International News: October 2018
In this issue: BIGSOUND 2018, Princess Chelsea, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, The Beths, Robinson and more!
NZ @ BIGSOUND 2018
The four bands from Aotearoa that showcased at BIGSOUND 2018 made a massive splash across the ditch last month. Estère, Miss June, The Beths and Wax Chattels each took the stage in Fortitude Valley at least twice each in the first week of September and it's safe to say they blew the crowds away.
Scenestr were definitely impressed by Estère, calling her "an absolute vision... very engaging". They also touted The Beths as one to watch, while Stack were also big fans of The Beths. TheMusic.com.au reported The Beths might have pulled the biggest crowd of the first night of BIGSOUND ... and deservedly so!
The AU Review had named Wax Chattels as a must-see ahead of the festival and after the fact said "they more than lived up to the hype", naming them one of their six best discoveries of BIGSOUND. Happy Magazine said their set "was likely the most intense of the festival".
Fellow NZ artists Mali Mali and Bakers Eddy also performed over the week.
Princess Chelsea is currently making her way around Europe but it’s not just her tour that’s getting the whole continent talking, it's also her new album The Loneliest Girl - released via Lil’ Chief Records on 7 September.
The 405 of the UK gave the album a 7.5 out of 10 rating, Germany’s Spex said the album is “no escape route from reality, but a subtle soundtrack to the post-apocalyptic present”, Poland’s Soundrive gave the album 4 out of 5 stars, and Turkey’s Sert Seli were also fans.
For a taste of what can be expected from a Princess Chelsea show, take a peak at the pictures of her show in Prague on Czech Republic’s Rock and Pop, or if you’re interested in what Princess Chelsea enjoys musically, check out the mix she made for Vice Romania.
Connan’s third solo record Jassbusters is only days away now, and he recently dropped a second single from the album - in case we weren’t excited enough already. Consequence of Sound and Paste Magazine both featured the track ‘Charlotte’s Thong’, the latter saying “It uses its nine-minute runtime well: Every part gets its chance to shine, never rushing, always cool.” Belgium’s Dansende Beren said the song’s strength lies in its length as “it gives you the time to float away or to dance sensually through your room” while France’s Tsugi called the song a “elegant psyche pop, languorous and sinuous”. Dazed Magazine also featured the song on their Tracks of The Month playlist for September.
Jassbusters will be released 12 October via Mexican Summer, which you can pre-order now via their website.
BIGSOUND wasn’t the only place abuzz about The Beths in September. As mentioned last month, they released their debut album Future Me Hates Me in August via Carpark Records to hugely positive reviews and press. The album continued to earn praise well into September, with Bandcamp listing Future Me Hates Me one of the Best Albums of Summer 2018. J Edward Keyes wrote “If The Beths are this good already, just imagine where they’ll be four albums from now.“ The Chicago Reader’s review of the album said “the quartet counterweights the [lyrical] heaviness with stunningly bright guitar riffs and charmingly exuberant vocal harmonies—it’s a delicate line to walk, but The Beths make it seem easy.”
Their latest video for their single ‘Little Death’ also came out in September, with a premiere on NPR’s All Things Considered, the band stopped by Enmore Audio in Australia for a live version of their single ‘Happy Unhappy’ for Happy Mag, and they were interviewed by The AU Review in the lead-up to BIGSOUND.
The Beths have just begun their second tour of the USA that includes sold out shows in both Brooklyn and Seattle, where The Stranger said "Auckland, New Zealand’s The Beths are one of the most exciting new rock bands in the world". They’ve also been announced as the support for US band Death Cab For Cutie on their Europe/UK tour over January and February 2019.
Not slowing down since her hit debut single ‘Nothing To Regret’ Robinson is racking up streams once again with her new single ‘Medicine’. The song hit Spotify on 7 September and in the few weeks since has nearly garnered 2.5 million streams on the service and was included in Triple J’s Best New Music playlist the week of 17 September. The video soon followed with a premiere on Hollywood Life, and then featured on both UK’s Clash Magazine and France’s Aficia.
Flight of the Conchords
New Zealand’s “fourth most popular folk duo” are back! Since their HBO series aired nearly a decade ago, Flight of the Conchords have toured the world intermittently but only now are they finally bringing their music to the small screen. In September they performed their new song ‘Father & Son’ on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on CBS in the United States and on 6 October their new hour-long ‘Live in London’ special will premiere on HBO. Pitchfork, Indiewire, The AV Club and Mxdwn among many other fans across social media and the world are excited to say the least!
It’s been three years since the last release from Dunedin’s The Chills, but it was worth the wait. Their new album Snow Bound was released via Fire Records on 14 September much to the delight of reviewers around the world, especially Pitchfork who gave the album a 7.5 out of 10 rating, as did Italy’s Indie For Bunnies, Spain’s MondoSonoro gave the album 8 out of 10 and CrypticRock gave it 4 out of 5. Positive comments included one from Germany’s Musik Express who called the album an “eventful 33 minutes of songs from a great pop force” while New York’s The Big Takeover “highly recommended” Snow Bound. Brooklyn Vegan also premiered the music video for single ‘Complex’.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra recently swung through the southern hemisphere leaving a trail of happy fans everywhere they went - as evidenced by a positive review from the Sydney Morning Herald of their Sydney show and scenestr’s review of their Brisbane show. Praise hailed from the north too with LA’s Under The Radar naming their new song ‘Hanoi 6’ one of the 10 Best Songs of the Week and The Fader calling the song “a sprawling cut that builds with the fury of a storm”. ‘Hanoi 6’ is the sixth track off their upcoming instrumental record IC-01 HANOI due for release via Jagjaguwar on 26 October.
After a quick stint in Mexico this week, Unknown Mortal Orchestra will be returning to Europe and the UK where they’ll be touring through until the end of November, including a performance at Pitchfork Festival in Paris with the likes of Bon Iver on 3 November and sold out shows at Concorde 2 in Brighton and The Academy in Dublin..
Bits & Pieces
- Marlon Williams performs a song in new Hollywood film A Star Is Born, starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.
- Lorde was listed on NPR’s Turning The Tables feature on the 25 Most Influential Women Musicians of the 21st Century.
- Alien Weaponry have been announced to perform at Download Festival 2019 in Australia alongside acts such as Ozzy Osbourne, Slayer, Judas Priest and Alice In Chains.
- Fat Freddy’s Drop have sold out their shows in Brussels, Oslo, Köln, Manchester, Glasgow, London and two shows in Copenhagen on their upcoming Europe/UK tour with Ladi6.
- Daffodils have signed a global deal with UK artists services company, Kartel Music Group.
- Raiza Biza’s new single ‘Runner’ with Remi (AUS) and Black Milk (USA) has been featured on Triple J.
- The video for new HIGH HØØPS single 'Madly' featured on Earmilk.
- Canadian musician Mac Demarco spoke with Neil & Liam Finn for the US-based Talkhouse Podcast.
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