Category Archives: Fishrider Records

The Shifting Sands 2nd album “Cosmic Radio Station” out soon

"Cosmic Radio Station" CD - a mini replica of the LP sleeve & inner sleeve.

“Cosmic Radio Station” CD – a mini replica of the LP sleeve & inner sleeve.

Happy to announce that The Shifting Sands are following up their 2012 debut “Feel” (FISH008) with a colourful 2nd album called “Cosmic Radio Station” out on 2 October. We have a few tracks previewing below, where you can pre-order the LP (the CD version is shipping straight away for early-birds).

The music on “Cosmic Radio Station” was first beamed into the Pacific ether from a woolshed and a tumbledown house over the hill from Port Chalmers near Dunedin during a period of heightened aurora activity in the south caused by cosmic rays from solar flares.

Three members of The Shifting Sands are Mike McLeod (guitar, vocals), Tom Bell (bass) and Jake Langley (drums). Despite also running the busy Chick’s Hotel live music venue at Port Chalmers the band also undertook a 2014 US West Coast tour supporting David Kilgour & The Heavy Eights, with whom they share bass player Tom Bell. DK in turn added his cosmic guitar energy to two tracks on the album.

The eye-popping sleeve, by renowned Port Chalmers artist Jim Cooper, gives some idea of the psych-dealing within. “Cosmic Radio Station” is an album dripping sundazed melody through a shifting haze of fuzzy, chiming guitars, shimmering strings, and vocal harmonies. The cosmic radio station is on air. Tune in… turn on… pop out.

“Cosmic Radio Station” by The Shifting Sands is released in NZ by Fishrider Records on 2 October 2015 and also on Occultation Recordings in the UK later in October.

“Once More From The Top” by The Granite Shore


Those of you who have followed Fishrider Records releases over the past 3 years will know that in 2012 we teamed up with small UK independent label Occultation Recordings to co-release an album by Dunedin odd-pop no-wave trio Opposite Sex in the UK, after BBC Radio, Uncut and Q Magazine in the UK all decided the album was extraordinary and our NZ pressing of only 150 LPs sold out within a few months.

Since then we have worked together to co-release in the UK and Europe albums by Dunedin bands Trick Mammoth, Death And The Maiden and, soon, The Shifting Sands, as well as the TEMPORARY compilation of new Dunedin music last year. We also co-released a 2012 mini-album by Factory Star (Martin Bramah of The Fall and Blue Orchids). Occultation also carries all the rest of the Fishrider catalogue.

Occultation Recordings has established a reputation in the UK for releasing high quality albums by respected legends of the UK post-punk scene (The Wild Swans, The Distractions, Factory Star and The June Brides) and also now the best of the young Dunedin scene from NZ. It’s a combination that works much better together than you may first expect, with Occultation’s customer base eager to investigate new sounds from southern NZ.

The epic “Once More From The Top” by The Granite Shore is the work of Occultation Recordings head Nick Halliwell, along with Phil Wilson (The June Brides), Arash Torabi (The June Brides/The Distractions), Probyn Gregory (Brian Wilson/Arthur Lee/The Wondermints), Mike Kellie (Spooky Tooth/The Only Ones/The Distractions), Steve Perrin and Mike Finney (The Distractions) and Martin Bramah (The Fall/Blue Orchids/Factory Star).

“Once More From The Top” is a concept album of sorts about the life and death (and re-birth) of a band. It’s a long-form ’60’s influenced pastoral indie-pop version of Mott The Hoople‘s “Ballad of Mott the Hoople” (if you are familiar with that ’70’s rock classic).

If the narrative theme and attention to detail in the songwriting, recording and arrangements is not already an indicator of bold ambitions, then attention given to packaging of the different formats confirms this. The 180gm LP in a deluxe heavy gatefold sleeve is an object worthy of the timeless music within.

We have a limited number of the 180gm LPs complete with booklet (a radio-play script based on the album songs!) as shown above and also a CD version with a different gatefold sleeve design. You can find these in our online store. If you are not in NZ/ Australasia/ Oceania you can get it at Occultation Recordings

“All The Stars” music video released by The Shifting Sands

While the The Shifting Sands await the release of their second album, “Cosmic Radio Station” – which we hope to have pressed and ready to release by September – here’s their brand new video for “All The Stars”.

“All The Stars” was one of the songs on our compilation TEMPORARY – Selections From Dunedin’s Pop Underground 2011 – 2014 which we released in October 2014 in conjunction with Ba Da Bing! Records in the US.

“All The Stars” is also included on “Cosmic Radio Station”, along with 9 more stellar songs, and a couple of guitar cameos from David Kilgour (The Clean, Stephen, David Kilgour & The Heavy Eights).

Since releasing “Feel” in 2012 The Shifting Sands have settled into a trio line-up of Mike McLeod (who is also in Bad Sav, another of the TEMPORARY bands), Tom Bell (bassist for The Heavy Eights) and Jake Langley (drummer here, but a multi-instrumentalist in his own right). The members of The Shifting Sands are also heavily involved in the Dunedin music scene, running the iconic live music venue Chick’s Hotel.

The Shifting Sands at Chick's Hotel for TEMPORARY album release, 2014

The Shifting Sands at Chick’s Hotel for TEMPORARY album release, 2014

“Dear ____ ” video from Death And The Maiden


Death And The Maiden have revealed an captivating experimental video performance piece for their first music video. The video for the 8 minute track “Dear ____ ” was made by NZ video installation artist Erica Sklenars and consists only of two simultaneous single-shot sequences, both featuring Death And The Maiden’s Lucinda King.

The video was premiered on Noisey Music website on Friday along with an interview with Lucinda explaining the video and how it was made.

Death And The Maiden in The Fold


Death And The Maiden are featured in the current issue of The Fold, a weekly NZ gig guide and music news publication published by street poster gurus Phantom Billstickers, music website Cheese on Toast and radio station 95bFM.


The photographs are by Phoebe MacKenzie & Emily Berryman (video-makers & photographers featured in the TEMPORARY compilation ‘zine) and there’s a great short informative interview with Danny too.


Death And The Maiden – album out 20 March 2015

Death And The Maiden [Photo by Esta de Jong]

Death And The Maiden [Photo by Esta de Jong]

March 20th 2015 sees the release of the self-titled debut album by Dunedin trio Death And The Maiden.
While traveling through Berlin in 2012, Lucinda King ripped a sketch of a skeleton and a woman from a book, and stored it in her wallet. The piece was Death and the Maiden, a 19th Century engraving by Edvard Munch. It is an artwork steeped in mythology, one which explores the dark bounds between love and death, frailty of beauty, and beauty of decay.

On her return to New Zealand, Lucinda (bass guitar, vocals) began to make music with Danny Brady (synth and drum programming), then welcomed guitarist and drummer Hope Robertson to the fold, and Death and the Maiden was born.

On their debut album, the group craft a shadowy sound world, filled with melancholic synth arpeggios, reverb-drenched guitars, hypnotic basslines, drowsy drum-machines, and sighing vocal melodies. The combination is both hypnotic and devastating, as Lucinda explores themes of love, loss, and decay, wrapped in tactile electro-acoustic languor.

Despite the sense of loss and darkness on this record, there is a bittersweet hopefulness at the core. Death and the Maiden are seeking to create a feeling, something that lasts. The result of this effort is a stunning record, its soaring sonic beauty a counterpoint to its sombre haunting tone – a party record for heartbroken romantics.

Also available on iTunes here.

Death And The Maiden play at Wine Cellar in Auckland on Friday 27 March and at Moon in Newtown, Wellington on Saturday 28th March.

Death And The Maiden is available on LP, CD and Digital formats from record stores from 20 March (13 April UK/ Europe) and can also be ordered online at the Fishrider Records Bandcamp page or in the UK and Europe via Occultation Recordings.

“The combination of drum machines, amniotic synth wash and guitars evoke select Hacienda-era Factory bands and the Sheffield Sound (think Section 25 or Chris & Cosey), while Lucinda King’s haunting, reverb-drenched vocals generate an incantatory power”
[From The Corner Awesome Feeling 7 feature.]

10 years ago…

The Dark Beaks "Spill Your Heart" [FISH001]

The Dark Beaks “Spill Your Heart” [FISH001]

Although Fishrider Records is 9 years old this year (2015), the fateful events leading up to the creation of the label began 10 years ago, with the commencement of recording of the album “Spill Your Heart” by The Dark Beaks early in January 2005.

“In A Coalmine” was one of the first songs recorded. It was done on an old ADAT machine which malfunctioned, but was mercifully repaired by local electronics wizard (and renowned experimental audio-visual artist) Nigel Bunn. The multi-tracks for the first few songs recorded at that stage were copied to a new digital hard drive recorder and the ADAT was swiftly sold (17/1/2005).

The Dark Beaks at that stage were a two-piece – Andrew Jamieson (guitars, vocals) and Ian Henderson (drums). They were joined by Andrew Last on bass in about March or April 2005 and recording, with Andrew Last added, was complete by mid 2005.

Late in 2005 Ian sent a CDR of the completed & mixed album to Ben Howe at Arch Hill Recordings in Auckland, with a letter suggesting it would be perfect for that label. No reply was received…

And that was how Fishrider Records started, in early 2006. As Ian Jorgensen (AKA ‘Blink’ of A Low Hum tours, ‘zine, compilation CDs at the time) used to say “don’t wait for someone else to do stuff for you; do it yourself!”

There was no vision beyond that one release at the time. That first release didn’t even have a catalogue number, as the idea of a sequence of releases had not been considered. Nine years later we are only up to release #14 (due February/ March 2015). A fairly languid pace, befitting a part-time labour-of-love record label.