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
A couple of years ago isn’t exactly “historic” but these low-key rehearsal room videos shot during the development phase of Death and The Maiden’s debut album, released on Fishrider earlier this year, offer an intriguing insight into the album’s genesis.
Here’s “Flowers For The Blind”
And here’s “Dear ___ ”
The final version of each song can be found on their debut album below. If you missed it earlier this year now’s a good time to grab a copy.
“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.
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
Posted in Fishrider Records
Tagged concept albums, Dunedin, England, Occultation Recordings, Opposite Sex, The Distractions, The Fall, The Granite Shore, The June Brides, The Only Ones, Trick mammoth, vinyl
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