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.
I first heard about the Shifting Sands via the blog, When You Motor Away, and they again pointed me in the direction of the New Zealand act yesterday. There’s definitely a casual-pop feel to this, with melodious guitar parts and a softened vocal, but I’m in love with the way that the violin adds a perfect accent to this single. It’s something that typically isn’t associated with such simple stylings, but it adds the perfect touch; it’s the details that make us fall in love. They’ve temporarily titled the record Cosmic Radio Station, and it’s set to be released by Fishrider Records this year.
Download: The Shifting Sands – All the Stars [MP3]
Man, as the sun warms us up, pop songs are where it’s at! This new track from New Zealand outfit, The Phoenix Foundation, is just such a hit. It’s got this blissed out synth beat bursting throughout, with Lukas Buda voice dancing atop it. I love the change to high notes around the 2.5 minute mark, adding some loftier moments to an already stellar track. If you like what you’re hearing, then you should check out their new album Fandango when it hits stores on May 14th courtesty of Memphis Industries.
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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we get a lot of cold music submissions on ATH and many of them are fairly mediocre. So it’s nice when we get some great music from relatively unknown musicians like singer/songwriter Tim Guy from Australia. Now Tim has been doing his thing for over a decade having written music in New Zealand, Spain, and the aforementioned Australia. He’s also done quite a bit of touring in his native land as well as some stints throughout Europe. His music brings forth images of fellow folk songwriter Bonnie Prince Billy with the down home country style feel to the songs. It’s a very real and heartfelt type of sound that makes me dream of what it might be like in the countryside of the land down under to inspire such beautiful music.
Tim is currently working on putting out a new album entitled Dreaming of a Night Mango which he plans to get to his fans sometime in early 2013.
Download: Tim Guy – Armour Weight [MP3]