Archives for posts with tag: Doprah

Doprah2016Doprah’s album is finally here. “Wasting” is as good as we all hoped it would be. Here’s “Omni” from it:

The Christchurch band seemed poised to release a debut album two years ago just as they were riding a wave of international recognition which included being selected to open for Lorde at her post-Grammy’s Auckland Laneway add-on show in 2014 and some overseas trips.

A brush with a more commercially-focused overseas label and resulting delays could have ended the band, but instead they’ve spent the intervening years simply refining and updating the content of what would become “Wasting”.

It’s a great listen, a satisfying psychedelic world to escape into, and even more hallucinatory and experimental when listened to as a whole than the earlier singles indicated.

People are usually quick to add Portishead/ Massive Attack references when describing the spaced out ‘trip-hop’ sound of their songs. But they also seem to me to have as much in common with a Dunedin band active 20 years ago they’ve probably never heard of – Mink.

Mink were also a sonic creation of an auteur-musician-producer and a cast of creative personalities including songwriter/ vocalist/ keyboard player Demarnia Lloyd. LLoyd and Indira Force share a similar effortlessly weightless vocal style: ghostly, soulful and perfect companions for a journey into the psychedelic margins of the electro-pop universe.

When Indira Force’s voice is paired with Steven John Marr’s almost sotto voce lower register vocals (as on “Omni” here) the light & dark interplay adds another element to the atmosphere of the beautiful doomed wasteland of Doprah’s stellar debut.

LPs should be available in record stores now, or from the Flying Out online store.




Day 12 of PopLib’s May Month of Madness Marathon for NZ Music Month is “There Are Two” from Christchurch musician Indi.

“There Are Two” is the second of two singles released so far this year by Indira Force – keyboard/ synth-player and vocalist with Christchurch ‘trip-hop’ band Doprah – under the name Indi.

As with the earlier single “Stay” this is gloriously subdued dreamy pop, heavy on the woozy atmospherics of swirling Fender Rhodes sound electric piano, swirling synths, then clicking, pulsing percussion. Close your eyes and those first 25 seconds would not sound out of place on Eno’s “Music For Films” album.

But at the heart of the song though it is Indi’s voice which engages attention; light, spectral and then spinning off in ghostly clone echoes of itself. Music + Voice = Sublime.

At only 2 minutes 31 seconds “There Are Two” is way too short. There’s no other option but to play it on repeat. Preferably after you’ve downloaded the name your price song having paid a suitable amount to encourage more from Indi.

The River Jones

The River Jones

Saw this Christchurch 4-piece band at Chick’s Hotel last night. Mind blown. If you like your guitar pop noisy/ dreamy/ explosive/ angsty/ sublime/ complex/ angular/ experimental/ technical/ manic/ subdued (sometimes all of the above in the same song) then check out The River Jones and their pay what you like Bandcamp album.

Here’s a song from it called ‘D in 3’. But do yourself a favour (if the description above is for you) and give the whole album a play.

There’s also a pretty cool/ gross video for the opening song ‘Steady Vision’. I like how it subverts all the standard NZ backyard barbecue goodtimes with alcohol and burnt food video clichés to create something funny, disgusting & troubling in equal parts. Spot the cameos from members of Doprah too (the two bands share a guitarist in common).

The River Jones

The River Jones


I went to a music festival on Monday. There’s only two music festivals I’ll endure. One is Camp a Low Hum. It’s the last one in a few weeks but I won’t be there. The other is Laneway Festival in Auckland. I’ve been to three now and they manage to keep it interesting and bearable enough, with survivable crowds and enough leftfield acts to be worthwhile for the musically adventurous.

Everything on my ‘to see’ list lived up to expectations, and the less well known artists exceeded them. On the smaller side-stage Doprah were ultra-cool to kick things off for me, their trippy slow-mo trance-pop captivating.

I had limited knowledge of Youth Lagoon and their back catalogue but they played a beautifully wonky set of psychedelic fairground pop. Reminiscent at times of classic mid-period Mercury Rev (a good thing) but with a lot more weird adult-child wonderment. So good I bought the recent album ‘Wondrous Bughouse’ on which much of the set was based.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra were another stand-out but I knew what I was in for, having seen them in Dunedin back in July. One of the best live bands I’ve seen. Brilliant ensemble playing and mind-blowing guitar playing if you like Hendrix-in-space acid-rock. Which I do, particularly when UMO do it.

There was a sun-faded familiarity to Kurt Vile’s set that made it enjoyable but less essential and a front row position beckoned for Parquet Courts on the alternate main stage.


Parquet Courts were probably my favourite band of the day. While most bands had their instruments set up and line-checked/ sound-checked by stage techs, Parquet Courts did their own thing, like they were setting up at a seedy club rather than a stage in front of several thousand festival-goers.

They ripped through an energetic set of songs that bristled with their own odd mixture of apparent influences. The hint of Ramones & Jonathon Richman & The Modern Lovers understandable given their Brooklyn, New York origins. But they also seem to incorporate stylistic elements of UK bands The Fall, Wire and even Dr Feelgood just as much. A winning combination.

Here they are doing the glorious “Borrowed Time” for a KEXP live thing:

After that Savages were compelling – but more for their intense performance than the substance of the music overall. Then, while the more mainstream acts took over the main stages (Haim, CHVRCHES etc.) the smaller side stage held the promise of a Cat Power set after sunset.

I’ve been a fan of Cat Power for years but never seen her perform live. I’ve read a lot about unpredictable performances, train-wreck shows and so on. She played solo – alternating between guitar and piano. Some of the things I’ve read since from experience Cat watchers indicate this performance was shambolic and on the edge of disaster. I thought it was perfect, and whatever demons Chan Marshall struggles with were kept in check by the support of the tightly packed crowd. It might not be comfortable for everyone (Chan in particular) but it was something real, something true. I’ll take that any time from an artist whose catalogue is built around emotions & human frailty. As with shows I’ve experienced from Bill Callahan and Daniel Johnston – each difficult, intense performers – this one was genuine, memorable and at times sublime.