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New library ‘Wellington’ music on CD & Vinyl: July-Oct. Part 1: Gold Medal Famous/David Long/Grayson Gilmour/Daniel McClelland/Charlotte Yates/Grawlixes/Hollie Smith

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 latest album from Gold Medal Famous’ was created using the “firing squad methodology” which is explained below in this quote from the liner notes: “We created the sounds on this album on electronic devices that we each took turns to generate sounds then passed on the device to another member of the group. This generated a sound file library that we used as source material for the album.” A list of instruments include: ‘Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator Arcade and Pocket Operator Rhythm, Stylophone Beatbox, Drone Lab*, Nebulophone*, ‘Rollz-5’ Percussion Synthesiser*, Thingamakit*, Moon Cake Noise Synthesizer*, Rucci Electronics 8-Bit Synthesizer, Rucci Electronics Drone Jar…’ and that’s just before it get’s weird. Avant-pop? Or the kind of ‘music’ a demented AI would make after the fall of civilization, filled with random snatches of words and sounds from obsolete technology? Is ‘We Bought A House’ just gratingly obnoxious, or a clever political statement? Weird non sequitur’s tumble over each other like puppies on acid, yet the beats drive the songs along and after a few listen it’s all weirdly catchy. Facebook here. Bandcamp here. Powertool Records here.

Utterance / David Long, Richard Nunns, Natalia Mann.
‘Utterence’ features David Long (banjo, theremin, bowed guitar, & assorted paraphernalia), Richard Nunns (taonga pūoro) & Natalia Mann (harp, prepared harp, zither, gongs, voice). Ostensible leader, former Mutton Birds guitarist David Long has composed music for TV, a wide range of documentaries, and dramatic features and has been involved in many Wellington music endeavours from ‘Six Volts’ in the 1980s to ‘The Labcoats’ in the 90s and recently with ‘Teeth’. Richard Nunns has been an inspiration & influence to countless artists, but ‘Utterence’ proved to be his last recording, due to illness. A lovely mix of natural sounds and ambient textures. Buy on Rattle records here. From RNZ’s Upbeat.

Fantastic next level sophomore album from Grayson Gilmour, filled with superbly textured sounds and catchy melodies. His voice is moved up in the mix so it floats upon the layers of often dichotomous sound he builds into the tracks. There is an almost academic level of focus on the soundscapes & chord structures but it is more an organic exploration rather than fussy cleverness, and moulded around the album’s overarching themes of growth and acceptance. Website here. Buy here. Stream here. The Spinoff here. RNZ’s The Sampler here. Allmusic review here.

Anxious heart.
The mission of one man band Daniel McClelland is to bring back pop, and he definitely succeeds with debut album ‘Anxious heart’. In his own words …’Imagine The Beach Boys listened to a lot of Michael Jackson and Nirvana… in 1991′. The album has a slew of pop references from the 60s to the 80s, with crunchy guitars, hard snares, synthy throwbacks and lots of layered vocals. The cumulative effect is definitely more than the some of the parts and the overall tone feels a lot like 90s power-pop bands like Gladhands or Jellyfish who had a similar love of merging classicist pop elements. Website here. Bandcamp here. Muzic.Net review here. RNZ’s The Sampler review.

Then the stars start singing.
‘Then the stars start singing’ is the seventh album by Charlotte Yates, in a career that dates back to the late 1980s. As you might expect there is a degree of maturity in the song-writing and subject matter. But it avoids that mannered feel that weighs down so many female (& male) singers as their career progresses. There is still a freshness at play in both the production which features loops and electronic touches from 50Hz aka Jeremy Geor and the lyrics which delve into relationships ending and beginning, intimacy & commitment. Buy album here. Website here. RNZs The Sampler. Elsewhere review. 2017 Audioculture profile.

Set free.
The debut album from Wellington (by way of Dunedin) indie folk duo Grawlixes (Robin Cederman and Penelope Esplin) was released on the Home Alone music Label and serves as a musical examination of the former couples romantic relationship. Much like fellow Home Alone band French For Rabbits, Grawlixes are a couple that decided to continue playing music together as a duo after breaking up so, as expected, the resulting album is fairly intense. Languid guitar lines meld with the occasional fiddle and accordion. A bit of a Paisley Underground vibe. The lyrics are sometimes harsh, but also sometimes darkly funny, so it’s not all doomy & insular. Facebook here. Bandcamp here.

New on Vinyl:

Fabric / The Black Seeds.

Long player.

All covers used with permission.

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