Archives for posts with tag: Felt

Minus 2 were an off-shoot of long-running Christchurch band The Terminals, made up of guitarist and singer Stephen Cogle, bassist/ cellist John Christoffels and keyboard player Mick Elborado. They recorded a couple of albums in the early 2000s, released as limited CD-r runs on small underground labels. This song “Crocus” is second of these Minus 2 albums “Joy of Return”:

Minus 2 recorded “Joy of Return” album about 2002 or 2003, but it wasn’t released until 2009 on 50cc Records. It has recently been made available again via Mick Elborado’s ‘Melbo’ Bandcamp as a free download. I would have happily paid generously for this – it’s an extraordinary collection of dark swirling folk-pop-noir.

The mix of keyboard and a weaving lead guitar line here means “Crocus” sounds like a demo for a mid-period Felt song, from the Ignite The Seven Cannons And Set Sail For The Sun album, the only to feature both guitarist Maurice Deebank and organist Martin Duffy. But instead of Lawrence we have the distinctive ominous vibrato baritone proclamation of Stephen Cogle.

Whereas The Terminals were often a multi-instrument wall of sound, the percussion free space of Minus 2 gives a different kind of setting for Cogle’s voice, and the resulting music has a character of its own. The whole album is glorious, and the epic title track closing the album – a duet with Nicole Moffet – is particularly wonderful:

Girlboss Ball of Wax RecordsDay 7 of PopLib’s 31 Days of May New Zealand Music Month marathon/ madness comes from Wellington band Girlboss and the swirling dreamy melancholy pop of “Summer Goth” from their recent “Body Con” cassette EP.

Lucy Botting is the songwriter and musician behind Girlboss, writing and recording under the name herself, before assembling a live band with Darian Woods (from their previous project, Wet Wings), Douglas Kelly and Olivia Campion.

“Summer Goth” is a perfect kind of lost summer pop song, the refrain “How does it feel?” a question without an answer, floating in that uncertain, ambiguous space between happiness and sadness, acceptance and regret. The simplicity of the swirling effect-glazed rhythm guitar and chiming lead guitar melody evokes the same kind of sunlight haze of songs on those early Felt albums.

The cassette of the “Body Con” EP is available from Ball of Wax Records.

Here’s a video for the title track “Body Con” too:

SorrowSorrow – a folk-pop group formed by former Strawberry Switchblade member Rose McDowall with her then-husband Robert Lee – existed between 1993 and 2001, releasing two albums an EP. “Ruby Tears” is from Sorrow’s 1st (1993) album “Under The Yew Possessed” just re-issued on LP by Glasgow’s Night School Records.

While Sorrow’s neo-folk stylings and spectral darkness (the name and also opening track “Die” set the tone) may be a change in direction from Strawberry Switchblade’s light sparkling pop there’s still a delicate pop heart to “Under the Yew Tree Possessed” built around McDowall’s 12-string guitar and clear voice and delivered with minimal percussion, washes of keyboards and melodica or flute.

The style here is reminiscent in some ways with the kind of airy reverb washed sounds created by Felt, a band with whom McDowall had recorded backing vocals for (their last album “Me and a Monkey on the Moon”). The track “Emptiness” is an example of this Felt like sound:


Jay Som 2016“Turn Into” is the title track of the Jay Som album originally called “Untitled” when it was released last December when PopLib previewed the first track.

A lot has happened in the short time since “Untitled” was released.  When the album was recorded it was just Melina Duterte playing and recording at her home in San Francisco. Now Jay Som is a band. There’s a single out on the Fat Possum Label and the band recently toured supporting Mitski. That “Untitled” album has proved so popular it is getting an LP release in November, and a proper title – “Turn Into”.

As with everything I’ve heard from Jay Som, there’s an accomplished combination of some unusual elements in this song. It evokes a little bit of “Rumours” era Fleetwood Mac (the feel) and also “Ignite the Seven Cannons” era Felt (the guitar sound).

That uncanny ability to weave subtle nostalgic elements from different styles of music within honest-sounding contemporary melodic alternative pop is what makes “Turn Into” (the song and the album) so easy to enjoy.