Last year I did a ‘song-a-day’ New Zealand music feature in protest/ celebration of ‘New Zealand Music Month’.
The protest part is that I (and many others involved in ‘New Zealand Music’) live, breath, sleep & dream New Zealand music every day and night of every month of every year.
I just don’t like the idea of a focus on New Zealand music for one month any more than I like the idea of one ‘Record Store Day’ (especially as now captured to benefit the larger labels). NZ Music Month is usually done through one-off events and promotional campaigns funded by NZ Music Commission and sponsors that are not part of the normal day-to-day struggle of bands and musicians playing and touring here.
These events – showcases – have a production budget most bands (and venues) would love to have. That’s great, it’s a help (some of my labels bands have played at these, so I’m not ungrateful), but it does little to sustain New Zealand music for the rest of the year. I understand why it is done this way and the intentions are good. It’s just I’d much rather see the energy and money that goes into NZ Music Month directed in a way that better supports the survival of those things essential to sustaining independent music making in NZ year-round – infrastructure supporting making music, playing live, touring and promoting music 12 months of the year.
However, regardless of my feelings about NZ Music Month, I try to celebrate New Zealand (and other) music here all year round, so I will see if I can introduce a new NZ band/ musician or song every day this month…
First up is Trick Mammoth ‘Candy Darling’. I said I wouldn’t use PopLib to plug my own label’s releases. Trick Mammoth are on Fishrider Records but this 7″ single is on a UK label so it is not a Fishrider release and I can happily include it here as my first song for the month – and promote a very fine UK label which clearly appreciates ‘New Zealand Music’ from afar.
WIAIWYA (‘Where It’s At Is Where You Are’) is a long-running UK ‘indie-pop’ label from London. They have released a singles club series for the past few years called 7777777. It is obsessively a celebration of all things 7. The 7″ singles (all individual picture discs – seven releases a year) are each released on the 7th day of a month. There are 777 copies, with most going to subscribers and only 77 available for general sale.
Somehow WIAIWYA discovered Trick Mammoth through their early self-recorded, self-released demos and followed their progress last year as they recorded and released a few pre-release singles for their debut album ‘Floristry’. They invited them to contribute two songs for their 7777777 2014 singles club series. These were recorded in Dunedin a few days before Christmas last year. The single itself is officially released on 7 May and features ‘Doll’ (lead vocals by Millie) and this song ‘Candy Darling’ (lead vocals by Adrian).
Trivial fact for train-spotter music types here – the recording was made by Tex Houston in the same venue he has recorded The Clean, 3Ds, Magik Heads, Verlaines and David Kilgour. The amp Millie uses here for those overloaded lead guitar lines is an old Sunn 0)))) tube amp used by the 3Ds.