Archives for posts with tag: Wellington

Carb on Carb 2018Day 18 of PopLib’s 31 Days of may marathon for New Zealand music month is the epic closing track of the brand new album by Wellington “emo pop-punk” duo Carb on Carb – “Mitimiti”.

“Mitimiti” is a song about NZ, homecoming, travelling, the places you find that re-connect you to life, to friends and family, to the country, to the world. Mitimiti, the place, is a tiny settlement on the wild West Coast of Northland just below the start of 90 Mile Beach, a long drive along winding gravel roads. If there’s a theme to the album “For Ages” its about travel and home-coming and the people and life in between.

Carb on Carb’s take on “emo pop-punk” is not what you may associate with the genre if your only exposure was the hyper-produced blast of US bands. The guitar/ drums duo of Nicole Gaffney and James Stuteley means there’s plenty of space and dynamics in Carb on Carb’s sound. This is just great honest melodic guitar-pop for real lives by real people.  “For Ages” is released on LP and CD on their own label Papaiti Records.

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full moon fiasco photo by Laura Cherry

Full Moon Fiasco [photo by Laura Cherry]

Day 14 of PopLib’s 31 Days of May for New Zealand Music Month comes from Wellington psychedelic group Full Moon Fiasco and “Summer Eyes”.

“Summer Eyes” is the title track of an excellent album released late last year on Fantasy Fiction. Full Moon Fiasco is another Will Rattray band, and listening to this track, and the other songs there’s a clear link to the music of his other band, Thought Creature.

While Thought Creature mix their psychedelic approach with a bit of dance music and even glam rock, Full Moon Fiasco are more of a ‘traditional’ style of psychedelia. There’s a bit of the spirit of Pink Floyd’s “Piper at the Gates of Dawn” to the sound at times, but mostly it has more of a grainy “Pebbles”/ “Nuggets” era style of garage rock psychedelia. It’s an album well worth the time tracking down an LP copy if you are that way inclined.

ThisisDEAFDay 10 of our 31 Days of May for New Zealand Music Month marathon comes from Wellington band DEAF and their darkly atmospheric post-punk stunner “Truancy” –

“Truancy” is earworm pop – a gloriously constructed and recorded piece of freakishly hummable oddness, built on monstrous chorus bass, subtle arpeggio guitars, foggy synth washes and intriguing vocals delivering a chorus that may or may not be be “what I want to be, when I finally grow up, is a clown.”

Former Sunken Seas guitarist Luke Kavanagh is the distinctive vocalist here. It’s a winning vocal performance that makes the song, reminiscent of the slightly unhinged nocturnal otherness of say Fad Gadget, or Gary Numan, and perfectly matched to the dark-yet-accessible melodic post-punk of “Truancy”.

DEAF are comprised of former members of Sunken Seas and Tiddabades. In addition to Luke Kavanagh’s guitar and vocals, DEAF consists of Hayden Ellis (bass), Craig Rattray (drums) and synth players Mat Machray & Jarrod Crossland.  “Truancy” is a very promising introduction and taster for an EP expected later in the year.

Only at Day 10 of our NZ Music Month trawl through the uncharted waters of New Zealand music on bandcamp. Songs you won’t hear on any mainstream radio station (or Spotify playlist for that matter) in NZ Music Month or any other month but all well capable of being the soundtrack to our lives if we take the time to explore and listen beneath the surface.

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:

Thought Creature R1 LTA 2018

Thought Creature performing in the Radio One studio in Dunedin during their 2018 “Ocean Dream” album tour.

Day 6 of PopLib’s 31 days of May New Zealand Music Month madness marathon on psychedelic Sunday is “Talking in Tongues” from the new album “Ocean Dream” by Wellington via Berlin group Thought Creature.

Thought Creature have a distinctive sound and “Talking in Tongues” here shows the range of influences; combining dance music, some Cure-ish post-punk/ New Wave, the raw spirit of garage rock, and a liberal dusting of psychedelia effortlessly into a cartoonish fusion of danceable grooviness.

There’s a good interview with Thought Creature on Under the Radar NZ here.

Here’s Thought Creature’s recent live-to-air in Radio One’s studio in Dunedin – first track is “Talking in Tongues” and hang around for more psychedelic dance goodness after that (including the glorious “Paradise” to finish).

If you recognise the bassist here, it’s Danny Brady of Dunedin bands Death And The Maiden and Élan Vital. Thought Creature was the first band I saw Danny play in, on an A Low Hum tour show at Arc Cafe about 10 years ago. After Thought Creature moved to Berlin, Danny met a couple of other travelling NZ musicians – Lucinda King and Renee Barrance. On his return to NZ and move down to Dunedin he formed Death And The Maiden with Lucinda King and then Élan Vital with Renee Barrance.

As well as Danny, Thought Creature still has it’s original nucleus of guitarist/ vocalist Will Rattray (also in the excellent and closely-related psychedelic garage rock band Full Moon Fiasco) and supplemented on their recent NZ tour by drummer Andy Frost (Coyote) and Jelena Mirceta (Full Moon Fiasco) on keyboards.

 

 

Mermaidens_2018Day 5 of PopLib’s New Zealand Music Month 31 days of May madness marathon is “Fade” from Wellington’s Mermaidens.

“Fade” closes Mermaidens’ excellent 2017 album “Perfect Body”. It’s typical of the album’s sinewy mix of post-punk, ‘shoe-gaze’ and psychedelia, building through initially fairly minimal interweaving of guitars, drums and voices into a mesmerising maelstrom of sound in the finals few minutes.

“Perfect Body” is released on Flying Nun Records and is available on LP from Mermaidens via Bandcamp or from Flying Out

Hans Pucket 2018Day 4 of the 31 Days of May madness for New Zealand Music Month 2018 is the opening track – “Comfort” – from the new album “Eczema” released last month from Wellington trio Hans Pucket.

As with the previous Hans Pucket releases featured on PopLib in past years this is a strong collection of ultra-melodic well-constructed pop. Most of it occupies a similar universe to the likes of Super Furry Animals – big, bold, colourful guitar-driven pop tunes with a tendency to head into the sonic stratosphere.

“Comfort” here is pronounced more like “comfit” which is appropriate whether intentional or not as comfit is “a sweet consisting of a nut, seed, or other center coated in sugar” so it works either way. This song is certainly a sweet-coated nutty treat, with a heart of healthy nourishing goodness and a bit of digestive fibre.

“Comfort” is also a bit different to the rest of the songs on the album. It’s a good-natured walking-paced strum atop a pulsing bass-line that wouldn’t sound out of place on The Phoenix Foundation’s 2003 debut “Horsepower” if you are familiar with that particular slice of Wellington pop goodness. So please do give the whole album a listen. You won’t regret getting “Eczema” from Hans Pucket.

Here’s “Comfort” live from the Radio One studio in Dunedin recently –