).

SoccerPractise is recommended to send as a gift to the cool people in your life, for those who like pop but think it all sounds the same these days, and for lovers of Te Reo Maori too. Given the regular appearance of Te Reo Maori, one of NZ’s official languages, throughout the album it’s also a great gift for any bigots in your family.  They’ll be singing along to Haere Mai E Tama before they realise what’s happening.


DSC06137“Cans” is a slice of neo-psychedelic fuzz & jangle guitar pop from a new Auckland band called Water. It’s from an album/ mini-album called “Enjoy” and that’s exactly what you ought to do with this song:

“Cans” here, with it’s 12-string jangle and sweet fuzz lead guitar, is a winning mix of psychedelic guitar pop weirdness that evokes memories of The Seeds. It wouldn’t have sounded out of place as a song from a Glasgow band on Creation Records in the late eighties. Apart from the NZ accent which makes you think of The Chills, who also had one album released on Creation Records and Martin Phillipps listened to The Seeds, so that all makes perfect circular sense.

Enjoy Water.


Christopher El TruentoAnd now for something completely different. If you have a soft spot for DJ Shadow’s “Entroducing” (and who hasn’t?) you’ll likely love the inventive pocket-sized beats & sampling miniatures collected on an album called “it’s been ________ lately” by Aucklander Christopher El’ Truento. Here’s a taster called “aaaaAA”:

There are 25 tracks on “it’s been ________ lately.” Most are around the 1 minute mark. Each one is crammed with soulful beats, funky modern jazz grooves and enough out-of-left-field experimentation to keep the most easily-distracted mind fully focused for the duration.

“it’s been ________ lately” is like an overseas holiday, with each track a new destination, a new experience. It’s a winter tonic for the imagination of home-bound aural travelers.




Sunrise RakiuraThese Early Mornings are back with a few standalone singles recently uploaded to Bandcamp. Here’s the latest one, “Ledges” –

“Ledges” exists in an atmosphere of (apparent) effortless DIY . The song follows the elliptical shuffling repetition, unhurried yet, oddly lop-sided time signature, and blurred guitar strumming we’ve come to know and love from These Early Mornings.

This time out there’s a sharper definition to the woozy sounds, including a second guitar motif weaving a melodic counter-rhythm in behind. There’s also a sharper definition to the  lyrics, revealing more of the distinctive universe created by These Early Mornings.


RangitotoDay 31 of our 31 days of May New Zealand Music Month marathon closes the set of songs with something only a few days old from Auckland shoegaze ensemble Couchmaster. Here’s “Honey over Thunder” from a 5 song EP called “Tumor” released on 25 May.

I was going to select the opening track “Psychogenic Fugue” because it is dedicated to Dunedin music legend Peter Gutteridge and packs that familiar Snapper drone and drumbeat. But for the closing song for this year’s NZ music month trawl through the wonderful online underground of Bandcamp I couldn’t go past “Honey Over Thunder” with it’s wistfully melodic vocal from drummer Rachel Charlie and effortless reverb drenched psychedelia.

The EP is a wonderfully eclectic mix of guitar rock heavy on the atmospheric effects. It appears to be mostly the project of Rikki Sutton, from another shoegaze style Auckland band Eyes No Eyes. He’s guitarist, bassist, keyboardist and vocalist on most of the tracks as well as engineering and mixing the recording. Rachel Charlie on drums and vocals and Adison Whitley on guitar are the other two people who play on all the tracks. Extra points for naming the band after a great album by The Bats too.