“Popular People” is the 1st single from The Prophet Hens‘ 2nd album “The Wonderful Shapes of Back Door Keys” which is due out in June/July (depending on when LPs get pressed!) on Fishrider Records and, in the UK/ Europe on Occultation Recordings.
The Prophet Hens are Karl Bray (guitar, vocals), Penelope Esplin (keyboards, vocals), Robin Cederman (bass, backing vocals) and Chris Butchard (drums). Penelope takes the lead vocals on this song – as she does on half the songs on the album
Bassist Robin Cederman wrote “Popular People” sitting in the sun at his old flat on York Place in Dunedin and seeing a copy of The Prophet Hens’ first record on the coffee table. If it’s about anything, then it’s about the things people are willing to do – and the situations they end up in – to achieve their goals.
Just to confuse everyone, “Popular People Do Popular People” – their 1st album, from which this new single gets its title, is also being (re-)issued on LP at the same time as their new album comes out.
The 1st album made its mark all over the world, praised as “psychédélisme plaintif” by French music weekly Les Inrockuptibles, given 10/10 in reviews by UK mailorder specialists Norman Records’ staff and customers and featured on BBC 6Music shows by Marc Riley and Gideon Coe.
US music blog The Finest Kiss described their popular debut as “Chills meets Belle And Sebastian pop alchemy” before saying “The Prophet Hens may be better than both” and making it their #2 album of the year for 2013. It was a bold call from a respected indie-pop authority, but we think the bands’ 2nd album gives that claim a bit of a nudge.
L – Introverted Dancefloor’s Bevan Smith / R – Danny from Death And The Maiden
Death And The Maiden have supplied a glorious nocturnal ambient dance remix of “Even If You Try” – a track from Introverted Dancefloor‘s recent album. We can’t stop playing it here at Fishrider HQ.
Introverted Dancefloor is New Zealand musician/ producer Bevan Smith (previously Signer, Aspen). Bevan mastered Death And The Maiden’s debut album and also provided his own Signer remix of their single “Dear ___ “ as a bonus track for the album download, so this remix is a fitting response.
And… while we are talking re-mixes, here is a futuristic remix of Death And The Maiden’s “Dear ___ ” by Horse Doctor.
Death And The Maiden performing at Chick’s Hotel, Port Chalmers, Dunedin
Posted in Death And The Maiden, Fishrider Records, Uncategorized
Tagged ambient dance music, atmospheric dance music, Bevan Smith, Danny Brady, dark ambient dance, Death And The Maiden, Dunedin, EDM, Electronic dance music, Introverted Dancefloor, remixes, signer
Chick’s Hotel is live music venue in Port Chalmers, which is about 15-20 minutes drive north of Dunedin. The bar and music venue is on the ground floor of a reputedly haunted 135 year old hotel.
Hard to explain just how important Chick’s has been over most of the past decade as a focus for the local alternative music scene here, but especially the last 3 and a half years after the lease was taken over by members of The Shifting Sands and friends. During that period its potential was fully realised, with a world class PA and mixing desk, lightshow, reliable start and end times, a bus service and a welcoming atmosphere for bands and audiences.
Fishrider Records has held memorable album release shows there, including the TEMPORARY compilation release mini-festival in 2014. There have been so many great shows by local bands, touring bands and even some overseas acts we never imagined we’d see in our back yard.
Sadly it is closing this weekend after a final show featuring the above-mentioned Shifting Sands and The Clean. Which is a great way to go out. Tickets – limited to 150 – will sell out so get in quick.
The local newspaper, the Otago Daily Times (ODT or “Oddity” as it is also known) featured a story and interview with Mike McLeod of Chick’s Hotel and The Shifting Sands.
The Wireless has made a short video interview/ documentary on the hotel, which includes interviews with Mike and Tom from The Shifting Sands/ Chick’s Hotel and other musicians. Read the article here and watch the video below.
Thanks for everything Mike, Tom & everyone else who has worked there and been part of making it a home away from home for music lovers and musicians. “Tally Ho!” for Sunday night.
Our “best of 2015” has to be the two albums we released during the year. Two isn’t a lot, is it? It’s about our annual average release volume. Busiest year we had was 2012 with four releases, but two is plenty. As we like to say: “we’re not music industry. We’re music arts and crafts.”
The albums we release are by musicians, bands in the Dunedin music community. Friends and colleagues. It’s a part time operation and the most valuable thing we can offer the bands is time, knowledge and connections.
For the past three years we’ve had an unlikely ally in a small UK label – Occultation Recordings. It is also more “arts & crafts” than “music industry”. Occultation released three albums this year – The Granite Shore “Once More From The Top” (involving members of other Occultation bands), Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus “beauty will save the world” and The Everlasting Yeah “Anima Rising” – and collaborated with us for a UK co-release for our two albums.
During 2015 that bond between the hemispheres was strengthened when Fishrider’s Ian Henderson traveled to the UK at short notice to play drums on recording sessions for the third and final album by Manchester’s beloved The Distractions, which will be released on Occultation Recordings in 2016.
The two releases in 2015 could not have been more different. Death And The Maiden’s self-titled debut is a unique combination of electronic dance/ trance music with post-punk guitar and bass elements and overlaid with dream-pop vocals. It’s dark, a little bit Gothic, but the kind of sound-world you can easily lose yourself in.
By way of contrast The Shifting Sands’ “Cosmic Radio Station” was a sun-bleached psychedelic shoegaze masterpiece, all fuzzy guitars and dreamy pop melodicism. Daylight to Death And The Maiden’s night music.
Thanks to the people who have kept Fishrider going in 2015. The bands, the artists/designers, the video makers, and especially the fans around the world who bought albums, shared links to music and videos, talked about the music, wrote about the music, or played the music on radio shows.
We have more planned for 2016…. stick around.
Posted in Death And The Maiden, Fishrider Records, The Shifting Sands, Uncategorized
Tagged Death And The Maiden, Dunedin, Dunedin Sound, Fishrider Records, New Zealand, Occultation Recordings, post-punk, psychedelic, The Shifting Sands, vinyl
“Independent Label Week is an annual celebration of independent record labels worldwide. Through label-organised special events, releases and more, the primary aim is to encourage audience engagement with their local independent labels, and also to learn more about labels outside of their hometowns.”
Fishrider Records is all about discovering new music. We bring you the best of the new underground sounds of Dunedin, a small city with a rich alternative music history, perched on the edge of the world in the South West Pacific ocean.
We joined up as part of the very first Independent Label Week – 9 to 15 November – to encourage those who may not have heard of us yet to discover new music.
To help with that element of discovery during Independent Label Week anyone purchasing one of one of our 2015 releases from Death and the Maiden or The Shifting Sands will receive another back-catalogue release free – your choice of albums by Trick Mammoth (“Floristry”, 2014), Opposite Sex (“Opposite Sex”, 2012) or The Puddle (“Playboys In The Bush” 2010).
There’s no extra postage – in fact our postage worldwide is only $15 NZD (6.50 GBP) for LPs so when you buy direct from us it should cost about the same as it would from a local store.
It’s all part of making Independent Label Week a great chance to discover new music from far-away places without costing you a fortune.
So head to our Bandcamp page and order either –
Death And The Maiden’s self-titled debut
“Cosmic Radio Station” by The Shifting Sands
Use the comment box when you order through our Bandcamp page to choose your preferred free back-catalogue ‘discovery’ album option – or let us choose for you if you can’t decide.
If you are in Dunedin you can find us at Taste Merchant’s Record Fair on Saturday 14 November. We will have all our catalogue there, plus the catalogue of our UK partner label Occultation Recordings.
Record Fair at Taste Merchants, Dunedin
Make sure you check out some of the other labels listed on the Independent label Week website
“Cosmic Radio Station”, the 2nd album by The Shifting Sands is now out worldwide. This psychedelic transmission to inner & outer space is an album dripping sundazed melody through a shifting haze of fuzzy, chiming guitars, shimmering strings, and vocal harmonies.
“a psychedelic shoegaze trio whose promising second album suggests there may finally be an heir to those pioneering bands who first laid down the Dunedin Sound back 30 years ago…” Shindig! Magazine, UK (4/5 stars)
“…dense, multilayered psych pop is heavily reminiscent of the best of the Flying Nun bands, but with a twist…what’s in the water down there? How do these groups from these tiny, remote places create such majestic music? … A lovely album on all levels, highly recommended for fans of classic New Zealand music and for anyone who appreciates psychedelic-influenced rock music.” Active Listener
“…there’s not one track of filler… It’s a perfect sunny-day soundtrack… Magic album this. And much as I already loved The Shifting Sands this is a real step up. Not a foot wrong.” Off The Tracks (Simon Sweetman)
“…gloriously under-fi drone-scuzz psyche-rock… a lovely astral psyche-dreamscape.” Elsewhere/ Time Out (NZ)
“Part past, part future, the Shifting Sands aim hits the right cosmic spot.” The Finest Kiss (USA)
“…a ten-song tapestry of note perfect psychedelic pop, featuring intricately layered guitars, fuzz, feedback, melody, drone, and airy vocals.” When You Motor Away (USA)
Available in your local record store worldwide or direct from us via Bandcamp or, in the UK & Europe via Occultation Recordings. In North America you can get it from Revolver/ Midheaven.
“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.