VIOLET HIRST — PHOTO BY VIOLET'S MOTHER / LOGO BY ZOE HANNAY / WORDS BY CARLA CAMILLERI
VIOLET HIRST — 'ALTERNATE WAYS TO PRAY'
Following up the first single from her upcoming debut album, Violet Hirst (whose name you may recognise as being the lead writer of our In Conversation series here at Flying Nun) releases 'Alternate Ways To Pray', its slinking, "bikini-cowgirl rodeo ballad" sister. This song is my favourite of Violet's yet, littered with clever details and guitars which suspend beneath her voice, which sounds more at home than ever here. The accompanying music video, directed by Hirst and Mark Chayanat Whittet, tells an almost ridiculous tale of a dancer (Sean Dionara-Riviera) performing an earth-shattering recital at a rest home (alongside Violet and Jacinta Compton). I smiled through the entire thing.
Violet's new album Donegal is out early June — listen to her new track via Bandcamp HERE.
JEFF BUCKLEY — 'YOUR FLESH IS SO NICE'
Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk, the posthumous compilation by Jeff Buckley is a brilliant expanse into his sound world. Released in 1998, one year after his tragic death, the collection of new songs and demos (produced by Tom Verlaine of Television), reaches far and wide into his bank of influences, including soul, folk, garage and blues, and dares to climb outside of Grace's goth-rock grasp. 'Your Flesh Is So Nice' pushes away from the rest of the tracklist, embodying a humid punk that grants Buckley a refreshing vocal freedom. We are so lucky to have this collection; to be able to experience his musical versatility and imagine where he may have gone next.
You can find this track on Jeff Buckley's compilation album Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk via the Flying Nun Record Shop HERE.
D.C MAXWELL — 'THE LEADING MAN'
Months after a sensational, unforgettable performance at The Wine Cellar in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland which amassed a rather large cult following, D.C Maxwell finally unleashes his debut single and video, 'The Leading Man' — out now via US label Danger Collective. Oozing with the confidence of a horse-black slinging spaghetti-western lead character mixed seamlessly with the desperation of a passionate, jealousy-ridden, washed-out star, D.C Maxwell (AKA Daniel Smith) dances dangerously through the set of his music video (directed by Fraser Chatham), introducing himself as "the leading man" and losing his mind in the process. An introduction that I think is going to cause some D.C Maxwell frenzy, because he sure knows how to make an entrance with his magnetic, unimpeded energy.
He has also announced his single release show at Whammy Bar on June 9, with support from Violet Hirst and cc(tv).
AROOJ AFTAB, VIJAY IYER & SHAHZAD ISMAILY — 'HASEEN THI'
On the new collaborative project featuring Pakistan-born singer and composer Arooj Aftab, jazz pianist Vijay Iyer and multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily, each musician explores their sound world through an undeniable synergy that invokes a deep musical meditation. It is transporting, truly ethereal music. I can't recommend it enough.
You can purchase this new collaborative project on vinyl via the Flying Nun Record Shop HERE.
ALEX G — 'AIN'T IT EASY'
After a cancellation in 2020 due to the pandemic, Alex G has finally announced two headline appearances in Aotearoa, at Auckland's Powerstation and Wellington's San Fran this December (thanks to the great people at 100% Good). Since 2020, Alex Giannascoli has released a new album, God Save The Animals, which we will no doubt be hearing plenty of when he visits, but as one of the most prolific songwriters of today, there's really no telling which of his nine albums or two EPs he will be digging into to bless our ears with. Tickets will probably most definitely sell out (and rumour has it Wellington is pretty close), so you'll want to jump on these quickly.
KING KRULE — 'IF ONLY IT WAS WARMTH'
King Krule shares yet another glimpse into his upcoming album Space Heavy. While its lead single 'Seaforth' offered a rare, dream-pop inspired melancholy from the artist, 'If Only It Was Warmth' leans back into Archie Marshall's cathartic style, as he channels frustration through a woozy, guitar-laden ballad, its visceral textures and his repetitive pleads twisting a knife in beautiful, miserable ways. I can't wait to hear the rest of this record.
You can pre-order King Krule's upcoming album Space Heavy via the Flying Nun Record Shop HERE.
HERMIONE JOHNSON — SPLIT
Composer and musician Hermione Johnson released her enchanting new project, Split, in early May. Composed in 2020 within a single afternoon through improvisations on the pipe organ at the MacLauren Chapel at Auckland University, Split is an exploration of tone, resonance and rhythm through the organ's natural vibrations and sonic pulses, blissfully anchored in dissonance and drones.
"Split across two sides of tape, we welcome listeners to lose and find themselves once again during the course of this release."
You can support this this release via Bandcamp HERE — available digitally and on cassette.