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Release Roundup: Tape Man, Tami Neilson, Sin City, Sam Bambery + More

Release Roundup: Tape Man, Tami Neilson, Sin City, Sam Bambery + More

Chris Cudby / Image: Tape Man / Friday 16th February, 2024 5:31PM

Not many local long players this time around, but a heck of a lot of notable Aotearoa single releases have emerged over the past seven days, with more than a couple getting into the sexy spirit of Valentine's Day. Revisit this week's coverage of Dateline, Marmalade Skies and Geneva AM, then dive into a bumper crop of tunes below from Secret Sorcery, Panadol, Sam Bambery, Keshia, Brandn Shiraz, Dalyan RD, Shocking Pinks, Jonathan Bree, Tami Neilson, Sin City, Crystal Chen, Audio Foundation Records and the Tape Man Esoteric Surf Trash fundraiser. I'll be in Wainuiomata at Camp A Low Hum next Friday so no release roundup that day (I'm essentially off the grid from Thursday afternoon until Monday) — catch you back here in a fortnight for more hand-selected sonic treasures.

The second release from Aotearoa underground imprint Arcane Chapel is an eight track collection of "simple, rudimentary, low fidelity dark dungeon synth" from composer / producer Secret Sorcery entitled The Curse of Fenncraag, out in full later today. Lead tracks 'Lost & Forgotten' and 'Magic From Another World' set a spellbinding tone, thematically enhanced by an accompanying short story included with each download (an excellent idea). Here's a snippet: "Unfortunately, the centuries old curse is weakening, and that which is locked beneath the castle grounds is beginning to break free. And so after exhausting every last option, the bordering kingdoms have sent a lone, but powerful sorceress to resolve this matter, quietly and discretely. And thus begins her journey, through perilous peaks and valleys, and into a wretched palace of old evil. There she must make a choice: Break the curse and destroy what emerges? Or sustain it and keep the evil asleep until it might rise again?"

A "non-opioid analgesic and antipyretic agent used to treat fever and mild to moderate pain," Panadol are also an enigmatic, robe-enshrouded subterranean Aotearoa drone / noise / doom project, whose heavily textured four track debut Homebrand slowly seeps into every pore.

Playing Witchcult's single release party on 2nd March at Lyttelton Coffee Company (nab tickets HERE), Sam Bambery strikes a variety of expressive poses in his clip for hallucinogenic guitar-pop number 'Parasite', directed / edited by Robyn Jordaan — the first release from the Ōtautahi artist's forthcoming album Rubricator. "This song started as a three chord number that was pretty unfinished when I brought it to De (Stevens). We jammed it briefly with my band, then made a bare-bones rhythm track that we ended up putting a lot of crazy over-dubs on. It's probably the most out-there tune I've ever done from a recording standpoint. The glassy percussion you hear is actually my drummer Sam playing an empty hot-sauce bottle.”

South African-born Aotearoa soul / jazz artist Keshia will be gracing the stage at Tāmaki Makaurau's Ante Room tonight, celebrating the launch of luscious, pull-no-punches new anthem 'Bitter' — also performing with band at Ponsonby Social Club on 7th March (presales over HERE).

Guest contributor on Home Brew's chart-topping latest album Run It Back, Cook Island / Tāmaki Makaurau rapper Brandn Shiraz's lyrical aim is unwavering on his steel drum-infused, high calibre first release of 2024 'gunfinger'. "I recorded this track right after me and the brothers performed a sold-out show at Galatos in Auckland. I must’ve still been buzzing from my performance and I wanted to channel it all back into music. The high energy and rawness was exactly how I felt at that moment."

Hip hop innovator Dalyan RD drops heart-melting solid gold funk with new single 'VDAY' — "Big sippin' like I just got paid everyday / 'cause everyday feel like it's Valentine's Day / So let's celebrate / You've got rocks I got Rosé / Let's get hella bent."

Also out in sync with Valentine's Day, Moider Mother's Nick Harte toasted the 20th anniversary of his globally influential debut Shocking Pinks album Dance the Dance Electric, unearthing 15 bonus tracks — all most likely unheard unless you stumbled upon a treasure trove of ancient CDRs during a recent flat cleanup — alongside the remastered originals. "A huge thanks must be given to all the incredible collaborators I was lucky enough to work with on these sessions and also to Tim Baird who had the foresight to release the darn thing in the first place. Keep an ear out for Downcast Eyes, a compilation of previously unreleased solo Shocking Pinks material, to be released in 2024."

One-time bandmate with Harte during The Brunettes era, Jonathan Bree shared a beautiful short film directed by Jagoda Elson for his tough-textured 'Steel And Glass', from the bemasked Aotearoa maestro's star-studded new album Pre-Code Hollywood.

Winner of the 2023 APRA Best Country Music Song Award for her duet with Willie Nelson ‘Beyond The Stars’, Tami Neilson shared a rousing cover of Nelson's 1974 classic 'Sister’s Coming Home', recorded in collaboration with Texas native Nicky Diamonds (The Black Opry).

Tāmaki Makaurau country-soul slickers Sin City (featuring members of The Cavemen) learn to live with the yin and yang of love on their rip-snorting, boogie-inducing new single / video combo 'Candy'. "When you eventually see they've moved on and are happy, you can't help but be a little bit disappointed! But passing flings can't last, and you have to accept it. That's what this song is about."

Created in collaboration with Kenny Sterling (Mānuka Recordings), Crystal Chen's rhythmically irresistible new soul / funk single 'Love Letter' "is our Valentines gift from us to you" — featuring Julien Dyne on congas and Chris Manning on trumpet. Keep on the lookout for an accompanying clip co-directed by Chen. "It was bittersweet to the extreme, yin and yang at its peak. I would have almost forgotten that a love like that existed if it wasn’t for that letter. We tend to do that when a memory is too painful to keep in the mind, it is special that we get to keep it in a physical form and revisit it if you dare, or even burn it – but in my case I wanted to treasure it."

Celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, the Audio Foundation's official imprint unveiled a new collection documenting a series live performances curated by Ro Rushton-Green, recorded over the course of David Green’s 2023 installation Songs of Rupture. "At these events eighteen local musicians responded to the fragmented visual narratives, producing soundscapes that resonate, challenge, weave through and enrich the installation."

Not strictly a new release but crucially relevant, all proceeds from Aotearoa surf-punk legend Tape Man's recently reissued Esoteric Surf Trash vinyl LP will go directly to the artist's family fundraiser, courtesy of Austrian imprint Bachelor Records. Here's the official lowdown below — you can also get it locally via Ride On Super Sound, Kato and Flying Out.

"We want you to buy this record and we want you to help this family. I'm not good at asking for money, but these people need your support. Dylan Herkes is the man behind the best budget rock label this side of the Y2K, Stink Magnetic Record Co. AND he is also the enigmatic mesmerizing and wylde TAPE MAN himself.

His wife Noel is pregnant and has stage 4 cancer and they had to make an emergency trip from their home in New Zealand to the USA in order to get her into a stage 4 cancer treatment program. Read all about this on their GIVE A LITTLE page. They have two more kids, two girls age 8 & 11 who they had to leave in NZ meanwhile. As you can imagine this treatment is costing a fortune plus they do not have any income while living in the USA as Dylan is not allowed to work there yet.

So it's like this: You buy the TAPE MAN - Esoteric Surf Trash LP directly from us for 18 Euros, and we will forward this money, the whole 18 Euros to this family. You can and should of course donate money on the GIVE A LITTLE page too. We will collect the money all througout the month of February 2024 and send them the money on the first day of March.

Please support them."

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Witchcult ‘Tree Pt 4’ Single Release Party
Sat 2nd Mar 8:30pm
Lyttelton Coffee Company, Christchurch
Keshia Live
Thu 7th Mar 7:00pm
Ponsonby Social Club, Auckland