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Summer Release Roundup: Marlon Williams, Delaney Davidson, UMO, No Brainers, Zireael, Arjuna Oakes & John Psathas + More

Summer Release Roundup: Marlon Williams, Delaney Davidson, UMO, No Brainers, Zireael, Arjuna Oakes & John Psathas + More

Chris Cudby / Image: No Brainers / Tuesday 9th January, 2024 2:58PM

And so we return and begin again. The clouds have parted, we're back in the office warming up for the year ahead and as befitting UTR tradition, let's have a look-see at selected Aotearoa release highlights from the summer break period. Explore new tunes (and more) from Delaney Davidson, Marlon Williams, No Brainers, Zireael, Moments, Arjuna Oakes & John Psathas, Frog Power, Dead Evil, Blair Parkes, A Blunt Jester, Stinky Jim, Nelson Techno Collective and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

Inspiration for countless local songwriters, Lyttelton luminary Delaney Davidson greets the new year with the eminently catchy title track to his forthcoming album Out Of My Head — co-produced with Mark Perkins (aka Merk).

Davidson's on-stage partner in crime at December's Save The b fundraiser, Marlon Williams reflects on the war-torn turmoil of early '24 with a tender rendition of UK songwriter Bill Fay's lament 'After The Revolution' — recorded with Ryan Fisherman and out today via Dead Oceans.

Sharing the stage with LA super-punks OFF! last weekend in Raglan, Tāmaki Makaurau's No Brainers aka Cozy, Buzzy, Paddy and Mookie burst back into action with their six track BULLSHIT WORLD EP. "Roll on, another fucken year! 2024 is already shaping up to be a fucken shitshow, so here's a blast from the last jerks in line at the chip shoppe - six sick songs, recorded on NYE 2022 by Marty & Cozy at The Vault RIP, except for 8-Bit Dungeon, written and recorded by Paddy at 4.20am blaze it bish!"

From dungeon punk to dungeon synth, Aotearoa producer / composer Zireael's enchanting new six track collection Brokilon gathers together "Synth music inspired by an old, mythical forest known as Brokilon — A wooded realm ruled by the dryads and home to an ancient, formidable woodland".

The ambient-electronica project of Jackson Ranapiri, Moments for Mania by Aotearoa's Moments feels suitable for whiling away summer days beachside with interesting book and / or binoculars at hand — six atemporal tracks of cascading prismatic washes and meditative reverberations.

Prodigious Tāmaki Makaurau singer / multi-instrumentalist Arjuna Oakes and award-winning Greek NZ composer John Psathas reunite on Sierra, a new five track collaborative collection launching this Friday. Experience transportive first taste 'Craving the World' featuring an international instrumental cast — "Fusing Greek folk instrumentation with modern Jazz and recorded live in Athens’ iconic Sierra Studios, this EP brings together electrifying musicians from New Zealand and Greece to experiment and express themselves through the lens of Oakes and Psathas’ compositions."

HAIL TO THE DUCK DOG is Ōtepoti audio occultist Frog Power's third full length release in three months (!) — featuring such beautifully affecting, sure to be socially contagious lo-fi pop ballads as 'I WAS A TEENAGE SATANIST', 'THEY FOUND MY TEETH BY THE MOTERWAY' and 'HAIL TO THE THING'.

A double carol treat from the Santa-like sack of West Auckland's Dead Evil, 'Silent Night, Deadly Night' and 'Down In Yon Forest' puts the festive season through a horror punk blender, with hella catchy riffs and an abundance of Christmas cheer to spare.

Ōtautahi DIY guitar-pop guru Blair Parkes ponders time's inevitable passing with lush two pack of tunes 'time will stop all of its meaning / draw the line'.

Tāmaki Makaurau electronic dance wiz A Blunt Jester documents a particularly smokin' live set at NZ Red Bar at the beginning of last month — including club-pumping medley 'See You at Burgundy's' plus a bonus 'Cross Street MIX' of student radio hit 'Cat Door' (featuring Penelope Noir).

Also conveying deep cosmopolitan vibrations is legendary Tāmaki Makaurau dub producer Stinky Jim's new rework of 'Love Lights' by California's Tribilin Sound "which was written expressly for Vector Lights Race Relations Week 2023" — enlivened further by Amazonian Afro-Peruvian scat singer Alvaro Isla's other-dimensional vocal improvisations.

Stop The Wars: GAZA is the first collection from Nelson Techno Collective, "a group of electronic music promoters, DJ’s and producers based in Whakatū, Aotearoa" — featuring bass-booming contributions by Dub Sensei, Kereru, Juan Jesús Yelo & Ice McYlon, Jedi-tek, Ignasi and Alvaro Moreno. "In a tribute to the recent tragedies in Gaza, our inaugural release is dedicated to the innocent lives lost. We acknowledge the pain and sorrow, and through our music, we seek to honor their memory. We are aware that the world needs change, and we firmly believe that music serves as a catalyst for that change. In the spirit of turning our beliefs into action, all proceeds generated from this album will be channeled to organizations directly involved in aiding children affected by the war".

Not necessarily new, yet embodying a decade-long summer tradition, Unknown Mortal Orchestra's Ruban Nielson has bundled the entirety of his sonically unchained, 10-part SB Series of annual releases (now concluded) into a highly covetable, five cassette box set edition — finally revealing SB stands for "Sketchbook"! Limited to 500 copies, get your preorder in HERE.

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