NZ Music Month: In Conversation with Ruby Solly!

On her Facebook page, Ruby Solly describes herself as someone who writes things, sings things and plays things. While true, it doesn’t take much work to discover that this description doesn’t quite capture the scale–or success!–of Solly’s recent projects, publications and accomplishments.

For starters, Solly (Kai Tahu, Waitaha, Kāti Māmoe) is a music therapist, having recently graduated with a Master in Music Therapy from Victoria University (read her thesis here!). She’s also a taonga puoro practitioner, composer and role model at the Conversation Collective.

Solly’s poems have been published in The Spinoff, Landfall, Sport, Orongohau/Best New Zealand Poems 2019 and more, and her recent article in e-Tangata, Being Māori in Classical Music is Exhausting has brought increased insight into the attitudes and privilege within New Zealand’s classical music community.

This blog is also being written during New Zealand Music Month, so it wouldn’t be right to forget her musical achievements, including playing with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Whirimako Black, Trinity Roots and The New Zealand String Quartet. She describes her current project as music that reflects “my connection to the land I live on and the ancestors that passed through here”.

Anyway, all that is just the tip of the iceberg. For more–including what she’s been up to during lockdown–check out our conversation with her below. Solly also performs two fantastic poems: “Arrival” and “Six Feet for a Single, Eight Feet for a Double.” Enjoy!

NZ Music on Screen: NZ Music Month

Each year during May it is always New Zealand Music Month, but 2020 is an unusual one due to the COVID-19. It is forcing artists to find new ways of working and connecting with audiences, and there are a surprising number of things still happening. Check out the NZ Music Month official website as well as our Wellington Music blog and facebook. To celebrate and support New Zealand music and artists, we have selected some fantastic films available on Beamfilm and Kanopy. They include the documentary about Martin Phillipps (The Chills) and two iconic New Zealand movies (An Angel at my Table and Dean Spanley) for which Don McGlashan (Blam Blam Blam, The Mutton Birds) did the soundtracks. Be calm, kind and enjoy the movies!


The Chills: The Triumph & Tragedy of Martin Phillipps

Year: 2019
Length: 95 minutes
Directors: Julia Parnell and Rob Curry

Watch the full film here!

Martin Phillipps came tantalizingly close to conquering the international musical world with his band The Chills, but instead fell into decades of debt and addiction in his hometown of Dunedin, New Zealand. At 54, he’s been given a dire medical prognosis, forcing him to face his demons and realise his musical ambitions before it’s too late.


The Pa Boys

Year: 2014
Length: 90 minutes
Director: Himiona Grace

Watch the full film here!

A contemporary story with a strong message, PA BOYS, follows a Wellington reggae band as they embark on a tour ‘down north’, from Wellington to Cape Reinga. Staring Fran Kora (from the band KORA) and Matariki Whatarau (Go Girls, The Almighty Johnsons), PA BOYS is a story about life, death and music. As the band tours, their travels expose Danny (Kora) and Tau (Whatarau) to a spiritual history that cannot be avoided and when unresolved events from their past must be confronted it’s Danny who holds the key.


Topp Twins Untouchable Girls

Year: 2009
Length: 81 minutes
Director: Leanne Pooley

Watch the full film here!

The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls” is the first time that the irrepressible Kiwi entertainment double act, Jools and Lynda Topp’s extraordinary personal story has been told. The film offers a revealing look into the lives of the World’s only comedic, country singing, dancing, and yodeling lesbian twin sisters. As well as rarely seen archive footage and home movies, the film features a series of special interviews with some of the Topp’s infamous comedy alter-egos including candid chats with the two Kens, Camp Mother and Camp Leader.


Born To Dance

Year: 2015
Length: 96 minutes
Director: Tammy Davis

Watch the full film here!

Champion hip hop dancer, Tu Kaea, has the chance to audition for K-Crew, the best hip hop crew in the country, but he has to go behind the backs of his home crew and his best friend Benjy. Things get even more complicated when he starts falling for Sasha, the girlfriend of K-Crew’s leader. When Tu’s old crew and new crew clash, he has to make a decision that will change his life forever.


An Angel At My Table

Year: 1990
Length: 158 minutes
Directors: Jane Campion

Watch the full film here!

Jane Campion brings to the screen the harrowing true-life story of Janet Frame, New Zealand’s most distinguished author. The film follows Frame along her inspiring journey, from a poverty-stricken childhood to a misdiagnosis of schizophrenia and electroshock therapy to, finally, international literary fame. Beautifully capturing the colour and power of the New Zealand landscape, the film earned Campion a sweep of her country’s film awards and the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival.


Dean Spanley

Year: 2008
Length: 97 minutes
Directors: Toa Fraser

Watch the full film here!

A dog may be man’s best friend but in Dean Spanley it is also the key to reconnecting Henslow Fisk and his ailing father, Horatio. After attending a lecture given by a visiting Swami on ‘The Transmigration of Souls’, the Fisks run into eccentric Dean Spanley. Soon, Henslow discovers the Dean may be more connected to the Fisks than they could ever have imagined!

New Zealand music month a selection of recommended books

The first thing that people say is where do these sounds come from, where would they think of these sounds? Well of course the teacher [says], it’s ‘te reo o te whenua’, it’s the voice of the land. We’ve always said that it’s the voice of Tangaroa, it’s the voice of Tāne, it’s the voice of Hine-nui-te-pō. It’s a multitude of voices that are there. They’re the carriers of those voices. The manu, the insects … Tāne and so on. Your ears are attuned … they replicate those sounds.
– Richard Nunns

Continuing our celebration of New Zealand music month, we made a selection with some of the many books we have in our various libraries that cover the rich diversity of New Zealand’s music and musicians.

We start with with Nick Bollinger’s 100 essential New Zealand albums,  and continue with Ian Chapman’s The Dunedin sound: some disenchanted evening an overview of the now world-famous Dunedin sound.

Taonga Pūoro Singing treasures: the musical instruments of the Māori by Brian Flintoff is a superb introduction to the rebirth of the now vibrant world of Taonga Pūoro and includes a great sampler CD.

New Zealand also has many talented classical composers like Gillian Karawe Whitehead and Douglas Lilburn and we have selected a few titles to illustrate this.

100 essential New Zealand albums / Bollinger, Nick
“Compiled by one of New Zealand s most popular music columnists, this listing will delight pop music fans everywhere. The choices included cover a broad range and present an eclectic taste. Eachentry is accompanied by some of the most entertaining writing about music and musicians, ranging from personal accounts of youthful encounters with music legends as well as passionate responses to renowned albums. Guaranteed to surprise and intrigue, thisreference is a must-have for all music lovers.” (Catalogue)

The Dunedin sound : some disenchanted evening / Chapman, Ian
“There are very few geographical locations in the world that are privileged enough to have an internationally acknowledged ‘sound’ attributed to them. Remarkably, New Zealand has just such a location in Dunedin. For more than three and a half decades now, the cultural identity of this modestly-sized southern university city has been bound to music, and it surely will be ad infinitum. Within the ever-evolving history of popular music, the Dunedin Sound continues to sit proudly alongside the the likes of Liverpool’s Mersey Sound, the Nashville Sound, and the Seattle Sound.”  (Adapted from Catalogue)

Taonga pūoro = Singing treasures : the musical instruments of the Māori / Flintoff, Brian
“Comprehensively covers the world of Maori musical instruments, a fascinating and little-known area of traditional Maori culture. Illustrated throughout with colour photographs of exquisite contemporary instruments as well as ancient taonga held in museums around the world. It comes with a CD sampler, compiled from recent releases of contemporary Maori music and the natural sounds which inspires it. And to further breathe life into this book, the technical information about each instrument is interwoven with the stories and myths that belong to each instrument. In addition, instructions are given for making and playing these singing treasures, and there is an explanation of the art forms used in Maori carving.” (Catalogue)

Moon, tides & shoreline : Gillian Karawe Whitehead, a life in music / Sanders, Noel
“One of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most distinguished classical composers, Gillian Whitehead has produced a substantial and lasting body of work that includes operas, orchestral and choral pieces, vocal and instrumental chamber compositions and solo works. They are often in collaboration with poets and other artists, and many incorporate traditional Ma-ori musical instruments and themes.” (Catalogue)

I’m with the band : how to make a career in popular music in New Zealand / Chunn, Mike
“Whether you want to make a living from music or play for fun, this is the essential guide to the New Zealand music industry. I’M WITH THE BAND explains everything you need to know from recording demos to signing contracts, from hiring a manager to protecting your music. Key figures in the New Zealand industry share their inside knowledge and experiences to help everyone from the hobby band to the performer on the brink of discovery.” (Catalogue)

Backstage passes : the untold story of New Zealand’s live music venues, 1960-1990 / Mathers, Joanna
“New Zealand music was made on beer-stained stages, in grimy toilets and smoky back rooms. Venues like Dunedin’s Empire Tavern and the Gladstone Hotel in Christchuch were the cradle for scenes that won worldwide acclaim, where idiosyncratic styles were forged and local legends made. From the late 1950s until the early 1990s, live music ruled the night. Backstage Passes charts the stories of the country’s most celebrated live music venues. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Dead people I have known / Carter, Shayne
” In Dead People I Have Known, the legendary New Zealand musician Shayne Carter tells the story of a life in music, taking us deep behind the scenes and songs of his riotous teenage bands Bored Games and the Doublehappys and his best-known bands Straitjacket Fits and Dimmer. He traces an intimate history of the Dunedin Sound–that distinctive jangly indie sound that emerged in the seventies, heavily influenced by punk–and the record label Flying Nun.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Blue smoke : the lost dawn of New Zealand popular music, 1918-1964 / Bourke, Chris
“Bringing to life the musical worlds of New Zealanders both at home and out on the town, this history chronicles the evolution of popular music in New Zealand during the 20th century. From the kiwi concert parties during World War I and the arrival of jazz to the rise of swing, country, the Hawaiian sound, and then rock’n’roll, this musical investigation brings to life the people, places, and sounds of a world that has disappeared and uncovers how music from the rest of the world was shaped by Maori and Pakeha New Zealanders into a melody, rhythm, and voice that made sense on these islands. “(Adapted from Catalogue)

New Zealand Music Month: Quarantunes Part Two

During lockdown several of our hugely talented librarians have been creating and sharing music via the Johnsonville Library Facebook page to provide a pleasant distraction from the rigours of lockdown. The music is as diverse as you can imagine, covering numerous genres and worlds. So we thought New Zealand Music Month is a perfect time to revisit just a few of these musical creations and take the opportunity to ask their creators to pick a favourite New Zealand album and tell us why they love that particular piece of music.

(This is Part Two of our New Zealand Music Month Quarantunes blog–for Part One click here!)


Sue: performing Prelude In C Major by Johann Sebastian Bach

QUARANTUNES with Sue #2

This evening's beautiful and reflective QUARANTUNE comes to you from the talented fingers of Brooklyn Library's own one-woman orchestra, Sue, and from the pen of Gabriel Fauré. We hope you enjoy.#quarantunes

Posted by Johnsonville Library on Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Gosh, where do I start re: fav NZ album? That’s like asking what your fav book or movie is… different sounds and genres are snapshots and reminders of different experiences. BUT there are a few NZ artists that jump out – I love Listening to Bic Runga and Anika Moa. I know Beautiful Collision (Bic) and In Swings the Tide (Anika) got a fair hammering in my old car’s CD player! I think the combo of awesome melodies, poetic lyrics and crystal clear voices are the clincher for me. But then we’ve also got so many amazing classical artists – Ross Harris’ Requiem for the Fallen in memory of  soldiers who died in the First World War, is pretty humbling and awe-inspiring too.


Justin: performing his own music (Mow the Lawn)

QUARANTUNES 17 April 2020

Welcome back to Quarantunes, where tonight we are joined by Justin, Team Leader for Northern Libraries & Community Spaces. He’ll be singing an original song called “Mow The Lawn”. Have a nice weekend. Stay safe and stay home! #quarantunes

Posted by Johnsonville Library on Friday, 17 April 2020

I have to be very honest… as an American and having spent most of my life in America we are not very well versed in New Zealand music past Crowded House! But that band definitely made an impact on me because they have such great songs. It’s all about the great songs for me! I did some digging once I learned about Crowded House and I really just fell in love with this album. It brings me a sense of peace, calm, and hope. “Six Months in a Leaky Boat” is the song that does it for me. It has everything I want in a good song: amazing melodies, great rhythm, and a wonderful and soaring blippy synthesizer.


Reece: performing his own music

apologies to my new flatmates who have only known me for like two weeks but will shortly be very familiar with every single riff I have left to record on the Glassblower album

Posted by Reece Davies on Monday, 23 March 2020

Wellington’s post-rock/metal scene has been one of the more active areas in the city over the past decade, and People Used to Live Here by Spook the Horses is the pinnacle of what the genre attempts to achieve in its quieter moments. Haunting and lonely, the album takes you on a journey through abandoned places courtesy of restrained instrumentation, occasional vocals and rich textures. The accompanying videos, available on YouTube, showcase the group’s dedication to the atmosphere of the album and are all vital viewing, especially the final track “Following Trails”.


Discover More:

Wellington Music at WCL: Want to keep up with the latest gigs and releases throughout Wellington? Then look no further than the Wellington Music at WCL Facebook page, run by our very own music specialist Mark!

Wellington Music Past and Present: This site is a tribute to the decades of music that have contributed to Wellington’s sound, as well as a browsable portal to our physical CD collection.

Music eResources: With half a million tracks between them, Naxos Music Library and Naxos Jazz Library will have your lockdown listening covered. Discover them via our Digital Library.

NZ Music Month: Quarantunes Part One

During lockdown several of our hugely talented librarians have been creating and sharing music via the Johnsonville Library Facebook page to provide a pleasant distraction from the rigours of lockdown. The music is as diverse as you can imagine, covering numerous genres and worlds. So we thought New Zealand Music Month would be the perfect time to revisit just a few of these musical creations and take the opportunity to ask their creators to pick a favourite New Zealand album and tell us why they love that particular piece of music.


Claire: performing The Cuckoo Waltz by Emanuel Jonasson

QUARANTUNES 23 April 2020

Good evening and welcome back to QUARANTUNES! Tonight we've got the wonderful Cuckoo Waltz peformed by not one, not two, but THREE of the wonderful Claire from the Johnsonville Library. Enjoy! Stay home and stay safe!#quarantunes

Posted by Johnsonville Library on Wednesday, 22 April 2020

 

My favourite NZ album is Love and Disrespect by Elemeno P – it reminds me of O-Weeks at university, where I must have seen them live at least half a dozen times (which might not seem a lot, but I am not a huge concert-goer… shockingly for a librarian – I’m not a huge fan of big crowds of people!). I would certainly class it as the soundtrack of my Vic Uni experience in the early 2000s frequenting house parties and road trips along the way.


Stephen: performing Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fut (And the moon descends on the temple that was) by Debussy

Welcome back to Quarantunes! We’re back right where we started with Stephen and his lovely piano. Tonight he’ll be performing a piece by Debussy. Stay home and stay safe please!#quarantunes

Posted by Johnsonville Library on Friday, 24 April 2020

 

My favourite NZ album – difficult to choose. I did recently write essentially an essay on Facebook about how much I love Solace by Jakob, so I guess it’s that. Jakob’s 2007 offering Solace is utterly consuming, from start to finish. It’s very difficult to describe the sound of this album and the emotional resonances it has for me. The dense layering of opener “Malachite” is sitting on the roof of the Wright’s Hill bunker and looking out over the darkening city as the first spots of rain stain the concrete. The crunching, subterranean bass of “Pneumonic” weaves a cocoon of sound so dense it feels as though you’re physically enveloped, untouchable. “Oran Mor” and “Everything All Of The Time” are the sweep of waves and the crash on the shoreline all at once. “Saint” breathes us through the quiet.

Ultimately I think that while Solace, like all of Jakob’s albums, is undeniably beautiful to listen to, it is music that suddenly ‘clicks’ when you have a memory or an experience to pin it to. Everything slots into place, and suddenly the music becomes part of your DNA, and you cannot ever listen to it in the same way again.


Sam: performing his own and Neil Johnstone’s (another of our librarians) music

QUARANTUNES 9 April 2020

Tonight's QUARANTUNES is here and we're happy to introduce you to Sam, one of our librarians from the Johnsonville and Tawa Libraries. He's joined by Neil, another one of our librarians from the Wellington City Libraries, who has prepared a backing drone synthesizer part to accompany Sam's guitar. We hope you enjoy this beautiful soundscape and we'll see you on Saturday with our next installment of QUARANTUNES. Stay home and be safe! #quarantunes

Posted by Johnsonville Library on Wednesday, 8 April 2020

 

Hollywoodfun Downstairs’ debut album The Mancunian Swing from 2013 remains my personal favourite. The sound is highly distinctive, utilising dissonant noise guitar, deranged vocals and pummeling rhythms, with strangely infectious hooks to create a punk rock maelstrom. Whilst there is an overarching sense of venom across the record, there are also moments of quiet fragility as well as a strong pop sensibility, which helps to give it real dynamic weight.

Songs like “216” and “Fuzzy” have an almost classic ’60s Brit-rock vibe to them, whereas the one-two punch of “This Circus Believes” and “Crackhouse” close the album in a relentlessly intense fashion. Whilst it may sound somewhat tame compared to some of their later work, to me The Mancunian Swing truly shows Hollywoodfun Downstairs at their most creatively nuanced and interesting.


Jamie: performing his own music

QUARANTUNES 19 April 2020

Sunday QUARANTUNES are always a nice time to sit back and enjoy the ambient guitar stylings of Makerspace Specialist Jamie. We hope you had a nice week and that your evening is full of happiness. Be well, stay safe, and stay home! #quarantunes

Posted by Johnsonville Library on Wednesday, 15 April 2020

 

I have fond memories of this album, lying on the floor of our house in England when I was about 6 or 7, listening to it. It was the first time I had ever heard of New Zealand, now I live here!! The intro/jangly guitar part to “Weather With You” and the progression of “Four Seasons in One Day” are just two of the songs that made me pick up a guitar. It is up there in my top ten of all time!


Discover More:

Wellington Music at WCL: Want to keep up with the latest gigs and releases throughout Wellington? Then look no further than the Wellington Music at WCL Facebook page, run by our very own music specialist Mark!

Wellington Music Past and Present: This site is a tribute to the decades of music that have contributed to Wellington’s sound, as well as a browsable portal to our physical CD collection.

Music eResources: With almost half a million tracks between them, Naxos Music Library and Naxos Jazz Library will have your lockdown listening covered. Discover them via our Digital Library.

New Zealand Music Month – How To Build An Album

Have you ever wondered what it involves to take a musical idea from a concept to a finished album? As part of New Zealand Music Month, in association with Rattle Records, Wellington Central Library is proud to stage the panel event “How to Build an Album”. Sound engineer and sonic adventurer Steve Burridge, renowned exponent of ngā taonga pūoro Alistair Fraser, conceptual artist Neil Johnstone, and owner and founder of the highly acclaimed Rattle Records Steve Garden hope to provide the perfect introduction.

Each panel member will cover a different aspect of the process talking about their professional experiences tips and hints using their newly released album ‘Shearwater Drift’ as an example to illustrate the whole process. Amongst the topics to be touched on will be how to generate ideas and concepts, the difficulties of recording in the outdoors, the nuances and challenges of playing and recording ngā taonga pūoro in the studio environment and in the open, how to create promotional videos, marketing on the cheap, to go digital or physical or vinyl for release, and of course the role of the record companies.

This one off workshop will be on Saturday 26th May from 2-3pm. Includes a sneak peak of their forthcoming album ‘Shearwater Drift’ along with promotional videos and a short Q&A session.

Just announced: SPECIAL GUEST!
Special guest Ross Harris will talk about his involvement with one of the tracks and the process behind it.

Introducing the Deluge: Music workshops in May

The Deluge is an all-in-one, stand-alone, portable synthesizer, sequencer and sampler designed for the creation, performance and improvisation of electronic music, created by Wellingtonian Rohan Hill, and developed by Synthstrom Audible Limited, a boutique electronics manufacturer from Wellington.

We have purchased a Deluge for our Music Equipment Lending collection, and for New Zealand Music Month on Saturday 19 May from 2-3pm we will be hosting a practical workshop from its Project Manager Ian Jorgensen, who will be familiar to all from having organised, promoted and produced a dozen multi-stage music festivals, including the renowned “Camp A Low Hum”.

Before we make the Deluge available for public lending Ian will run a workshop that shows people how to use it, as well as talk a little bit about its background & history from a marketing/product evolution angle. He will be demoing our Deluge, but will also bring some more units with him so everyone can have a play!

At Central Library we will also be hosting on Friday 25 May 6-7pm an advanced DIY electronics and hardware development workshop from its lead engineer & developer Rohan Hill. He will give an overview of the hardware and electronics behind the Deluge & the skills and tools he’s learned and used in his career to date.

Need audio equipment for a gig, or for recording music?

Libraries are no longer just places to get books. Need a PA system for a party, a speaking engagement, or a wedding? Playing a live or studio gig? Need to do some recording in the field, or hook up some gear to your laptop and make a new album at home? The new Library Music Equipment collection has what you need. We love Wellington music at Wellington City Libraries and we are here to help you make it.

We have five new Music Kits for people to borrow as part of our new Equipment Lending Service:


AudioBox KIT:
• 1x Rode NT1-A Microphone
• 1x SM6 Shock mount & pop filter
• 1x Dust Cover
• 1x Rode 6m XLR cable
• 1x Presonus Audiobox iTwo
• 1x USB cable
$30 for 4 days/Overdue charge: $10 per day
Continue reading “Need audio equipment for a gig, or for recording music?”

New Zealand Music Month: Svend’s picks

New Zealand Music Month logoTo mark New Zealand Music Month our librarians have been thinking about local music memories, albums and artists. Here’s what Svend had to say:

Loop Select 003 cover link Loop Select 004 coverIf you’re looking for an introduction to a bunch of good New Zealand music at the electronica/dance/dub end of the spectrum, the LOOP compilations are a great place to start. They were released around the turn of the century, but many of the artists featured on these albums are still making cool music, and the library has a fairly good selection of them; it can be interesting to look at how they’ve changed over time, and interacted with each other.

For example, listening to the first, unnumbered LOOP compilation, the catchy breakbeats of Minuit might catch your ear, leading you to their EP Luck; or you might enjoy Species II from LOOP Select 003 (also on their first album, The 88):

But they haven’t stayed still. For example, if you listened to their recent albums, like Find Me Before I Die A Lonely Death.com, you’d find the expected tracks that menacingly whir and click along, like “Run Run” (with the awesome opening line, “I’m not so brave; I’m just surrounded by cowards…”); but there are also stripped back, almost folksy tracks like “Vampires”:

Or there’s the unstoppable Rhian Sheehan, whose dreamy electronic soundscapes are all over the various LOOP compilations. He’s ended up doing a lot of film and television work (and, thanks to an agreement between LOOP and the 48HR Film Competition, can be heard over the credits of a surprising number of ramshackle short films). Here’s a live version of the first track from his album Standing In Silence:

Rhian Sheehan – Standing in Silence Pt.1 (Live) by Rhian Sheehan

Or how about the rambling but funky supergroup Fat Freddy’s Drop, who’s first album Live at the Matterhorn (with the iconic Bucket Fountain on the cover) manages to make four tracks jam for an hour. Their album Based On A True Story is slightly less meandering, but no less soulful, as the track “Wandering Eye” demonstrates:

Of course, the other nice thing about Fat Freddy’s Drop is that it’s a springboard into a whole constellation of bands… but it might be better if that was another post.

New Zealand Music Month: Sam’s picks

To mark New Zealand Music Month our librarians have been thinking about their favourite local music memories, albums and artists. Here are Sam’s favourite releases of the current decade:

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Rising unexpectedly (and for a time, mysteriously) from the ashes of the Mint Chicks, Ruban Nielson’s Unknown Mortal Orchestra provided not only my favourite New Zealand (via Portland I know, but still) release of last year, but favourite musical release period. Every song is packed full of the kind of earworm-y hooks that linger long after the album’s play time and count as Nielson’s best work yet. The video for standout track Bicycle is at the bottom of this post for a preview.

Please turn me into the snat – Connan Mockasin
Connan Hosford’s wide-eyed, psychedelic gem signalled a coming of age as a songwriter, even as the music looked back towards childhood for its’ themes and feel. The sprawling ambition of the record has earned Connan a support slot for Radiohead on their upcoming Australasian tour, and I’m told he’s huge in Paris, well-deserved accolades for one of this quality.

Autumn – The Golden Awesome
Wellington based shoegazers The Golden Awesome played a couple of album release shows over the weekend to celebrate the release of this, their debut, were you there? You should’ve been, because the four of them are making some of the best noise currently coming out of New Zealand. Beautifully hypnotic shoegaze that works equally well up loud at a party, or down low on some headphones as you drift off to sleep.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B005HY27EQ/ref=ase_wellingtoncit-21Bad Luck Man – Delaney Davidson
I first heard the songs off of this album on an incredibly wet and windy night at a show that I nearly skipped for fear of being blown off my feet on the way. Boy oh boy was I glad I went! A masterful blend of folk/country/blues/whatever, all tied together with a perfectly world-weary voice. Standouts include You’re a loser, which was recently nominated for a New Zealand Country Music Award and I’m so depressed, an excellent Abner Jay cover.