Every month, Wellington City Libraries acquires new CD’s for its large, broad, eclectic collection, and Wellington music is no exception. We regularly inspect Bandcamp, local music websites, trawl music vendors latest releases and check out independent labels like Flying Nun, Arch Hill, Rattle and Lil’ Chief for the latest in Wellington and New Zealand music. So, with this influx of mint music in mind, every month we’ll provide the latest titles and artists added to our Wellington music collection…
The 11th sky.
Just when you think Electric Wire Hustle can’t get any better they (or rather Mara TK, the last man left of the original three piece band) up their game yet again. His fantastic voice sits comfortably in that late period Marvin Gaye/Leon Ware pocket, but the sound of ‘The 11th Sky’ is harder and fuller. Moving away from the patented psychedelic Neo-soul of the last 2 albums they move into a sonic realm of darker, heavier, beats that envelop Mara TK’s analogies to Maori mythology, and metaphysical concerns on the pressures of money, love and expectations that weigh down peoples journey towards a better place within themselves. A real sense of searching for meaning pervades the album, and the benefits of being a one man band include the freedom to add whatever you want into the final mix, such as a harpist on ‘Golden Ladder’, lovely strings on ‘I Light A Candle’, and vocalist Deva Mahal (the sister of Ahmed Mahal aka. Imon Star of Olmecha Supreme, who is now based in New York) on ‘March’. Website here. Bandcamp here.
Phantasticus has been plying their unique brand of high-energy gypsy jazz in Wellington since their beginnings in 2012. A 5 piece high-energy gypsy-flavours ensemble featuring a total of 24 strings spread between 5 musicians, with a mix of both original compositions and Django Reinhardt style classics. Check out ‘Sunday Cocek’ on You Tube here. Website here. Bandcamp here. Facebook here.
Black and white.
Rob Joass has been part of the Wellington music scene since the 90s, as a solo act, then as founder of the folk-rock outfit Hobnail Boots (later Hobnail) and The Shot Band. He released his first solo CD Rainlovers in 1995. 2014’s ‘Black & White’ was his return to solo work after 18 years and is a fully formed set of laid back acoustic narrative based songs. The 18 years of playing gigs and life in general seem to have added a wealth of knowledge and experience to his songcraft, and every track tells it’s own story in a real and mature way. His voice and playing here remind me a bit of cultish American singer-songwriter Darden Smith, who has the similar ability of weaving Americana, folk & pop influences into poignant slices of real life. Website here. Bandcamp here.