Tag Archives: New Zealand Music

“The Dunedin Sound – Some Disenchanted Evening”

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“The Dunedin Sound – Some Disenchanted Evening”, by University of Otago Music Department Senior Lecturer Ian Chapman,  was published in New Zealand earlier this month. As you may have already gleaned from its title, it is a book about Dunedin music. Well, about Dunedin music from 1977 to 1992 to be precise. Seventeen of the dozens of bands existing, performing and sometimes recording during this period to be even more precise. One of those bands is The Puddle.

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The book is a combination of images (photographs, posters, set lists and associated ‘ephemera’ of the era) and words. The images make up about 70% of the book, and the words are mostly personal observations of ‘involved bystanders’ rather than musicians for the most part (although there are a few of them contributing), including a closing chapter/ essay bridging the past to some of the present via Fishrider Records.

It’s not the last word on the subject but it is the first book to attempt cover the scope of the City’s music scene during that era. It is a great – spectacular at times – visual accompaniment to the music.

The book also provides a guide to discographies (some of which continue past the era covered in the book). It doesn’t ignore the present, for which we are most grateful, as the past has a habit of overshadowing the present in Dunedin.

Here’s a great review of it from the knowledgeable London fan of the “sound” at Did Not Chart.

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The Shifting Sands tour the US in October

Shifting Sands Trees3Dunedin psych-rock band The Shifting Sands released their 2nd album “Cosmic Radio Station” in late 2015, praised as “…Multi-faceted guitar pop channeling New Zealand’s ‘80s Flying Nun sound…”  by Uncut magazine and finding an appreciative audience around the world.

Now the band is set to bring its fuzzed out dreamy South Pacific psychedelic guitar rock to the US West and East in October.  Read about US musician Sharon Van Etten’s love of the band on Brooklyn Vegan.

7 October – 321 Lounge at Taix French Restaurant, 1911 W. Sunset Boulevard, LA with Rough Church

8 October – Mountain Rambler Brewery, 186 S Main St, Bishop, California 93514

12 October – Bar, 254 Crown street, New Haven CT w/ Dinowalrus

13 October – Rough Trade Records, 64 N 9th St, Brooklyn, NY – w/ Omni

14 October – Elvis’ Guesthouse, 85 Avenue A, New York, NY

17 October – Arts Riot, 400 Pine Street, Burlington, VT w/ 1881

19 October – The Crown, 1910 N Charles St. 2nd Fl, Baltimore, MD

20 October – Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA w/ The Writhing Squares

22 October – The Pinhook, 117 W Main St, Durham, NC

24 October – Grimeys instore (at 5pm), 1604 8th Ave S, Nashville, TN

24 October – Exit/In, 2208 Elliston Place, Nashville, TN from 8pm w/ Neon Indian

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The Prophet Hens foresee new releases

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The Prophet Hens. Photo by Phoebe Mackenzie http://www.phoebelysbethk.com/

“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.

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The Prophet Hens. Photo by Phoebe Mackenzie http://www.phoebelysbethk.com/

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.