I recently caught up with indie pop musician Princess Chelsea for a late night drink. A writer, composer and singer, Princess Chelsea is a rising young talent whose music has been described by Rolling Stone magazine as ‘absolutely sublime.’ Her quirky lyrics and ethereal voice seamlessly join in an eerie Burton-esque crescendo and reminds me […]
The Cigarette Duet is from an album I released earlier this year called Lil’ Golden Book. I recorded Lil’ Golden Book in various bedrooms I occupied from 2008-2011. I wrote The Cigarette Duet in about half an hour on a busted up Roland E-20 keyboard, sitting cross-legged on the floor of probably the most grim […]
The Eversons are a new band from Wellington, New Zealand, who released a free EP on Lil’ Chief Records earlier this year. They give nods to smart, 60s-inspired pop like the Modern Lovers (heavy use of call and response back up vox), but are also clearly inspired by 90s ‘indie guitar’ bands like Pavement and […]
From outside of Wellington comes a very young bedroom producer who makes his own magical brand of sexy Italo disco while also creating his own album art and animating his own music videos. He will often sing female-style backup vocals in falsetto and shred hair metal guitar solos over his beats. The majority of New […]
My favourite record label, the New Zealand-based Flying Nun — home to seminal acts such as The Chills, The Bats, The Clean, and The Verlaines — has been reinvigorated recently with the return of the label’s founder, Roger Shepherd, to steer the reigns and return this wonderful low-fi cottage industry back to its rightful glory. […]
At first listen, The Chills were like nothing else when they burst out of the relatively cloistered confines of the Dunedin student set way back in the early 1980s. Only, in retrospect, they were kinda like so much of the rest of the Flying Nun roster: lo-fi, wearily melodic, understated, and joyously brash in their […]
Tragically, Chris Knox, the grandfather of low-fi New Zealand pop, had a stroke a few months back, which has left him considerably restricted and probably out of the Kiwi music scene that he worked so hard to foster. This 1980s track, Slide, was a classic Knox production: melodic, slightly unnerving, gloriously challenging – never an […]
Back in the day, when I was a skinny teenager on the great pedestal of life, I had a real obsession for the understated, low-fi, deliciously melodic and somewhat blurry sounds of the New Zealand Flying Nun bands. I would pool my meagre savings and canvas the local record shops, scouring the racks for the latest cassettes from The Bats, The Chills, The Clean, and, later, The Straitjacket Fits.
Andrew Fagan, lead singer of The Mockers, the poppiest New Zealand band of the 80s, came around to my place once when I was an impressionable 10-year old with stars in my eyes and a head full of shiny, shiny melodies.
There’s not just an urgency about the Die! Die! Die! band name. Their music too is an insurgent mix of riffs and melodies. We spoke with the New Zealand group to get the lowdown: While your music is deliberately loose and abrasive, there’s something incredibly appealing about it. How do you maintain this sheer energy without striding too far into the obscure? ‘We always try and make sure we are not being too indulgent when we write songs. We come from a very “noise” background of just jamming and whatever sounds best turns into the song. So we try and make sure there is at least something which sort of resembles a hook of some sort. We also try and make sure that when we write songs there be a vibe and something exciting happening in the room. We like having fun’.
The sound New Zealand band The Brunettes make is Hallmark card pop — naïve sincerity mixed with low-fi, casual kitsch. Says chief songwriter, Jonathan Bree: ‘You’ll find us somewhere between US punk and just before classic 60s romps’. And so we will.
I haven’t bought a CD in a while but I was strolling down Wellington’s Cuba Street looking for a bit of inspiration the other day when Liam Finn’s music tapped me politely on the shoulder and dragged me into the music store. Liam is New Zealand music royalty, of Neil Finn descent, although — with […]
There was a time, many moons ago, when I would only listen to bands off New Zealand’s Flying Nun label. Yup, I would strap myself into a comfy chair, put my headphones on and, armed with a chunk of chocolate coated Peanut Slab and a can of L&P, soak up album after album of wonderfully self-indulgent low-fi melancholy.