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.
It’s been a decade since we’ve heard anything fresh from New Zealand’s The Terminals, one of the country’s most prominent figures. They return this year with Antiseptic, and the announcement comes with this brilliant track. The sensation and the song title, “Runaway Train” fit together perfectly, and the tune leads you down the harrowing path of a locomotive losing control. Strings are stretched in the background, wound discordantly in your ears, then Peter Stapleton brings in his near-operatic deep vocal tones. I have no idea where this train, nor this LP, is going, but if I can grab a ticket, I surely will. The album comes out on May 19th via Ba Da Bing.
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Kane Strang is a hot ticket on my computer, and on my upcoming SXSW schedule. Today this new track came our way with a hint at what’s to come from his next album. I love how the tones on the vocals are high in the first half of the tune, then they switch to deeper tones as the music takes on a different mood. His ability to switch within the confines of the track makes his music quite memorable, and refreshing in that it doesn’t sit in one place. Dead Oceans will be releasing his next album this Fall, so start your anticipation with this new jam. Reminds me of a New Zealand influenced Pinback.
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Just in case you were wondering, the French word for rabbits is lapins. But, that’s not new to me, but the New Zealand duo, French for Rabbits, is. They’ve just recently shipped this gorgeous peace of ethereal pop overseas, and for a good long while, the song just sits there, floating through your ears. However, just before the 2 minute mark there’s an emphatic vocal burst from Brooke Singer; it keeps the listeners on their toes, giving you hints that more lurks beneath the varying layers of textured pop. This song is here to celebrate the group’s upcoming tour dates, and the world’s love of pop music.
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I feel like Trouble in Mind Records are trolling me lately, picking up on the talent of yet another Oceanic band, Salad Boys (after already working with Dick Diver). It’s actually a good thing, because there’s a lot going on overseas that deserves a wider audience. Take this first single from New Zealand’s Salad Boys, which has the band rocking some of the best bits of straight ahead rock n’ roll I’ve heard this year; there’s no prefab concept, it’s just strong songwriting. I particularly enjoy the way the guitar works its way right through the core of the song. It should make for a really interesting listen when the group releases Metalmania on September 18th via the TiM.
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Vorn is one of those musicians that you never know precisely what you’re going to get. His seven album career, spanning over 15 years, is both prolific and creative, and his new album, More Songs About Girls and the Apocalypse, is yet another notch in his famed music-making belt. There’s elements of power-pop, twee, psychedelic and even some hip-hop flavored tunes. Personally, I appreciate his creativity within the songs, not merely stopping with just one simple idea, but daring to move in and out within each song. You want to hear one of New Zealand’s most interesting musicians? Take a listen to some Vorn.
It’s been almost a year to the day since we last heard from The Phoenix Foundation. They return this week with the Dave Fridmann (Tame Impala, MGMT) stamp of approval; he handled a lot of the production duties on the group’s most recent recording, Tom’s Lunch EP. This mini-release offers up more five songs of splendid pop goodness, with just a hint of bounce. I can definitely see Fridmann’s style imprint, but the songs had to be there in the first place, right? I bet you’ll agree.
A few years ago I stumbled across Sherpa, a little known New Zealand act at the time. I’ve kept my eyes on them, especially recently as news came my way that they were set to complete their new record; today is that day. The album is titled Blues & Oranges, and I’ve spent all morning listening to every track rather carefully. I appreciate the band’s construction, as in this song, where they carefully maneuver their way through pop structures and utilize modern touches like looped beats. This song has a bit of an Of Montreal feel, at least in the way the vocals are delivered, which is one of the reasons it’s my favorite of the bunch…at least on my first three listens. Pick up the record HERE.