Archives for posts with tag: Wellington

Womb 2016

There’s been a steady stream of new songs on the Bandcamp page for Wellington minimal psych-folk artist Womb. Some, like “Feeling Like Helium” here are annotated as (demo).

It’s more pop-oriented than the songs on last year’s self-titled album but the languid minimalism of this song continues to occupy an almost weightless slow-motion liminal zone between reality and dreams which was a feature of previous recordings.

Of the four new tracks “Fucking Close to Water” and “Kissing in the Dark” are the most intriguing, each being wordless atmospheric ambient pieces combining voices, instruments and sounds.

No idea if these are an indication another album is on the way, but if it is, it promises to add some fine new experimental textures and ideas to the mix.

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Estere

Day 28 of NZ Music Month is a re-mix of a track from Wellington producer/ composer/ vocalist Estere. Here’s the heavily atmospheric “Culture Clash (Encouragement Remix)”

This remix takes a completely different approach to the rhythm and atmosphere of the original song on Estere’s 2014 album. It is more of a dance plus ambient re-imagining and it works on so many levels from club banger to atmospheric soundscape while retaining the soulful heart of Estere’s vocal.

All the remixes on this “New Species Remix EP” are adventurous re-interpretations, so if you enjoyed Estere’s self-titled 2014 album, explore this further.

Garbage and the flowers 1992

Garbage and the Flowers, 1992 (photo: David Welch)

Day 22 of NZ Music Month is from obscure-only-in-NZ early 90’s group The Garbage and The Flowers and their “St Michael of the Angels”

“St Michael of the Angels” is from an album “The Deep Niche”, an upcoming Grapefruit Record Club (re)release.

The Garbage And The Flowers were a band which formed in Wellington in the early 1990s. It has that familiar flutter of (cassette?) tape recording and the kind of wilful DIY oddness that clearly turned heads overseas, if not in NZ.

I had never heard of The Garbage and The Flowers or heard their music until I was at a friend’s place in Glasgow last year and he played me a cassette by them. He looked to me for signs of recognition and probably some revelation I’d seen them play live or knew them and could fill in the missing knowledge about them he was seeking. I said “I’ve never heard of them”.

I’ll post the label’s release notes below. I was clearly not “a certain type of music fan”…

“If you were a certain type of music fan in the mid-nineties, you may have heard tell of this incredible, incredibly hard to find, double album by The Garbage & The Flowers. Each jacket was hand-painted, and all 300 copies sold out in a flash. Thankfully, the great Bo’Weavil label reissued Eyes Rind As If Beggars in 2013. If you haven’t heard it, please do listen…ok, you heard it now? You’re welcome!

It turns out the group was Helen Johnstone, Yuri Frusin, and Paul Yates, an inspired trio who emphasized lyrical collaboration and sound manipulation as part and parcel to their melodies.  They didn’t last long as a group, but luckily, they got a lot of their songs recorded.

The Deep Niche is music they made before Eyes Rind and it is every bit as revelatory.  Johnstone sings over raucous and raw instrumentation. It’s real rock, the real real thing.

Torben Tilly joined just in time to contribute some keyboard to the track ’29 Years,’ although he mostly was their guitarist. Just in time, too, because The DeepNiche presents a band fresh to playing with some massive tools, them being, natch, The Tools Of Rock. These songs are every bit as powerful as what you hear on Eyes Rind As If Beggars. Believe it.”

Here’s a video of them playing live in Wellington in 1992:

HEXDay 19 of NZ Music Month comes from Wellington’s doomy spell-casting trio HEX and the self-explanatory “Witches of the Hex”

“Witches of the Hex” is from the 5 track mini-album “Calling to the Universe” which is tagged, with some precision, as ‘pagan, folk, metal’.

There’s a bit more to it than that, as you’ll discover on this song, where they stir in some shoegaze and the sublime Gothic dream-pop of that exultant chorus to add to the power of the concoction.

HEX is GG Van Newtown, Kiki Van Newtown and Liz Mathews. As Kiki explains: ““Calling to the Universe” is heavy, but with lots of layered vocals. Our riffs tend towards Black Sabbath, but our vocals are more like Enya.”

Read more from the Noisey interview here.

 

 

 

WOMB

Day 11 of NZ Music Month is the lucid “Cosmic Dreaming” from the innermost cosmos of Womb.

Womb is part of a healthy Wellington underground folk scene. The scene loosely aggregated around low-key Wellington label Sonorous Circle is not your everyday, traditional folk. It’s odd-folk, weird-folk, Gothic-folk, cosmic-folk…

“Cosmic Dreaming” is a great starting point to explore the self title debut album by Womb (Charlotte Forrester).

There’s a hint of the elegiac melancholy of Sufjan Stephens’ early music about this song and the way it drifts gently upon melodic waves of spectral voices over sparse acoustic instrumentation.

William DaymondDay 2 of NZ Music Month comes from The Winebox Inquiry, which is the name for the solo music of William Daymond, also of Wellington band Terror of the Deep and formerly Christchurch trio The Pickups. Here’s the gloriously jangling “What A Day” to brighten up your Monday.

Following on from the ‘tax haven’ theme we started with in yesterday’s post, The Winebox Inquiry name comes from a tax evasion/avoidance chapter in NZ’s history twenty years ago.

“The Winebox InquirySets Sail!” is a fine album demonstrating perfectly William’s deep abiding love of psychedelic guitar pop, specifically the music of The Monkees and The Clean and everything in between.

The songs are strong and beautifully recorded, with requisite musical contributions from jangling 12-string guitars and chiming keyboards. It’s an eclectic mix of weird and wonderful and creates a delightful, eclectic musical jumble-shop tribute to his musical inspirations while sounding fresh, odd and original rather than a pastiche of anything.

 

 

 

Mermaidens 2016Wellington trio Mermaidens have just self-released their debut album of sinuous interwoven guitars and drums – fittingly titled “Undergrowth” – and here’s the glorious “Seed” from it:

Over the past few years Mermaidens have crafted their own distinctive sound from the interplay of Gussie (guitar/ vocals) and Lily (bass/vocals) weaving together interlocking melodic strands over drummer Abe’s rumbling polyrythmic patterns.

Mermaidens’ music here across the 8 songs on “Undergrowth” combines hypnotic patterned complexity with controlled dynamics. They use the space between notes and the tension between quiet reflective passages and full-on fury as a colourful frame for Gussie & Lily’s dark soulful voices and equally dark and uneasy lyrics.

Ultimately, while the album brushes with ‘post-rock’ forms at times, its heart and soul evokes a bittersweet blend of sometimes sinister autumnal psychedelia and nature-worshiping witchcraft. Let yourself fall under the spell completely by purchasing the album.