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New Zealand Music Features

Beautiful Things Playlist: Air, Princess Chelsea, Willie Hutch, Grouper and more!


Each week we sit down and take a look at what are the freshest cuts, what's new in our store and what we've been spinning, and pull it all together into one compact playlist: Beautiful Things. Updated weekly, freshly curated for you below and also available on Spotify
Beautiful Things Playlist: Air, Princess Chelsea, Willie Hutch, Grouper and more!

By Carla Camilleri

Carla is a cave dweller who enjoys tinkering on electric organs.


Photographed: Air

BEAUTIFUL THINGS PLAYLIST

WEEK 1st - 5th AUGUST


KAREN DALTON - 'SOMETHING ON YOUR MIND'

Karen Dalton's second and final album, In My Own Time, opens with 'Something On Your Mind'; an achingly beautiful soul-ballad about facing shadowed feelings that sometimes need to be faced in order to move forward. Her striking vocals are at the forefront of the song, dancing with a violin and painting the pain that comes with confronting hard-to-reach places.

You can pre-order the reissue of In My Own Time by Karen Dalton on the Flying Nun Record Shop here.

WILLIE HUTCH - 'THE TWELFTH OF NEVER

The soulful sounds of Willie Hutch are too monumental to overlook. He was one of the best of his time, writing songs sung by some of the biggest groups in the game (The Jackson 5 being one of them). ‘The Twelfth Of Never’ is a sunshine funk tune decked out with full string and horn sections and expansive backing vocalists paired with his smooth tenor.

You can find the album Season For Love by Willie Hutch on the Flying Nun Record Shop here.

LINDA SMITH - 'A CRUMB OF YOUR AFFECTION'

Linda Smith is one of the pioneers of bedroom pop, but like so many others, her music went almost unnoticed at the time. In 2021, we were treated to the first-ever compilation of her home-recorded music, one of which being ‘A Crumb Of Your Affection’; a swinging, indie pop tune about feeling unloved by your lover. And despite the scale of her production, the music is meaningful and the songwriting is fantastic. It is well worth a deep-dive into Linda Smith’s discography - especially if you like Flying Nun (and hopefully you do if you're here), because she cites the early bands such as The Clean and L.B.G.P as one of her biggest influences.

You can find Till Another Time: 1988-1996 by Linda Smith on the Flying Nun Record Shop here.

HANS PUCKET - 'MY BRAIN IS A VACANT SPACE'

Capital based band Hans Pucket have just announced a new album, No Drama, coming to us in November via Carpark Records. 'My Brain Is A Vacant Space' is the first single they have revealed; a groovy light-punk piece that captures the essence of social anxiety; its busy drum beat and symbol crashes playing the thoughts scattered through the brain and the hard-hitting drum strums the word vomit that you didn't mean to let out. Despite the edge, the song is tuneful and still manages to encapsulate the exciting (yet sometimes nervous) energy that can come with being out and about.

You can pre-order No Drama by Hans Pucket on the Flying Nun Record Shop here.

BLACK MIDI - 'STILL'

Black Midi’s experimental math rock stole the hearts of many upon its introduction to the world in 2018 and they have continued to release thoughtfully complex songs ever since. Their latest album, Hellfire, released in July of this year, featured even more developed arrangements and soundscapes. ‘Still’ is one of the prettiest on the album - a driving, country-inspired piece decked out with steel guitars and strings and extravagant piano-driven interlude breaks that kick you right back into gear after drifting off, eventually combusting into a gorgeous, lush outro that truly allow us to close our eyes and float away.

You can find the album Hellfire by Black Midi on the Flying Nun Record Shop here.

 

THE SMILE 'OPEN THE FLOODGATES' 

The Smile is the latest Radiohead side project, comprised of Thom Yorke, Johnny Greenwood and Tom Skinner - and undoubtably one of the best. 'Open The Floodgates' is the eighth track on the record; Yorke's vocals still intact, floating above ethereal synth, tender guitar plucks and deep piano chords that hold the space above. Thom sings, "Get to the chorus, and open the floodgates...we want the good bits without your bullshit" but the track remains perpetually flowing, with no chorus seemingly appearing. The floodgates do open, though. That's for sure. 

You can find the album A Light For Attracting Attention by The Smile on the Flying Nun Record Shop here.

GROUPER - 'BEING HER SHADOW'

Grouper, AKA Liz Harris, has been making luxuriant dream pop for almost two decades. ‘Being Her Shadow’, from her 2013 album The Man Who Died In His Boat marries ambient and acoustic, with her reverb-drenched vocal loops swimming in your ears. A sublime song.

You can find The Man Who Died In His Boat by Grouper on Flying Nun Record Shop here.

AIR - 'REMEMBER'

Rumour has it, Moon Safari by Air was recorded at the same time as and down the road from Daft Punk as they recorded their iconic debut, Homework. Maybe both bands had no idea what was to come, but just like that, Moon Safari became one of those must-have albums. ‘Remember’ is one of my favourites from the record. It is a beautiful concoction of melancholy; sweet, simple melodies, gorgeous key chimes and nostalgic string cadences that make your heart swell.

You can find the album Moon Safari by Air on the Flying Nun Record Shop here.

PRINCESS CHELSEA - 'THE FOREST'

I went to a Princess Chelsea show this year. The stage was decorated with foliage and flowers and the whole band was sporting rugby shirts. But one of the most memorable moments of the show was when she gave us a mesmerising performance of a new song named ‘The Forest’. And I have been waiting for its release ever since. It is an epic number, victorious and glorious, and a new shade of Princess Chelsea’s timbre that I am very excited about.

You can pre-order the album Everything Is Going To Be Alright by Princess Chelsea on the Flying Nun Record Shop here.

VOOM - 'I WENT TO SLEEP'

‘I Went To Sleep’ is a sweet lullaby that displays Buzz Moller’s divine melodies in all their glory. The instrumentation is simple, with tear-jerking guitar descents that tug on your heart strings a little bit and whistles that pull even harder. And just in case you were wondering, it is totally possible to fall asleep to this song. But not because it’s boring, ya know?

You can find the album Hello, Are You There? by Voom on the Flying Nun Record Shop here.

 

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