As if you thought I’d let Nathan have all the fun with this SXSW interview game, you thought wrong! It’s time for me to start sharing some interviews myself and I’m starting today with one from Auckland based band Swallow the Rat. These guys were kind enough to answer or SXSW band questions and you can find their responses after the jump.
Tiny Ruins, the project of Hollie Fullbrook, is ready to share its third album, this time with Ba Da Bing as its home. The first single we get is, as we expected, pure excellence. Hollie’s voice rises up and down, changing registers, moving in and out, almost as if it was meant to haunt your ears. Perhaps that emotion stems from the details in the accompanying music, whether it be the work of the guitar, layered strings, or the percussive elements that bubble to the top of the mix. Fullbrook stars in the video, a lone figure walking through nature…a clip perfectly fit for this track. Olympic Girls will be out February 1st of 2019.
While Flying Nun Records might be best known for fostering a certain guitar sound, the label has always been on the forefront of what goes down in New Zealand. The label’s latest signing, DOG Power indicates that they’re more than what’s in the storied history. For starters, there’s an inherent darkness to this song; it has something to do with the deep vocal tones, as well as the electronic accents and guitar rings. That being said, Sam Perry comes across like a fresh Dave Gahan, giving off this perfectly seductive croon that creeps through your speakers. The group will release their self-titled album on November 26th.
Not exactly sure where I came across Bad Sav, but I can’t stop playing this song. Somewhere I keep coming back to a vocal crossing between Molly Rankin of Alvvays and Tracyanne Campbell; I can hear hints of both, and adore both equally. Musically, there’s a definite pop leaning, though it’s heavy-handed at various turns. I think it finds a nice balance between shimmering guitar pop and a heavier post-punk vibe…so whoever threw this my way, I appreciate it. The New Zealand trio will release their self-titled album on September 21st via Fishrider Records.
How can one resists the charms of the Beths and their new single? You can’t; it’s not possible. It’s the perfect summertime hit, featuring just enough of a punch to give you that added energy in the sweltering heat, but with an added bit of charm that keeps you coming back for more. Elizabeth Stokes is definitely winning us over here; her voice almost has an indiepop vibe to it, though with just a bit slight hint of Oceanic indifference…those “oh oh ohs” don’t hurt the hook factor. Their debut album Future Me Hates Me will be out on August 10th via Carpark Records.
Up until now, I felt like I had New Zealand’s Wax Chattels pegged; the band offered a heavy hitting blend of noisy rock, sans guitars. Now, they’ve unleashed this dense new track from their forthcoming LP, and while it surely holds some of the noisier elements, the opening 2 minutes reveals a soft belly that I wasn’t expecting. Amanda Cheng haunts this tune, letting her voice drip all over, even when the band begin punishing your ears with electronic noise and pounding rhythm section. I like a band that can stretch their sound, and I’m always a sucker for a group on Flying Nun/Captured Tracks; their self-titled debut drops May 18th.
What more do you need to know than that simple post title? You’ve got two great labels in Captured Tracks and Flying Nun, but are Wax Chattels any good? My answer? Absolutely. For starters, there’s a frantic force pushing through your speakers, all accomplished sans guitars; the trio is nothing more than 2 piece drum kit, bass and synths. In a way, its reminiscent of early Death From Above, though this feels way more like its willing to take that sound to the limits. Energetic and noisy, yet wholly consumable by the masses. Look for the New Zealand act to be high on everyone’s list of favorites from here on out.
Ever since Metalmania dropped a few years back, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the return of New Zealand’s Salad Boys. What I didn’t expect was a record that was good in every single way, and hopefully establishing the group as one of the stronger bands in the guitar pop realm. Take a song like “Psych Slasher;” it hits hard from the get go, rushing distorted jangling guitars, but just as you think the band are here brandishing a bursting tune, they pull it back, ever so slightly to reveal a soft blanket of pop. Overall, this is a balanced effort, from the spoken word stylings of “Scenic Route to Nowhere” to the bright jangling pop of “Under the Bed,” all indicating a band hitting peak form in songwriting. Press play below, and you won’t hear a bad tune; This Is Glue is available this Friday via Trouble In Mind.
We’re just about to wrap up the musical year with lists and all sorts of silly lines, but in looking ahead to next year, Salad Boys are high on my list of anticipated acts. We get a new tune from the band today in lieu of their impending This Is Glue. One of the things I’m most excited about is that the group seem to have fleshed out their style; this song has this youthful urgency in some of the vocal delivery, though it pulls back for a calming interlude that’s filled with melody and synths. They jump to the end with one more bit of ramshackle rock…and like me, you’ll be thirsting for more. The LP drops on January 19th via Trouble In Mind Records.
I was always a fan of Teeth & Tongue, Jess Cornelius‘ former project. Now she’s working under her own name, and if this tune is anything to go by, then Jess will be here for quite some time. It’s both intimate and stark, yet powerful in every aspect of the performance. Chords ring out with purpose, and she walks her vocals between playful gasps and beautiful belting; you’ll be captivated from start to finish. Her debut EP, titled Nothing Is Lost, is going to be released on October 27th; grab it from Jess HERE.