OFFICE DOG / PHOTO BY HAMISH MORGAN
THE SOFT MACHINE - 'THE FLOATING WORLD'
Sometimes people leave the best for last, and I believe that to be true of the 1975 album Bundles by prog-jazz group Soft Machine and its final song. 'The Floating World' builds on cascades of keys that loop with a serene flow as woodwinds sing a melody above, conjuring up the beautiful image that the name suggests.
This song is available on the album Bundles by Soft Machine via the Flying Nun Record Store HERE.
JUNO IS - 'IMITATION'
Originally from Ōtepoti, Juno Is (the solo project of Mackenzie Hollebon) has returned with a new song 'Imitation', paired with an absolutely stunning visual featuring their full band. 'Imitation' draws from the summery sounds of 60's surf rock with a dreamy sheen and an undeniably catchy, danceable "ba da ba da" hook.
Listen to Juno Is on Spotify HERE.
JONATHAN BREE - 'PRE-CODE HOLLYWOOD'
Continuing in his mysterious, glamorous masked fashion, Jonathan Bree and the band return with a new synth-pop hit 'Pre-Code Hollywood', following up from last year's standout single 'Destiny'. This time, the single comes with the announcement of a brand new album of the same title.
Jonathan Bree's new album Pre-Code Hollywood is out on May 12th via Lil Chief Records. Pre-order it via Flying Nun HERE.
SLEAFORD MODS - 'FORCE 10 FROM NAVARONE' FT. FLORENCE SHAW
UK post-punks Sleaford Mods are returning to Aotearoa in May for the first time since their sold-out debut show at the Powerstation in early 2020, carrying with them a heck of a lot of new music from their brand new upcoming album UK GRIM. The first single from the album, which features Florence Shaw from Dry Cleaning fame, combines her and Jason Williamson's dry acute lyricism with other half Andrew Fearn's riveting production to unleash an invigorating, vital energy. They will no doubt be two unmissable shows.
FRIDAY 26TH MAY - POWERSTATION, AUCKLAND
SUNDAY 28TH MAY - HUNTER LOUNGE, WELLINGTON
Sleaford Mods' new album is out on March 10th. You can preorder it HERE.
CAROLINE POLACHEK - 'FLY TO YOU' FEAT. GRIMES & DIDO
Caroline Polachek has unveiled her latest project, Desire, I Want To Turn Into You, the long-awaited followup to her debut Pang. It is hard to imagine that the U.S artist could spread her wings any further than she did on her debut album, but her latest offering sees her soaring high above the main-road of pop music, taking the scenic route ad reinventing the path. Drawing inspiration from 90's electro-pop and new age music, 'Fly To You' sees Polachek linking up with the unlikely (but perfect) dream-team Grimes and Dido to sing ethereal melodies atop scattered, jungle-inspired beatscapes.
Caroline Polachek's new album is out now! You can order it on vinyl HERE — vinyl coming April 14th.
RIOT GULL - 'ROUTINE FOR CHAMPS'
This song creeped into my inbox late last night and I had to include it this week. Introducing Riot Gull — an Ōtepoti-based band, newly formed in 2022 and made up of Deborah Olusina, Gemma Goldstein, Lucy Pollock (Porpoise, sir queen), and Madison Kelly (HŌHĀ) to "play together in the Riot Grrrl tradition, seeking serious-not-serious channels for their collective experiences". They already have an album, SCABBING, under their belt and ready to be released, and based on the ear-melting, hair raising, but somehow playfully catchy first tune I cannot wait to hear it.
You can find Riot Gull on Bandcamp HERE. You'll find their album there too when it comes out on Feb 23rd.
PORTISHEAD - 'SOUR TIMES — LIVE'
Portishead have always made music that is effortlessly cool, pioneering trip-hop and influencing countless musicians to this day. Their show at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City was beautifully recorded and released as a live album in 1998 — their last one to date. You get a pretty exciting idea of its energy from this record, which honestly gives me the biggest FOMO ever; hearing the crowd cheer as Beth Gibbons' vocals ascend into a verging wail before dissolving into her signature tremble.
Roseland NYC Live, the live album by Portishead, is available to order on the Flying Nun Record shop HERE.
OFFICE DOG - 'BIG AIR / WARMER'
Recently debuting at Eyegum's new festival Great Sounds Great in late 2022, Kane Strang's latest project Office Dog has been teasing us with a few singles, apparently from an upcoming full-length album. The latest double release, titled 'Big Air / Warmer' is a refreshing duel; 'Big Air' builds a vigorous foot-stomping intensity, and 'Warmer' a collapse into a bed of relief. We are very excited about this band, and cannot wait to hear more.
Keep up with Office Dog and support them on Bandcamp HERE.
PHOEBE RINGS - 'LAZY UNIVERSE'
Phoebe Rings simply never fails to make me smile. The project of superstar musician Crystal Choi, their glittering dream-pop is a joyful beam of light in the midst of a lot of painful chaos. If you haven't heard their 2021 debut self-titled EP yet, the release of one if its songs' rich, splashy visual should convince you — created by Chris "Chippy" Hutchinson, produced by Sports Team and made with support from NZ On Air.
You can listen to Phoebe Rings and support them on Bandcamp HERE.
SURF FRIENDS - 'DREAMING'
Hot off the heels of their latest single ‘Something Real’, Surf Friends release the second single, ‘Dreaming’, from their upcoming album Sonic Waves, which arrives March 17 digitally and on CD via Flying Nun Records. Taking a step further into their kaleidoscopic sound whilst keeping in line with their blissful rock sensibilities, Brad Coley and Pete Westmoreland dish out even more ethereal melodies and guitar loops on ‘Dreaming’, enveloping listeners in its heavenly wash of sonics.
They've also announced a couple of shows to celebrate! Taking place in their hometown, Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland as well as surf capital Whāingaroa/Raglan, Surf Friends will be joining forces with Power Nap (in Raglan), DJ The Bermuda Triangle and King Of The Sadboys (in Auckland) to put on an epic night of music, and showcase their new tunes live and in the flesh.
Find tickets to their shows HERE.
You can preorder their upcoming album Sonic Waves via Flying Nun HERE.
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Wanna keep up with more Beautiful Things? Follow the playlist on Spotify here.