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    New EP: New Age Leper

    12.08.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New EP’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Stoner/Robot/Blues rock’n’roll band New Age Leper, whose latest EP ‘The Day the Stranger Came’ is due for release on Monday the 14th of August.

    When/where was the new EP recorded?
    The EP was recorded at Blue Barn Studios in Wellington during June.

    Who produced/engineered the EP? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    The EP was produced and engineered by James Goldsmith at Blue Barn and then mastered at Audio Siege in Portland, Oregon. All of the songs on it were written prior to entering the studio and we already had an order in which we decided to record them. In the future we would definitely look at writing in the studio.

    Did the shorter format of an EP give you the option to experiment in any way with your sound or with different forms of song-writing?
    I think with this particular EP, we spent time experimenting with the songs prior to entering the studio. We wanted a particular feel or mood for the EP and definitely feel like this was successfully captured.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    I’ve always been a fan of a more vintage sound and as well using our own gear we were also able to track extra guitar and keys with gear available at the studio. We used an old fender bassman head for the bass and got a lovely warm, gritty sound. I’ve always preferred fender amplification and use a supersonic for my guitar sound.

    Is there a particular track or theme that the EP was formed around?
    This is a great question and yes. There is a song titled ‘The Frown’ on the EP and is the final track. There is a line, ‘and as I walk through the town the candles blow out.’ The EP is titled ‘The Day the Stranger Came’ and is completely based on the song and this line. A mysterious character who enters a township carrying with him a dark entity that threatens a prolonged state of melancholy for all who encounter it.

    Where do you see the EPs place in growing an audience online? Do you see it as a progression towards an album or a separate entity?
    I think the world is filled with so much music now and the EP is an opportunity to showcase to the world what you are capable of. It is a separate entity but for us most definitely hints a full length release soon.

    Which digital platforms is it available on?
    This will be available on both Bandcamp for download and to be streamed on Spotify.

    Are you doing any gigs or promotion for its release?
    Absolutely. ‘The Day the Stranger Came Tour’ begins in Napier at the Cabana on the 15th of September, Auckland at Ding Dong Lounge on the 13th of October, Hamilton at Nirvara Lounge on the 14th of October and Wellington at Caroline! on the 4th of November.

     


  • General

    New Album: Moon Lander

    10.08.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Anthony Lander, ex bass player with Moses, with the debut full-length of his new project Moon Lander.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    The album was recored in Warwick Donald’s warehouse appartment in Newtown and we started recording it a couple of years back. It took a while to complete because soon after we started recording it, I joined another band (MOSES), and so the project got put on the backburner while I focussed on writing and playing with MOSES.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    Warwick Donald recorded it, and also acted in the role of co-producer with me. I had some pretty clear ideas of how I wanted the tracks to sound, and I’d made demos of most of the songs before starting to record with Warwick. However, there was still a lot of room for experimenting in the studio with various different guitars, tunings, effects, which was a lot of fun.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    These are songs which I’d written during the time I was a member of The Blue Onesies. There were three songwriters in The Blue Onesies, which meant that there were always a lot of songs around, and certainly more than we could record. So this left me with plenty of surplus songs and many of them I really loved. When The Blue Onesies broke up in 2014, I decided that I’d like to start my own solo project in order to record and release many of these songs. Working on this album was the first time I’d heard such a large number of my own songs all together, and hearing them like this made me realise that there were some themes that run through the album. One of which is that many of them were written in the time that I did not have a partner, and many of the songs reference how I felt about this. Another theme, weirdly, is being sick. Both Lemon and Honey, and ‘Pseudoephedrine’ are about being sick, as you might be able to gather from the song titles! In contrast with these potentially whiney sounding topics, the album is actually quite upbeat, musically.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    I was listening to Mac Demarco’s ‘Salad Days’ album around the time I recorded my album, and I liked the feel of that record. So perhaps I was going for that! But it’s certainly different to how The Blue Onesies and MOSES sound. Both of those bands tended to have quite a wall of sound. Perhaps that comes with having six members in your band. With Moon Lander there’s a bit more space. And, ironically, less songs about space!

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    Warwick has awesome gear. He’s quite of a collector of interesting microphones, amps, guitars. He had some really good ideas about what to use and when. I think this is particularly evident on the track ‘Oh Lord’. Very old mic. But yeah, recording with Warwick is fun like that because he’s always pulling out some interesting piece of gear. I learned that microphones in the past looked like a variety of different fruits and vegetables.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    Hmm, perhaps ‘Someone Else’. It’s short, it’s upbeat, it’s jangly, it’s set on the cusp of being awake and being asleep, as many of the songs on the album are. It’s a great song to play live. After playing it live I sometimes wish it was longer than 2 minutes long.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    The best place to get a copy is on Bandcamp, as of August the 7th. Spotify will follow in good time. I’ll make some physical copies for live gigs, but making physical copies is not a huge priority for me because not many people listen to CDs anymore. Beside, the world is so full of “stuff” already without making more plastic stuff to fill it up! Go digital!

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
    I’d love to, and I’ve had talks about it, but it’s always about finding the time to do it. Hit me up, dear reader, if you are inspired to make a music video for any of my songs. I will welcome your ideas.


  • General

    New EP: k2k

    09.08.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New EP’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest EP release. Up next is k2k, whose new EP Sugar was released on the Margins Label late last month.

    When/where was the new EP recorded?
    The EP was recorded over 8 months, pretty sporadically. I’d take a break for a month then spend a week maniacally trying to finish a track. I’ve always found it pretty hard to fit music around working full time, but I just ended up making it piece by piece in the evenings and weekends. Malibu/We Down For were made in Wellington and the last track Pacha was made when I moved up to Auckland.

    Who produced/engineered the EP? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    I wrote and produced the EP, and the masters were done by Luke Rowell (Disasteradio). I made the music at home, on a laptop, using lots of VSTs. I’ve bought a bit of gear but I’ve found that when I’m working to get ideas out it’s easier for me to play around on Ableton that set up a bunch of gear. Normally by the time I’ve got all the gear working I’ve lost my train of thought. Since moving to Auckland I’ve set up a music studio with some friends, so everything is set up all the time and you just need to plug in and play. Hopefully I’ll be incorporating more physical instruments into my music in the future.

    Did the shorter format of an EP give you the option to experiment in any way with your sound or with different forms of song-writing?
    I honestly just released an EP as I’m super slow at making music. It’d take me 5 years to release a full length! Each track is pretty different but there wasn’t a general theme for the EP. With ‘Malibu’ I wanted to try and make a track I could fit into one of my DJ sets. With ‘Pacha’ I wanted to make something a little more chill and paired back. ‘We Down For’ was made in this long rambling process of playing with an acapella for weeks, and eventually finding a vibe I liked.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    I used my laptop, paired with a lot of VSTs and samples, and midi controllers to write the synth lines.

    Is there a particular track or theme that the EP was formed around?
    Nothing that was preconceived before I started making the tracks. I’m influenced by the music I DJ – lots of house, disco, boogie. I always tend to use 90’s RnB acapellas as that music is what I grew up listening to.

    Where do you see the EPs place in growing an audience online? Do you see it as a progression towards an album or a separate entity?
    I’ve noticed EPs getting more and more popular. Or maybe they’ve always been popular and I’m just a bit late to the house/techno game. An EP fits on a record, is a smaller, more digestible form of music and is easier for musicians to release if they’re not super fast at making tracks. Most of the electronic music I listen to now is released as a single or an EP, although I still really appreciate the format of an LP for ambient music or a more conceptual album.

    Which digital platforms is it available on?
    Bandcamp & Soundsloud.

    Are you doing any gigs or promotion for its release?
    Potentially a few gigs later in the year for the release. At the moment I’ve got quite a few gigs planned but nothing specifically for EP promotion.


  • General

    The Eighth Note: Daniel McClelland

    04.08.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘The Eighth Note’ is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians.

    A chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or introduce you to a new musician/band and their music.

    Today’s guest is Daniel McClelland. Raised in Wellington, spent his 20s as a software tester by day, and a musician by night. He got married and followed his diplomat wife abroad to New York, where they lived for 3 years. While there, he tested software for one of the US’ biggest mobile apps, and began work on his album Anxious Heart, which is out on the 6th of August.

    Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music:
    I think it’s sad that somewhere, in the last couple of decades overt ‘pop/rock’ became a frowned-upon genre. I’ve made it my mission to bring it back. If I had a Trump-like amount of money, I’d print a bunch of caps that say “Make Pop Rock Again”. I’m a Beach Boys obsessed software tester, who grew up in The Hutt, listening to New Jack Swing. That description hints at the three main elements of my music: lush harmonies, hard rock, backed by some danceable 90s-style drums.

    What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?
    My debut album Anxious Heart releases on August 6th. It’s an 11-track record that explores what it means to be a man in today’s dog-eat-dog world. I wrote it while living in New York in 2016, after living and working there for three years. It was a crazy time to be in the US, and the immense pressure to succeed in The Greatest City On Earth is reflected in a lot of tracks. I performed and produced everything myself there, and brought the album back home to Wellington to get it mastered at Munki Studios by Mike Gibson.

    Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?
    You can pre-order ‘Anxious Heart’ at my Bandcamp page in physical and digital formats. From August 6th onwards, you can also find my music on Spotify, Google Play, iTunes, Amazon Music, YouTube and all other major streaming services. Failing that, you can head to my Website to get links to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?
    I apparently was musically fully-formed by the time I was 12, because the answer doesn’t sound too far off my current influences today: Michael Jackson’s Dangerous, the mid-90s New Zealand version of Jesus Christ Superstar, and Nirvana’s Nevermind. The big one there is MJ’s record though, I remember getting it as a present and subsequently nearly wore the cassette tape thin. The beats in it, produced by Teddy Riley, were pretty mind-blowing in 1991. I highly recommend this 33 1/3 book on it by Susan Fast.

    Which other Wellington musician (s) would you most like to work with?
    I’ve previously featured on the compilation album 31 Days In Wellington, which is in the library’s catalogue too. I’d love to collaborate with a few more people featured on that record. But if I had to be super specific and choose just one person, then it’s fair to say I’m endlessly awed by the work Grayson Gilmour churns out. He’s still real young and has achieved a lot from his time in So So Modern, film compositions and his always engaging solo albums, including his latest, Otherness.

    What’s your favourite Wellington venue to play in?
    It’s going back quite a few years now, but I think the best I’ve ever sounded was at Indigo, née San Fran. Sometimes you can get the room just right and really fill it up in a way that is hard to replicate in other venues. When I can figure out how to play Anxious Heart live (it’d probably require a barbershop choir) I’d love to play there again.

    In your songwriting or composing (or the band’s songwriting) how do the compositions and songs take shape?
    I used to jam out “cool riffs” on my guitar and then fit melodies around them, but the game changed when I bought a full-sized perfectly balanced electric piano. I can still bust out sweet riffs, but I can then flesh out the arrangement with all my remaining fingers. That’s really helped Anxious Heart’s songwriting, because there’s a lot going on in each song. The bass lines are absolutely the glue that brings everything together, and they often operate independently of the synths, pianos, and guitars. Being able to sit down at a piano and find a way to fit that all in has helped speed things up for me, and avoid headaches in the recording studio. The hardest thing for me is that I play all the instruments myself, and I need to be able to visualize how it’ll all sound together before I start laying down tracks.

    From a vocal perspective, I’ve found it useful to record backing track outlines on my piano, and then walk around the city listening to that recording, while I hum along. I’ll noodle on melody ideas for a few days without writing anything down, and eventually I’ll have iterated through tons of different possibilities. I stop that once I find myself repeating something I’ve hummed from the previous listen-through; it usually means that my brain accidentally stumbled upon something catchy! From there, it’s just a case of fitting lyrics to the overall tone. I ask questions like “Is this an angry song? If so, what’s it angry about?” The lyrics often tumble out within 20 minutes of brainstorming like that. After that, I try to figure out how Brian Wilson might arrange some backing harmonies around those lyrics.

    Where/when is your next gig?
    I’ve got a listening party to launch the album on August 6th, at BATS Theatre. My wife’s due to have a baby later this month, so I won’t be planning on too many gigs for a few months!


  • General

    New EP: George Turner

    03.08.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New EP’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest EP release. Up next is George Turner whose latest EP came out earlier this year, and who is opening for Le1f later his month at Meow.

    When/where was the new EP recorded?
    I recorded this EP over 5 weeks at the start of 2017 while living out in Eastbourne. The environment really contributed to my work effort. My studio was in a room with large windows which gave an incredible view of the entire harbour.

    Who produced/engineered the EP? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    I recorded and produced the entire EP. I always get too controlling when working in bands so being able to play all the instruments and record/produce it all myself was very important to the process.

    Did the shorter format of an EP give you the option to experiment in
    any way with your sound or with different forms of song-writing?

    Yes, this was my second EP of the year, It was the first time in years I had picked the Guitar up again. Gave me a chance to make Rock which was the genre I somewhat grew up on.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    Not really, Tr707 drum machine was the majority of drums. Other than that I changed guitars almost every song.

    Is there a particular track or theme that the EP was formed around?
    I was feeling alienated by the internet, everyone seemed so involved in the social world and I felt out of place. Falling behind almost so I wanted to write an EP that allowed me to explore the Internet in new ways.

    Where do you see the EPs place in growing an audience online? Do you see it as a progression towards an album or a separate entity?
    I definitely see it as a progression towards an album. I am very excited to write my first album, but I’m also terrified of not writing it as best I can. That’s why EPs have been so important to me.

    Which digital platforms is it available on?
    Full EP is on Bandcamp and Youtube but there are singles on Soundcloud. I will be putting them on iTunes and spotify soon.

    What kind of promotion do you do for EP releases?
    I’ve been playing plenty of shows this year, so we just did a release show with a full band a couple months after it came out.


  • General

    New Album: Chris Armour

    02.08.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Chris Armour. In late 2013, Chris had his prized Telecaster stolen after a night of gigging. News of his misfortune made it all the way to Boston, Massachusetts and soon after Chris received an impossibly generous gift from an acclaimed blues musician; a guitar with an uncanny likeness to his stolen Telecaster, emblazoned with the custom decal ‘Tele-Porter’. It was with this guitar that Chris wrote and recorded his debut album ‘Tele-Porter’.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    Dec 11th 2016, the band went up to Whitemans Valley in Upper Hutt in a friends garage-turned studio (named ‘The Stolen Cabasa’). We recorded ‘Kira’ (track 6) at a later date (July 5th 2017 I believe) in Stokes Valley in Richard Te Ones gardening shed. This track was a last minute addition as I felt like the album needed a slower more introspective number to break up the intensity of the other tracks.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    The album was produced by me (Chris Armour) and engineered by Miklin Halstead. The tracks were loosely written and arranged by me, but only in terms of song structures, heads, key melodies and hooks etc. The idea was to capture the vibe of musicians bouncing off each other in a room together, and leave a lot of room for improvisation and spontaneity. In saying that, some tracks were more structured than others, but all had large elements of improvisation.
    I was happy to let the songs evolve and change on the fly within the studio. I made a point of not giving much direction for first takes on the majority of tunes, because I feel like it is beneficial to go into a song with a completely unspoiled mind, and react to it in real time as you learn it. Why bother getting a group of musicians with great creative and musical instincts to play on your album if you aren’t going to let them explore and experiment? This led to some really interesting moments being captured. In the case of a few songs, it also changed their feel completely (e.g. someone would play a feel or a figure that would suggest a different treatment or a re-imagining of the song)

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    In a number of ways. Sometimes I would stumble upon a mistake that would lead me down a path to finding a cool melody or sound, and I would sculpt a song around it. Sometimes I would be attempting to emulate the style of a particular guitarist I liked, and in the process would find something new and interesting. And as previously mentioned, some of the songs were almost entirely improvised in the studio with nothing but a simple musical head use as a starting point (sometimes not even that, in the case of ‘Kira’ I just had a chord progression and a vibe I wanted to capture). Overall themes are a certain kind of musical language – 50’s and early 60’s electric blues, soul jazz, and jump blues. There are a few other things that slip through the cracks but predominantly its about exploring that particular sound in a personal way, trying to shape my own voice within it.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    This is my debut album, and was originally just a plan to record some songs to use as a ‘business card’ of sorts to get more gigs/session work/overseas touring work but over the course of the albums creation I started seeing it as something more. It’s kind of my ode to a time and era of music that I love dearly, and that I see as my musical roots. In terms of the style of the songs and the production, it is all decidedly old school sounding, and favours minimalism, musicianship, live performance over studio wizardy or technology.

    I started playing guitar because of the blues, and dug back into the history of the genre, absorbing all I could from age 15 to this day (12 years). I’ve since expanded my musical interests exponentially into other genres, but still look at the blues as my roots. This album is my way of reconciling the relationship between myself (a 27 year old from New Zealand) and a genre of music that is essentially worlds and decades away from me. As I previously stated, I was trying to see If I in fact had anything interesting to add to the musical lineage of the genre. Could I create a voice of my own within a musical language that is over 120 years old? Could I carve out a piece of it to call my own.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    We kept it as simple as possible. Four musicians in a room together, no headphones, playing live. We didn’t go overboard with the micing. Obviously we couldn’t take it as far as using the gear that they would’ve used to record in the 50’s – tape machines and analog gear etc. That isn’t financially possible in New Zealand.

    I borrowed a specific amp from a friend (Victoria 20112) that would help get me closer to the old school tone I wanted. I borrowed a real tape delay machine for my guitar. I used lots of cool equipment that is modeled after vintage analog gear (flint strymon pedal for trem and some verb, catalinbread topanga spring reverb for some different verb). A lot of it was really just in the musical language though. I imagine Miklin (the engineer) had some tricks up his sleeve to achieve the sound we got, but I left that magic up to him.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    It’s tough to single out one, maybe Conchos`. I’ve been using that as a ‘single’ (for lack of a better term). Its blues but it also isn’t – it draws on the history of the music while trying to push it in a new direction. I like that

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    As it stands, it is currently only available on Bandcamp. It’ll be released on a bunch of other platforms a bit later on in the mix. Spotify, iTunes etc.

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
    No.

    “This is a terrific album by a killer band. Great grooves, imagination, touch, taste, and tone abound.”
    Tom Hyslop, Music Journalist

    “I’ve been watching Chris Armour grow-up as a guitarist since about 2008. His debut album Tele-Porter is a world-class instrumental Jump Blues album. Toneful, tuneful, and swinging like a bitch thanks to the chef of the shuffle, Richard Te One on drums, and Steve Moodie on bass.”
    NZ blues legend Darren Watson


  • General

    New Album: Alex Staines with guests

    01.08.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is poet Alex Staines who writes transgressive lyrical poems, and has combined forces with talented local composers, musicians and graphic artists to produce several dark-toned albums, the latest of which is ‘Time of the Archons’.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    ‘Time of the Archons’ was recorded in mid-2016 at Brad Jenkins’s home studio in Wellington. At the same time we re-recorded the vocal for all the tracks on the previous album, “Seclusion Data”, which was recorded by Steve Wolf at his place in Wellington in 2010.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    Basically all the mixing and mastering was done by Brad Jenkins. He also composed all the electronic music once he had Steve’s piano tracks. Then I added the vocal at the end.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    That could take pages to answer. It was based on the mood of the poems I wrote. Brad said something like, “it’s the apocalypse, but you don’t care”.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    It’s really a simple poetry and music album like its predecessor, though with less of an up-front feel probably because there’s electronics instead of guitar. Steve and Brad had complete freedom to express themselves artistically around the theme – whatever that meant to them. I basically gave Steve half a dozen poems and he composed the piano music from there. The piano is the key to the whole thing, as the way Steve plays was completely different from what Brad was expecting for a poetry album. That caused some interesting things to happen musically. Then I decided which poems went with which tracks and basically just read the poems in a kind of conversational tone.

    Remnants of the Founding Engine – the Music of ‘Time of the Archons’ – An interview with composers Brad Jenkins and Steve Wolf, by Alex Staines.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    The sound just came together. It’s really basic – piano, skilfully composed electronics, good mixing and mastering, and some words about this and that.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    With its staunch chord progressions, obdurate poetry and electronic pitch bends, the penultimate track ‘Coptic Lisp’ revels in the apocalypse.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    Bandcamp. On the page Alex Staines with guests.

    Are you working on a video/promotion for any of the songs?
    We’re thinking about making a video, too, yes. I did some gigs in 2010 for the “Seclusion Data” album, just around Wellington. No plans for gigs at this stage, though the third album is being planned as a live performance thing. I quite like the idea of playing guitar on stage at the age of 60 – that’s something to aspire to. Promotional activites for “Time of the Archons” have been confined to boosting a post on Facebook and you guys. Not sure where it fits in in terms of a genre. It’s a strange mixture that just is what it is.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Covers used with permission.


  • General

    New Single: Aleister James Campbell

    31.07.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Single’ is where a band or artist answers a couple of quick questions about their latest Single release. Up next is Aleister James Campbell, who has recently returned to Wellington after six years in Melbourne. ‘When Night Returns’ is his first new music since returning.

    What is the new song about:
    It’s interesting to me, the line between real life and dreams. Dreams are so fleeting, yet real life can be equally so. When you remember your dreams, or look back on events from your life, what’s the difference?
    The lyrics to ‘When Night Returns’ just came out one afternoon while I was riding the tram in Melbourne. It was a stream of consciousness, really, based around the melody which I’d already come up with. When I reflect on what they might mean, I think it’s partly about the dream/reality division. It’s all tied in to an individual’s relationship to the subconscious. Technology is making it easier to never have to confront the deeper recesses of your mind. I feel it’s important, though.

    Which gear or effects that you used in the mix to get the sound you were after?
    The main part of the song came when I was fooling around with a delay pedal I’d recently acquired. The setting I had it on was making this cool rhythm and I just starting reacting to it. The rest of it came pretty easily after I stumbled on the initial idea. The heavier part at the end of the song came later.
    On the recorded version there’s plenty of delay, and some distortion at the end. I really like reverb and the mood that it creates, so there’s all sorts of reverbs on there. I used a bit of reverse echo on it, too, which is sadly not possible in a live setting – at least until they find away for computers to see seven seconds or so into the future…


  • General

    New Album: Mermaidens

    28.07.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next are Gussie, Lily & Abe from Mermaidens, whose Sophomore album ‘Perfect Body’ is released on August 4th via Flying Nun Records.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    We recorded the album sporadically – over a few different sessions in the studio in the latter months of 2016. A day of tracking here, a day of guitars there. Our other recording experiences have been completely different. Usually we would set aside 2 or 3 days in the studio and smash it out. This time round, we recorded over a few different sessions. We recorded the first four tracks then had a two-month gap in between to write more material. This allowed us to see the album as a whole – that reflection informed our writing of the next four songs. We also paid a lot more attention to guitars on this album. There are layers and layers of different textures in the guitars and I think that’s what makes these songs the most dynamic we’ve recorded so far.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    James Goldsmith of Blue Barn Recording Studios did another amazing job on this record. We have a really great dynamic and he knows how to get the best out of us! The tracks were mostly written out of the studio, but James had a chance to listen to demos and give us some feedback. We recorded the drums with a live band to get a more realistic feeling, and then tracked the guitar, bass and vocals separately over the top. This gave us the opportunity to really fine tune the tones and layers of sounds we wanted to achieve.

    Wellington act Mermaidens evoke the lush aesthetic of a bygone era with new track Satsuma: look closer, however, and you’ll find the domestic dream is rotten to the core
    ‘The Singles Life: The eerie defiance of Mermaidens’, The Wireless, Thursday 22nd June 2017.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    This sounds cheesy but I feel this album is about growing up. About our art, minds, bodies and becoming more mature. The lyrics are really for us, as a mantra to ourselves. While writing the album we’d been thinking and talking about the sensations of pleasure and pressure. By that I mean the contrast of being in a blissful state, but with an underlying anxiety or uncertainty being present too. The sun is a big one for us in this album – that feeling of craving the sun is touched on multiple times and we didn’t realize this until once the album was finished. Our songwriting process is always collaborative – although at times when writing this album we were under quite a bit of time pressure so one person would finish a song then bring it to the band. We’re big fans of deadlines!

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    We really tried to be more restrained and careful with our use of dynamics on this album. I guess that resolved itself in a quieter and more mature sound than on Undergrowth.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    Bass tone had a lot of attention in the recording process. We wanted a subby sound throughout the whole record and also used chorus pedal throughout.
    Snare treatment is different for every song. James gave the drums a different ‘voice’ according to what the song needed.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    The final track on the record ‘Fade’ is the most last minute song we’ve written and caused the most turmoil for me! I was writing it up until the night before we went into the studio. Despite this it turned out to be our favourite song on the album. It’s got these densely layered vocal harmonies, twinkly guitar lines and finishes with a jam that gets fuzzier and fuzzier. It seemed like the best way to end the album.

    Mermaidens deliberately don’t make songs you can stick on at a dinner party
    Loud & Quiet, July 19th

    Perfect Body Pre-Orders are here

    Mermaidens Perfect Body vinyl pre-orders are available now! Vinyl comes in glowing bright orange 'satsuma' colour. Order a copy from http://tinyurl.com/y85sbtth

    Posted by Mermaidens on Monday, 12 June 2017

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    ‘Perfect Body’ is coming out on vinyl through Flying Nun, and it should be available from all the good record stores in the country. You can order the record from Flyingout.co.nz. Digitally you can stream the album on Spotify and iTunes, but if you really like the music, the best way to support us (and all small bands!) is by buying it on Bandcamp.

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
    Gussie, Lily, Ezra and our friend Will have made an amazing video for ‘Satsuma’, and a video for ‘Sunstone’ is in the works too!


  • General

    The Eighth Note: Sea Mouse

    25.07.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘The Eighth Note’ is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians.

    A chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or introduce you to a new musician/band and their music.

    Today’s guest is singer/songwriter Seamus Johnson who has just launched a new music project called Sea Mouse.

    Who are you?
    Sea Mouse.

    What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?
    Releasing a 9 track album called, “Sea Mouse” which came out yesterday (Monday 24th July). Recording to release two new tracks for a 7” vinyl. Side A is a song called “Skeleton Home”. Itʼs a happy song sung from the perspective of a banker. Itʼs about banks using debt to enslave people. Side B is unfinished but will be in the near future. The future is going to happen and you canʼt change that!

    Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?
    At my house. Facebook. Bandcamp. Spotify, Apple Music, Gigs. Go to gigs.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?
    This is a hard question!
    Beck – Mellow Gold.
    Led Zeppelin – IV.
    The White Stripes – White Blood Cells.

    Which other Wellington musician (s) would you most like to work with?
    Emily Fairlight..
    Ed Zuccollo

    What’s your favourite Wellington venue to play in?
    San Fran.

    Sea Mouse. Album out 24 July

    Sea Mouse will have an album out this Monday the 24th of July. Keep your eyes peeled.

    Posted by Sea Mouse on Thursday, 20 July 2017

    In your songwriting or composing (or the band’s songwriting) how do the compositions and songs take shape?
    Usually I make demos and send them to the band so they can have a listen and
    get to know the songs. The demos are used as a loose frame work because the
    direction of a song often changes at rehearsals or even after a couple of gigs.
    Itʼs best to go with ideas based on how the band and/or an audience respond to
    them…..but, usually if it feels good do it.

    Where/when is your next gig?
    Weʼve got a show at Meow on the 5th of August with some special guest
    bands, and then an Eye Gum gig on Wednesday September 13th at San Fran.
    Should be a hoot!


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