Archives for posts with tag: Dear Times Waste
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.

eyesnoeyes2017Don’t usually post songs that aren’t available on Bandcamp or Soundcloud here, but Auckland band Eyes No Eyes is to good to ignore so please stare at this video image while the music re-arranges the atomic structure of your brain:

Yes, “On TV” is of a style usually referred to as ‘shoegaze’ because it uses guitars with lots of delay and reverb type effects and is kind of slow and dreamy. Which also makes it dream-pop, which I prefer as a more meaningful and accurate and less pejorative music descriptor genre term. Interesting to see that the genres they list on their Eyes No Eyes FaceBook page are Ethereal Darkwave, Alternative, Indie Psych-rock, Dream pop, and, well, something they call Sex whisper.  OK…

Eyes No Eyes are from Auckland and feature Jessie Cassin (guitar/main vocal), Rikki Sutton (guitar/backing vocals), Joel Beeby (bass/backing vocals) Katie Ham (drums/backing vocals). I remember Rikki from another much-loved NZ dream-pop band Dear Time’s Waste. He’s a maestro on the effects pedals and he weaves his layered washes of sonic magic dust all through this.

The song has such a languid unhurried pace and simple, minimal structure, with a chorus which explodes with a burst of euphoric melody. It’s perfectly executed and also incredibly relaxing and de-stressing to listen to. Those are quite useful attributes for a Friday afternoon listen.  Very much looking forward to hearing more from them.

Hopefully they will have a Bandcamp link to share here when they get around to that album later this year. In the meantime you can listen to or buy the song via from one of these options:

iTunes –…

Apple Music –

Amazon –

Deezer –

Google Play –…/music/album/Eyes_No_Eyes_On_T_V…

Spotify –

Read more about Eyes No Eyes in this Under The radar Interview.

Too Tone NZ Music Month

Shop display of re-purposed NZ Music Month poster at Too Tone Records (2010-2017) in Dunedin.


Day 13 of NZ Music Month is a blast from the (recent) past in the form of an all-time favourite from the now-retired entity Dear Time’s Waste called “Clandestine”

“Clandestine” is the opening track on the debut 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, seven years later, from the moment those two drum beats herald its start.

In the 7 years since then Claire Duncan, as Dear Time’s Waste – sometimes with a band, sometimes without – released two ambitious, excellent, 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 earlier this week.

Everything essential from Dear Time’s Waste is still here, just rubbed raw by experience, personal turmoil and the stubborn refusal to conform anymore. The words continue the writer’s examination of the human condition with novelist’s eye for detail and a poet’s ear for phrasing. The music, while more dissonant and damaged at times, is still compelling.

Claire, as i.e crazy, performs at The Crown Hotel in Dunedin tonight in a 91 Club presents show along with Seth Frightening and Terrified… the perfect combination of names (and music) for a Friday 13th event.


“We captured every roaming shark in our own rotten net… and wore their teeth around our necks. You’re a stranger to me now.”

“You’re a Stranger (to me now)” is “the woozy rant of a jilted lover” from enigmatic Auckland musician i.e. crazy.

i.e. crazy (or maybe it is I.E. CRAZY?) is the new music form and name adopted by Claire Duncan, formerly of Dear Time’s Waste fame.

I say “new” although this name has existed since not long after the last Dear Time’s Waste album “Some kind of Eden” was released at the end of 2012. And I say “fame” although Dear Time’s Waste never achieved the kind of recognition befitting an artist with such extraordinary talents as a songwriter, wordsmith and musician.

However the i.e. crazy/ I.E. CRAZY name is still “new” in the sense that it has taken a while for this first formal release to appear.

Anyway, “You’re A Stranger (to me now)” delivers a rawer shock of sound than the often more manicured Gothic dream-pop soundscapes of Dear Time’s Waste, with the help of some accomplices (Seth Frightening alter-ego Sean Kelly and GPOGP drummer Catherine Cumming) well-qualified in the dark arts of music from the borderlands.

The words continue the writer’s skill for forensic examination of life experiences (whether her own or imagined others’ is unclear and unimportant) with a novelist’s eye for detail and a poet’s ear for phrasing. So everything you want from your experience of Dear Time’s Waste is still here, just rubbed raw by the stubborn refusal to conform.

The words of the song are self-explanatory in their own obtuse, coded way. “You’re a Stranger (to me now)” is a bruised/ bruising examination/ exhumation of post-relationship life, expressed and delivered in a way few others would attempt or have the imagination or courage to pull off.

If you need a prologue, an introduction, a pre-amble to orient your mind to the what and the why of all this then there’s a great letter-of-sorts about it all, and about the frustration borne by those with an impulse to create to communicate through un-valued art in NZ’s culture-shaming/ asset-whorshipping society on the artist’s Facebook page.

ie crazy mosaic

I.E. Crazy is the most recent transformation of Dear Time’s Waste‘s Claire Duncan. Anyone who’s followed this blog for a while will know Dear Time’s Waste is a longtime PopLib favourite. It all started back in 2009 with the brilliant “Room For Rent” EP and continued through two superb albums, “SPELLS” in 2010 and “Some Kind of Eden” in 2012.

I.E. Crazy continues where Claire left off with Dear Time’s Waste. Thanks to Wellington’s Papaiti Records you can download an artist-authorised ‘bootleg’ of 4 live recordings of an I.E. Crazy show at Auckland’s basement bunker venue the Wine Cellar.

All the familiar elements are there – those detailed lyrics rich with images, that voice… but these are somewhat darker and rawer, built on guitar and drum machine. Fabulous stuff. Assuming Dear Time’s Waste has been ‘retired’, a more formal release of I.E. Crazy songs would be a perfect way to continue the story of one of my favourite songwriters and performers.

Dear Time's Waste - Still from the video for HEAVY/HIGH

Dear Time’s Waste – Still from the video for HEAVY/HIGH

Day 12 of May’s month of NZ music madness comes from one of my very favourite NZ artists, Claire Duncan, who operates under the name Dear Time’s Waste.

‘Strings’ is from the album ‘Some Kind of Eden’ released late 2012.

I rate that album, and the earlier Dear Time’s Waste album ‘SPELLS’, right alongside my much-loved Cocteau Twins albums. That good, maybe even better…

Where ‘SPELLS’ was bold, expansive and lush, ‘Some Kind of Eden’ is more introverted, personal and intense.

It may require a little more close attention (let me recommend headphones in the dark here) but the reward is getting lost in songs perfect in every detail.

There’s as much care and attention put into the words here as the sparse atmospheric music.

Shunkan (from the Shunkan Facebook page)

Shunkan (from the Shunkan Facebook page)

Day 5 of the May month of NZ music madness comes from Invercargill NZ via Los Angeles USA and Weymouth UK.

I introduced Shunkan (pronounced ‘Shoonkan’) here a few weeks ago. At the time I was intrigued by the fully-realised bedroom DIY noise-pop emanating from this 20 year old Invercargill resident. I know a bit more now. While the fact she re-located to Invercargill from LA does help explain the music a bit more, it also adds to the mystery & intrigue.

In any case THIS is the song which first grabbed my attention when her Weymouth, UK based label Art is Hard Records sent me a streaming link to the whole EP last month.

The voice and noises here initially are such a huge reminder of the odd beauty of that first Dear Time’s Waste EP but ‘Dust From Your Eyes’ soon goes off-road into a perfect feral wilderness of noise & emotion.

The cassette tape release is sold out already but the digital release happens today 5 May (UK time). A bargain.

This isn’t a ‘best of’ list. There are tens of thousands of albums released each year. Some are probably very good. A few may be regarded as classics at some point in the future. Some were hailed as classics this year and will be forgotten in future. Some I would like a lot if I ever heard them. Most of the albums I would like I will never hear. Some I will hear next year or in the years after that. So, this is just the ten albums I bought this year that I still like and play at the end of the year and enjoy enough to recommend them to others.

Zen Mantra – ‘How Many Padmes Hum?’ (Muzai)
Very melodic and jangling pop which is also a bit sonically messed up. For something created by a 17-year-old in a Christchurch bedroom it starts remarkably with a slow instrumental like something from an early Popol Vuh album then goes on to filter the best of the Creation Records catalogue from the late 80s and mix it up with the ghosts of some classic Kinks and Syd-era Pink Floyd, without sounding retro or like a pastiche. It sounds contemporary thanks to an undercurrent of electronic pop, a drum-machine and a general self-produced fuzziness. These songs are great – instantly memorable, well-crafted, noisy pop fun. Those with a love of classic psychedelic pop, ‘shoe-gaze’ pop or guitar pop from any era should give it a listen.

Dear Time’s Waste – ‘Some Kind of Eden’ (Scrappy Disc)

This has been a more difficult album to get to know (and then love) than the 2010 debut album ‘Spells’ (which was my favourite album of 2010). ‘Spells’ was a splendid, layered fantasy of imaginary films, underwater mythology and word-plays. ‘Some Kind of Eden’ is a much more claustrophobic and stripped down collection. The fidgety electronic sci-fi beats and sparse instrumentation keeps the listener at arm’s length. But the restrained, personal and sometime exultant songs are sung in one of best and distinctive voices I’ve heard since Cocteau Twin’s Liz Fraser.

Experience it live in the studio here with ‘Heavy/ High’ Live in Session

Mirroring – ‘Foreign Bodies’ (Kranky)

Mirroring is a collaboration between Grouper (Liz Harris) and Tiny Vipers (Jesy Fortino) which should be the only two reasons you need to have to get it. Each artist operates at different ends of the quiet ambient folk/ experimental spectrum. Grouper uses layered reverb and delays on guitar and voice to create dark pools of noise. Tiny Vipers hypnotic picked acoustic guitar is sparser and her clear, haunting voice sounds as old as the earth. Together they fit together in extraordinary ways which you really have to hear rather than read about.

Wavelength – Samara Lubelski (De Stijl)

Timeless, lush, psychedelic songcraft from US multi-instrumentalist. The jangling guitar/ 12-string drone, treated violin, and especially the almost whispered half-spoken, half-murmured vocals make this one of the most distinctive and exotic albums I’ve heard this year. Contributions from PG Six on guitar and Steve Shelley on drums and an artist I will definitley be exploring further. There is an impressive back-catalogue to check here:

Melody’s Echo Chamber ‘Melody’s Echo Chamber’ (Fat Possum)

French musician Melody Prochet teamed up with Australian multi-instrumentalist Kevin Parker from Tame Impala to produce a colourful album that is pop confectionary of the best kind. It blends an imaginary psychedelic past (it never sounded quite as lush and trippy as this) with a more trance-pop present (shades of Boards of Canada maybe). It sounds warm and bright, all blown out and overloaded like the audio equivalent of an over-saturated Super 8 movie, imagery this video for ‘I Will Follow You’ adopts.

Mount Eerie – ‘Clear Moon’/ ‘Ocean Roar’ (P Eleverum & Sons)

Two separate albums released on LP a few months apart this year. The first, ‘Clear Moon’, is mostly quiet, damp, reflective. The second ‘Ocean Roar’ is, as the title suggests, a sometimes deafening roar of layered noise within which are periods of eerie oily calm. Both albums are heavy with the atmosphere and stories of life amongst Pacific Northwest Washington State coastlines and rainforests. Melodic experimental pop from the twilight where electronica is replaced with the warm buzz of layered natural percussion loops. Mount Eerie plays in Dunedin on 7th and 8th of February.

Death and Vanilla – Death and Vanilla (Kalligrammofon)

Given my infatuation with the entire Broadcast catalogue it was little wonder this album took just a couple of songs to embed itself. At first it almost sounds too influenced by Broadcast. But the more it becomes familiar the more it distinguishes itself as something of its own, particularly with the vocals mostly treated with effects that render them ghostly wisps. It sounds timeless and every play brings out new favourites. The first pressing sold out quickly and it looks like I got one of the last copies of the second pressing. But you can download the digital album here:

Die! Die! Die! – Harmony

This fourth album from the hardest working band in NZ rock is thrillingly abrasive at times but in the best possible way and laced with a tonne of melody. The guitar sound here is a distorted layered maelstrom that reminds at times of a less murky and submerged My Bloody Valentine. Also some great dynamic variations to balance out the intensity.

Exlovers – Moth (Young and Lost Club)

I’m not even sure this is a 2012 album. Some of the songs were singles a few years ago and the album packaging has no clues. But my friend Ben in London assures me it is a 2012 release. Regardless, it is an almost perfect collection of wistful, chiming guitar-pop. The distinctive synchronised and subdued male-female lead vocals highlight the melancholy of the lyrics perfectly.

Tame Impala – Lonerism (Modular)
Hearing the Melody’s Echo Chamber album (produced and performed largely by Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker) that finally convinced me to check out this year’s Tame Impala album. I needn’t have worried about resisting the hype. It is a very good album of imaginary psychedelic pop with enough memorable tunes to stand out amongst the novelty of the hyper-saturated sound.

Can – Lost Tapes (Mute)

Some list this a a re-issue, but as it is all previoulsly unreleased it is a new release… of old stuff. It is a massive listen, challenging at times maybe (only if you aren’t used to Can) and full of remarkable treasures. The music of Can has not dated; it is as weird and distinctive now as it was in the early 70s when I first heard it as an adolescent. Can saved me from heavy metal at the time and have been a constant presence in my life ever since. This is not the best place to start your own obsession with Can (try Ege Bamyasi, Tago, Mago, Soundtracks and Future Days first) but you’ll want to hear it eventually:

Trick Mammoth – Floristry

I’m so old fashioned that I almost forgot the download-only album ‘Floristry’ from Trick Mammoth that I really enjoyed during 2012. Whenever I think of ‘albums’ I think of physical objects – a CD in a sleeve, an LP in a sleeve. Even if I burn a downloaded album to CDR to play it on the stereo it still doesn’t register as an ‘album’ with me. But the Trick Mammoth album was a collection of gorgeous bedroom psychedelic pop songs I would have been thrilled to own on LP (or even to release on LP).

As good as the simple unadorned solo Trick Mammoth album is, the current morphing Trick Mammoth band is and even more exciting prospect for 2013 based on the evidence of this song – my song of the year:

And let’s not forget my other song of the year ‘Husbands’ from UK post-punk 4-piece Savages: