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Death And The Maiden talk about “Wisteria”


“Wisteria” has been out for a month now. Here’s a quick catch up on some of the responses to the album and interviews with the band.

UK magazine/ website The Quietus reviewed “Wisteria”, declaring it “an album that, at once, glistens with a hearty pulse and drifts further and further into ghostly fog…Beautiful, scary and endlessly evocative”.

The review was by Mick Middles, author of “Factory: The Story of the Record Label”, writing about a band from Dunedin, about as far away from Manchester as it is possible to go on earth.

Lucinda and Hope talked about his review in an interview on Dunedin’s access radio station.  Lucinda and Danny talked to Music 101 on Radio New Zealand explaining the background of some of the album’s songs.

The band also talked to local newspaper the Otago Daily Times, where Lucinda revealed her lyrics are influenced by the setting of their home town, Port Chalmers. “I walk around Back Beach in Port Chalmers a lot and that’s where a lot of my lyrics are written – as I’m walking, usually in cold weather.”


Source – ‘Weekend Mix’ in the Otago Daily Times 2 June 2018


The Shifting Sands release “Zoe” video

The Shifting Sands and their regular visual collaborator Veronica Brett have done it again. Here’s “Zoe” (which is pronounced “Zoh” says Mike, and refers to the name of a guy they met in LA while recording the two songs released as a double-A-side 7″ single).

“Wisteria” by Death And The Maiden

DATM_Wisteria_press_photo_reviewDeath And The Maiden return with their second album, “Wisteria”. If there’s a theme to “Wisteria” then it may best be summed up by the line “everything is wrong around us” from the enigmatic “Oooh Baby in the Chorus” which was the first song from the album shared by the Port Chalmers trio.

“Wisteria” is released in NZ/ Southern Hemisphere on Fishrider Records (distributed by Rhythmethod NZ) and in the UK/ Europe / Northern Hemisphere by Occultation Recordings (distributed by Cargo).

“This is the perfect soundtrack for the enveloping heat of a new season. Beautiful, scary and endlessly evocative.” The Quietus (UK)

“Wisteria” creates a shadowy world within a world; populated by melancholy melodic synth waves, dreamy reverb washed guitars and vocals that celebrate the excruciating beauty and crushing weight of everyday life.

The band – Lucinda King (vocals, Bass), Hope Robertson (guitar, drums, vocals) and Danny Brady (synths, programming) – create a beautiful depth of sound, nestled between the programmed beats, synth arpeggios, hypnotic guitars and a pulsing bass.

Continuing from their eponymous debut, “Wisteria” conjures dreams of love, decay. Sounding at times wispy and ethereal, “Wisteria” also has passages of driving, pulsing cacophony; breathing life into the dreams of the dead.

Another feature of the album is the art of vocalist and bassist Lucinda King, who embroidered the lettering on the album sleeve and the two images on the insert sheet.

DATM Wisteria LP in NZ



Stef Animal presents “Top Gear”

Stef Animal (The Golden Awesome) presents her debut solo release “Top Gear” – a concept album of fifteen tracks of op-shop mysticism, each conceived and recorded in one session, and each made using a different piece of obsolete or unfashionable music equipment, resulting in a collection of lo-fi epic miniatures.

Even if you didn’t grow up with Atari video games, have no idea what Acorn and Commodore computers are or what acronyms like PCM and MIDI mean, you’ll still find the intricate universe of sound represented on “Top Gear” to be full of adventure, mystery, melancholy and wonder.

Here’s a short interview with Stef on Under the Radar explaining the origins of her “Top Gear” album.

Élan Vital – Aus/ NZ tour & new video


Èlan Vital – Renee Barrance, Danny Brady, Nikolai Sim [photo by Phoebe Lysbeth Kay]

Élan Vital are playing Melbourne, Hobart, Auckland, Whanganui and Wellington in a tour starting late January. They have also shared a new video for “Dreams” from their “Shadow Self” album, featuring the Fabulous Dancing Diamante Cocaine Horse Head

View the video and read the stranger-than-fiction story behind its ‘star’ at Noisey Music.

Tour Dates:

24 Jan: The Yarra – Melbourne w/ V, Luodown & Permission

27 Jan: The Brisbane – Hobart w/ The Pits & Hearts Beach

28 Jan: (Secret House Party) – Hobart w/ All the Weathers

29 Jan: Northcote Social Club – Melbourne w/ Second Sight,

30 Jan: Tom Tom Club – Melbourne w/ Embedded Figures & Hex Waves

31 Jan: Wine Cellar – Auckland w/ E/N/T

1 Feb: Lucky Bar – Whanganui  w/ E/N/T

2-4 Feb: Eyegum’s ‘A Gathering in the Forest’ Festival

7 Feb: Caroline – Wellington w/ E/N/T

The psychedelic, dreamlike dance video for their single ‘Dreams’ was created by regular collaborator and light witch extraordinaire, Erica Sklenars (Lady Lazer Light). It is a playful, fun video featuring a replica of the notorious diamante horse head from New Zealand’s biggest ever cocaine bust.

Inspired by the ridiculous beauty of the object and the comical hubris of the failed drug smuggling operation, Erica created a replica diamante-studded horse head. The diamante horse head has traveled from Winter Solstice dance floors in Dunedin to Wellington house parties and now stars in a DIY video for “Dreams”.

EV Aus tour

The Shifting Sands announce a new 7″ single and share a video for “Run”

The Shifting Sands_LA Studio

The Shifting Sands with Manny Nieto in LA.

The Shifting Sands announced a new 7″ single today, sharing a video for a new song called “Run” which appears on the single, due out towards the end of January 2018. [UPDATE: the single is finally on its way to NZ and we expect to have it in stock and to fulfill pre-orders in the week of 12 February 2018. Thanks for your patience!]


The Shifting Sands  Zoe/ Run (7” single)

After touring the West Coast of the USA supporting David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights, Mike McLeod booked studio time at Manny’s Estudio International in East Los Angeles. Far less glamorous in reality than it all may sound says Mike.

Joining the Shifting Sands for the sessions was guest guitarist Steven Schayer – a then LA-based musician with NZ connections, having played in The Chills during the early 90’s US-based “Soft Bomb” album era.  Steven brought a different flavour to complement the independent DIY No. 8 wire approach of The Shifting Sands.

Manny Nieto also brought a different flavour to the table, producing the tracks. Manny has worked with Steve Albini and has recorded bands like the Breeders and Los Lobos.

Whereas previous albums had been layered in fuzzy guitars and synthesizers, this session involved less layers, but more harmonic breadth within the layers. Tom added bass tracks on an 8 string bass, Mike adding a bass 6 – a guitar tuned down one octave.

While there are less layers of harmonic distortion – a characteristic component of the Shifting Sands sound – there is still a lot of harmonic complexity, just realised in a different way to the approach the Shifting Sands took on their first two LPs.

The band recorded on a Neotek console and via a two-inch tape machine, before mixing down through a ¼ inch tape reel.  Back in Dunedin the songs were mastered by Tex Houston. The 7” vinyl release format completes this analogue approach.

These songs reflect a special moment in time, in the sweltering heat of Los Angeles, while the band were far from their busy normal lives and able to spend time purely focused on making music, in a vastly different environment to their home town of Dunedin, and their base at Chicks Hotel in Port Chalmers.

Port Chalmers Fisheye2

Port Chalmers, Dunedin


We hate Spotify, but here’s a Spotify playlist

We hate* Spotify. But some people use it to discover music, so here’s a Fishrider Records playlist on Spotify. Please share it around friends and family and social media networks thanks!

*We hate Spotify because…

“Dividing an artist’s streams by the total streams on Spotify determines the percentage of our total pay-outs that should be paid for that artist’s rights” explains the Spotify website.

So… $144 NZD gets you a year’s Premium Subscription to Spotify. There were 25 million subscribers in 2015. The rights holder share is 70% (let’s say $100) but almost all your $100 goes to the rights holders for Drake, Ed Sheeran, Rihanna etc. because their songs are streamed most by the 50 million free users of Spotify and possibly some of the 25 million subscribers. Maybe $1 of your subscription $100 rights holder share will go to the artists you listen to.

Spotify depends on attracting and retaining subscribers and the income they bring. That requires a broad catalogue of artists. Almost nothing from your subscription goes to the artists you listen to if you listen to niche independent artists with modest numbers of plays. The tiny proportion of your subscription which does end up going to NZ based artists is going mostly to the rights holders for Six60.

For $144 NZD you could buy about 20 albums or 144 songs direct from an artist or small label on Bandcamp. Around 85% (@ $122) goes directly to them. You own the files (format/ quality of your choice) and can stream your purchases offline on your phone.

If you want to support local music or independent music subscribing to Spotify is not the way to do it. All it would take to make Spotify a “Fair Trade” option (rather than a scam) would be for Spotify to allocate income from subscribers to the artists they actually listen to. Can’t be that hard can it?

Spotify reply