We get many submissions, some we care more for – in this case Britt Rion and her charming music-video, alongside an even more hypnotizing song: “Chaos & Beauty“. Some of the best music undoubtedly comes from down under, in this case New Zealand, as we’ve seen and heard with Fishrider Records way back in the past of this webzine.
At the first glance you might write it off as your regular pop-oriented blasphemy, but the further in you get – she sets a mood that diverts the attention from pop, into a marvelous metamorphosis of that, singer-songwriter and indie-pop. The catchiness is the only thing lent from regular pop, but the lyrics and intonation in her music is more subliminally beautiful – so she doesn’t have to resort to making a visual interpretation that reflects the vanity of regular pop music – it is a simple video that is Grime-esque in a sense – if you’ve seen one of her videos from “Genesis“.
Her voice is stunningly beautiful as well. We have to struggle not to move out of our own bleak hearts, it is as if a dystopian scenery quickly changes into a beautiful field and a forest full of local creatures singing in the day, when the sunlight hits your eyes and you’re with someone you love.
The mastodon release of a compilation overview of the evolution in the Dunedin underground, is courtesy of the fantastic New Zealand micro-label Fishrider Records – whom I’ve had featured both in interview and with bands from the roster – now with a newcomer called Ba Da Bing Records, for outreach of the compilation in North America. This compilation features a narrowly selected crowd of people which you’d know about if you had payed attention to New Zealand. There’s a town there, a town called Dunedin, where a lot of pop-artists and groups have emerged during the last few years. Specifically from 2011-2014. Mavis Gary, Death & The Maiden, The Prophet Hens, Males, Mr Biscuits, Opposite Sex, Strange Harvest, The Shifting Sands, Astro Children, Kane Strang, Scattered Brains of the Lovely Union and Trick Mammoth – are the selected few (many) from this underground current, standing strong with their oddities that are by now their trademark. The reason why you need to have your eyes peeled is just because their sound is different, their sound is as a whole unique for that particular city. Nowhere else can you find this unimaginable creative outlet which have rendered in a sound they can proudly call their own.
Not only does this release incorporate a nice and thick black vinyl, it also is the starting point of a zine called T E M P O R A R Y – yes, just like the release. Even though I feel like the name is ironic, because I feel like this will be a timeless release, even though I haven’t laid my ears to listen to everything on the release yet. The zine features an introductory into the bands, artists and groups that are featured on the release. Repartiseraren can give you an exclusive premiere of two new tracks which were put up by Fishrider Records, it’s “Flowers For The Blind” with Death & The Maiden and “Supermarket” – a long-awaited new track for me here, courtesy of Opposite Sex.
I must congratulate Ian Henderson for this seemingly masterful release, because it was something in dire need of documenting for the rest of the world. The slick design was created by Robbie Morton and the graphic layout by Angus McBryde. Mastered by Tex Houston and tracks selected by Ian Henderson – as it should be – because that man has more insight into this than anyone else. You can either order the vinyl with the zine, the zine and a CD, or the CD, vinyl and the zine. For those of you that live in Europe, you can order T E M P O R A R Y from Occultation Recordings, if you’re in America you can find it at Ba Da Bing Recordings and if you’re nearer Australia or New Zealand; you can get it from Fishrider Records. Stream four tracks from this compilation down below.
Suren Unka. You might’ve heard of him, or you might’ve not. He’s a descendant from India living in New Zealand, raised in the town of Opotoki, currently living in Auckland. The name he’s chosen for himself is derived from his real name, which is Suren Raj Unka. Earlier, he’s been a part of the group Ponnyfight together with Fergus Burnett, and now he’s released his own album on CD titled “El Chupacabra“. We re-visit some kind of bizarre turn into ambient dubstep of some sort, where the atmosphere is the most important for the almost clerical melodies that can be heard. It stands clear that it’s influenced very much by the modern electronica that has sprung up in the 2000’s. Currently, Suren is educating himself at MAINZ (Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand). Even though his music seem to be far from what I’ve been doing, I just had to have something to do with it. I must say that I despise dubstep as such, but this modern variant which clings to some of the elements of that genre, it also lets free some IDM influences, danceable ambient and other very interesting combinations. The build-ups in the structure of the tracks come from a heavy melodic content which is supplied with sampling, just to hit the climactic peak together with the baseline that itself – also is melodic as hell. So this might turn some of you off, but I guess that others will listen to it with an “open” ear, if you know what I mean. He actually contacted me via e-mail and we came to the conclusion that a track should be put up by me.
So, that’s exactly what I did a couple of days ago. The track “Weather Science” from his newly released debut-album “El Chupacabra” was put up on my Soundcloud. Just so you could hear it from yourself and get a taste of what was to come from this release. The unreleased track is up and running, and the album itself has just been self-released by Suren. Listen to this bizarre mixture of different genres and stream, but listen to, this track so you know if you want the whole album or not. It has been put out on iTunes so you can buy it. But make up your mind first and listen to the track down below.
Summer is already here and on the tip of the melting iceberg, you find yourself around kids like the Astro Children. Delivering a cheerful kind of pep-punk, and poppish shoeglaze delight, drenched in regular psychedelia. This two-piece outfit consisting of Milley Lovelock and Isaac Hickey first premiered this music video on a release show last week in New Zealand. Which makes me virtually the first one to indulge in this lovely music-video on the other side of the earth. I don’t know what they have in their drinking water down there, but if it spells Astro Children – then I’m all for it. The video itself is filmed at the St Kilda dinosaur park, which is beloved by everyone who spent their childhood in the city of Dunedin. The theme is 1980’s, which is obviously pretty clear. The track itself is the opening track “The One We Start With” from their EP, which can be found reviewed by me over here, titled “Lick My Spaceship“. For those of you crazy enough about it, I can tell you that Fishrider Records are planning a release with Trick Mammoth, which the member Milley Lovelock is a part of. So keep your eyes wide open.
Yes, it’s true. Our favorites from New Zealand are back. It’s animated by Veronica Brett again, and these psychedelic pop vibes won’t go away in the turn of a cheek. They’re a part of the micro independent label Fishrider Records. This particular song, titled “Let’s Go Down“, is their third single from their debut-album “Feel“. So check it out and watch it slowly unfurl, as you delve deep into the minds of these people. Or at least their picturesque representation of the song at hand in a fine animation.
The wonderfully extravagant band The Shifting Sands are premiering a new music-video for their song “Worth our While” from their debutalbum “Feel“. So you’ll be the first to view this video, created by Veronica Brett. This band is a part of the wonderful micro-label Fishrider Records, which you’ve heard a lot about on this blog. It’s about time the band released their second full-length album, which will arrive later this year. There’s also some information about the background of this fascinating animation. You can read it down below:
‘Worth our While’ turns up the amps and distortion, firing off a salvo of fuzzed out guitar perfection. In addition to Mike McLeod’s overdriven lead guitar and vocals and Tom Bell’s bass, the song features Robbie Yeats (The Verlaines, The Dead C) on drums and Jay Clarkson (The Expendables, Breathing Cage) on rhythm guitar.
The 185 seconds of ‘Worth our While’ by talented young Dunedin graphic artist Veronica Brett is made up of an average of about 18 frames per second, all hand drawn (minus probably 1000 frames of looping), meaning roughly 2330 individual drawings! It’s the first music video she has made.
The Shifting Sands are planning the release of their second album this year and another, even more ambitious, animated video from Veronica is underway for that.
In case you want to, you can also listen to the track down below and download it, from Soundcloud.
Mike McLeod is the man behind The Shifting Sands which was (to begin with) his own psychedelic pop-project, from New Zealand. However, it turned into a larger project involving many notable artists from Dunedin that helped him recording and master it, each one of them lending their strength to the music via the instruments they play. With the help of these artists, his first album Feel was released in April. I asked the man about his influences, the artists who helped him, what it’s like living in Dunedin and much more.
Ian Henderson is the man behind the “micro-independent” psych-pop label Fishrider Records from Dunedin, New Zealand. He started out in 2006 and have since then released a number of records, including the critically acclaimed, self-titled Opposite Sex record. He’s been with the band The Puddle from time to time, as a drummer. He’s also been a freelance writer for the Southland Times and also for the zines Garage and Alley Oop. I took the time to interview him about his label, the studio, pop lib manifesto, New Zealand, what he thinks about other labels and much more!
Opposite Sex is a band that originated from Gisborne but managed to settle themselves down in Dunedin. They’re a three-piece consisting of Tim, Lucy and Fergus. But sometimes when playing live, they buckle up and become a two-piece consisting of only Lucy and Tim. At the moment they’ve released their self-titled debutalbum, which draws influences from post-punk, lo-fi, no-wave and alternative pop which makes it quite a unique-sounding mixture. I got the opportunity to talk to Lucy from the band about her musical background, dunedin vs. gisborne, their first album and much more. Tune in for this, straight from New Zealand!