Tag Archives: Port Chalmers

Death And The Maiden talk about “Wisteria”

DATM_Wisteria_trio

“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.”

DATM_Wisteria_Mix_02062018

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

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“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

 

 

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!]

TSS Run FB

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.

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Port Chalmers, Dunedin

 

Farewell to Chick’s Hotel (as a live music venue)

Chicks Hotel Sign Saturated

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.

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Death And The Maiden “Victory” video

Birdation Port Chalmers

Container port crane machinery towers incongruously over Port Chalmers and its 19th century stone buildings like some over-sized mechanical praying mantis family. Machinery hums and clanks day and night and the diesel engines of visiting container ships thicken the air with their subsonic frequency rumble.

PW Elverum (Mt Eerie) takes in the Port Chalmers view from Flagstaff, 2013

PW Elverum (Mt Eerie) takes in the Port Chalmers view from Flagstaff, 2013

“Victory” by Death And The Maiden uses the noise of the port machinery as its unsettling background ambience. Guitarist Hope Robertson (also of Birdation and Bad Sav) has edited a fittingly disorienting impressionistic video of of the port machinery to accompany the song.