The Goon Sax Share Single In The Stone Announce New Album

Annabel Kean / Photo credit: Hugo Nobay / Thursday 13th May, 2021 11:56AM


The Goon Sax return from a three year hiatus with another unapologetically catchy single and news of their third album Mirror II, their first release since signing to Matador Records. ‘In The Stone’ was written around the time vocalist Louis Forster moved to Berlin after recording the Brisbane band’s last album We’re Not Talking, and he attributes the track’s pop overtones to "what was playing in the background of our conversations which often took place in Ubers, supermarkets, outside parties". While Forster was writing songs on the other side of the planet, Riley Jones and James Harrison stayed put and formed post-punk band Soot, giving all three Goon Sax time away to regroup before breaking ground on Mirror II with producer John Parish (Aldous Harding, PJ Harvey). Press play on the first taste of Mirror II, and album citing influence from Kylie Minogue, Stereolab, Justin Bieber and Syd Barrett…

The Goon Sax third album ‘Mirror II’ is out July 9th via Chapter Music / Matador Records.

Stink Revue 21 Announced Tape Wolves Tender Moonlight Double Ya D and His Cosmic Hags Loam Ranger

Chris Cudby
/ Thursday 13th May, 2021 11:30AM


Not unlike an ancient mummy arising from a mysterious sarcophagus, hidden amongst the ruins of a lost temple pyramid, Stink Magnetic Records have reemerged to put on one heck of a rager at Hastings’ Common Room next weekend. Stinking up the ‘Stings will be the famously hirsute esoteric surf rock sounds of the Tape Wolves, Hawkes Bay-based catchy monstrosities Double Ya D and His Cosmic Hags, newly dubbed axe / drums artist Loam Ranger who was once known as tractor driving / Bruce Springsteen-razzing phenomenon Boss Christ, and back from Tokyo to sex up the whole shebang will be none other than Tender Moonlight. Somebody give me a freakin’ ride to this party already — here’s the details for Stink Revue ’21

Stink Revue ’21

Featuring… Double Ya D and The Cosmic Hags, Loam Ranger, Tender Moonlight, Tape Wolves

Saturday 22nd May – Common Room, Hastings, Hawkes Bay

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Witness the bestial spectacle of Tape Wolves live at RDU 98.5FM…

Never sleep again after experiencing supernatural live footage of Double Ya D and band performing ‘Season Ya In Salt White Night’…

Press release:

THIS IS A PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT: To the person that parked their car in the driveway please move it. And also this: Saturday May 22nd at the Common Room an especially rare chance to see several dingusses in one space. It’s my regret to inform you that more than 3 artists from the horrendous STINK MAGNETIC label have landed in Hastings looking for the famed Peter Pan themed restaurant which may or may not actually exist. Thenceforth, they shall be gathering to instigate this impossible task at said Common Room to battle it out once and for all. Filthy. Idiotic. And Cheap. See the loathsome LOAM RANGER – the artist formally known as Boss Christ’s debut monkier belting incomprehensible blahs behind the axe and drum combo, the one and only sensual disco stripper Frankie Venus gets naked for his romantic TENDER MOONLIGHT thing and layabout local lurkers DOUBLE YA D AND THE COSMIC HAGS decide it would be worth annoying you. Again. But to top it all off, the worst of all has got to be what was thought to be the actual DEATH of more than a bad smell. Someone told me this next band was supposed to be good. They lied. Ladies and gentlemen, get duped into seeing THE RETURN OF THE TAPE WOLVES… Bummer. Later.

Watch Grecco Romanks Video For Parnassus Van

Annabel Kean / Thursday 13th May, 2021 9:39AM


The musical mind mesh of Damian Golfinopoulos, Billie Fee and Michael Sperring, aka Grecco Romank, aka Auckland’s premier waterboard act, have unfurled their latest single ‘Parnassus Van’. From the electronic dance trio’s forthcoming debut album Red Tower (currently only out on tape at live shows), ‘Parnassus Van‘ shifts our focus North of the abandoned Otago primary school where they recorded the album, to the small titular town on Canterbury’s upper cusp, which in turn was named after Mount Parnassus, the legendary home of Apollo. This is all to explain the band’s description of the song as a "hymn to Dionysian politics, dripping in slimey occultist bogan trap", and the accompanying glitched-out clip that is well within Dionysus’ realm of ritual madness and nips-out bacchanals. If that’s your cup of tea, Grecco Romank open for Vanessa Worm and Eden Burns (read their recent chat with UTR’s Chris Cudby here) this Friday 14th May, and sully the bFM Fancy New Band Showcase on the 28th. Their latest offering is best enjoyed with a kylix of wine on hand…

‘Parnassus Van’ is the latest single from Grecco Romank’s forthcoming debut album ‘Red Power’.

Listen To Dera Meelan and Deadforests Single NO PHONES

Annabel Kean / Wednesday 12th May, 2021 1:45PM


The latest hot drop in the Tāmaki hip hop scene comes from a dreamy collab between prolific production and verse flippers Dera Meelan and Deadforest. Launched late last week, ‘NO PHONES’ is a floor-filling, high-energy track with lyrics advocating a no-phone policy for the club. Wise words "We just came for the bass, please no phones in the place" make for a catchy phrase to remember next time you’re in the pit and get the itch to take a selfie. Listen and learn…

Sleater Kinney Return With Single Video Worry With You Announce New Album

Chris Cudby / Photo credit: Karen Murphy
/ Wednesday 12th May, 2021 12:32PM


Sleater-Kinney‘s 2019 album The Center Won’t Hold (produced by St. Vincent) was polarising to say the least, greeted by fans with both effusive praise and head-scratching bewilderment for its glammed-up sonics. Now a duo of co-founders Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein since the departure of longterm drummer Janet Weiss, Sleater-Kinney take a refreshingly stripped back tack on their new single ‘Worry With You‘, the first tune revealed from the veteran US group’s forthcoming new album Path Of Wellness. Recorded in 2020 during quarantine, the long player is the band’s first self-produced record in a career spanning multiple decades. Catchy and sleek from the outset, ‘Worry With You’ launches with an intimate visual scenario tipping the hat to last year’s lockdown madness, directed by Alberta Poon and starring Fabi Reyna (founder and editor-in-chief of She Shreds Magazine) and Megan Watson, with TV appearances from Tucker and Brownstein snuck in there too…

‘Path Of Wellness’ launches on Friday 11th June via Mom + Pop.

Valere Announces Chroma Tour w Being More

Annabel Kean / Wednesday 12th May, 2021 11:35AM


Valere, the nom de plume of Kirikiriroa songwriter Shana Llorando, is basking in the glow of an incredible year, having released her debut album colours, landed playlist spots on mainstream radio, and seen album track ‘undercover’ named a semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition. Although she celebrated colours with a handful of album release shows last year, including a sold-out Tāmaki date, Valere will embark on her first ever proper nationwide tour this winter. Throughout June and July, catch Valere and her lush electronic-pop tunes in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch – tickets, dates and support acts below…

Valere ‘Chroma’ Tour

Saturday 5th June – Space Academy, Christchurch w/ MARY.

Friday 25th June – MoveSpace, Auckland w/ Being.

Saturday 26th June – Two Todman, Wellington

Saturday 3rd July – Zeal, Hamilton w/ Tijay

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Valere performs her song ‘IKTIL’ to the lucky Aotea Square pigeons…

Press release:

Following the release of her debut album ‘colours’, alt-pop artist Valere is hitting the road for the first time for a four-date tour called ‘CHROMA’.

Saturday 5 June – Space Academy, Christchurch

Friday 25 June – MoveSpace, Auckland

Saturday 26 June – Two Todman, Wellington

Saturday 3 July – Zeal, Hamilton

‘CHROMA’ comes off of a string of shows in 2020 to support ‘colours’, including a sold-out show in Auckland. Joined by local wahine acts, the tour will deliver an intimate and eclectic mix of soul and synth to move audiences.

Ethereal, serene and heartfelt, Valere is Kirikiriroa based songwriter and producer Shana Graham whose palate of warm new wave sounds, R&B melodies and intricate rhythms mesh into arrangements that are ‘kinetic, yet warmly intimate’ (NZ Musician Magazine). An APRA Songhubs alum and International Songwriting Competition semi-finalist, Valere’s debut album ‘colours’ garnered spots on ZM, BaseFM and various Spotify playlists including The Local List NZ.

Listen To Horror In Clays Single Bring Out Your Dead

Chris Cudby
/ Wednesday 12th May, 2021 11:01AM


Tāmaki Makaurau sonic visionaries Horror In Clay have re-emerged from whence they dwell with an appetiser for their forthcoming Live From Toad Hall EP, launching on 4th June once NZ Music Month is all done and dusted via MUZAI Records. Unveiled late last week, hauntingly beautiful new single ‘Bring Out Your Dead‘ wriggles inside your mind with layered waves of guitar / keys haze and reality ripping rhythms, playfully described by the group’s Casey Latimer as sounding not unlike “post-punk / pop with one of those Limp Bizkit DJ type scenarios in the mix.” Releasing in an cassette edition along with an art book showcasing visual works by members of the band, Live From Toad Hall will include freshly remastered versions of recent tracks ‘T.U.X’ and ‘Burnt Hands‘ alongside new material — succumb to ‘Bring Out Your Dead’ below…

Heavy Rotation Vol 1 Event Announced Ft Church Ap Diggy Dup More

Annabel Kean / Wednesday 12th May, 2021 9:16AM


Tāmaki hip hop artist and voice of Aroha Bridge‘s Monty Hook, Rizván is turning his birthday week into an opportunity to put on one hell of a night, showcasing a jaw dropping selection of Aotearoa hip hop and RnB talent. Dubbed Heavy Rotation Volume 1 (surely meaning there are further volumes to come?), high-rotate radio favourites like Church & AP, Diggy Dupé and Adam Tukiri are all on the birthday bill, not to mention DJ sets from INF, Garethxmf and more. In the calendar for this time next month, the first edition of North Shore Rizzy’s Heavy Rotation will no doubt be hot enough to stave off the chills of an icy June night. Tickets have gone on sale today, but won’t last long at these prices…

Heavy Rotation Volume 1

Friday 11th June – Neck Of The Woods, Auckland

Featuring… Inf (Dj), Lngslv, Heavy Hitters, Adam Tukiri, Lukan Raisey, Church & Ap, Diggy Dupé and Garethxmf

Tickets available HERE via UTR

From Church & AP’s brand new At Thy Feet (Side B) collection, here’s ‘ON!ON!ON!’…

Merk Announces Supports For Infinite Youth Tour

Annabel Kean / Tuesday 11th May, 2021 2:11PM


Not unlike Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the Moon, last month Merk journeyed to Australia as one of the first New Zealand artists to tour under the trans-Tasman bubble, and was greeted with sold-out shows. Back safe from his adventures, Merk launches the Aotearoa leg of the Infinite Youth tour this weekend, and has shared a shining line up of local pop acts, including Auckland Live Best Independent Debut-nominated Ōtautahi artist Mousey and Merk’s high school music teacher Matt Bodman. There’s still time to get a ticket for this Saturday’s Tāmaki show, featuring rising dream-pop outfit Phoebe Rings

Undertheradar proudly presents…

Merk ‘Infinite Youth’ Album Tour

Saturday 15th May – Cassette 9, Auckland w/ Phoebe Rings*

Sunday 16th May – Jam Factory, Tauranga w/ Matt Bodman [tickets available here]

Thursday 20th May – Meow, Wellington w/ Belladonna[tickets available here]

Saturday 22nd May – The Loons, Christchurch w/ Mousey*

Sunday 23rd May – Dive, Dunedin w/ Juno Is*

*Tickets available via HERE via UTR

Mousey, the moniker of Ōtautahi songwriter Sarena Close joins the bill at recently renovated Lyttelton venue Loons…

Juno Is will board the Merk train in Ōtepoti, no doubt playing tracks like ‘Floating’ and others from their forthcoming debut album…

Press release:

It has been one month since Infinite Youth has been out in the world and the album has been busy receiving praise from every corner. This week Merk is taking the album on the road as he kicks off his first ever national headline tour!

Presented by Humblebrag Records, 100% Good, 95bFM and Undertheradar, Merk with full band will play five dates across Aotearoa in May. Beginning in Auckland and taking in Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch the tour wraps up in Dunedin and will be fans first chance to hear songs from the new album performed live. Tickets for all shows are on sale now.

Today it can be revealed that joining Merk will be a different local act in each centre, all handpicked by Merk himself.

Beginning in Tāmaki Makaurau this Saturday night at Cassette 9, Merk will be joined by Phoebe Rings. A dreampop project of Chrystal Choi, Phoebe Rings recently enjoyed the #1 spot on the Student Radio Network’s national chart with their track ‘Cheshire’. Don’t miss them opening for Merk this Saturday night!

Opening proceedings in Tauranga, is a guest close to Merk’s heart. Matt Bodman was Merk’s high school music teacher and will bring his own unique brand of storytelling through song to the stage.

In Wellington, local singer-songwriter Belladonna will warm the crowd. Citing influences such as Frankie Cosmos, The Beths and Wilco, Belladonna will be sure to get the crowd swaying in amazement.

Joining Merk in Christchurch is 2019 APRA Silver Scroll nominee Mousey. Mousey released her debut album Lemon Law in 2019 which garnered widespread acclaim. She is much loved in her hometown of Christchurch and this promises to be a night to be remembered.

Finally, in Dunedin, hometown hero Juno Is will open the night. The solo project of Mackenzie Hollebon and described as dark and dreamy psych rock, Juno Is is the perfect primer for a night at Dive.

Final tickets for all shows are on sale now.

Interview Vanessa Worm and Eden Burns

Chris Cudby
/ Tuesday 11th May, 2021 1:40PM


Attracting an ever-expanding global fanbase for both her electrifying live performances and excellent 2020 debut album VANESSA 77, electronic dance innovator Vanessa Worm (the nom de plume of Tessa Forde) is playing a special double-headline show with partner in crime, DJ and producer Eden Burns this week at Tāmaki Makaurau’s Phoenix Cabaret. Standouts at Friendly Potential‘s Catacombs and Beacon festivals, the latter of which was beamed out internationally for Boiler Room, the duo recently relocated back to Aotearoa from Melbourne and are currently getting amongst Pōneke’s fertile artistic community. I had the opportunity to chat with both artists late last week as they were blowing up balloons for a Club 121 event. Delve into our conversation below and don’t dare miss Vanessa Worm and Eden Burns bringing the party with special guests "post-empire themed dungeon power techno" three-piece Grecco Romank on Friday…

Undertheradar proudly presents…

Vanessa Worm (Live) & Eden Burns

Friday 14th May – Phoenix Cabaret, Auckland w/ Grecco Romank

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Chris Cudby: Could you please chat about your journey over the past year to living back in New Zealand, from living in Melbourne?

Eden Burns: We’ve been living in Wellington for about three months now, and really loving it.

Vanessa Worm: We came back from Melbourne in July, so obviously Covid happened and all of our housemates left back to New Zealand. We stuck out in Melbourne for a little bit until it started to expand a bit more… and then came back end of July. And then we were in Invercargill with my parents, then to Wellington.

What kind of Wellington communities are you currently participating in?

VW: Eden went on tour with the 121 guys in January. Through that, the room that we’re living in now became available, so we’re quite closely tight knit with them. But for me personally there’s still so much much more I want to get involved in, I just haven’t been here long enough.

EB: And it’s not necessarily just 121 or DJs and things, there’s a lot of people around that are making music and all seem to support each other and be friends. Bands or DJs or rappers or whatever. Everyone’s just very friendly and supportive.

You do a radio show together as well?

VW: We’re hosting RadioActive’s Monday Flow show. That’s a combination of some of their playlist songs and the music that we like to play as well. That’s really great fun and the RadioActive people they’re so amazing. That’s another community that is very strong.

How would you describe your collaborative relationship with each other?

EB: We’ve just finished an EP of sort of weird, post-punky sort of stuff. But I don’t know, we don’t actually make a hell of a lot of music together.

VW: It’s something that we both want to do, just a matter of time and when we’re both ready for it. I think we’ve just been putting a focus on our own work. But we’re collaborating through Head Rush, throwing parties, and we’re DJing together tonight… we’ve been talking about making music and stuff, so that’s in the works.

Are you both originally from Invercargill?

VW: I went to boarding school in Dunedin, at high school. Eden grew up in Christchurch and then went to Dunedin. I was born in Invercargill but I grew up in Winton, which is like 30 minutes from Invercargill on a small lifestyle farm / block thing.

You moved away from Dunedin after high school — did you get a chance to see any of Dunedin’s live music scene back then?

EB: When we were younger. When I first met Tessa, she took me to some house parties that had live bands. We’d go to The Crown quite often and watch our friends’ bands and stuff like that. We were fairly involved… We used to spend a lot of time with The Attic, which was a bit of an institution in Dunedin.

VW: I was at boarding school and I was super into music, but there was only two other girls at my school that were into it. So, I must have 16 or 17, I decided to go to Chicks Hotel. That just introduced me to like all of this underground music that was going on, in Dunedin, I made friends there. From there I got quite amongst it really. But I was still really young. Me and my friends we used to do this thing called The Dungeon, and it’s this underground, warehouse sort of space in the Octagon of Dunedin. We would throw gigs, use it as a studio, we got people in to do art exhibitions and stuff. There’s an article about it on Vice from ages ago.

I’m quite interested in the relationship between your recordings Tessa and how you interpret them live. When I see your shows they feel both inclusive and kind of confronting as well — I feel moved to dance. What is important to you in live performance?

VW: I think what carries me through my live performances is holding a level of acceptance, for myself and the energy that is coming through me. Whether it feels good or doesn’t feel good, if it’s confronting for me or… whatever it is, it’s just holding a level of acceptance. I’ve had a lot of people mention that they watched my performances and that helps them feel more accepted. So I guess that’s a big one. In regards to the music side of it, I mostly choose to perform and sing on the songs… the music gives me a way to share energy with people. Do you understand what I mean?

I can think of it as like sharing a feeling that you have, sharing that feeling with the audience.

VW: Yeah. When I’m pretty much opening myself up completely. Singing and performing in front of people, I generally find really scary, so it brings up a lot of emotion in me. The music is a platform for me to discover a lot of those feelings, move through a lot of these feelings in a way that I can share it with other people. I don’t know why my life performance is that way, it just is. Sometimes I tried to do something different, more musical in nature, in the sense of doing more things on Ableton or whatever. But generally it comes back to me being on a microphone, using my voice as a way to move through different feelings.

Both times I saw you play [at Catacombs and Newtown Festival], I wasn’t sure whether the audiences that you’re playing to were super familiar with your music, but it seemed like people were into it immediately. How much of your live approach is improvised?

VW: Heaps [laughs]. There’s lyrics to my songs. But I don’t practice the singing before I play. I just get up and do it. ‘Tiny Revolutions’ I’ve got the lyrics there, but I generally tend to bounce off and do something different. Maybe 30% of the songs don’t have any lyrical content, so it’s just whatever happens, happens.

Speaking of lyrical content, to my ears there seem to be some elemental themes running through songs on VANESSA 77, like ‘Bones and Blood’ and ‘Heaven to Hell’. What informs your lyrical process… how do the words take shape?

VW: It’s coming up two years ago that I made a lot of those songs, so it’s hard for me to remember exactly the process. But again, when I recorded the lyrics, pretty much one take, and whatever comes out of my mouth, so pretty much improvised. I think ‘Bones and Blood’, I had written a poem and then I sung those lyrics. But every other song has been just literally one take, chuck the lyrics on, pretty much improvise those lyrics and they came out like that. I don’t really know where they come from… At the time those were the ways that I could describe this make believe kind of reality. To make sense of basically the process of growth, I’d say, in the process of overcoming certain burdens or emotions.

Eden, can you please tell me what is the idea behind your Big Beat Manifesto series?

EB: Pretty much after I released my first record with Public Possession, I was sending them about five new tracks a week. Very quickly, they ended up having quite a big collection of all these little demos that I’ve made. That was an idea that we both came up with. To start this small series of these little, I guess, goofy conventional club tracks, and put out quite a lot of records in small runs. I’s a way for me to get all the little jams and silly club songs out.

I wish I’d managed to grab a copy of the latest one on vinyl.

EB: I’m actually still waiting for my personal copies to come. They’ve been stuck in Frankfurt for about three or four months.

You’ll both be playing with Grecco Romank in Auckland. Have you heard or seen Grecco Romank before? They’re quite a sensational live experience.

EB: I haven’t seen them live, but last time we were in Auckland Sam [Harmony] was showing me and Tessa the music in the car when he picked us up from the airport. We both really, really love it. Really looking forward to seeing them play live.

Just to wrap everything up and let you guys do your tasks — what releases do you both have coming up in the pipeline soon?

EB: I’ve got another Big Beat Manifesto record coming out in June. So that’ll be volume three. And then I believe volume one and two are actually getting repressed as well, in June. And then me and Tessa, we have a EP together, which is under a different name. That will be coming out towards the end of the year.

VW: I’ve got a few collaborations in the works.

Come Together Elton Johns Goodbye Yellow Brick Road Concert Tour Announced

Chris Cudby / Image: Come Together – Live Rust
/ Tuesday 11th May, 2021 10:35AM


The latest in the Come Together concert series of classic albums performed by Aotearoa all-stars has announced for July, this time treating audiences in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch to the sounds of Elton John’s seminal 1973 LP Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Joining forces for the occasion will be the formidably talented combo of Jon Toogood (Shihad), Luke Buda (Phoenix Foundation), Laughton Kora (Kora), Mel Parsons, Deva Mahal, Jol Mulholland, Brett Adams, Matthias Jordan and Alistair Deverick, performing Goodbye Yellow Brick Road plus a bonus set of hits and deep cuts from John’s ’70s period.

Inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road remains Elton John’s best selling album to date, including not only his iconic ballads ‘Candle in the Wind‘ and the title track, but also such rough ‘n’ tumble numbers as ‘Bennie and the Jets‘ and ‘Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting‘, a dynamite combo sure to make for an unforgettable evening. You’ll have to head along to find out if our NZ musical heroes will embrace the famously flamboyant artist’s over the top visual style (I’m already imagining Luke Buda in sequinned flares and huge sunglasses) — mark the details below in your diary and stay tuned for info on two more Come Together concert series happening in 2021…

Come Together – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Featuring… Jon Toogood (Shihad), Luke Buda (Phoenix Foundation), Laughton Kora (Kora), Mel Parsons, Deva Mahal, Jol Mulholland, Brett Adams, Matthias Jordan, Alistair Deverick

Thursday 15th July – Opera House, Wellington
Friday 16th July – Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch
Saturday 17th July – The Civic, Auckland

Tickets on sale from Thursday 13th May via Ticketmaster and Ticketek


Check out the promo video for early 2021’s Come Together Live Rust NZ Tour…

Behold incredible 1984 footage of Elton John performing ‘Bennie and The Jets’ at Wembley Stadium…

Press release:

Announcing the first album concert tour of three for our COME TOGETHER series for 2021 — Elton John’s Magnus Opus – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road!

After the huge success and rave reviews for Brothers in Arms, Abbey Road and Live Rust from Come Together 2020, we are bringing you more!

In July as part 1 of 3 of our Album Concert Tours for 2021, the Come Together supergroup of Kiwi artists and musicians will perform Goodbye Yellow Brick Road live in concert along with a bonus set of classic hits and deep cuts from Elton John’s golden 1970s period.

In the early 1970s, Elton was in top form. With seven Top 40 singles in two years and, Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player, topping charts, Elton was reaching the peak of his career. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road became even bigger with 30 million records sold – arguably every 1970s household in New Zealand had the album.

Opening with the compositional masterpiece ‘Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding’ and followed by absolute classics, ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’, ‘Candle in the Wind’, ‘Bennie & The Jets’ and the underrated gem ‘Harmony’ – there is a reason the album is consistently included on the list of greatest albums of all time.

Liam Finn Auckland Show Announced w Noa Records

Chris Cudby
/ Tuesday 11th May, 2021 9:00AM


Currently one fifth of the pop-rock juggernaut that is Crowded House, Liam Finn has announced an exceedingly rare solo headline event at Tāmaki Makaurau’s Whammy Backroom on Friday 14th May, which is this coming Friday! The former Betchadupa frontman, BARB member and creator of such celebrated albums as The Nihilist, FOMO and I’ll Be Lightning will be joined by the Noa Records crew, the sonic voyaging Aotearoa / Te Moana Nui a Kiwa collective whose output has been nothing less than inspirational since they got the ball rolling with their 151 KRD: IMPROV compilation back in 2019. Little has been revealed about this week’s event — simply the statement "The return of the one-man band" — but what more do you really need to know? Capacity for Whammy Backroom is strictly limited, we advise you grab tickets right away…

Liam Finn & Noa Records

Friday 14th May – Whammy Backroom, Auckland

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Experience the video for ‘Neurotic World’ from FOMO, "made from taking thousands of photos on my daily walk to my old studio in Greenpoint in 2012"…

Watch the video for WhyFi.’s ‘THEME SONG’, from his 2020 Noa Records album Trash 2: The Official Movie Soundtrack…

Swallow The Rat Share Video For Dont New Track Preservation Plan

Chris Cudby
/ Monday 10th May, 2021 12:28PM


Tāmaki Makaurau’s Swallow The Rat have been drip-feeding fans new tunes from their forthcoming split record with NYC’s CLONE, dropping on 21st May. We’ve already heard the pounding ‘Don’t‘, well now they’ve gone and shared a stunning video for that track and released second single, taut jangle / fuzz epic ‘Preservation Plan‘, launched in tandem with CLONE’s rhythmic juggernaut ‘Woman of the Year‘. Experience the beautifully filmed widescreen visuals for ‘Don’t’ below, directed by Archie Porter and Kaitlin Stewart, pre-order yourself a copy of their limited edition transparent red vinyl 12" here, and don’t miss Swallow The Rat playing in Palmerston North and Hastings on 4th and 5th June — grab tickets right here

Swallow The Rat and Clone’s forthcoming split EP releases digitally and on vinyl LP on Friday 21st May via Headbump Records, preorders are available now.

Les Baxters Unveil Two Tracks From Self Titled Album Video

Chris Cudby
/ Monday 10th May, 2021 10:49AM


An otherworldly presence to all who witnessed them live when Les Baxters were originally active between 2014 and 2019, the Ōtautahi foursome are launching their forthcoming self-titled album this coming Friday 14th May, in conjunction with a special reunion event at Space Academy. The sonic super free sci-fi mind-meld of John Chrisstoffels (The Terminals, Dark Matter), Dave Imlay (Into the Void, No Exit), Paul Sutherland (Into the Void, Fence) and Erin Kimber (Sheet Sweater) have unveiled two tunes from the record, which is already sounding like an automatic purchase — ominously grooving no wave synth / spook-fest ‘Toshi II‘ and the alluringly melodic yet uneasily chaotic ‘Call Centre‘. Succumb to the vibey video for ‘Toshi II’ along with both new tracks below…

‘Les Baxters’ is out digitally and on vinyl LP from Friday 14th May, pre-orders are available now.

Karl Steven Unfencing The Commons Event Announced

Chris Cudby / Photo credit: Paul Taylor
/ Monday 10th May, 2021 9:49AM


Recipient of a hefty number of awards for his film and television soundtracks, including the 2020 APRA Silver Scrolls award for Best Music in a Feature Film for the score to Come To Daddy (starring Elijah Wood), Karl Steven is putting on a one night event showcasing his compositions at Tāmaki Makaurau’s The Wine Cellar on 27th June. The Queen Neptune co-leader will perform a selection of his recent works on "assorted electronics" with taonga pūoro artist Rob Thorne, tuned percussionists Finn Scholes (Carnivorous Plant Society) and Michael Barker will play two vibraphones together, and string trio Kulios with David Rawsthorne will play "reworked material from the soundtrack to the Black Hands series." While the hazy mists of time remain mysterious and unexplainable, we predict this very special limited capacity Sunday show will pack out pronto — grab tickets while you can…

Unfencing The Commons – Recent compositions by Karl Steven

Performed by Kulios + David Rawsthorne, Finn Scholes + Michael Barker, Rob Thorne + Karl Steven

Sunday 27th June – The Wine Cellar, Auckland

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Listen to Karl Steven’s original soundtrack to Black Hands (2020)…

Weekly Roundup Friday 7th May

C.C. / Image: Soft Plastics / Photo Credit: Trent Williams
/ Friday 7th May, 2021 5:38PM



Friday 7th May

Auckland: Saving Hope: A charity show for the pups! – Galatos

Auckland: Swallow the Rat, Horror In Clay, Ripship, Wrong Things – Whammy Bar

Auckland: Dera Meelan & Deadforest – Whammy Backroom

Auckland: New Vibes – Cassette Nine

Hamilton: Theia x Vayne – Nivara Lounge

Tauranga: Beastwars – Totara St

Napier: The Dark Eighties – Paisley Stage

Palmerston North: 10:32, VÏkÆ, EJ Barrett – Snails

Wellington: Oddjive – MOON

Wellington: The Chills – Meow

Nelson: Monty Bevins – Fairfield

Blenheim: Estère – The Plant

Christchurch: Dan Sharp – Wunderbar, Lyttelton

Dunedin: Consolidated Fuzz – The Crown Hotel

Saturday 8th May

Auckland: Beastwars – The Powerstation

Auckland: Hail To the Thieves – Leigh Sawmill Cafe

Auckland: Soft Plastics – Whammy Bar

Auckland: House Of Downtown – Neck Of The Woods

Napier: The Chills – The Cabana

Hastings: 10:32, VÏkÆ, EJ Barrett – Spaceship

Wellington: Tidal Rave, Noise – MOON

Wellington: Well Practiced – Valhalla

Wellington: Monty Bevins – Bicycle Junction

Nelson: Estère – East Street Cafe

Dunedin: Dan Sharp – The Perc Cafe


The Big Fresh Collective Unveil FOOTMAHI 2021 Compilation

Chris Cudby
/ Friday 7th May, 2021 4:39PM


The twin forces of NZ Music Month and Bandcamp Friday (starting at 7pm NZST tonight) have reawakened the mighty beast that is Canterbury’s The Big Fresh Collective, who today gift upon the world their FOOTMAHI 2021 compilation. Respecting their roots while blazing new trails in Aotearoa electronic dance music, BFC’s genre-defining new collection showcases contributions from heavy hitters from throughout NZ, including Keanu Raves, Toyota, DJ Simon Dallow and Amamelia‘s red hot reimagining of ‘Pure Shores’ by All Saints (marking one entire week between releases from the Tāmaki Makaurau artist). "Anytime Big Fresh drops that’s classic… anytime Warriors win that’s best" declares Young Gho$t in his storming collab with label boss Liam K. Swiggs ‘ABC’ and he’s not wrong — rep the team, crack open a cold one and get amongst FOOTMAHI 2021 here…

Listen To Mara TKs Album Bad Meditation

Annabel Kean / Friday 7th May, 2021 4:17PM


The wonderful Mara TK (former Electric Wire Hustle frontman) has lifted the lid on his debut solo album Bad Meditation. Out now digitally, and on vinyl soon via Extra Soul Perception and Tom Scott’s imprint Years Gone By Records, the collection flows from one intoxicating soul track to another. TK’s silky vocals round out any hidden burrs in his sometimes heart-wrenching lyrics, drawing from grief and his childhood. As he explained, "Growing up poor, everything goes through our indigenous lens. Here in Aotearoa we have our own Gods, our own values, our own ways of speaking that are different to the colonial/capitalist culture".

Mara TK wrote and produced Bad Meditation independently, using "basically a whole studio worth of gear" that he bought and spent five years learning how to use, with the philosophy "music, like any other creative form doesn’t have to be perfect – the brush strokes don’t have to be exactly straight". Bask in the new opus from Mara TK, featuring Troy Kingi, Xenia Manasseh, and his nephew 2MY…

Mara TK’s debut solo album ‘Bad Meditation’ is out now via Years Gone By Records / Extra Soul Perception.

Reservoir Dogs Pulp Fiction Event Announced Ft Tami Neilson Laughton Kora Milan Borich Booga Beazley

Chris Cudby
/ Friday 7th May, 2021 2:54PM


It’s virtually impossible to hear Chuck Berry’s rockin’ ‘You Never Can Tell‘ without immediately visualising John Travolta and Uma Thurman shaking their stuff in a ’50s themed restaurant / diner, let alone listen to Stealers Wheel’s ‘Stuck In The Middle With You‘ and not imagine Michael Madsen doing his own grisly dance with a razor… Lovers of Quentin Tarantino‘s ’90s classics Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs will be stoked at the news four of Aotearoa’s finest vocalists will be performing songs from the US director’s impeccably curated film soundtracks — starring Tami Neilson, Laughton Kora (Kora), Milan Borich (Pluto) and Booga Beazley (Head like a Hole), backed by The Big Band Royale for one night only in the plush surrounds of Tāmaki Makaurau’s The Civic. As befitting the occasion, attendees are encouraged to get in the spirit of things and dress up. Whether you’ll be donning your sharpest suit as Vincent Vega himself, appearing as uber-stylish Mia Wallace, strapping on the boxing gloves as Butch, or bringing out the gimp mask, the choice is all yours [I’ll be the voice of K-Billy’s Super Sounds of the Seventies]…

The Soundtracks From Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs & Pulp Fiction

Featuring… Tami Neilson, Laughton Kora (Kora), Milan Borich (Pluto) and Booga Beazley (Head like a Hole) supported by The Big Band Royale
Saturday 10th July – Civic Theatre, Auckland

Tickets available via Ticketmaster

Here’s the 1994 video for Urge Overkill’s breakout cover of Neil Diamond’s ‘Girl You’ll Be a Woman Soon’ from Pulp Fiction…

Press release:

Quentin Tarantino’s blockbuster arrival in the early 1990s marked a stunning rebirth of cinematic cool steeped in the classiest kind of Top 40 nostalgia.

With its soundtrack programmed by fictional DJ K-Billy for his "Super Sounds of the Seventies" radio show, Reservoir Dogs offset its on-screen uber-violence with the smooth grooves of Little Green Bag by The George Baker Selection, Hooked on a Feeling by Blue Swede, Stuck in the Middle with You by Stealers Wheel, Coconut by Harry Nilsson and more.

Two years later, the frantic surf guitar of Dick Dale’s Misirlou kick-started the unchallenged cinematic event of the decade. For Pulp Fiction, Tarantino curated a playlist of sweet rockin’ soul with sinister undertones. Dusty Springfield’s Son of a Preacher Man, Urge Overkill’s cover of Neil Diamond’s Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon and Chuck Berry’s You Never Can Tell helped make Pulp Fiction a surprise hit album in 1994, and the coolest retro ’60s soundtrack of all time.

Now, for one night only, join a dream quartet of New Zealand’s finest singers to relive some of the wickedest music on celluloid.

Queen of soul sensation Tami Neilson, dub-funk powerhouse Laughton Kora (Kora), Pluto frontman Milan Borich and hard rock hellraiser Booga Beazley (Head like a Hole) will be kicking off their shoes and polishing their razors for a walk on the dark side, backed by the Big Band Royale.

Are you Mia Wallace or Vincent Vega? Mr Pink or The Gimp? Pumpkin or Honey Bunny? Dress up as your favourite Tarantino character and twist your socks off!

Bridge City Beat Down Announced Metal Festival Medieval Cage Fighting

Annabel Kean / Friday 7th May, 2021 12:32PM


I can barely believe it, but the perfect music festival is happening this May in humble Hamilton and it’s called Bridge City Beat Down. For less than a crispy fifty you get: Sets from twelve North Island metal bands, five pro wrestling matches, ten medieval cage fights, a retro multiplayer game lounge, something called ‘Dragon Bath Worx’ and a VR experience. There’s something for everyone, and that’s coming from a person who isn’t exactly a metahead, but I think Bridge City Beat Down might just be my gateway drug. Get a ticket ASAP, here’s the full lineup…

Bridge City Beat Down

Saturday 29th May – Meteor Theatre, Hamilton (all ages)
Featuring… Pull Down the Sun, Mega Maw, Pale Flag, Achilles Complex, Freaky Meat, Downfall of Humanity, Chasing South, Static, JP Drag Kings, The First Child, Qualms and Threat.Meet.Protocol.

Tickets available HERE via UTR 

Imagining listening to this…

While you watch this…

Press release:

Bridge City Beat Down is an all ages, alternative metal festival featuring Prowrestling, Medieval Cage Fighting and Retro Video Games.

An event by weirdos, for weirdos -those who like their music a bit on the heavy and complicated side. Featuring an eclectic twelve band line up from around the North Island including: Pull Down the Sun, Mega Maw, Pale Flag, Achilles Complex, Freaky Meat, Downfall of Humanity, Chasing South, Static, JP Drag Kings, the First Child, Qualms and Threat.Meet.Protocol.

What’s happening between acts you ask? Well, we’ve got six slamming Prowrestling matches provided by Heathen Combat and a number of Armoured Medieval Duels courtesy of Waikato Armoured Combat. Feel like a break? Step into the lobby to enjoy one of six retrovideo game installations including: Crash Team Racing Tekken 3 and Street Fighter II. Not your cup of tea? How does a Virtual Reality experience sound? Auaha Maker Space is bringing along their VR setup for you to enjoy.

Have I got your attention? Is your interest peaked? Then come along to Hamilton’s first Bridge City Beat Down, tickets are limited, get in quick!

Now! Here! This! tautahi Festival Lineup Announced

Chris Cudby
/ Friday 7th May, 2021 12:23PM


As proposed by Jack Nicholson in 1989’s Hollywood classic Batman, "let’s broaden our minds" with the expectation-defying lineup revealed today for the first ever Ōtautahi edition of Audio Foundation‘s Now! Here! This! festival. Traditionally held in Tāmaki Makaurau on a biennial basis, Now! Here! This! has expanded in 2021 like a universe of sound to encompass all four of Aotearoa’s main centres, thanks to a timely reinvention of the Altmusic touring programme. Canterbury’s three day fest boasts a diverse, boundary-pushing lineup of artists sure to delight, transfix and astound even the most adventurous of listeners, while details for Pōneke, Ōtepoti and the super city are set to announce soon. Lovers of dreamy ambience, obnoxious noise, club shaking electronics, galaxy brain collective improvisation and more will have a feast of options to experience at Space Academy this winter…

Now! Here! This! – Ōtautahi

Thursday 10th June to Saturday 12th June – Space Academy, Christchurch

Tickets and festival passes available HERE via UTR

Thursday 10th June – 8pm

Death Horse / Lucy Reid
K Group
Bruce Russell / Noel Meek



Friday 11th June – 8pm

Chris Spall / Maki Matsumoto / Nic Woollaston / Jake Kīanō Kinner
Motte / Ro Rushton-Green / Lucy Reid

Justin Dehart
k group / Omit
Nick Harte / Lucy Reid / Gabriel Griffin / Jonty O’Connor / Reece Mcnaughton / I.R.D / Mike Minchington / Luke Shaw

Saturday 12th June – Auricle Ambisonics, 2pm

Paul Toohey / Malcolm Riddoch / David Khan / Noel Meek

Nicole Reddington / Michael Kime / Helen Greenfield / Anita Clark / Ro Rushton-Green / Heather Webb / Nic Woollaston

Jake Kīanō Skinner / Geoff Low / Memory Burn

Saturday 12th June – 8pm

Rmf Thomas / Motte / Jonty O’Connor

Omit / Teen Haters / Emma Johnston
Poltroon / Sewage

Big Flip The Massive


Experience live footage of Omit performing at Silo Park in Wynyard Quarter…

Press release:

The Audio Foundation is excited to present Now! Here! This! – Ōtautahi.

The 3 day festival is part the re-invention of the popular Altmusic programme, which has seen regular tours by legendary artists of experimental music and sound art tour Aotearoa over the past decade. With the advent of Covid 19 and the impossibility of international visitors the Altmusic programme has been transformed to present 3 day festivals in Christchurch, Dunedin and Wellington in addition to the regular festival in Auckland.

First up is Christchurch – over 3 nights and one day Space Academy will be filled with experimental sound and adventurous music by a huge roster of visiting and local artists.

Visiting Ōtautahi for the festival are legendary electronic music pioneers Omit and K Group, both of whom have a long association with Bruce Russell’s Corpus Hermeticum label and have achieved guru status in international experimental music circles. Dunedin based freejazz/noise power duo Sewage perform in Christchurch for the first time, and the visitors lineup is rounded off by Pōneke based doom beatmakers Crone.

The kaupapa of the festival is collaboration and the lineup features a full roster of unique first time meetings between local artists and visitors, including established sonic artists such as Bruce Russell, Malcolm Riddoch, Motte and Helen Greenfield, emergent artists RMF Thomas, Maki Matsumoto and Chris Spall, Taonga Puoro players Jake Kīanō Skinner and Geoff Low, relentless experimenters Memory Burn and Teen Haters and much more.

PollyHill Drops Ice Cold Cut Chilly

Annabel Kean / Friday 7th May, 2021 10:29AM


Multifaceted Tāmaki artist PollyHill aka Paloma Schneidman has shared a new first class track ‘Chilly’. As a director / film nerd herself, PollyHill uses ‘Chilly’ to drive home the truth that it’s actually cool to be your weird little self, and incredibly uncool to regurgitate and imitate and be “repeating things like deep house”. Special guest Breakfast host on 95bFM this week, PollyHill’s ‘Chilly’ follows up student radio hit (as per for the artist) ‘Sweepstake’ featuring Church and is the last single before dropping her sophomore EP Post Humorous. Be cool, listen to ‘Chilly’…

PollyHill’s sophomore EP ‘Post Humorous’ is out late May.

Grawlixes Announce Album Release Tour Share Video For Immortalised

Chris Cudby
/ Friday 7th May, 2021 10:11AM


You’ll be crying tears of happiness this winter when Pōneke’s wonderful Grawlixes unveil their brand new album Love You To Death, launched in conjunction with an epic ten date nationwide launch tour of Aotearoa. Founded by Penelope Esplin (French for Rabbits, Lake South) and Robin Cederman (Tahu & The Takahes, The Prophet Hens), and now including violinist Alex Vaastra, Emma Hattaway on bass and drummer Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa, Grawlixes will keep punters toasty in a variety of intimate settings from Tāmaki Makaurau to Ōtepoti, joined for selected dates by Emily Riordan, Violet Hirst & Vatican’t, Rusty Frames, Julian Temple Band, Brandan De La Cruz and more.

In celebration of today’s announcement, the five-piece have shared a beautiful new video for ‘Immortalised‘, the dreamily grand, heart-melting first single from Grawlixes’ forthcoming sophomore album, releasing on 15th July via Home Alone Records — edited by Esplin and Cederman, with help from Ash Smith, from hazy vintage family footage that you can enjoy below…

Grawlixes ‘Love You To Death’ Album Release Tour

Thursday 22nd July – The Plant, Blenheim w/ Emily Riordan

Friday 23rd July – Tim’s Place, Marahau w/ Emily Riordan

Saturday 24th July – Mussel Inn, Takaka

Thursday 12th August – Meow, Wellington w/ Violet Hirst & Vatican’t

Saturday 14th August – The Stomach, Palmerston North w/ Rusty Frames

Sunday 15th August – Common Room, Hastings, support tba

Thursday 19th August – Wunderbar, Christchurch, support tba

Friday 20th August – Dive, Dunedin w/ Julian Temple Band

Friday 27th August – Nivara Lounge, Hamilton w/ Brandan De La Cruz

Saturday 28th August – Wine Cellar, Auckland, support tba

Tickets for all shows (except Mussel Inn and Meow) available HERE via UTR

Press release:

Grawlixes celebrate their sophomore album with a 10 date headline tour this July/August. The ten shows will see Grawlixes perform in intimate venues across Aotearoa, captivating audiences with a dynamic set ranging from floating atmospheric ballads to jaw-dropping rock’n’roll.

Grawlixes are an existential folk-pop band from Wellington, New Zealand, who will sear themselves in your brain with raw, wry and infectious songs about doomed relationships, not being invited to parties, and wanting to murder each other. Continuing the great lineage of artists who bring sadness to their sprightly melodies, Grawlixes’ music often deals in the melancholy with self-deprecating honesty and beautiful boy-girl harmonies, sung by co-founders Robin Cederman (Tahu & The Takahes, The Prophet Hens) and Penelope Esplin (French for Rabbits, Lake South).

Grawlixes signed to Home Alone records, following an extensive European tour supporting now label-mates French for Rabbits, throughout Switzerland, England, Germany and France. They released their debut album ‘Set Free’ in July 2017 to critical acclaim. And have since expanded into a stellar 5 piece band, featuring esteemed local musicians Alex Vaastra on violin (Julian Temple Band, Emily Fairlight), Emma Hattaway on bass (BoJack Funkman) and Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa on drums (Dawn Diver, French for Rabbits).

Love You To Death will be released on July 15 on Home Alone Records and is available to pre-order now via
The phenomenal album was recorded with Lee Prebble at The Surgery, in Wellington (L.A.B, Black Seeds, Trinity Roots) and mixed with producer Tom Healy (Julia Jacklin, Tiny Ruins, Finn Andrews) and mastered by Paul Gold of Salt Mastering in Brooklyn, New York (Sufjan Stevens, Grizzly Bear, Dirty Projectors). Love You To Death also features the resplendent colour palette of vibraphone, saxophones, clarinets and trumpets, with brass performances by Jake Baxendale & James Guilford. The result is lush instrumentation, captivating performances and clean intimate vocals. Grawlixes have never had more to say, nor said it more affectingly. The melodies and harmonies are lovely, the production crackles with colour, and the whole thing marks a new level of achievement.

Taranaki singer Emily Riordan writes moody alt-folk pieces influenced by her background in classical piano and modern artists such as Radiohead and Lana Del Rey.
Her debut EP “Waves”, a lo-fi electronic collaboration with producer Shxshi, was released in 2019, and in 2020 Riordan followed it up with the stripped back and raw EP “Untempered”, marking a return to her acoustic roots. Featuring understated instrumentals and mellow, delicate vocals, Emily Riordan’s songs are gently emotive and her live performances are intimate and captivating.

Taranaki singer Emily Riordan writes moody alt-folk pieces influenced by her background in classical piano and modern artists such as Radiohead and Lana Del Rey.
Her debut EP “Waves”, a lo-fi electronic collaboration with producer Shxshi, was released in 2019, and in 2020 Riordan followed it up with the stripped back and raw EP “Untempered”, marking a return to her acoustic roots. Featuring understated instrumentals and mellow, delicate vocals, Emily Riordan’s songs are gently emotive and her live performances are intimate and captivating.

Hiatus Kaiyote New Zealand Shows Announced

Chris Cudby / Friday 7th May, 2021 9:00AM


Fronted by superstar vocalist / guitarist Naomi "Nai Palm" Saalfield, Grammy-nominated Melburnians Hiatus Kaiyote have pounced at the opportunity presented by our current Australasian travel bubble, announcing today special headline events at Auckland’s Powerstation and Wellington’s Opera House. Last here in Aotearoa for WOMAD NZ 2020 (which took place immediately before our first lockdown) the globally beloved future soul crew have since announced their next studio album Mood Valiant will be released this coming June via bleeding edge California imprint Brainfeeder, founded by none other than Flying Lotus. With international artists of this high caliber returning to our shores the future is looking brighter by the day, don’t miss Hiatus Kaiyote touring their new album this September…

Hiatus Kaiyote

Friday 24th September – The Powerstation, Auckland

Saturday 25th September – Opera House, Wellington

Tickets go on sale at 12pm, Tuesday 11th May via Live Nation

Presales available from 11am Monday 10th May until 11am Tuesday 11th May

For complete tour and ticket information, visit:

Watch the video for Hiatus Kaiyote’s hypnotic latest single ‘Red Room’…

Hiatus Kaiyote’s album ‘Mood Valiant’ is out June 25th via Brainfeeder Records / Ninja Tune.

Press release:

Bring on the goosebumps. Melbourne’s own and worldwide-beloved, HIATUS KAIYOTE, are returning to New Zealand touring their latest album Mood Valiant.

The Grammy nominated group will play two special shows at the Powerstation in Auckland this September 24 and Wellington’s Opera House on September 25.

Hiatus Kaiyote broke internationally in 2012 with their first LP, Tawk Tomahawk, praised by music legends from Erykah Badu to Questlove to Prince. Comprised of Naomi “Nai Palm” Saalfield (guitar, vocals), Paul Bender (bass), Simon Mavin (keys), and Perrin Moss (drums), the four began recording their first album from home in Melbourne, quickly picking up a following on the local scene. From there, the band’s success has been undeniable. Garnering their first R&B Grammy nomination for single “Nakamarra”, followed by a second nomination for “Breathing Underwater” featured on their album Choose Your Weapon. With up to 1 million monthly listeners and nearly 30 million streams worldwide on Nakamarra alone, Hiatus Kaiyote have subsequently built their empire.

Their records and live shows won them praise in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times, where Jon Pareles wrote that, “Hiatus Kaiyote’s music stretches and bends every parameter.” But after four years of recording and touring – from Glastonbury in England to Fuji Rock in Japan, from rocking the Roots Picnic to selling out the Sydney Opera House – the band decided to take a break.

By October 2018, recording for Mood Valiant was already well underway. The band, ready to demonstrate their well awaited, highly skilled grasp of jazz, funk and R&B once again this time alongside legendary Brazilian arranger Arthur Verocai. Mood Valiant has travelled a journey unlike most with frontwoman Nai overcoming a breast cancer diagnosis and coinciding with the Covid pandemic. Creating an incredible sense of integrity. Mood Valiant, an album as an act of love and courage. Soon to be shared with the masses.

Hiatus Kaiyote continue to path new direction in music today. Their return to New Zealand will be just as groundbreaking as their last.

Imugi Perform Greensmoke UTR Trash Recital Episode 1

Sports Team / C.C.
/ Thursday 6th May, 2021 10:41AM


We’ve been keeping this under our hats for a while — we’re over the moon to announce our new web series created in collaboration with the talented gang at Sports Team: UTR Trash Recital!

For each episode of Trash Recital we’ve invited some of our favourite Aotearoa artists into the UTR studios to perform one of their signature songs, re-created using everyday items selected from a treasure trove of literal trash, collected by Sports Team from Tāmaki Makaurau’s finest op shops / second hand stores. Trash Recital not only provides a launchpad for stunning reimaginings of recent classic tunes, but also the perfect opportunity for a chinwag with our local musical heroes.

Our first episode stars Imugi 이무기, the Tāmaki duo of Yery Cho and Carl Ruwhiu, who dropped by the studio to play their student radio smash hit ‘Greensmoke‘ using such everyday items as kitchen tongs, a rubber chicken, a pink bin, office knick knacks and more. Imugi 이무기 play the Saving Hope: A charity show for the pups! extravaganza this Friday 7th May at Galatos [tickets available here] — watch episode one of Trash Recital right here and stay tuned for episode two in a fortnight’s time, starring a secret yet to be announced special guest…

Video credits:

DOP: Callum Devlin

Editor: Callum Devlin

Title Animator: Annabel Kean
Sound Engineer: Ruby Walsh

Sound Mix: Ruby Walsh

Theme Tune: Callum Devlin
Project Manager: Annabel Kean

Production Team: Sports Team

UTR Production Team: Daryl Fincham & Chris Cudby

Special thanks to Bob Frisbee

Made with support from NZ On Air

Primer Auckland Live NZ Music Month Events

Annabel Kean / Image: HIWA / Thursday 6th May, 2021 9:18AM


The hardworking team at Auckland Live have whipped up an exciting mix of NZ Music Month treats, centred around Aotea Square and Britomart. Celebrating Tāmaki Makaurau’s UNESCO City of Music status, Auckland Live’s hub for the month is the See.Do.Auckland. set up in Britomart Station, where you can find info on NZ Music Month goings on, begin an epic walking tour of local music venue history, or even tinkle the ivories when inspiration strikes. Make your way downtown for all the super special installations, pop-ups, morning piano recitals and more —here’s the lowdown on what’s happening in May, with even more events to be announced…

Auckland Live celebrates NZ Music Month

May 2021 — various Auckland venues

For more details head over to the Auckland Live website HERE, all events are all ages

Every Tuesday in May – APO Aspiring Musicians Morning Piano Recital, Britomart Station (free, 8am to 9am)

Although the piano at the See.Do.Auckland pop-up is available to play most of the time, on Tuesday mornings it’ll be warmed up by a few incredibly talented young pianists, each recipients of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra Haydn Staples Piano Scholarship.

Every Wednesday Evening – Stand Up Stand Out Showcase, Britomart Station (free, 5.15pm to 5.45pm)

Stop by the See.Do.Auckland pop-up any Wednesday after work to be serenaded by one of four young up-and-coming New Zealand songwriters, presented by SUSO (Stand Up Stand Out): Katie-Lee Webster, Eugene Odiaz, Erin Geraghty and Silika Isaia.

Wednesday 5th & 12th May – Wednesday Waiata, Britomart Station (free, 8am to 8.30am)

Lead and performed by Māori performance rōpū HIWA, Wednesday Waiata will brighten your chilly autumn mornings. Join in if you like, or just enjoy the familiar, cockles-warming tunes.

Thursday 6th May – SIX60: Till The Lights Go Out, Aotea Square (free, 6pm start)

If you’ve ever wondered "What’s the deal with those Six60 guys?", all your questions will be answered in the in-depth Six60 doco SIX60: Till The Lights Go Out. Directed by Julia Parnell, the film came out late last year to warm reviews, and now you can see it for free in an outdoor screening this week…

Every Thursday in May – 95bFM DJs live at Britomart, Britomart Station (free, 5pm to 6pm)

Four of 95bFM’s most excellent DJs will be taking turns manning the decks on Thursdays, perfectly timed to help you shake off those post-work blues. Totally free of charge, find Bridge, Sam Harmony, Amelia or Sigrid playing tunes at Britomart any Thursday in May.

Daily throughout May – Piano Stairs, Aotea Square (free, 7am to 11pm) + Hopscotch, Britomart Station (free, 7am to 7pm)

Auckland Live has doubly delivered on my favourite way to exercise: Having fun while completely unaware of any physical exertion. Make a day of it with TWO different interactive installations within walking distance – the piano staircase in Aotea Square and Simon Watts’ (STOMP) musical hopscotch…

Every Saturday – Historical Music Venues Tour, Britomart Station (book HERE, 12.30pm to 1.30pm)

For years now writer Gareth Shute has been uncovering the history of Auckland’s music venues from as far back as the early 1900s, including long-gone dancehalls and buildings that still stand today. Shute will be taking groups through Britomart side streets every Saturday this month, transporting attendees through the decades. If you can’t make one of the guided tours, you can learn at your leisure using the AKL City Tours app or the map below…

Friday 28th May – NZ Music T-shirt Day & pop-up record store, Britomart Station (free)

For NZ Music T-Shirt Day this year make a beeline for the Auckland Live x Flying Out pop-up record and merch store. Wear your favourite music tee (or find a new one at the See.Do.Auckland shop) to promote MusicHelps Live and remind people to donate.

Listen To Two Daze 21 Compilation Local Music Made In 48 Hours

Chris Cudby
/ Wednesday 5th May, 2021 2:20PM


Swiftly becoming as much of a May tradition as NZ Music Month itself, 2021’s edition of the Two Daze compilation series has emerged, spearheaded by Isaac McFarlane aka Hahko, the indefatigable mind behind the Hahko Meets Humans podcast series of conversations with local artists. Tightening its focus from last year’s four part epic to a single collection released in full today, Two Daze ’21 presents 15 tracks written and recorded strictly within the parameters of a 48 hour period. Like a sonic prism refracting the boundless creativity of our musical community, artists from throughout Aotearoa accepting the Two Daze challenge this time include synth legend Kraus, Lévyne, happy hardcore duo Van Staden & Böhm, PARK RD, T.G. Shand, Lucky Boy, Richard Dada (of Glass Vaults) and Hahko himself, serving up the toasty beat-driven ‘Loving You (Hold Me Back)’. McFarlane kindly shared with us a brief history of the Two Daze project…

"The project is created and produced just by me. It started in 2018 as a reaction to the lack of interesting NZ Music Month content / projects and I loved the results and the reaction was really supportive.

I skipped a year and returned in 2020 where the 48hour period fell on the first weekend of Level 4 lockdown. With everyone being stuck at home, the lineup ballooned to over 30 artists all turning in tracks, with stand-out songs from Suren Unka, Tei. & bbgurl, Silas Futura, Jol Mulholland & many others. It was also the genesis for several projects including the Edward Castelow album that was just released.

The 2021 edition is a more focused affair with 15 artists contributing, and I focused on new or upcoming acts, as well as returning favourites like Lévyne & Amamelia. Like previous compilations, it is a DIY release, digital only and is released on streaming Wednesday 5th May."

Heres Five Dan Sharps Favourite Tour Anthems

C.C. / Dan Sharp
/ Wednesday 5th May, 2021 12:20PM


Currently wending his way across Aotearoa on a jumbo-sized tour, Katikati songwriter extraordinaire Dan Sharp is certainly no stranger to a long haul road trip. Toasting the launch of his new five song Water Went Away EP, which made it to an impressive number 12 on the official Top 20 NZ Albums charts, Sharp’s sonic journey takes him this week from windy Wellington’s Poquito Cafe and Bar (we hope you grabbed tickets as that show has already sold out) all the way to Invercargill’s Southland Musicians Club. When you’re on the road you need some quality sounds to keep you motivated — Sharp generously lifted the lid on his five favourite tour anthems, providing an eclectic selection of energising tunes and sharing his own personal insights into each track…

"I reckon I have not had a more eclectic and varied bunch of songs that have consistently been going around on the car stereo for a long time. Not your typical singalong list a la the car scene in White Girls, but more of a ‘show up to the next gig with energy’ kind of playlist! In saying that, I do love to belt out some Iris…"

Dan Sharp – Water Went Away Tour

Wednesday 5th May – Poquito Cafe and Bar, Wellington [sold out]*

Thursday 6th May – Le Cafe, Picton*

Friday 7th May – Wunderbar, Lyttelton*

Saturday 8th May – The Perc Club, Dunedin

Sunday 9th May – Southland Musicians Club, Invercargill*

Monday 13th May – Common Room, Hastings*

Friday 14th May – Smash Palace – Gisborne

Saturday 15th May – Mata Brewery – Whakatane

Thursday 20th May – Sweat Shop, Auckland

Friday 28th May – Totara St, Mt Maunganui

*Tickets available HERE via UTR 

1. The Band Camino – ‘1 Last Cigarette’

First cab off the ranks is this belter from one of my favourite American bands at the moment, The Band Camino. The modern production, smashed together with an almost pop-punk cheekiness, the claps, 80’s arena drums that would make Def Leppard proud, as well as the ridiculously huge guitar hook in the chorus… Holy smokes. It swings and bounces so hard that it’s become as essential as caffeine on a late drive.

2. Run The Jewels – ‘Walking In The Snow’

Second track could have been any of about 10 Run the Jewels songs. I first connected with this band after a friend in London picked up their most recent album, last time I was there. I have been hooked ever since. The swagger, the technical ability, the crunchy political angling.. this particular version, with the pause after ‘I Can’t Breathe’, the subsequent verse and the eventual return of the beat just raises the hairs on my neck. I love it when music feels super fun and playful, but I also love the feeling that this is essential.

3. Bon Iver 715 – ‘CR∑∑KS’

Ok, little left turn here. This track could hardly be dubbed an anthem but it has an emotional pull that always reminds me of the impact I hope to achieve with my music. I want people to feel the way I feel when I listen to this song. The live versions are so much better than the album recording. I love that everytime I hear it, it is slightly different. He plays with the melody, inverts the vocoder chords differently. I would love to hear this live and just close my eyes and feel him tinker with the keys; the subtle and deft touch of a white, plastic key triggering some other-worldly bass tones, creating a rich bed for his hyper-tuned falsetto. My girlfriend makes me change this song too soon into my marathon listening sessions.

4. Abby Wolfe – ‘Take It Slow’

This new track only came out last week and I think I account for a decent chunk of its plays after some big drives! Abby Wolfe has such a rich voice and the writing on this is so lush. Big fan. That chorus definitely has a relaxed driving feel, makes you want to sing while also empowering you not to get done for speeding. Nice!

5. Jon Hopkins – ‘Emerald Rush’

Finally, I don’t listen to a ton of instrumental/electronic music, but when I do it’s either super ambient stuff or some kind of made-for-background lo-fi beats-y things. This track, Emerald Rush by Jon Hopkins scratches a different itch. I first clocked this track at about 1.30am driving home. I was close to getting back to my place after a show but was getting pretty tired. This came on and holy heck, I felt this massive lift and the energy was unreal. I should’ve qualified this whole piece by stating my car has a very above-average sound system. Mixes sound huge and it is probably my most enjoyable place to listen to huge tunes. When this came on for the first time it was almost religious. I actually couldn’t sleep when I did make it home and I had this going in my headphones for another 30 mins. I think I sent it to about 3 mates right then as essential listening upon waking. Again, not for everyone, but if you want some noise that’s going to hit you in the chest and make you want to move, this track is an absolute vibe.

Listen To UTRs NZ Music Month 2021 Playlist

/ Wednesday 5th May, 2021 10:05AM


Things are looking much rosier this NZ Music Month than they were 12 months ago, when pretty much everything moved to the virtual realm because of our nationwide lockdown, and seemingly all eyes were glued to Animal Crossing and / or Tiger King. Now’s a great time to remember the significant challenges faced by our music community over the past year, and recognise the importance of our independent music venues in fostering our next generation of artists — we recommend you go tuck in to the banquet of NZ Music Month celebratory events over on the official website HERE.

We’re absolutely stoked to share today our annual NZ Music Month playlist, carefully selected and fussily sequenced by UTR editor Chris Cudby. Featuring top notch tunes from all throughout Aotearoa, the playlist includes new tracks by Anthonie Tonnon, Louisa Nicklin, Vanessa Worm, The Datsuns, The Chills, Amamelia, Brandn Shiraz, Pickle Darling, Merk, Mazbou Q & Raiza Biza, Soft Plastics, DARTZ, Kane Strang and more — plus Dunedin duo Night Lunch‘s hugely popular yet slightly older anthem ‘House Full Of Shit’, which is still ruling the student radio airwaves so why not? We’ll keep the playlist updated with the best tracks released throughout May, hit follow over HERE if you haven’t already and smash play on the stream below [Bandcamp purchase links for most tracks available here]…

Powerfest Lineup Announced Ft Ripship The Biscuits Jang More

Annabel Kean / Tuesday 4th May, 2021 2:18PM


Powertool Records are making a big to-do of their 20th anniversary, dusting off a top-shelf 38-piece tool box of local rockin’ rabble-rousers to celebrate twenty years of alt-rock and almost 200 releases. Powerfest is an expansion of the label’s Kaleidoscope World Series showcase that they’ve been putting on since 2003, but this time they’ve got nearly 40 bands, four stages and are linking up with the New Lynn record fair. Sunday 6th June, save the date and lock in your spot…

Featuring… X-Features, Loud Ghost, Mary, The Fuzzies, The Changing Same, Vorn, Avondale Spiders, Gold Medal Famous, The Holy Loner, Ripship, Headlock Grave, The Biscuits, Sandtrap, Universal Authors, Cloudy, Art Wank, Stacked, Mariner, Melanie, Quaint, Crossroads Dirt, Enshrine, Jennie La Bombe, Shady Brain Farm, Wear You Wig Out, Cootie Cuties, Superturtle, Video Nasty, Jang, Slow Rage, The First Child, Scantily Clad, Freaks Of The Deep, The Ideas, The Doubtful Sounds & New Existentialists

Sunday 6th June – New Lynn Community Centre, Auckland (all ages)
Tickets available HERE via UTR

Ripship top tip: Always ‘Lube The Cube’ when speed solving your Rubik’s…

It’s a heavy cross to bear writing songs as fun as Vorn’s…

From their Christmas In El Salvador 7", Superturtle are bug-eyed in the clip for ‘Watch Your Eyes’…

Press Release:

Powertool Records in association with the Whau Board, UFO and Alien present…

Powerfest – A Rock Festival in New Lynn.

Powertool Records are celebrating their 20th Anniversary as an independent record label. They have operated here in New Lynn over that time and have released close to 200 albums, organized thousands of shows and tours and championed alternative rock music since 2001. This festival not only features Powertool acts but also bands from the Whau and acts that have played at their live venue UFO.

Four stages – 38 Acts – All ages –

The best in local alternative rock and punk that NZ has to offer.

Also on the morning leading up to the festival will be a record fair at the same venue in conjunction with Alien Record Shop from 10am – 1pm.