SQUID / PHOTO BY STUDIO UJ
TEXT BY CARLA CAMILLERI
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SQUID - 'SWING (IN A DREAM)'
One of the UK's most innovative bands Squid have announced their sophomore album O Monolith, the long awaited follow up to their fantastic debut Bright Green Field. The lead single 'Swing (In A Dream)' reintroduces the band in a new, more melodic light, with swirling, hypnotic synths instantly casting a spell amongst drummer/vocalist Ollie Judge's vibrant, rhythmic vocals. Their new album will be out on June 9 2023 via Warp Records.
You can pre-order the album via the Flying Nun Record shop here.
SSVU - 'SUZANNE CIANI'
Silversun Pickups and Butch Vig joined forces to form SSVU for Record Store Day 2022 and release a special two-track 7" exploring tales of interactions with famous people. The ode to electronic pioneer Suzanne Ciani, aptly named 'Suzanne Ciani' is a colourful, incredibly catchy number and its over-the-top nature acts as a comment on extreme fandom in the modern world.
You can order this on a special lil 7" via the Flying Nun Record Shop here.
SHANNON MATTHEW VANYA - 'SAW IT IN YOUR EYES' FEAT. IVES
Tāmaki Makaurau-based songwriter and producer extraordinaire, Shannon Matthew Vanya, returns with a brand new track 'Saw It In Your Eyes', teaming up with fellow artist IVES and delivering effortlessly cool melodics alongside a smooth, 70's visual pastiche directed by Ezra Simons.
Check out the video and song below, as well as the new EP Vanya II which is out now! Stream the single and EP here.
UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA - 'LAYLA'
We are always ready to open our ears for a new track by Portland-based Aotearoa band Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and we are very excited to hear the news of their very awaited new album V. Created in the sea breezes of Palm Beach and Hawai'i, the first single 'Layla' floats in Pacific air, waving between their signature lo-fi distorted sound and drowsy, reggae-inspired beats. It is UMO as we know them, but it is clear that they have unlocked a new soundscape.
“In Hawai'i, everything shifted off of me and my music,” says Ruban Nielson. “Suddenly, I was spending more time figuring out what others need and what my role is within my family. I also learned that things I thought were true of myself are bigger than I thought. My way of making mischief—that’s not just me—that’s my whole Polynesian side. I thought I was walking away from music to focus on family, but the two ended up connecting.”
Pre-order the LTD edition 'gold nugget' vinyl of the Unknown Mortal Orchestra album V, and get an Exclusive limited and rare Flying Nun released Mint Chicks 7"! All at the special $69 price. Find it here.
PICKLE DARLING - 'KING OF JOY'
Ōtautahi-based musician and considered pioneer of Aotearoa bedroom pop Pickle Darling has released a new song, 'King Of Joy', which, contrary to its title, teems with an infectious melancholy; curly synths and bittersweet melodies sing along with the tune and guitar, the result short but very, very sweet and leaving us eager to hear more.
The single arrives with the news of their signing with U.S label Father/Daughter Records.
You can find this track and more Pickle Darling on Bandcamp here.
BENNY SALVADOR - 'NEPOLIAN WRASSE'
Following up from his debut album Family Fruit, capital-based Aunty Records head, multi-instrumentalist and DJ Benny Salvador has returned with a new EP Nepolian Wrasse. Its first (and title) track is a brilliant introduction to this project's enlivening sound world, with timbres and layers inspired by the "rhythms and natural beauty of Aitutaki, Rarotonga".
Benny has just been announced as part of the fantastic lineup for Beacon Festival in Tāmaki Makaurau in mid-March. You can also read our interview and review with Benny about his debut offering Family Fruit here.
Support Benny Salvador and listen to the rest of the EP on Bandcamp here.
LUCKY BOY^ - 'BURNED OUT' FT. PHOEBE RINGS
After a brief hiatus, Tāmaki Makaurau-based songwriter and musician Lucky Boy^ returns to the soundscape with his warm bedroom pop, leading with the first of five musical collaborations — 'Burned Out' featuring Phoebe Rings. The song serves as a gentle lullaby for the overtired and overworked. Woozy synths and lo-fi drum machines swing softly amongst Crystal Choi of Phoebe Rings' dreamy, enchanting vocals. Lucky Boy^, AKA Simeon Kavanagh-Vincent contributes his signature hushed melodies — which drift far away as much as they closely whisper. It is wonderful duet, gifting our ears a moment of respite amongst life's current noise.
You can keep up with Lucky Boy^ and his music via Bandcamp here.
KRAUS - 'THE EXCHANGE OF VOWS'
Tāmaki Makaurau-based sound spinner Kraus never fails to enchant me with their conceptual, ambient synthtronica that has a special way of painting the most vivid visual accompaniments. Their new project Seahorse Wedding is probably the perfect pitch to be the underwater wedding band for a Hippocampus couple's magical day, but it is in fact intended to be music to guide you through the experience of being in a float tank.
"For me the physical experience of the float tank is not one of “floating” so much as suspension in a void, sometimes to the point of feeling absolutely fixed at the centre of the universe. A sense of time evaporates, and combined with visual and auditory deprivation, this can make floating an intense experience. I wanted this music to be soothing and light, hence the fantasy theme of a “Seahorse Wedding”, in a sandcastle abbey, with a crustacean celebrant, and a wedding-reception band of dolphins." - Kraus
Listen to the full project via Bandcamp here. You can also watch them live at their dual album release with Pumice this weekend at Audio Foundation. Tickets via UTR here.
EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL - 'NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE'
Everything But The Girl have announced their first album in 24 years, bursting back with their lead single 'Nothing Left To Lose'. Though their roots lay in the indie scene, their jungle/dance-infused ballads became their signature and this new chapter introduces another evolution of that sound. With a bass-heavy beat duetting with Tracey Thorn's lamenting vocals, Everything But The Girl continue to teeter between their sound-worlds, all whilst continuing to sound as ahead of the curve as they did all those years ago.
You can preorder their new album via the Flying Nun Record Shop here.