The Others Way Festival Don McGlashan Mild Orange and Erny Belle Join Lineup

Chris Cudby / Image: Don McGlashan / Photo credit: Dianne Smithers
/ Wednesday 19th January, 2022 9:10AM


The future subtly rearranges itself before our eyes once more, as Tāmaki Makaurau’s The Others Way festival has unveiled a freshly revamped bill ahead of next week’s main event. Joining the jam-packed lineup for the multi-venue fest will be Aotearoa music legend Don McGlashan with his band The Others, rapidly rising Tāmaki / Maungaturoto songwriter Erny Belle, and hugely popular dreamy guitar-pop crew Mild Orange. They’ll be subbing in for Space Waltz, Golden Awesome, and Jay Clarkson, who can no longer perform next week.

"The planets have unexpectedly aligned, and we’re on the bill at Tāmaki Makaurau’s “Others Way” Festival next week! We love The Others Way, and we can’t wait to be part of it." — Don McGlashan

Along with new lineup details, more venue info has been revealed for this summer’s festival, making the most of the sunshine with a significant emphasis on outdoor spaces. Here’s the official low down:

"An additional outdoor stage on Cross Street makes an exciting new precinct with Mercury Theatre and Mercury Plaza Gallery, a unique Hallertau bar on Cross Street and food trucks on Mercury Lane and East Street add to the street-party atmosphere. The festival has also added a new indoor venue in the old Samoan Church on East Street. For the very first time, the festival is moving the Audio Foundation stage outside onto Poynton Terrace which adds a second All-Ages stage alongside the To The Front Stage at the Methodist Church next to the Flying Out store. Percussionist/Beat Maker Lucky Paul will be running his busking set at Pocket Park on Pitt Street early in the day."

UnderTheRadar, Flying Out and 95bFM are proud to present…

The Others Way Festival

Saturday 29th January 2022 – Karangahape Road, Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland
Backroom, East St Church, Galatos, Mercury Theatre, Neck of the Woods, Soap, The Studio, Whammy and Wine Cellar

Featuring… Anthonie Tonnon, Carnivorous Plant Society, Coolies, Daffodils, Dartz, Dead Famous People, Dianne Swann, Diggy Dupe & Friends Present The Panthers, Don McGlashan & The Others, Earth Tongue, Eden Burns, Erny Belle, Fazerdaze, Francisca Griffin & The Bus Shelter Boys, The Fuzzy Robes, Grecco Romank, Guardian Singles, Hybrid Rose, Jakob, Jazmine Mary, Joe Ghatt, Julia Deans, Juno Is, Kamahumble, Lawrence Arabia Plays Chant Darling, Lips, Lucky Paul, Merk, Mild Orange, Night Lunch, Phodiso, Phoebe Rings, The Plague, PollyHill, Power Nap, Princess Chelsea, Recitals, Repairs, Soft Plastics, Sulfate, Team Dynamite, Theia, There’s A Tuesday, Transistor, Troy Kingi, Vera Ellen, Voom

General release tickets are on sale HERE via UTR

The Others Way – To The Front Stage
Saturday 29th January 2022 – Pitt St Sunday School (all ages, wheelchair accessible)

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Watch the lyric video for Don McGlashan’s November single ‘Come Back In’, produced by Kristina Simons aka Tina Turntables…

Listen To Two Tracks From Vietnams Reunion Album This Quiet Room

Annabel Kean / Tuesday 18th January, 2022 12:39PM


Pōneke post-punks Vietnam return, like a long lost friend showing back up after nearly four decades — except that friend is a band and they’ve got a new album in the works, a casual 37 years after their 1985 self-titled debut. This Quiet Room will be out by the end of the month, available digitally, on CD and on a limited run of vinyl, showcasing the long-awaited grand finale from band members Shane Bradbrook, Cranston Brecht, Barn Coren, Geoff Lerwill, Joe Neufeld and Adrian Workman, plus a cheeky cover of Wire’s ‘Kidney Bingos’. While we lock in pre-orders and twiddle our thumbs, Vietnam provide a sneak peek of This Quiet Room with upbeat, reverb-drenched ‘What Have I Done?’ and heart-punching album closer ‘Where is My Happiness?’. Reacquaint yourself with millennia-spanning, guitar-jangling veterans Vietnam…

Vietnam’s sophomore album ‘This Quiet Room’ is out January 28th.

Easy Off Unveil Debut Album Dark Place

Chris Cudby / Artwork: Michael Clapham
/ Tuesday 18th January, 2022 12:37PM


Kirikiriroa neo-crust crew Easy Off‘s debut album Dark Place isn’t for the faint-hearted. Pummelling earholes with nine abrasive tracks dripping with atmospheric menace and barely restrained teeth-gnashing violence, the sonically intense new collection was laid down at Bagnall Hill, recorded and mixed by Adam Fulton, with mastering by Will Killingsworth at Dead Air. Dark Place is available now on strictly limited edition vinyl via Real Vegan Cult (who recently unleashed a reissue of Ghidrah’s 1996 hands down classic Invincible Deluxe), or if you’re extremely lucky you might be able to score a copy when Easy Off tear it up at Valhalla’s Waste Fest 2022 in early February…

Local Tourist Share Debut Single Undone

Annabel Kean / Artwork: Gemma Syme / Tuesday 18th January, 2022 11:13AM


Written and recorded in Ōtautahi in the days before she was swept back to the States, Erin Umstead announces Other Ways Of Living, her debut album fronting three-piece Local Tourist. We’re also treated to lead single ‘Undone’, a hushed and compelling meld of Umstead’s hypnotic vocals and stripped back instrumentation from bandmates Joe Sampson (Salad Boys, T54) and Rory Dalley (Ben Woods Group). Although a few thousand miles away from Christchurch where the album came to be, Other Ways Of Living will be released this April on local imprint Melted Ice Cream in tandem with Seattle label Lovers Weekend Records. Sink into the lush poetry of debut track ‘Undone’, and admire the Gemma Syme album art while you’re at it…

Local Tourist’s debut album ‘Other Ways Of Living’ is out April 8th via Melted Ice Cream (NZ) and Lovers Weekend Records (US).

The New Loungehead Announce Auckland Reunion Events

Chris Cudby
/ Tuesday 18th January, 2022 10:33AM


Pioneers of jazz-inflected club grooves in Tāmaki Makaurau, The New Loungehead have announced two headline reunion events at Ponsonby Social Club in February, following their recent appearance at Coro Summer Fest. Moving crowds with their innovative melting pot of jazz, funk, dub and live drum ‘n’ bass, The New Loungehead are celebrating the 25th anniversary of their breakout 1997 long player Came a Weird Way, which earned the ensemble a Tui award for Best Jazz Album. Learn all about the rich history of the group via Peter McLennan’s AudioCulture profile HERE (plus some exceptionally swish vintage band snaps) and don’t miss Dan Sperber, Chip Matthews, Godfrey de Grut, Isaac Tucker and Matthias Sudholter back in action together with special guests on Fridays 4th and 18th February…

The New Loungehead Live
w/ special guests

Friday 4th February – Ponsonby Social Club, Auckland

Friday 18th February – Ponsonby Social Club, Auckland

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Experience the vintage late ’90s visuals for The New Loungehead’s ‘Cloth’ featuring Sulata, from Came a Weird Way…

Violet French Shares Break Up EP Gorgeous

Annabel Kean / Monday 17th January, 2022 12:15PM


In the wake of a hectic couple of months for the Ōtautahi multi-disciplinary artist, Violet French emerges from the heartbreak and rubble clutching three new high emotion, lo-fi tracks. Grungy break-up EP Gorgeous, or as French puts it, "three demos detailing the strangest summer on record", is a cathartic listening experience, from the quiet bubbling anger of opener ‘Muggy’, to tongue-in-cheek confessional ‘Miss Dumpty’ with its delightfully droll chorus refrain "took a tumble, took a fucking great fall". A sure win for fans of Tāmaki fuzz-masters Na Noise or Vera Ellen’s songs no​-​one should hear, tuck into French’s raw and raucous Gorgeous here…

Violet French’s latest EP ‘Gorgeous’ is out now on Bandcamp.

Graeme Jefferies DKYT Dick Whyte Auckland Show Announced

Chris Cudby / Photo credit: Dave Simpson
/ Monday 17th January, 2022 12:14PM


Helmsman of The Cakekitchen, co-founder of Aotearoa DIY post-punk pioneers This Kind Of Punishment and author of internationally acclaimed memoir Time Flowing Backwards, Graeme Jefferies returns to Tāmaki’s The Wine Cellar in early February. Following a successful pair of South Island shows back in November, Jefferies will reunite for the super city gig with D.K.Y.T aka Dick Whyte formerly of Pōneke’s Bent Folk, with an opening set by enigmatic newcomers Marxophone Orchestra — featuring three Marxophones (a fretless zither played via a system of metal hammers) on stage and promising "something interesting and unique for both fans of experimental improvisational music and traditional dulcimer melodies accompanied with vocals."

Graeme Jefferies, D.K.Y.T (Dick Whyte), Marxophone Orchestra

Friday 4th February – The Wine Cellar, Auckland

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Watch the video for The Cakekitchen’s 2020 single ‘Trouble Again In This Town’…

Listen to Dick Whyte & Finn Johansson’s 2018 collaboration ‘What Kind Of Bird Am I’…

Press release:

Graeme Jefferies

Graeme and Dick have decided to treat Aucklanders to a glimpse of their successful end of Level 2 November South Island sets. Best known as part of the Flying Nun early eighties movement Graeme has been involved with well respected internationally known groups, This Kind of Punishment, Nocturnal Projections and The Cakekitchen.

He is also known as a solo artist and has toured Europe 9 times and the USA 3 times and has released over 15 albums of material worldwide on such labels as Homestead and Merge in the USA and Hausmusik and Raffmond in Germany via Rough Trade.

His live solo shows are somewhat rare and involve playing a lot of different instruments on stage hopping from one to another as fast as possible to create a sort of underlying tension to the performance. A new album has finally been completed and the show will draw upon material from all of Graeme’s bands as well as showcasing new and unreleased material.

D.K.Y.T (Dick Whyte)

Known as the driving force behind cult favourite Wellington band ‘Bent Folk’ Dick has been bending ears and making the people in the front row nod their heads up and down for quite some time now. He is also well respected as a solo artist and has consistently wowed audiences with his crazy guitar neck vibrato playing and heartfelt honest songs.

Dick has been quietly chipping away at new solo material over the last months and promises to showcase some new surprise tunes from his current new catalogue of material. A rising star to watch his performances are special within themselves and good soul food for these troubled times.

Marxophone Orchestra

The Marxophone is a dulcimer like zither instrument played with metal and wooden hammers and each of the 3 Marxophones on stage has been painstakingly restored and modified to make modern day versions of these out of print for over a 100 years instruments.

We’re keeping our cards fairly close to our chests about this act and not revealing too much about this never seen in Auckland before opening act and their reclaimed from obscurity instruments. But there 45 minute set promises something interesting and unique for both fans of experimental improvisational music and traditional dulcimer melodies accompanied with vocals. It is not known how long the Marxophone Orchestra will exist. So if this sounds like the sort of weird thing you might be interested in please come along and check it out.

Backrooms Back Announced w Grecco Romank Van Staden Bhm Jess Fu Sam Harmony and ezrar

Chris Cudby / Image: Grecco Romank
/ Monday 17th January, 2022 10:49AM


Biffing the nonsense year that was 2021 into the trash can where it belongs, Tāmaki Makaurau’s Whammy Backroom are reopening their doors for 2022 this Saturday with one heck of a rager, concluding nearly five months of gruelling lockdown-related hiatus. They’ve put together a red hot lineup guaranteed to get you boogieing on everyone’s favourite little dancefloor, starring dungeon power techno trio Grecco Romank and happy hardcore dance duo Van Staden & Böhm, with DJ champs Jess Fu, Sam Harmony and Earth Tongue’s ez.rar spinning tunes until late. This all-killer show will pack out, grab tickets while you can…

Backroom’s Back
w/ Grecco Romank, Van Staden & Böhm, Jess Fu, Sam Harmony and ez.rar

Saturday 22nd January – Whammy Backroom, Auckland

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Get energised with Van Staden & Böhm’s superb dance vid for ‘Spirit Level’…

Grecco Romank’s pulsing and raunchy ‘Get To Work’ will help get you in the swing of things for ’22…

Listen To Tall Folks Debut Album Wiser

Annabel Kean / Monday 17th January, 2022 10:28AM


Lovers of lush folk-country songwriting and lyrical mastery need look no further than Wiser, the debut album from Ōtepoti duo Tall Folk. Both vocalists, guitar players and skilled storytellers, Lara Robertson and Jack Ringhand have poured themselves into Wiser, taking the team of Paul McLennan-Kissel, John Dodd, Cragg Monk, John Egenes, Tom Corrigan and Ryan Finnie along for the ride, adding anything from violin to mandolin to dobro and more into the mix. Robertson and Ringhand are three stops into their celebratory nationwide album release tour, with eight more shows up their sleeve over this month and next. Find your nearest Tall Folk date below, and treat yourself to the two-piece’s expansive country debut Wiser…

Tall Folk

Friday 21st January – The Boathouse, Nelson*

Sunday 23rd January – The Mussel Inn, Onekaka*

Wednesday 26th January – Meow, Wellington w/ Jenny Mitchell

Thursday 27th January – Common Room, Hastings*

Sunday 30th January – The Back Room, Thames*

Monday 31st January – Leigh Sawmill, Leigh w/ Holly McPhee

Friday 4th & Saturday 5th February – Dunedin Craft Beer & Food Festival◻

Sunday 13th February – Christchurch Folk Music Club w/ Port Hillbillies

* Tickets available HERE via UTR

◻ With full band

Tall Folk’s debut album ‘Wiser’ is out now via Long Limb Records.

Live Photos The Beths Dateline Whammy Bar Auckland

C.C. / Photography by Annabel Kean
/ Friday 14th January, 2022 1:18PM


Tāmaki power pop stars The Beths are currently in the end zone of of a historic five night Whammy Bar residency, surpassing King Gizzard’s epic four night run from back in 2017. Elizabeth Stokes, Jonathan Pearce, Benjamin Sinclair and Tristan Deck will be taking care of business in the super city tonight and on Saturday, hot on the heels of a similarly triumphant two night jaunt at Wellington’s San Fran last weekend. Co-creator of many of our favourite Beths music videos and last year’s Auckland, New Zealand, 2020 concert film, UTR’s Annabel Kean (Sports Team) leapt into the pit to deliver snaps from last night’s gig, including vibey images of supports Dateline (of whom Stokes was once a member) — click on the thumbnail images below to view the full gallery…

View all photos

Paul Ubana Jones Walking With My Roots Summer Tour Announced

Chris Cudby
/ Friday 14th January, 2022 10:41AM


Paul Ubana Jones has added a fresh batch of Walking With My Roots summer shows to his ever-expanding event calendar, taking the multiple award-winning Aotearoa guitar legend all around Te Ika-a-Māui and beyond in January and February. Gig-goers can look forward to "a collection of songs, both old and new that reflect on the what has been, the what might have been and the only if scenarios — a landscape of who Paul is." The London-born, international touring artist’s four decade-plus career has seen him share the stage alongside such notables as Taj Mahal, Keb Mo, Norah Jones, BB King, Bob Dylan, Tuck and Patti, Crowded House and more, don’t miss Paul Ubana Jones at the following dates…

Paul Ubana Jones

Friday 14th January – Paisley Stage, Napier*
Sunday 16th January – Jam Factory, Tauranga
Wednesday 19th January – Leigh Sawmill, Auckland*
Thursday 20th January – Hokowhitu Bowling Club, Palmerston North
Friday 21st January – Whanganui Musicians Club, Whanganui*
Saturday 22nd January – 4th Wall Theatre, New Plymouth*
Sunday 23rd January – Pah Homestead Wallace Arts Trust, Auckland
Friday 11th February – Dog With Two Tails, Dunedin

Friday 18th February – St Peter’s Hall, Paekakariki*

*Tickets available HERE via UTR

Listen to Paul Ubana Jones’ soulful 2020 single ‘Every Child Deserves a Home’…

Port Noise Lyttelton Mini Fest Announced Ft Ben Woods Wet Specimen More

Chris Cudby
/ Friday 14th January, 2022 9:46AM


Lyttelton Coffee Company will be host to a mini-festival of top tier local sounds when Port Noise takes over the 1921 historic venue space on 29th January. Spread across two stages, the sonically diverse bill stars southern dynamos Ben Woods, Bruce Fox, Ferby, Kool Aid, Wet Specimen and Zane 2000, rounded out with record selections by Tunnel Control, refreshing Cuba Libres courtesy of Daddy Mateer, plus delish Drifting Table Yakitori to keep bodies from wasting away. Secure you spot while you can and don’t forget to bring along your My Vaccine Pass to ensure entry for the fest…

Port Noise: Lyttelton Mini-fest

Featuring… Ben Woods, Bruce Fox, Ferby, Kool Aid, Wet Specimen, and Zane 2000

Saturday 29th January – Lyttelton Coffee Company, Lyttelton

Tickets available HERE via UTR [Renters & Sole Home Owners $25 / Multiple Property Owners $40]

All attendees are required to be vaccinated and show their ‘My Vaccine Pass’ upon entry. Please stay home if you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms.

Experience the video for Ben Woods’ 2021 single ‘Body Rhyme’…

Listen to Wet Specimen’s ‘The Fly’ from their 2021 debut album Wet Dreamin’…

Check out the video for Zane 2000 ft. Haimona’s pulsing new single ‘A Type Of Love’…

Tall Folk Wiser Album Release Tour Announced

C.C. / Photo credit: Lara Vlietstra
/ Thursday 13th January, 2022 12:59PM


Long limbed Ōtepoti-based songwriting duo Tall Folk aka Lara Robertson and Jack Ringhand are launching their debut album Wiser this Friday, ushered into reality with a nationwide release tour during the sizzling summer months of January and February. Recorded with Tom Bell at Chick’s Hotel in Port Chalmers, Tall Folk’s Wiser tour starts this weekend at their hometown’s Dog With Two Tails, Oamaru’s Grainstore Gallery (both with full band) and Lyttelton’s Wunderbar with special guest support Tom Maxwell (Killergrams)…

Tall Folk

Friday 14th January – Dog With Two Tails, Dunedin w/ Killergrams*◻

Saturday 15th January – Grainstore Gallery, Oamaru* w/ Killergrams*◻

Sunday 16th January – Wunderbar, Lyttelton w/ Killergrams*
Friday 21st January – The Boathouse, Nelson*

Sunday 23rd January – The Mussel Inn, Onekaka*

Wednesday 26th January – Meow, Wellington w/ Jenny Mitchell

Thursday 27th January – Common Room, Hastings*

Sunday 30th January – The Back Room, Thames*

Monday 31st January – Leigh Sawmill, Leigh w/ Holly McPhee

Friday 4th & Saturday 5th February – Dunedin Craft Beer & Food Festival◻

Sunday 13th February – Christchurch Folk Music Club w/ Port Hillbillies

* Tickets available HERE via UTR

◻ With full band

Listen to ‘Dani’ from Tall Folk’s debut album Wiser…

Press release:

Tall Folk will celebrate the release of their album Wiser with a performance at The Boathouse. Jack and Lara – both folk of notable height – joined songwriting forces in late 2020, finding in the duo a new space to explore the writing process. As a US-American import, Jack brings song-writing and Midwestern twang hardened in Americana tradition. Lara softens and juxtaposes the raspy edges with warm, resonant harmonies established through years in the Dunedin folk scene. Together, they have have pushed their unique brand of folk to new heights on their debut album Wiser, recorded by Tom Bell at Chick’s Hotel in Port Chalmers. The record displays the duo’s diverse, socially concious writing sensitiblities and a locally sourced band of seasoned players.

Wiser is released on January 14th followed by an eleven date national tour. Tall Folk traverse both islands with their live duo set, presenting the tunes in their most intimate and honest form.

NO CLIP PHF Roy Irwin Return With New Track GRIP THAT

Chris Cudby
/ Thursday 13th January, 2022 11:04AM


With 2022 in their laser sights, Tāmaki’s NO-CLIP aka the titanic collaborative pairing of P.H.F and Roy Irwin have launched their second track ‘GRIP THAT‘, finally following up on 2020’s ultra cute ‘Plushie‘. Sweeping listeners off their feet with angelic vox and synapse-zapping, IMAX-scale electronics, the new tune sounds primed to set clubs and hearts aflame. Listen below and pray for more from NO-CLIP in the near future…

ღ†ChaoGardem†ღ · NO CLIP – GRIP THAT

Erny Belle Announces Venus Is Home Album Release Show

Annabel Kean / Thursday 13th January, 2022 10:04AM


Not even out yet and already a hot contender for my top albums of 2022, Tāmaki / Maungaturoto newcomer Erny Belle has set the date for her Venus Is Home celebratory release show. The musical moniker of Aimee Renata (Ngāpuhi), Erny Belle has so far shared just two singles from her forthcoming debut collection, with alt-folk tracks ‘Burning Heaven’ and ‘Hell Hole’ each making waves on student radio in the past three months. Venus Is Home will be out in full February 11th, giving us a solid week to get cosy with the new songs. Catch Erny Belle perform with her full band and a mystery special guest in 2022…

Erny Belle ‘Venus Is Home’ Album Release Show

Saturday 19th February – Point Chevalier RSA, Auckland

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Press release:

Taking her Debut Album to the stage for the first time at the Point Chev RSA, Erny Belle performs songs off ‘Venus Is Home’. Many years in the making, ‘Venus Is Home’ stands as Belle’s first solo release, with singles ‘Burning Heaven’ and ‘Hell Hole’ proving to be an exemplary introduction to the forthcoming Album. Joining her on the night will be her full band, as well as a Special Guest. ‘Venus Is Home’ is due out on February 11th, 2022.

Aldous Harding Unveils Single Video Lawn Announces New Album Warm Chris

Chris Cudby / Photo credit: Emma Wallbanks
/ Thursday 13th January, 2022 9:15AM


Recently spotted wowing local audiences with a crisp and minimal set for Flying Nun’s 40th Anniversary celebrations at Auckland Town Hall, Aldous Harding has reemerged with new single ‘Lawn‘, launched alongside spellbinding visuals co-directed with regular collaborator Martin Sagadin. Largely eschewing the sharp angles of 2021’s ‘Old Peel‘ but no less enigmatic, ‘Lawn’ heralds the release of Harding’s fourth studio album Warm Chris on 25th March — reuniting for the record with producer John Parish and featuring a guest contribution from Jason Williamson of Sleaford Mods that we’ll definitely be looking forward to hearing. Watch Harding in lizard costume and admire Sagadin’s juggling skills in the clip for ‘Lawn’ below, made with support from NZ On Air

‘Warm Chris’ will be out digitally, on CD and black vinyl gatefold via Flying Nun and 4AD on Friday 25th March, preorders are available now.

IMNZ Announce New Award For Music Journalism

Chris Cudby / Image: Dylan Taite interviews Mick Jagger; Auckland, February 1973 / Photo Credit: John Taite Collection
/ Wednesday 12th January, 2022 2:37PM


Continuing the trend of exciting new Aotearoa music awards kicked off late last year with December’s inaugural SRN Awards, Independent Music New Zealand (IMNZ) have unveiled today a new award for music journalism. To be presented as part of the forthcoming Taite Music Prize ceremony at Tāmaki Makaurau’s Q Theatre on 20th April, the first ever NZ On Air Outstanding Music Journalism Award will celebrate "a special individual who made a creative contribution and significant impact with coverage of Aotearoa music in 2021," coming with "a $2500 cash prize, thanks to official partner, NZ On Air." Finalists will be shortlisted by IMNZ board, chairperson Pippa Ryan-Kidd explained the aims of the prize…

“In addition to our current Awards, the introduction of the Outstanding Music Journalism award is in the spirit of Dylan Taite. We wish to congratulate those who give media space to New Zealand Music and wish to encourage new and young writers to take up the voice that some of our leading music journalists have worked so hard to give a platform to over the years.”

Nominations for this year’s Taite Music Prize and the Auckland Live Best Independent Debut Award are now open. For details about eligibility and nomination forms head along to — nominations close at 5pm on Tuesday 8th February 2022.

Powerfest Summer Series 2022 Lineup Announced

Chris Cudby / Image: Cootie Cuties
/ Wednesday 12th January, 2022 1:39PM


Home of delicious dumplings, a great Hospice shop and a very handy train station, live music in Tāmaki’s western suburb of New Lynn is all set to pop off in ’22, with no less than three all-ages Powerfest Summer Series events happening at New Lynn Community Centre every Friday up until the 28th of January. Brought to you by the team at UFO and Powertool Records, this week’s edition stars Gold Medal Famous, Cootie Cuties, Shotgun The Couch and Monstera, while the following fortnight’s gigs will showcase performances by The Fuzzies, Video Nastys, Art Wank and lots more. Scope the details below…

Powerfest Summer Series #1

Featuring… Gold Medal Famous, Cootie Cuties, Shotgun The Couch, Monstera

Friday 14th January – New Lynn Community Centre, Auckland (all ages)

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Powerfest Summer Series #2

Featuring… Sandtrap, Video Nasty, The Fuzzies, Lost Property

Friday 21st January – New Lynn Community Centre, Auckland (all ages)

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Powerfest Summer Series #3

Featuring… Art Wank, The Ideas, Ocean Beach, The Holy Loner

Friday 28th January – New Lynn Community Centre, Auckland (all ages)

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Listen to Cootie Cuties’ hyper catchy 2020 anthem ‘Freebleeder’…

Ainslie Allen Announces BETTY Album Launch Tour

Chris Cudby
/ Wednesday 12th January, 2022 12:07PM


Recipient of the 2018 award for NZ Country Music Entertainer of the Year, Ainslie Allen (Rongowhakaata) is hitting the dusty trail this summer in celebration of her new debut album BETTY, which soared to the number eight spot on the Official Top 40 NZ Album Charts when it launched in late November. Showcasing Allen’s rich vocal talents and hard-bitten lyrical chops, BETTY marks an auspicious fresh chapter for the new mum and NZ Gold Guitar Awards multiple finalist, including singles ‘Done and Gone’, ‘You Think You’re (Better Than Me)’, ‘Mama Says (Breaking Rules)’ and heart-melting tribute to Bird Of The Year 2018 ‘Kererū’.

“Life is sometimes a hard wake-up call, having so much to juggle and to come out the other end with an album full of stories to be told, I’m very proud. I’m standing by all of this, as this is what has made BETTY.” – Ainslie Allen

Ainslie Allen – BETTY Tour 2022

Thursday 17th February – The Cabana, Napier (8pm)*
Friday 25th February – The Carterton Events Centre, Carterton (8pm)

Saturday 26th February – The Levin Cossie Club, Levin (2pm)*
Sunday 27th February – The Upper Hutt Cossie Club, Upper Hutt (2pm)*
Thursday 3rd March – Gladstone Hotel, Fairlie (8pm)*
Saturday 5th March – The Sherwood, Queenstown (8pm)*
+more dates to be announced

*Presale tickets available HERE via UTR

Watch the video for Mama Says (Breaking Rules) from BETTY…

Press release:

The BETTY tour finally hits the road this February after being rescheduled due to Covid restrictions. BETTY was released at the end of last year and debuted at #8 on the Official Top 40 NZ Album Charts.

Featuring on the Top 10 album BETTY, Ainslie’s singles ‘Done and Gone’, ‘You Think You’re (Better Than Me)’ and ‘Mama Says (Breaking Rules)’, plus the independent single, ‘Te Ua Ka Moa’, were all selected for NZ On Air – New Tracks. ‘Mama Says (Breaking Rules)’ and ‘Done and Gone’ were both added Across The Board to high rotation at ABC Country radio in Australia. Ainslie’s first Te Reo Māori release ‘Taku Māmā’ debuted at #4 on Apple Music’s New Music Daily, and was immediately picked up by Spotify’s Waiata Reo Māori playlist (38k) where it sat for over a year and was 8 weeks on Apple Music’s Southern Craft playlist. The single ‘You Think You’re (Better Than Me)’ was picked up to be part of Air New Zealand’s landing playlist in December 2021.

Ainslie is NZ Country Music Entertainer of the Year, a double graduate of the 2018/2019 CMAA Academy of Country Music. She is 7 x finalist for the NZ Gold Guitar Awards 2019.

After a lifetime in the public eye, Ainslie has grown into a performer with passion and style, a singer with hauntingly beautiful vocals, and now a songwriter with depth and vulnerability. As an artist she is not afraid to tackle difficult issues and she takes you on her journey in the brilliant debut album, BETTY. It’s an honest story, and she tells it beautifully.

Ainslie wrote her first song when she was just 8 years old. However, she has spent most of her career singing other artist’s music, but she’s ready to stand in her own spotlight now, her music, her story. Having so much stacked up against the final release of BETTY – moving dates numerous times because of COVID19 lockdowns and restrictions; also the sad passing of her producers’ mum, and Ainslie having a wee baby to throw in the mix!

Punk It Up V Lineup Announced For 2022 Proud Scum The Johnnys Sit Down In Front More

Chris Cudby / Image: No Tag
/ Wednesday 12th January, 2022 10:32AM


The poster for the new Punk It Up V lineup for 2022 declares "WE WANT PUNK" and we sure do, as it’s been a while since the all-star Aotearoa fest delivered the good stuff for local punters. Delayed by nearly two years due to Covid-related restrictions and now locked in for the first Friday and Saturday of July at Tāmaki’s The Powerstation, Punk It Up V celebrates our local heritage with jam-packed lineup of veteran trailblazers and plucky upstarts. The knockout new bill features legendary AK79 alums Proud Scum, the final ever live performances from No Tag, ‘blue collar rock and roll’ mavericks No Class back in NZ from their Melbourne base, Australian cow-punk legends The Johnnys, rising Gisborne firecrackers Sit Down In Front, Tigers (credited as NZ’s first ever Māori punk band), Cootie Cuties and punk covers supergroup bankRobbers — featuring members of Features / Fetus Productions / No Tag and special guest vocalists. There’ll also be DJs Dubhead, Phil A, and Miss Dom spinning tunes, record stalls, must-cop merch and lots more. Scope out the details below and stay tuned for even more exciting announcements in the near future…

Punk It Up V

Friday 1st July 2022 – The Powerstation, Auckland

Featuring… Proud Scum, No Class, The Bombers, Cootie Cuties, bankRobbers, No Tag + more to be announced

Saturday 2nd July 2022 – The Powerstation, Auckland

Featuring… The Johnnys, Sit Down In Front, Tigers, bankRobbers, No Tag + more to be announced

Festival passes and single night tickets available via

Here’s Proud Scum’s nihilistic classic ‘Suicide’…

Check out The Johnnys’ cow-punk anthem ‘Bleeding Heart’…

It’s Back, because Punk It Up refuses to be beaten by a nasty virus, even if this one has proved to be a bit of a nasty piece of work, not only physically, but mentally for both individuals and the societal fabric we are all wrapped in.

So, that said, the Punk It Up Crew, Green Recordings, and The Powerstation, are super stoked to announce the dates for the fifth iteration of the very popular Punk It Up event, this time a 2 night extravaganza on Friday July 1 and Saturday July 2, 2022, at Tāmaki Makaurau’stop rock venue!

Kicking off the punk rock’n’roll feast we have in store on Friday night, are those silly rabbits Proud Scum, as well as our long lost brothers from across the pond, No Class, playing their first gig back in Aotearoa since who knows when, maybe they’ve even forgotten… it’s definitely been too long…. On top of that, seriously yummy noise treats will also be served up by The Bombers, cupcakes and other goodies from Cootie Cuties, with the icing on the cake added at the end of the night by Punk It Up’s resident chefs, bankRobbers, creating good old-fashioned comfort food with assorted punk covers, with additional companion guest vocalist toppings, to finish up the live music.

On the Saturday, there’s a new spread of gourmet cacophony with them cowpokes The Johnnys, along with what is not really a Cordon Bleu meal, but more of a teenage fusion "Gordon Bennet" plate, from Sit Down In Front. There’s also a bit of delicious kai being made by NZ’s first ever Māori punk band Tigers, and resident chefs bankRobbers show off their freshly baked cakes for the second night’s dessert, with hundreds and thousands of guest vocalists.

To go with this massive gastronomic serving of punk rock’n’roll, Punk It Up are also pleased to announce the extremely expensive fine wine that is No Tag to go with your meal of loud noise.

No Tag will be playing their final ever shows, before never having to argue with each other about what songs to put in the set ever again! Don’t miss them!

We’ll be adding a few other top bands before the gig, they’re just currently baking in the oven, so watch this space, or the Punk It Up Facebook page, for updates!

bFM DJs Dubhead, Phil A, and Miss Dom will provide the entrees in between each serving of live music, and as usual, this excellent event will feature information booths for causes we believe in, a few small record sellers, and more merchandise than you can shake a stick at.

Lastly, we’ll have the famous “after party ‘til late” with DJs in the upstairs back room, to wind down after pogoing your butt off.
2 night passes are available now, for the punk rock price of $123.45, and single night’s tickets are available for the Deviled Egg price of $66.66 at The Powerstation’s ticketing site

Are you ready? UP THE PUNX!

Summer Release Roundup UMO Elemeno Papaioea MOKOMOKAI More

Chris Cudby
/ Tuesday 11th January, 2022 12:23PM


It’s time to pack away the Christmas lights, snowman candles and weird looking cardboard reindeer ornaments if you haven’t done so already, as we wave goodbye to the summer holiday season and charge into the new year. Unsurprisingly the music world didn’t stop turning while the UTR team were briefly away from the office getting some much-needed sun, with some crucial Aotearoa releases launched during the festive break period. Delve into our snappy rundown of some quality local tunes you might missed on first pass below…

Always a festive treat to local forward to, the annual long form drop from Unknown Mortal Orchestra ‘SB-09’ draws on Ruban Nielson’s Hawaiian musical heritage…

Te Ika-a-Māui supergroup and "Elemeno P fan people" Elemeno Papaioea released a four song EP of banjo covers from Elemeno P’s  first album via the champs at Papaiti Records, with all proceeds going to the New Zealand Mental Health Foundation. Featuring members of Fruit Juice Parade, Recitals, Soda Boyz, $hannengeorgiapeterson and more…

Written by Dirty (of Aotearoa rap duo Eno x Dirty), produced by Dusty & Ghos, and featuring contributions from Troy Kingi, Chip Matthews, Willie Wes and Tai Walters, MOKOMOKAI is dedicated "to all the indigenous cultures around the world who have been affected by colonisation and as a result, have lost land, language, culture and identity."

A veritable banquet of Ōtepoti tuneage, the 24 track Music for Christmases compilation showcases festive tracks by Vanessa Worm & Danny Creature, John White, Spencer Hall plus many more…

Launched just before Christmas and sporting four new tracks, Tāmaki Makaurau hip hop hero Brandn Shiraz‘s entirely self-produced RFS 1​.​5 is his self-described "toughest drop to date" — released through Risera

Pōneke electronic artist Current Bias slices and dices up tunes by Vengaboys, Lethal Bizzle, Kate Bush, Ipman and Laurie Anderson on head-spinning new four track EP 4 Clanger$ 4 Fake Capital…

Originally fronted by my cousin Gerald Dwyer (RIP), Flesh D Vice‘s Strange T​.​V. Live documents four furious songs from the legendary Pōneke punk group — recorded direct from the desk in 2002 with N.Von Toxic on vocal duties and released onto Bandcamp twenty years later on 1st January…

One of Aotearoa’s most innovative voices in electronic music to emerge over the past decade, yeongrak unveiled eleven characteristically uncategorisable tracks on their new collection one or two dreams…

Creator of last year’s powerful debut long player Demonstration Of Intent, Pōneke-based harsh noise / extreme metal artist Bodyache launched late last week a suitably searing video for ‘Ode to Dysphoria’ (ft. Hayley J Bender & .zoey) — content warning: flashing lights / discomforting images

Neive Strang Announces I Am The Ribbon EP Release Tour

Chris Cudby
/ Tuesday 11th January, 2022 9:44AM


Hitting the ground running in ’22, Ōtepoti sensation Neive Strang announced late last week a three date release tour with band celebrating the launch of their forthcoming I am the Ribbon EP. With solid student radio support and high profile live appearances alongside local champs Pickle Darling, Estère, The Butlers and Muroki last year, Stang’s forthcoming EP will be the rising songwriter’s first collection of tunes since 2020’s Moon Life. Experience the searing emotional heat of director Tayla Millar‘s lyric video for Strang’s new single / relationship drama ‘Hold‘ (launched just before Christmas) from I am the Ribbon and look forward to the full release on 18th February…

Neive Strang – ‘I Am The Ribbon’ EP Release Tour
supports to be announced

Friday 4th February – Space Academy, Ōtautahi / Christchurch

Wednesday 16th February – San Fran, Pōneke / Wellington

Friday 18th February – The Crown, Ōtepoti / Dunedin

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Press release:

This summer Neive and her band embark on a tour to celebrate the release of their upcoming EP ‘I am the Ribbon’. Out February 18th, 2022.

After a long year of playing alongside some of Aotearoa’s finest including; Muroki, The Butlers, Estère, and Pickle Darling to name a few. Neive has honed her unique brand of alternative rock, crafting a new selection of songs which she cannot wait to share with the people of Aotearoa this summer.

The Wendys Drop Ripping Single Lo fi Lies

Chris Cudby
/ Monday 10th January, 2022 12:52PM


I’ve always wondered how Aotearoa could peacefully host both a burger chain and hotdog / ice cream franchise named Wendys. Probably named after neither of those two food joints, Ōtautahi’s The Wendys clearly have their own fish to fry with the launch of ripping new single ‘Lo​-​fi Lies‘ and four release ragers lined up across Te Wai Pounamu this month. Famed for their commitment to the lifeguard lifestyle, The Wendys deliver a summer serving of scuzzy garage surf punk as they ride the waves of their fidelity-shunning anthem, then hammer their safety message home with frantic B-side romp ‘Get In The Flags (Live at Darkroom 2021)‘. Smash play below, nab a crisp new ‘Lo​-​fi Lies’ 7" single direct from the source and don’t miss The Wendys this week in Nelson and Kaikoura, and the following weekend in Christchurch and Dunedin…

The Wendys Lo-Fi Lies Single Release Tour

Thursday 13th January – The Boathouse, Nelson w/ Dow P’dowdow, Marsha*

Saturday 15th January – The Strawberry Tree, Kaikoura w/ Marsha

Friday 21st January – Darkroom, Christchurch w/ Marsha*

Saturday 22nd January – Dog With Two Tails, Dunedin w/ Neive Strang, Bin Day*

*Tickets available HERE via UTR

Daniel Armstrong and The Monsoons Announce Aotearoa Tour

Chris Cudby
/ Monday 10th January, 2022 11:51AM


2022 is all set to be a biggie for Tāmaki-based / London-born songwriter Daniel Armstrong and his group The Monsoons. With their second studio record Everything Is As It Shouldn’t Be safely in the can and launched last June, Armstrong and band have announced a six date tour hitting venues across Aotearoa in February and March, with international touring plans on the cards for this year as well. Featuring violinist Jacinda Kumar, organist Alex Rau, guitarists Odessa Neilands, and Jimmi CrouchJames Brooks on bass, and drummer David Hampton, Armstrong and The Monsoons finally get to celebrate the release of their eleven song "commentary on living in an anti-culture bubble, that is separate and obsessed with a world that doesn’t exist outside of a cellphone, looking into an unknown future where technology has killed a big part of human existence." Word is they’re already eyeing up album number three, catch them while you can at the following dates…

Daniel Armstrong And The Monsoons – Aotearoa Tour

Friday 4th February – The Tuning Fork, Auckland w/ Ripship, Late To Chelsea
Friday 18th February – Glow Festival, Auckland

Friday 25th February – Bark!, Dunedin*
Saturday 26th February – Grainstore Gallery, Oamaru*
Friday 4th March – Space Academy, Christchurch*
Saturday 5th March – The Grand, Akaroa

*Tickets available HERE via UTR
Tuning Fork tickets at Moshtix

Daniel Armstrong & The Monsoons · Everything Is as It Shouldn’t Be


Press release:

London born, Auckland based, indie/alternative songwriter Daniel Armstrong, claims, since the last record a lot has happened ‘new love, old love, a baby, betrayal, severed fingers, forgiveness, and revenge’. He has teamed up with a 6 piece band including Violinist Jacinda Kumar, Organist Alex Rau, Drummer David Hampton, Bassist James Brooks, Guitarists Odessa Neilands, and Jimmi Crouch who complete the Monsoons.

The live shows thus far have been unpredictable. You can expect a calm string arrangement around Armstrong’s vocal or an angry, energetic burst live show to a backdrop of 1930 film.

The new album ‘Everything Is As It Shouldn’t Be’ is a commentary on living in an anti-culture bubble, that is separate and obsessed with a world that doesn’t exist outside of a cellphone, looking into an unknown future where technology has killed a big part of human existence. The album borrows in varying degrees from The Velvet Underground to Nina Simone, Scott Walker to Radiohead.

"With an indie-rock vibe emitting from Daniel’s Telecaster together with his melodic storytelling, I found myself in a time capsule with the 60’s band The Velvet Underground and singer-songwriter Bob Dylan to which the resurgence of rock and roll themes were polished and played upon."

Listen To Robert Scott and Dallas Henleys Album Deal To Delta

Chris Cudby
/ Monday 10th January, 2022 10:24AM


We’re back in the office for 2022! We’ve been sharing a few of our favourite highlights from ’21 over on social media during the summer break, but from here on in it’s strictly notable ’22 releases, leading with a new collection from the legendary Robert Scott (The Bats, The Clean) and regular collaborator Dallas Henley — co-creator’s of last year’s long player Level 4. The pair’s fifteen song Deal To Delta was laid down at Roseneath, Dunedin during the drawn-out days of August to September last year, when live shows in Aotearoa were once again heavily restricted and nobody was attempting to pronounce Omicron correctly yet. The casual recording quality of Deal To Delta (all songs were captured live on cell phone) documents the pair’s home-crafted magic as they roll around such relatable themes as ‘Waiting For News’, ‘Gloves In the Garden’ and ‘What Day Is It?’ with a grace that’s nigh incomparable. Brighten up your Monday with a listen below…

UTR 2021 Roundup Festive Season Gig Picks

C.C. / A.K. / Friday 24th December, 2021 2:05PM


See you later 2021! It feels like a triumph that our live music community is all go again after the wild ride that was the last twelve months, and things are definitely looking up for 2022 with the long-awaited return of international touring to Aotearoa. We’d like to send out special thanks to everyone who supported our proudly independent music news and ticketing site over the past year — NZ On Air, NZ Music Commission, all the artists, venues, event organisers and promotors, advertisers, contributors / photographers, everyone who used our ticketing service, our official UTR supporters [see here for info on how to get involved] and to you dear reader for keeping the site pumping in 2021.

Our editorial team are taking a much deserved summer break [returning from the beach to the office on 10th January, send us your info here], but you can rest assured the champs handling the ticketing side of UTR will be manning the helpdesk [over here] right on through the new year. Check out our festive season gig pick below and catch you in 2022!

UTR’s 2021 Favourite Music Moments

Listen To UTR’s 2021 End Of Year Playlist

UTR’s 2021 New Zealand Music Video Highlights



Fri 7th Jan: The First Child – Underground 
Sat 8th Jan: Jordan Luck Band – The Brownzy 
Sat 8th Jan: Let’s Dance! Bowie Party – Whammy Bar 
Sat 8th Jan: Sojourn X Leighton Fairlie – Leigh Sawmill 
Fri 14th Jan: Disco Punk Trash Fire Vol.3 – Anthology Lounge


Thu 30th Dec: Clutch Play – Coroglen Tavern 
Fri 31st Dec: The Feelers, Jordan Luck Band And Capital Theatre – Coroglen Tavern 
Sat 1st Jan: Skram Summer Tour – Finns 
Tue 4th Jan: Leighton Fairlie X Sojourn – The Yot Club 
Sat 8th Jan: Skram Summer Tour – The Whitianga Hotel

Bay Of Plenty

Fri 7th Jan: Skram Summer Tour – Waihi Beach Hotel

Hawkes Bay

Fri 14th Jan: Paul Ubana Jones – Paisley Stage


Fri 31st Dec: Aqua Gold Trio’s Glam Funk Apocalypse NYE! – Hashigo Zake
Fri 7th Jan: The Beths – San Fran
Sat 8th Jan: The Beths – San Fran
Sat 8th Jan: Paekakariki Blues Ball – St Peters Hall 
Sat 8th Jan: James Hunter And The Gatherers X Edera – MOON
Wed 12th Jan: Recitals Orbit 1 Rave – Valhalla
Thu 13th Jan: Realthentic – Valhalla


Sat 1st Jan: Jordan Luck Band – Hotel Motueka
Thu 13th Jan: The Wendys – The Boathouse


Thu 30th Dec: NYEE (It’s Not New Year’s Eve, It’s The Night Before) – Loons
Sun 2nd Jan: Jordan Luck Band – Tai Tapu Hotel
Thu 13th Jan: Diablos Caravan – Rascal 
Fri 14th Jan: Bad Hagrid – Darkroom 
Fri 14th Jan: Diablos Caravan – Waipara Springs Winery


Thu 30th Dec: Julian Temple Band – Sherwood


Wed 29th Dec: Rhythm & Alps – Cardrona Valley 
Mon 3rd Jan: Jordan Luck Band – Luggate Hotel 
Wed 5th Jan: Paul Ubana Jones – Carey’s Bay Historic Hotel 
Sat 8th Jan: Annual JTB Zanzi Special – ZanziBar 
Fri 14th Jan: Tall Folk With Special Guest Tom Maxwell – Bark @ Dog With Two Tails


Sun 2nd Jan: Revitalize Organic Farm Healing Music Festival – Mangapiri Downs OrganicStud Farm

Head over to our Gig Guide for more listings!!!

UTRs 2021 Favourite Music Moments

UTR Team + Friends and Contributors
/ Friday 24th December, 2021 12:05PM


We’ve made it to the end of 2021, a year infamous for mass gig restrictions due to Delta, Tāmaki Makaurau’s longest Level 4 lockdown and no international touring in Aotearoa. While there’s certainly been tonnes of weirdness for future scholars to unpack (for example: who remembers Ariel Pink being interviewed by Tucker Carlson?), let’s not forget our live music community had a mostly clear run for the first half of the year and is thriving again this summer, and it’s been a strong one for local releases the whole way through. Check out our UTR 2021 End Of Year Playlist HERE for definitive proof.

As per festive season tradition, we’ve invited contributors and friends of the site this year to share five of their personal favourite and most notable memories from the past twelve months, plus a few red hot takes thrown in the mix for extra spice. Congratulations to everyone for powering through — a huge thank you to all the artists, event organisers, contributors, readers and everyone who supported UTR over the past twelve months. See you in 2022!




The Inaugural Student Radio Network Awards

God, these could have been so dull. I was gearing myself up for a ‘high school production of Grease: The Musical’ level of begrudging support, but ten minutes in and it was impossible not to be overcome by the wholesomeness, community spirit, and sheer grubby, homemade charm of the thing. Special shoutouts to Sports Team’s Minority Report inspired nomination video, the beautiful speeches from Reuben Winter’s mum and gran, Iona and Kaye, and also it was nice to get an award myself (cheers).

bb gurl live at Loud and Proud 2021

It’s hard to explain just how gratifying it is to see a fellow trans girl step out from behind their pirated copy of FL Studio and fully and unabashedly dominate the stage. There’s not many with as sharp a tongue as bb gurl, and none of them have Che’s ear for a hook. Stream TTYL <3 and don’t miss a chance to catch them live. Big things for this one in 2022!

deepState – MMXXI

The first time I heard deepState was through some pretty sketchy in-ears on the 22 bus going down New North Road and I was like “oh chill”. The second time I heard deepState was at midnight in the Wine Cellar on the big speakers after everyone had gone home and I was like “woah shit”. Now it’s gotta be about the hundredth time I’ve heard deepState and I’m still like… “hell yeah”.

Northcote Intermediate Choir and The Society Jazzmen – Creation Jazz

So this totally didn’t come out this year but I found the 7” on Trademe right, and it’s a 1972 soul-jazz interpretation of the biblical creation story, featuring a children’s choir from right around the corner from when I grew up. Why aren’t people doing this anymore? Nathan Haines get your shit together.

Milk III Album Release

Grief can be a totally overwhelming emotion, and I’m extremely grateful to have been able to channel it into this beautiful community event with so many people Reuben loved, and who loved Reuben. I keep trying to write something profound for this next bit about how “music at its core is about community and communication” but I think really the point would be better made if you just stop reading, and go and listen to Reuben’s music.



Merk ‘Deep Dive’ Shoot

One completely unsustainable step in the Sports Team music video-making process involves myself and co-creative directer Callum Devlin playing a game of Idea Chicken. No concept is too hard, no location too impractical. That’s how we end up with Mark Perkins and twenty extras on a Karangahape Road rooftop without a single pair of hands not sticky from maple-flavoured syrup. I’d like this to also serve as my official apology to all the volunteers who were promised bottomless pancakes and left with pancakeless tums. And my official thank you to Jed Parsons, James Penwarden, Kalyani Nagarajan and Chelsea Prastiti for the raw batter you collectively consumed.

Patea Māori Club

I’ve been super lucky the last couple of years to be invited to attend the Taite Music Award ceremony, an evening of recognising Aotearoa songwriting excellence and squeezing every last drop from an open bar. Besides the delightful sight of The Beths all dressed in beekeeping attire, I was also deeply moved by Patea Māori Club performing their 1983 te reo single ‘Poi E’, which was deservingly recognised with the IMNZ Classic Record Award. The experience caught me totally off guard and tears were shed.

The Chills Trash Recital

Another Sports Team-adjacent 2021 highlight was the entirety of Trash Recital — everything from hand-selecting the perfect broken bike pump at the dump, to sharing The Beths finale episode to wrap up the season. But the moment that always gets me happened during our afternoon with The Chills, when longtime band member Erica Scally realised the lyric in ‘Kaleidoscope World’ was in fact "If we were floating in a space capsule" and not "If we were going to a space camp school".

Vera Ellen – It’s Your Birthday

Vera Ellen’s music was fairly new to me this year, somehow slipping past my periphery all this time, save for her highly emotional Songs No​-​One Should Hear EP from July last year. It wasn’t until I helped video-makers Gussie Larkin and Ezra Simons on the video for ‘Public Bodies’ by Girl Friday that I cottoned on to her talent, meaning I was properly paying attention when she started dropping singles from all killer album It’s Your Birthday. Who else is writing music so catchy, so earnest and so badass, while maintaining that level of punk rock aesthetic? No one. Only Vera.

Fuzzy Dress-Up

Earlier this year Sports Team were asked to be roving reporters at Flying Nun’s 40th anniversary show at the Auckland Town Hall, capturing moments back stage and filming between acts. Naturally, I spent the better part of a week constructing a Fuzzy costume, bringing to life the nightmare-fuel Flying Nun mascot that had once only existed as a magnet on my parents’ fridge. Thankfully Fuzzy was a hit! An overnight sensation! So much so that I was flown down for the Pōneke anniversary show to take on another night of embodying a horrifying, faceless celebrity and making nightmares come true.



MVP: Ruby Walsh sound engineering Trash Recital

There were no guarantees that our “make musicians play their songs with rubbish” webshow would actually work, but it would have been an absolute sore mess without Ruby producing the tracks. Ruby is a talented and (extremely) patient producer, presenting a calm front for the artists to follow from. We’d ask “how does it sound, Ruby?” and she’d say “It sounds like someone hitting a glass bottle with a stick” and yet… somehow, it would end up as music. Thank you Trash MVP Ruby Walsh.

Mermgrown Wellington + Mergrown Auckland

Inspired in part by the Australian festival GIZZFEST, Mermgrown is a one day music festival curated (and headlined) by Pōneke indie superstars Mermaidens. The two shows almost felt as opposites; Auckland’s being an underground indie-christmas at Whammy-Backroom and Wine Cellar, while the Wellington show took place on a glorious sunny afternoon at a bowls green in Newtown. They were united by their absurdly great lineup, world class design and an overall feeling of warmth and excitement. I feel strongly that Mermaidens, through their combined forces as a high-functioning indie band, are capable of anything they set their minds to and we should all be deeply afraid. These shows fucking ruled, and I can’t wait for next year.

The Beths – Auckland, New Zealand, 2020

2020 was the year I saw The Beths live maybe 20 times, this set of songs in particular. They’re my friends and I love them, but it was watching The Beths play live that made them my favourite band, and getting to follow them on their October tour last year made me obsessed with each song and band-member in turn. I’m so incredibly proud of the film Sports Team made from this concert, and will always have a deep fondness for this recording. Favourite track: bird talk – Live

Planet Merk (Playlist)

A sonic expansion of musical influences for Merk’s dynamite 2021 album Infinite Youth, Planet Merk sits right on the boundary of groovy and heartbreaking, becoming a kind of “show your working” type experience when paired with the album. Fitting any occasion really, from dinner parties to plane trips, I returned to these songs again and again this year, cementing my love for the curated artist playlist. Highlights include the one two punch of Susumu Yokota’s dazzling ‘blue sky and yellow sunflower’ followed by Oneohtrix Point Never and Alex G’s ‘Babylon’ — listen HERE.

Princess Chelsea – Chabs at Milky Livestream Tāmaki

In May of this year, VHS livestream troubadours Chabs and Milky took their cameras on the road with a wildly ambitious national tour. I loved these shows, and attending in Pōneke got to see the true terror in the James’ eyes as they ran around juggling the needs of hardly functioning AV equipment and top tier NZ Musicians. I was out of town for the Tāmaki show, and tuned in late on my phone to catch Princess Chelsea (and band) absolutely tearing the room apart at Whammy Bar, leaving me stunned in tears when they finished their last song and the stream clicked off. It’s a memory that feels distinctly 2021 to me, so I’ve included it here. It’s on YouTube, just go watch it and we can discuss after.



To The Front Tāmaki Makaurau Fundraiser

Girls Rock Aotearoa’s To The Front Tāmaki Makaurau Fundraiser at the Hollywood Avondale was the first gig we got to see after that very lengthy lockdown, and it felt like a holy experience to be at a gig after all that time being starved of live music. Hearing Hollie Fullbrook’s (Tiny Ruins) shimmering voice and rolling finger style guitar while she played her perfect songs gave me full body goosebumps for literally the entire set. Anna Coddington played 2nd and her songs were so beautiful and personal and relatable and I was just pulled into her world. PolyHill and Samara Alofa did a fantastic set with Half Queen on the beats. Also Rachel from bFM did the best MC’ing of all time hands down. Go donate to Girls Rock!

Phoebe Rings

Phoebe Rings released their debut EP and MAN, I was hanging out for that one! Every time I went to Crystal Choi’s gigs and heard these incredible songs and that beautiful band vibe I just wanted to take it home with me and NOW WE ALL CAN ?
The ‘Spissky’ track is just the dreamiest thing in the whole woooorrld!

Wellington Jazz Festival

I got to play Wellington Jazz Fest in June with Bonita and Leda’s Dream, and it was my birthday that week, and the whole festival felt like a big party and everyone was so happy listening to/playing music with their friends! There were no international acts and whilst I know it’s awesome to have them, tbh it was just magical to be able to celebrate with our Pōneke and Tāmaki Makaurau Jazz scenes together! Watching GRG67 at Rogue and Vagabond just made me sail up to the clouds, it’s just the BEST BAND and our Rog (Roger Manins, the best Tenor player in the southern hemisphere) is the best Rog ;3
Their tune “Crab Empathy” is a literal Auckland jazz scene original standard
AND they just released some new music to boot!!!! EVIL GRG!

Opposite Sex – High Drama

One of me and Callum (Passells)’s fave releases this year has been the High Drama album by Dunedin band Opposite Sex; the track ‘Combine Harvester’ in particular is one of the most fantastically weird catchy and unique rock songs I have ever heard. The stutter lyric in the chorus is INSPIRED. I cannot name a single song like it and the whole album is pure genius — they have a sound that you just CANNOT get anywhere else and I cannot wait to see them play MY GOODNESS TOUCH WOOD FINGERS CROSSED.

Hans Pucket – ‘I Don’t Know What To Get You For Christmas (Do I Really Love You​?​)’

When Callum laid down his horn parts for Hans Pucket over the last stretch of lockdown, I got a sneak preview of their latest release “I don’t know what to get you for Christmas (do I really love you?)” and we’ve been singing it around the house for the last month, just being so excited for everyone to have their Christmas anxieties completely validated in song (upon its very recent release) by the genius that is Oliver Devlin. No one can write about the real ennui shit like this man. He is a TRUE MASTER of songwriting and always manages to turn those that distressing situations and social anxiety into hilarious and heartfelt hooks that you can sing mantra like to yourself when you’re stressing out about the same shit — he is my hero and Hans Pucket are the best goddamn band! Also LOOK AT THAT VIDEO.



Strangelove Music

Responsible for last year’s Kiwi Animals: Future/ Primitive Aotearoa compilation, Pōneke’s Strangelove Music had a productive 2021 with superb archival releases from Australia’s Scribble and Sweden’s Sjunne Ferger’s Exit, along with brand new drops from contemporary international artists Psychedelic Digestion Therapy, t-woc and by CCCVVV. Serving up time-defying collections of elegant dream-pop bliss, balearic beatscapes, experimental songcraft and more, compiled with an inquisitive and trustworthy curatorial ear, Strangelove Music vinyl LP releases have been "buy on sight" material for this fan.

Sports Team – UTR Trash Recital

It’s been a total pleasure to work with Sports Team — Annabel Kean (Assistant Editor of this site), Callum Devlin (Hans Pucket, Dateline) with sound engineer / mixer Ruby Walsh (Dateline / Misty & The Slug) — as they created our eleven episode UTR Trash Recital series, which from my 100% unbiased perspective is some of the best local music content produced in 2021. Trash Recital is made by artists with artists, a too rare showcase of the fun conversations that can spark while actually making, as well as a testament to the inventiveness of our musical community. Special thanks to all the amazing guests on the show and bring on Season Two!

Cathode TV

Not directly music related, but I spent much of Tāmaki’s endless lockdown months exploring the cinematic delights of Cathode TV, rewiring my brain with an expertly curated selection of underground trash / arthouse / action / horror / documentary / psychedelia / you name it beamed out almost daily online. Which is a bit of a long-winded way of saying I’m now an Oingo Boingo fan after finally being exposed to their 1982 new wave musical opus Forbidden Zone, so it was a thrill to feature Luke Rowell’s (Eyeliner) in-depth interview with legendary band leader and Simpsons theme tune composer Danny Elfman this year on UTR.

SRN Awards

A necessary balance to a local musical conversation ruled by Spotify playlist-compatible blandness and radio-friendly tune-smithery for the past few years, the inaugural SRN Awards celebrated the wildly diverse musical energy that fills our student radio airwaves and compels crowds to pack out Aotearoa’s venues every weekend. It feels right that the bulk of this year’s awards went to hugely missed sonic innovator Reuben Samuel Winter aka Milk for his world class album Milk III.

Foodman – Yasuragi Land

I listened to Japanese electronic producer Foodman aka Takahide Higuchi’s 2021 Hyperdub album Yasuragi Land a LOT during Tāmaki’s lockdown and continue to do so. Inspired by "eating at Michinoeki, Japanese motorway service stations and the simple pleasures of regularly visiting the local Sento (Japanese public baths)," the crystalline beat abstractions of Yasuragi Land helped me imagine the ambience of such enticing destinations, heard from the perspective of my tiny little apartment.



Limp Bizkit live at Lollapalooza 2021

When this dropped on YouTube I was hooked immediately, watched it way too many times, tried to make all my friends watch it — with the timing of the HBO Woodstock 99 documentary that came out around the same time, it sent me deep into a Limp Bizkit phase that I was way too young to have in the early 2000s. The band is absolutely killing it musically, somehow these 20 year old songs feel fresh as hell, and not only did Fred Durst debut his iconic new look, but he’s hilarious all the way through and has completely maxxed out his rock frontman skills stat at this point — watch HERE.

The violin version of ‘Wildest Dreams’ from the Bridgerton sex montage

I watched the first 20 minutes of the first episode of Bridgerton with my girlfriend before I stormed off like a dorky sexist sitcom dad, yelling that I couldn’t get into this hacky tv show for girls. Three days later, I was composing DARTZ’s 2023 hit ‘Earn the Thirst’ in the other room when she yells at me to get back in front of the TV right now, and when I did I witnessed what I can only describe — completely earnestly — as the most powerful music moment of the year. The montage of Daphne Bridgerton and the Duke of Hastings banging in numerous different positions and locations around their countryside manor, set to an impeccably performed instrumental violin cover of Taylor Swift’s best song, overwhelmed me with all kinds of emotion, like it was so funny and surprising but also conveyed so much passion.

The SIX60 discourse from Jan-April

It was pretty crackup how everyone got so swept up talking about Six60, especially in the lead up to their Eden Park show. Absolutely no one was immune, I know I was completely caught up in it. Its very funny to me that a lot of people aren’t very comfortable with them being such an institution for normie NZers, and that you can get some kind of reaction from absolutely everyone by even mentioning them. I ended up actually listening to a fair bit of Six60 in that early part of the year (they got some bangers IMO) so maybe I’m just nostalgic for those simple summery pre-Delta times. Let’s do it again when they tour in March and April lol.

All the NZ musicians who are grinding on TikTok

Not at all joking, very honestly shoutouts to anyone from NZ who’s on TikTok trying to promo music, seems like it requires a fuckload of drive and work ethic — and even after that you’re still at the mercy of the algorithm – but if you’re doing it you should be proud of yourself for trying and for knowing that you’re hustling in the right place at least. It does make me worry about musical minds getting burnt out, because the world is demanding an entirely different set of skills from them. I know my brain’s far too scrambled as is to even consider making TikTok content regularly, where else are you gonna blow up in 2021? So good on yas, keep it up and TAKE CARE of yourself mentally.

Bo Burnham – Inside

The songs from Inside are my album of the year by far not even kidding, I fucking thrashed this album from the moment it came out. I was gonna say the “I’m a special kind of white guy” drop in ‘Comedy’ was my favourite moment, but after listening again the bit that takes the absolute cake for me is the bridge on ‘White Woman’s Instagram’, I love how he lures you in with the goofy Instagram bop then gets you to feel so much in such a short time.

Bo Burnham · White Woman’s Instagram




Flying Nun 40th Anniversary at Auckland Town Hall – Solid Gold Hell

Flying Nun 40th Anniversary at Auckland Town Hall – Subliminals

Surf Friends – Good Thing

BEASTWARS – 10th Anniversary Tour

Night Lunch – House Full of Shit



SRN Awards

The first SRN awards happened this month, and it honestly made my year. It was always an idea that we floated around at the SRN meetings during my time at Radio One, but never thought it would happen. It’s so cool seeing the legacy of the bNets live on through an awards ceremony that celebrates all the insane talent Aotearoa has to offer, because they absolutely deserve it. I cannot give enough praise to the SRN stations and Naked PR for all the hard work in general and for creating the event, and I hope that it can last long into the future.

Adelaide Cara – How Does This Sound?

One of Otepoti’s finest, Adelaide Cara is a force to be reckoned with. They released their debut album How Does This Sound? earlier this year, and if you haven’t listened to it yet then you’re missing out. Adelaide explores so many different genres from alt rock to baroque pop, and it all just works together so well. The track ‘Eden’ pays homage to my hometown of Dirty Dudz, and actually makes me miss it for once which is incredible. Adelaide is an absolute powerhouse, and I cannot wait to see where they go next.

Leaping Tiger – ‘Gooey’

When Leaping Tiger first released Gooey as a single, it was all that I listened to for a week straight. The beat always fucks me up, and works so well with the vocals on the tracks. There’s so many good lines from the song that it’s hard to pick a stand out lyric, but the line of “I can’t fake it, I think I gotta say he’s just a fucking d-grade version of me” just always hit’s me so hard and I can’t explain why. Soulsleep is an incredible album all together, but I guess my minds soaked up in goo.

Amamelia – WOW! The 2021 Remixes

When you start off an album with a 160 bpm footwork remix by the King of Redwood himself Liam K. Swiggs, you know you’re in for a treat. Amamelia’s debut album WOW! was one of my personal highlights of last year, filled with some insane tracks that make me want to shred up the dance floor. I didn’t think it could get better until WOW! The 2021 Remixes was released earlier this year, featuring a stacked line-up of Imugi 이무기, Eyeliner, DBLDBL x Trapjaw Kelpie and others, that bring their own unique flavour to each track. There’s no other way to describe it other than it just SLAPS.

DARTZ at Newtown Fest

Newtown Fest was fucking sick. After a day of hitting those craft beers hard, Earth Tongue were meant to take the stage until postponed by a power outage. This led to Poneke rascals DARTZ taking the floor (literally), for probably one of their best performances yet. The boys were on point, the crowd was absolutely pumping, and the energy was unbeatable. I mean what more could you want for a Sunday than a whole group of sweaty people screaming about how you can’t beat Wellington on a good day?



Footmahi 2021

Always holding a place close to my heart is The Big Fresh Collective’s crown jewel — the annual 160BPM themed Footmahi compilation which is dropped during NZ Music Month. This year’s 2021 entry might have been the best yet with a decentralised bank of hot tracks crafted by some of the finest producers Aotearoa wide featuring some yummy mahi from; Amamelia, TOYOTA, Paploco, DJ Simon Dallow, Jay Knight, Bomb Dylan, Keanu Raves Young Gho$t & more. If you love your local electronic music and haven’t heard this compilation yet then like what the fuck, you gotta check this shit out! NOW!

BFC One Night Stand Gig in Wellington @ Valhalla

Imagine pro wrestling meets breakbeats meets unlimited boxes of Haagens meets a bloody ripping Valhalla crowd and you’ve got yourself what we like to call a Big Fresh Collective One Night Stand. It was an exclusive night of high-intensity Footwork, Juke, Jungle and Techno stylings with a line up consisting of a mixture of 03 heavyweights and Welly legends & to top it all off with some of that classic BFC flavour. The DJs had their own personalised entrances & theme songs as they made their way to the RING through the crowd like an authentic WWF house show in the 90’s! What an absolute ripper of a night for The Big Fresh Collective’s first ever out of town/redwood experience! Seriously, get the tables and chairs ready, put the Haagens in the chiller and look the fuck out for the BFC nationwide One Night Stand tour in 2022 – you’ve heard it here first on UTR!

deepState – MMXXI

We made an amazing new friend here this year @ The Big Fresh in the amazingly talented deepState who took the country by storm with her frothy as debut 7 track EP MMXXI. Out via the good homies @ Sunreturn; Deepstate knocked the country for a tasteful yet powerful six runs back straight back over the bowlers head with her lush, earthy, heartwarming tech/rave vibes found across the seven tracks of MMXXI. My personal favourite release of 2021. Yummy!

Amamelia Release Party In Auckland @ Whammy

Few things: Amamelia is a national treasure — we must protect her at all costs, Sunreturn sure know how to put together a fucking good remix album and on top of that Sunreturn also know how to put on a fucking ripper party! That’s right c**ts it was an absolute night for the ages and I was counting my lucky stars that a humble bedroom DJ from his Mum’s sleepout in Redwood was gracing such a bill! A bloody star studded line up across two rooms; Amamelia, bb gurl, Big Fat Raro, Citacsy, Dbldbl, Go Nuclear, Imugi 이무기, Jack Russell, Tei., Trapjaw Kelpie, Alexa Casino as DJ Snakelegs, Eyeliner beamed live and direct from Hong Kong & yours truly Liam K. Swiggs on the decks too. You couldn’t ask for much more I wouldn’t let ya — NRL First grade level performances by all it was such an amazing night enjoyed by everyone who came along celebrating what was a fucking yummy remix album in itself. Huge highlight for me. Also big love going out to my Warriors behind the bar Taylor & Lucy for sliding me a few extra Red Bull voddies to keep me on my toes like RTS.


Was kinda hoping I’d get in trouble for this one so I could do the 7 O’clock weeknight circuit rounds and talk with Hillary and Kanoa about the shortfalls of living on Studylink also at the same time getting the booster shot up the ass that my music career really needs… Yeah that’s right I dropped an edgy as fuck translucent 7′ Inch EP this year called Shittylink. The songs are called; “Food, Rent, Expenses, Piss” and let me tell you — the struggle is fucking REAL! Please buy my shit LOL <3



Me releasing an OK second album!

Okay I’ll get myself out of the way first so I can talk about other people! I released my sophomore record Cosmonaut! Bandcamp Daily & Stereogum dug it which was cool, I did my first tour, got a song on the news during the weather, charted in the top 40 at #40! Okay done boasting about my achievements.

Skirts – ‘Great Big Wild Oak’

A bunch of my favourite artists released beautiful records this year, favourites being the new Elbow, Katy Kirby, Another Michael, Wurld Series, Cindy records (and others ofc), but I want to highlight this record in particular! I’ve been such a big fan of Skirts since her first EP ‘Almost Touching’ in 2018 (and her first lathe cut ‘night walks/in love’ in 2017), and I think her new album was worth the wait! The most beautiful DIY folk-tinged record of the year, released on Double Double Whammy, I listened to it when I was feeling sad on tour and it made the long road trips really lovely. Beautiful cover too!! I feel incredibly proud she was on my first album lol.

The May Day 2021 / International Workers Day concert

Maybe a weird local addition to this list but it was a personal highlight! It was a night of music (put on by the Canterbury Socialist Society) and in particular I loved hearing Petit Poisson (Rachael from the band Model Home) play! From memory they played a cover of a Tom Frampton song, which introduced me to his music and sent me down a rabbit hole!

ecotone – all the spaces inbetween vol. 1

A beautiful compilation from a new label that I’ve been following! I always get excited when a new label pops up, and this comp is great! 7 songs, they only made like 25 CDs or something (I got one!) and there is a beautiful song on it called ‘downfall’ by witchbaby which is stunning.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s first official rap verse

And on a Tech N9ne track lol. Wild stuff. I think the funniest thing about it is that for first two lines it’s genuinely great. The “It’s about drive, it’s about power” bit fucking rocks. As a whole it gives me the same feeling as the that classic Celebrity Rehab exit where the guy quotes Rocky and then screams like King Kong. Memeable but also embarrassingly powerful, you’re just like *feeling it*. I love it so much and I love Dwayne Johnson.



Jenniva – Soul Searchin’

The accidental collab with Eyeliner’s “Pinot Noir” being sampled into Jenniva’s “Soul Searchin’” – via a third-party DJ selling the sample uncleared in a beat without disclosing it:

Jenniva · Soul Searchin’


Clear Licorice – American Crew

Clear Licorice aka Wywy Brix releasing a new collection of wonky-donk puzzle music on the full-length cassette album American Crew.

FM Skyline – Illuminations

Fave album of the year: FM Skyline’s Utopian Virtual / Impressionist Vaporwave opus Illuminations with a perfect richness and bittersweet edge to match the spirit of our age:

Power Nap – Out Of The Pit

Power Nap (aka Chris Cudby) asking us all the perennial question for 2021 — what will we find crawling out of the pit? In Out Of The Pit, resulting in a well-deserved #1 spot in the Aotearoa Student Radio Network:

Erika De Casier – ‘Polite’

The impeccably served delicate RnB by new 4AD signing Erika De Casier, especially with the hardcore televisual pastiche in the video for ‘Polite’:



Arooj Aftab – Vulture Prince (New Amsterdam Records)

Meditations on places, people, relationships, and friendships from days past, set against jazz, Hindustani classical music, folk and even reggae. Vulture Prince is the Pakistan-born, Brooklyn-based composer Arooj Aftab’s third album and it’s one of the most remarkably moving and immersive records of the year. Check out the harp on ‘Inayaat’, like a portal into another realm.

Noa Records’ Te Whanganui-a-Tara Pyramid Club Residency

Although covid restrictions dialed these nights down to an intimate twenty person capacity, they couldn’t dull the intensity of the performances and collaborations. Over several nights, they were a compelling reminder of why Tāmaki Makaurau’s Noa Records are one of the most important and vital music collectives currently operating in Aotearoa. A rare treat for an often challenging year.

Cassandra Jenkins — ‘Hard Drive’ (Ba Da Bing Records)

For me, this was one of the songs of the year. Affecting prose and an elegiac arrangement that encapsulates so much about 2020 and 2021, but hopefully not 2022 (haha). It’s been a hard drive for a lot of us, and while there are common threads, the challenges are often subtly different.

Radio Alhara راديو الحارة

Radio Alhara is a Palestinian internet radio station that broadcasts from Bethlehem and Ramallah. I started listening to them in 2020 and ended up hosting the odd show for the station. It’s such a wellspring of incredible music, meaningful culture and inspirational storytelling from across the Middle East, North Africa and nowadays, even further afield.

AP & Kamahumble – ‘HEKAHORCY’ (YKK)

Were any other Aotearoa music videos more joyful than ‘HEKAHORCY’ this year? The visual styling of this clip was unforgettable, much like AP’s singalong drink-up chorus and Kamahumble’s confidence. It’s always great to see artists from the North and South Island linking up; that’s where the magic happens.




I would like to congratulate Joe Locke and myself for doing absolutely nothing this year.
No singles, no albums, no videos and total lack of interest.
Just two little old clown lady’s with a Focusrite interface and a box of some kind of pre-mixed, self loathing, ethanol based, clown drink hell.

Blink 182 ‘Jumper’ tee

I ordered this official merch a couple of months back.

My best friend said:
“you’re really ordering more Blink-182 merch?”

My girlfriend said:
“This is terrible”

It reminded me of the time when I was 11 and wore a South Park t-shirt to school and talked in a Cartman voice and got beaten up.

Blarf – Cease & Desist

Stones Throw records did a limited reissue of this album and I didn’t buy it and then it sold out.
The album artwork is really good, it has a clown on it, a McDonald’s logo on the cover, a Pepsi logo on the back and a Burger King logo on the centre label.
It also has a photo of Michael Jackson with his hair on fire.
My favourite track is “Badass Bullshit Benjamin Buttons Butthole Assassin”.

Milk – Milk III

I don’t know what to say other than I think this album is a flawless one and I’m so thankful that it was able to be shared with everybody.
In my opinion ‘Maple’ is one of the greatest pop / rock songs ever made.
We all miss you all the time, Reuben X

Joe Taylor Sutkowski – Of Wisdom & Folly

My friend Joe Sutkowski looks like Ronald McDonald but if Ronald McDonald was hot and had a fat ass.
This album is really beautiful and heartbreaking.
It’s just amazing that this music came out of a person who talks about nothing but pee pee and poo and often gets diarrhoea by eating candy from France.
I love you Joe you little clown.


Jordan Rakei – ‘Family’

This song is sooo good. I love everything about this guy. New Zealand’s finest!

Slightly narcissistic number two, but, releasing ‘six-out-of-ten friend’ and hitting the SRN number one was awesome. Finishing off my debut album has been such a struggle financially and mentally. One thing I’ve learnt is when I get uber negative on music ie sunk-cost fallacy, what’s the point, payola etc is to catch myself and reframe it ie It’s good to be making music again and I’m stoked with all the awesome people who’ve helped me make the best album I’ve ever made. It really is all a learning curve and I can’t wait to kick my social anxiety to the curb and start playing live again and then make album two. I’ve missed playing live, it really is the best part.

Wolf Alice Blue Weekend was my favourite album of 2021:

Number four is tie. I’m stoked that two of my favourite artists are making music again. Kelly, my long time friend, who I grew up with, just put out an album, Proteins of Magic. And, I’m also stoked there is a new Fazerdaze record on the way.

Easy Life – ‘Have A Great Day’

I love everything about this song. The video is cool too:



REI Compact – Breadbath

Breadbath is a haunting and cathartic journey through incredibly beautiful electroacoustic soundscapes. I was bathing in buckets of sounds along the crywank / experimental / ambient music spectrum in 2021 but this album in particular really struck me as for its sensitivity to the times which it has been created in, and I feel that music with this kind of specificity is so valuable and culturally essential. There’s really confronting tracks on this album between comforting and melancholy arrangements — like a call to not avert your eyes or ears to the bleak, muddled times we’re living in, but with a hand on your shoulder to remind you you’re not alone.

Trans artists dominating

Where were our local trans artists in 2021? Fighting their way to the front of the music scene, top of SRN charts, experimenting hard and sounding damn hot doing it. I sent my crush a VSB track then took them to a gig as my girlfriend, I planned out queer rave outfits for BB Gurl merch, cried my eyes out to Charlie OPI and bathed in starlight with Votiv, remixed Amamelia and was transported into medieval fantasy with Gayblade, explored urban forests with Jenny Cauldron and stuck Brown Boy Magik on repeat all day when the spring sun turned up, listened to L V J when I wanted to feel cute, and ripped up my bedroom dancefloor to club-burning tracks by Synthetic Children, Current Bias, Nightmare Honey, Sequentia and Fern. The drop at four minutes in this Synthetic Children track drives me insane.

Listening to Mad Frank’s Summoning EP and cooking breakfast

Listening to this EP almost every day while I cooked all lockdown in Tāmaki Makaurau was one of the sweetest music moments for me this year. This EP strongly reminds me of the kind of Kiwi music that my dad used to play on road trips when I was a kid.

Drug Testing was legalised!

Fr! That happened! Aotearoa became the first country in the world to legalise drug testing. Music festivals and other fun stuff just got a whole lot safer for drug users and their friends, and I’m damn thankful for that! KnowyourstuffNZ are absolute heroes for pushing this law, and risking their livelihoods to thread needles through drug testing loopholes at festivals for years before it was legal. It’s time to start treating drug testing like a condom and catch those cathinones before they’re inside your cavities.

Kraus live at A.R.T.E Festival

Back in July in the depths of the Parisian Tie Factory in Myers Park, a single spotlight shone on Pat Kraus sitting at a desk in the centre of The Audio Foundation gig room, encircled by rows of chairs & frozen spectators barely visible in the darkness. Between the four speakers in each corner of the room the sound began to move, sweeping and surrounding, in a quadraphonic demonstration of synthesizer mastery… We actually had a video of this at work so I uploaded it yesterday just 4 u all xoxo Wear headphones.

Interview Half Queen Rhythm Alps Festival 2021

Annabel Kean / Photo credit: Liam Brown / Thursday 23rd December, 2021 1:02PM


One rite of passage upon moving to Tāmaki Makaurau, along with receiving a Caker birthday cake and spending a night at a Whammy lock-in, is getting a big ol’ crush on DJ Half Queen, the co-founder of club collective FILTH and one of the acts billed for this year’s Rhythm & Alps Festival in Cardrona Valley. You might have caught them spinning tracks at the To The Front fundraiser show last week, or making Aotearoa DJ history as part of the country’s debut Boiler Room earlier this year, but despite their busy schedule of summer festival appearances, Half Queen aka Shaquille Wasasala squeezed in a quick messenger chat last night with yours truly. Touching on festival tips, FILTH plans for 2022 and Christmas music picks, catch up with Half Queen in our short and sweet Q & A below…


Wednesday 29th December to Friday 31st December 2021
Cardrona Valley, Wanaka


Tickets on sale now via

Annabel Kean: How are you feeling atm about your filth set at R&A?

Half Queen: I’m feeling good about it. I haven’t played anything of that scale in a long time nor have I linked with the extended FILTH gang, so I’m nervous but really excited. We have the coveted 10-2 slot on the 31st…so that’ll be interesting. Hopefully we remember the countdown hahahahaha.

What do you and the other filth DJs do to prepare for a festival show like that? Do you approach it differently to shows with a smaller audience?

Generally we try have a kanikani to the set before us, drink some liquid courage + gas ourselves. I’d say one of the few differences is maybe the content of our sets. Smaller shows have less random people/more ~fans~ of us, so with big festivals, I guess one of our goals is enticing a new audience.

Top 3 acts at R&A you want to see?

Salmonella Dub and our pals Aw B + Hurricane Emily.

Do you have any personal festival ‘hacks’? Like tricks or tips for having a good time – both as an artist and a punter.

Ooooh I have a couple hacks:

1. Research acts before you attend, so you get your money’s worth.

2. Keep your wits about you.

Besides DJ sets, are you planning on spending much time working on mixes over the festive season? Or are you wanting to have some downtime?

Hopefully playing to an audience again will spark some inspiration for some mixes!!!!!!!!

Are you into mixing Christmassy / new years songs into your sets? If yes, what tracks? This is me asking if you have a favourite Christmas song without asking if you have a favourite Christmas song.

I absolutely do not mix Christmas songs but my fav would have to be any Boney M or 2 Fat Bitches + A Bag of Weed by Nadia Nympho.

Who or what do you have on repeat rn?

Currently, I have Dinamarca’s Barcelona Boiler Room set on repeat.

What is the dream for FILTH in 2022?/What’s the next big goal?

Our next FILTH clubnight is vol.10, so you’ll have to wait + see.

Aaand is there anything else you want to plug?

If you’re not around for R&A, you can catch the FILTH crew at Northern Bass, That Weekend + Splore, as well as our individual sets over Summer which you can catch on our socials :~)

Recharted Fest 2022 Announced Ft Unsanitary Napkin Emily Fairlight More

Annabel Kean / Thursday 23rd December, 2021 9:03AM


Recognising five years and 275 episodes of music interview miniseries Recharted, host with the most Finn Johansson is farewelling his flagship show with a magical evening of handpicked local acts. Recharted Fest will be the Pōneke hot spot come January 29th, taking over San Fran with sets from neo-soul rapper NahBo, Americana folk charmer Emily Fairlight, indie-pop newcomer Wiri Donna, punk heroes Unsanitary Napkin, raucous rockers Ingrid & The Ministers, and creator of lush atmospheres George Johnston. With a lineup that fresh and Johansson himself emceeing the evening, tickets won’t be hanging around long…

Recharted Fest 2022

Saturday 29th January – San Fran, Wellington

Featuring… Unsanitary Napkin, Emily Fairlight, Wiri Donna, NahBo, Ingrid and The Ministers, George Johnston, MC Finn Johansson
Tickets available HERE via UTR

Experience the haunting ear worm that is Emily Fairlight’s ‘Lips Lasso’

Watch as Ingrid embodies a grumpy baby bird in the video for ‘Albatross’

Press release:


After 5 years and more than 275 charmingly revealing conversations with the finest musicians underground Aotearoa has to offer, Finn Johansson is hanging up his hat as the force behind’s flagship music minidoco series Recharted.

To celebrate, Finn and Radio Active are throwing – and there’s no easy way to put this – the coolest show you probably will ever see.

With a lineup hand picked by Finn from the Recharted interview archives which runs the gamut from the internationally recognised Anarcho-Punk of Unsanitary Napkin to Americana fave Emily Fairlight, from the Astronesian Neo-Soul of NahBo to the lush ambience of George Johnston, there’s room for everyone to indulge their favourite genres while immersing themselves in the crème de la crème of perhaps unfamiliar tones. Rounding this eye watering selection off are two of the sickest band-leading femmes in the motu, Ingrid and the Ministers and Wiri Donna.

Don’t miss out on what would be a gig of the year contender even if it wasn’t the apocalypse.







MC: Finn Johansson (duh)

Listen To UTRs 2021 End Of Year Playlist

Chris Cudby / UTR Team
/ Wednesday 22nd December, 2021 4:05PM


The annual UTR End Of Year Playlist has arrived! We’ve nearly made it to the end 2021 and while it’s certainly been a rough year for live shows (our second hellscape in a row, this time with a Delta twist), it’s been an excellent one for local releases. Showcasing a selection of our team’s favourite tracks from Aotearoa’s alternative music spectrum over the past twelve months, compiled via an arcane, inscrutable and sometimes brutal office voting system, we sincerely hope you discover some new local faves in the mix — sequenced for your summer listening enjoyment by UTR Ed. Chris Cudby. Tuck in below and please note: the playlist only includes tracks currently available on Spotify (eg. so nothing from Milk’s standout 2021 album). If you like what you hear, you can support the artists directly by seeing them live and purchasing their recordings, Bandcamp purchase links for most tracks available HERE