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Release Roundup: P.H.F, DONK DOBBO, Mel Parsons, theSlacks, Death And The Maiden + More

Release Roundup: P.H.F, DONK DOBBO, Mel Parsons, theSlacks, Death And The Maiden + More

Chris Cudby / Image: P.H.F / Friday 3rd May, 2024 5:15PM

Traditionally one of the biggest release days of the year, Bandcamp Friday synergises with the first Friday of NZ Music Month / Te Marama Puoro o Aotearoa to manifest an overwhelming tidal wave of local offerings. Orbiting this year's key theme Amplifying Aotearoa, you can find out about NZMM initiatives, performance programmes, exhibitions and awards for this week HERE, and check out the UTR gig guide HERE for live shows to support in your area. Revisit this week's coverage of Geneva AM, Swallow The Rat, Family Band, Louisa Nicklin, Half Hexagon, Vor-Stellen, Big Sur and Matt Joe Gow & Kerryn Fields, then tuck in below for more new / recent highlights from P.H.F, DONK DOBBO, Death and the Maiden, Living Clipboards, Joe Ghatt, Mel Parsons, theSlacks, PARK RD, SWIDT, Vince Harder ft. Kings, Goodspace, Rita Mae, and Emma Dilemma.

Possibly baiting famously litigious metal behemoths, P.H.F's considerately packaged eleventh long player (!) LOAD has already been hailed as "A Really Fucking Good Album" by fans across the globe. These ears have never heard a dud release from one of Tāmaki Makaurau's finest forward thinkers — this one finds sweet spots between 2015's dreamy Soft and the breakbeat damaged digital punk 'scapes of Joe Locke's more recent work i.e. it is of course an instant classic. Out now via Danger Collective Records, with full album visualiser directed by P.J. Charles, holy smokes.

One of, if not the most highly anticipated releases of NZ Music Month 2024, DONK DOBBO makes an instantly legendary return with the stonking club kiwiana of DONK WORLD CUP 2024, out now via The Big Fresh Collective. "... AFTER MONTHS IN ISOLATION SEARCHING FOR THE NEW SOUND — DONK WAS INVITED TO ATTEND AN EXCLUSIVE BUSHDOOF RETREAT HOSTED BY RICHIE MCAW AND THE DONK WORLD CUP 2024 WAS BORN."

Ōtepoti electronic goths Death and the Maiden treat us to a gorgeous video by Christopher Schmelz for their perfectly autumnal latest single 'Leanest Cut' — created using "expired 16mm film hand processed in caffenol". New album Uneven Ground is "very soon to be released", pray for local live dates.

Here's what we call in the trade "another goodie" — the debut album from Ōtepoti / Pōneke supertrio Living Clipboards, aka Mark Williams (Cookie Brooklyn and the Crumbs, MarineVille), Denise Roughan (3Ds, LBGP, Ghost Club, MarineVille,) and Jim Abbott (Ghost Club). Elevate your Friday with All Over Tawa (including the surprisingly Ambitious Lovers-esque skronk of 'Off My Chest'), regale your eyeballs with Mike Heynes' video for 'Teenage Retreat' and order the limited vinyl LP edition via the Bandcamp link.

Aotearoa's Merlin of guitar psych-fuzz, Joe Ghatt unveils 'Pale Blue Dot' the swish second single from his first new album in five years Caper — out on 14th June 1via Third Eye Stimuli Records, Echodelick Records (USA) and Six Tonnes de Chair (FR). Nab a vinyl LP preorder and / or limited edition "Where In The World Is Joe Ghatt?" tee via the Bandcamp link.

Playing a triple date tour this June in celebration of her forthcoming new album SABOTAGE, a husky-toned Mel Parsons pleads "please remember me / I used to be fun" — riding rings around Ōtautahi's vast suburban stretches with echoes of Chris Isaak on new single 'Circling the City'. Nab tickets HERE for her Ōtautahi, Tāmaki Makaurau and Pōneke headline dates, and hit play Parsons's self-directed video.

Teeing us up with lead singles 'Old King Young', 'Crystal Mountain High' and the title track, Taranaki's theSlacks greet NZ Music Month with their third studio album Information Ape. Proudly repping their crowd-pleasing blend of folk-rock-pop / country-ska, you can catch theSlacks touring the North Island this month (grab tickets HERE), kicking off tonight in New Plymouth. “Internet porn, music festivals, artificial intelligence, bar brawls, invasive tech, suicide, friendship, gatherings, addiction, musical heroes and, of course, love and hope populate this album. These songs reflect the full and flustered times in which we live. Sometimes being connected feels more like being hopelessly tangled. As data-dust falls around us all like staticky snow, ask yourself – ‘is it information or is it marketing?’ We’re all being mapped, all of the time. How do you feel about it?”

Rolling out a massive masterplan for NZ Music Month 2024, Onehunga hip hop icons SWIDT have already unleashed two anthems with tonnes more on the way — bolshy banger 'BEEP BEEP' and the silky smooth funk of 'PROTOCOLS'.

Tackling the time-honoured "phone song" theme with gusto, Tāmaki Makaurau's PARK RD let the world know about their forthcoming debut album THE NOVEL (out on 24th May) with the hook-packed anticipation of lead single 'Call Me Up'. "The song is about getting ready before a night out, sometimes getting ready is just as fun as the night out for me.”

Vince Harder teams up with fellow Aotearoa hip hop superstar Kings, generating club-bumping grooves with a Mediterranean twist in their clip for 'Mamacita'.

The project of Tāmaki Makaurau-based musical polymath Jefferson Chen and friends, 'Do What You Need' is a sunnily melodic and exceptionally catchy teaser for Goodspace's debut album Let's Talk About Death — due out in the second half of 2024.

Muriwai songwriting starlet Rita Mae's 'Kiss The Sky' positively soars while throwing down industrial-grunge-pop overload — "about wanting everything and being unapologetic about it.”

New frontperson for none other than Tadpole on their upcoming winter tour, Emma Dilemma's new solo single 'Ready or Not" feels ready to shake stadiums with mammoth riffage and attitude to spare — embodying "the struggles of breaking free from the constraints of monotony and embracing the unknown".


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The Slacks - Information Ape Tour: Kick It.
Sat 11th May 7:00pm
Eight Ball, New Plymouth
The Slacks - Information Ape Tour: Kick On
Sat 18th May 7:00pm
Cassette Nine, Auckland
The Slacks - Information Ape Tour: Kick Back
Sat 25th May 7:00pm
Star and Garter, Coromandel
Mel Parsons - Sabotage tour
Sun 16th Jun 5:00pm
Old St Paul's, Wellington