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Release Roundup: Night Lunch, Ha The Unclear, Aro, Ulcerate, Molly Payton + More

Release Roundup: Night Lunch, Ha The Unclear, Aro, Ulcerate, Molly Payton + More

Chris Cudby / Image: Night Lunch / Friday 19th April, 2024 5:19PM

An exciting week at UTR HQ, as filming is now underway on our top secret new web series with Sports Team and a mystery bonus collaborator! We are officially barred from saying more until this music project goes live, but we'll probably keep milking clues over the coming weeks. Revisit this week's coverage of 花溪 Flowerstream, Sam Cullen and REPAIRS, then get stuck in to new Aotearoa releases / reissues from Night Lunch, Ha The Unclear, Ulcerate, Schkeuditzer Kreuz, lilbubblegum ft. Rico Nasty, Jim Nothing, Molly Payton, Aro, and The Steffan van Soest Hit Machine. Catch you out and about at Record Store Day this Saturday.

Famed for their on-point songwriting skills, everyone's favourite Ōtepoti drums / diddley bow duo Night Lunch smash it into the stratosphere with their new anthem '1 MILLION PINES', recorded at Roundhead and produced by Steven Marr. The liner notes state: "PINING FOR A BETTER FUTURE / DEATH CULT FRONTSEAT / NO FREE RIDES / WASH THE SLASH DOWNHILL / SLASHING PUBLIC LIFELINES / GET TO WORK! / ALL WOOD WILL BE SENT AS PULP OVERSEAS AND BOUGHT BACK AS FIBREBOARD / DEREGULATE THE SOIL AND THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE."

Six years in the pipeline, Ha The Unclear have finally lifted the veil on their third studio album A Kingdom in a Cul-de-sac, out in the world today via Paris-based imprint Think Zik. Including such long-term faves as 'Wallace Line', 'Strangers' and 'Growing Mould', A Kingdom in a Cul-de-sac offers an ideal gateway into the group's hook-packed universe, sounding at times like an Ōtepoti-bred XTC. "This is an immense release for us, stylistically, the album shifts through a lot of our gears and so we feel like it represents a good chunk of who, how, and what the band is about. We’re grateful for the opportunity to put it to the wider world, to tell a bit of our story, and excited for what’s next."

Overlords of Aotearoa extreme metal, Ulcerate waste no time in revealing the second single / video from their forthcoming seventh studio album Cutting the Throat of God, launching on 14th June. Experience the charred intensity of Dehn Sora's video for 'To Flow Through Ashen Hearts' — the second in a "triptych of new-album collaborations."

Recently back in Aotearoa for a nationwide tour last summer, NSW-based ex-pat industrial synth crust propagator Schkeuditzer Kreuz discombobulates our eyes and ears with new visuals for 'Ratchet', from 2023's No Life Left — note the content warning: strobing imagery.

Aotearoa hip hop sensation lilbubblegum joins forces with US rap star Rico Nasty (!) on slamming new collaborative cut 'SCRAPS ON' — warning listeners: "Don’t talk about me or you’ll end up on Reddit."

Jim Nothing greets autumn with the masterfully melodic reflections of new single 'Hourglass' — recorded with Brian Feary, Paul Brown and backing vocalist Frances Carter — swinging their guitar around what looks to me like the mudflats of Onehunga (I nearly lost my shoe there once) in Carter's MTV-ready video extravaganza.

Molly Payton slams down the distortion pedal, zooming into widescreen shoegaze-pop territory on her enjoyably fuzzy new anthem 'Accelerate'. Look out for an accompanying video directed by Oscar Keys, filmed at the Beachlands Speedway in Ōtepoti.

Shortlisted for the APRA Silver Scroll Award Kaitito Kaiaka in 2023, Aro is the bilingual songwriting project of married duo Emily and Charles Looker (Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Te Ata, Te Ari Awamutu). They've unveiled their fourth album He Rākau, He Ngārara, drawing inspiration from "five native rākau (trees) and four waiata linked to native ngārara (insects & reptiles)" — celebrating "significant native rākau & ngārara. The process included researching mātauranga Māori, related or relevant to, legends and whakatauki, with each waiata written with involvement from members of iwi and hapū that Charles belongs to."

Ōtautahi legends The Steffan van Soest Hit Machine get a second life online with the epoch-spanning remastered reissue of their 1998 debut album Here Comes The Steffan van Soest Hit Machine — including their RDU Song of the Year award winning 'Hey Motherfucker', which they played "with Neil Finn when he visited Christchurch in 2001." More reissues are on the way: "The rest of the SVSHM back catalogue will be made available digitally in due course."


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