Hard News by Russell Brown


Friday Music: Festival of Non-Dudeyness

It's a part of the Laneway festival's brand that that it's six months ahead of the curve: so that at the time each year's lineup is announced you won't have heard of most of the acts, but will be positively gagging for them come show day. But if you pay anyattention to the alt-pop-indie-dance world, you should certainly be familiar with more than a few of the Laneway 2015 artists revealed this week.

Lykke Li, St Vincent and Little Dragon are all both established festival artists and emblematic of a remarkably non-dudey bill. There are literally more acts fronted by women than not, and that extends to the local lineup. I was partcularly hoping that Courtney Barnett would be there -- and yes, she is.

I'm also pretty excited about Jakob, Race Baynon, Flying Lotus, Jon Hopkins and Jungle. This is a very good bill, basically.

I know there wll be quite a few of you very excited at the presence of Belle & Sebastian, who are coming here for the first time and playing only the New Zealand show. Spare a thought for those of us who would have loved to have seen the Canadian electronic producer Caribou -- who is playing the Australian dates but not coming to New Zealand. Our loss is your gain, and you owe us.

On the other hand, check out the bill for Laneway's first foray into the US, in Detroit, featuring The National and Sigur Ros. (Actually, to be honest, I'd rather be in Auckland.)

There are plenty of relevant artist links on the Laneway lineup page, but if you'd just like to hear the music, Lennart Nout has helpfully organised a Laneway 2015 playlist on Spotify.


Splore is also back in 2015 -- on an annual rather than a two-yearly cycle -- and has made its first artist announcement, which includes Trinity Roots, Lunica and, again, Race Banyon. There will be more to come.


Thoughts on the new Lorde single? It's not a pop record so much as it's hitched to the task of expressing the Katniss character in the new Hunger Games movie, whose soundtrack Lorde has curated. That part's lost on me, but I like the big-ass chorus here:

Also, something that sounds like the soundtrack for a film that hasn't yet been made, the video for 'Blind Them With Science', the first single from Jakob's forthcoming album Sines:


Another Friday, another gift from Chelsea Jade. The pulsing 'Visions' is officially the first single from her forthcoming Beacons EP, and it's an exclusive to Red Bull. Go get.

Meanwhile, the video for last week's treat, 'Night Swimmer', is now on YouTube:


Margaret Gordon's eponymous documentary about Christchurch cult band Into the Void gets a non-film-festival screening at the Academy in Auckland on October 17, to be followed by a an actual gig by the band at Whammy bar. I'll have more details that week.

Also well worth a look, Vice's profile of the Kerosene Comic Book music blog and the artist community clustered around it: Totems, Race Banyon, Skymning and Career Girls.

At Audioculture, Gareth Shute lists New Zealand's Top 10 songs about the the weather.

Lawrence Arabia is touring again -- and you'll want to be in swiftly on his two Auckland shows, which are are the Lucha Lounge and the Wine Cellar respectively. Both venues are very much on the intimate side.

Dubdotdash  looks at a pretty special Sun Ra compilation on the Strut label.

And, as Fleetwood Mac begin a world tour that seems likely to bring them here, Stevie Nicks has given an interesting, and revealing interview to Billboard.


SJD is back. Sean James Donnelly has posted the first track from his forthcoming (ie: early next year) new album Saint John Divine. With its big, warm Lou Reed-ish strum, it could hardly be more different to Elastic Wasteland.

At TheAudience, a sweet, easygoing indie ballad from Christchurch duo The Response:

Also on the Laneway bill, the mischievous Auckland hip hop duo Heavy:

This week, I've been really enjoying Wonder Where We Land, the new album from SBTRKT. It's slinky, skitterish, slyly funky. You can buy it in all manner of formats at Bleep.com. Here's a taster:

I really like Tory Y Moi mainman Chaz Bundick's dance side-project Les Sins, so I'm pleased to see there's an album coming. If this taster is anything to go by, he's moving from deep house to supple funk:

Christchurch-based Martin Jay (aka Murky Waters) has a little fiddle with this classic deep house track:

The Reflex has posted his brilliant edit of Michael Jackson's 'P.Y.T.' as a free WAV download. Compulsory party fodder:

And finally, I've never heard the original of this, but Thomas Jack's chugging remix is pretty nice:


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