NZ Artist Offshore News: May 2018
In this issue: The Beths, Neil Finn, Estère, Connan Mockasin, Openside, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, over 200 international tour dates and more!
The Beths sign to Carpark Records
In April, indie-pop four-piece from Auckland, The Beths, excitedly announced their recent signing to Washington D.C.-based label Carpark Records. Carpark reissued their 2016 Warm Blood EP on April 9, calling it "the catchiest". In a review of the record, Stereogum said that "beyond their individual excellence... [and] far-reaching stylistic explorations they all feel of a piece", while Austin Town Hall also gave the EP a great review and Tiny Mix Tapes seemed very excited about the band in general.
The Beths also announced their first overseas tour with 17-dates across Ireland, the UK and Europe over May/June, followed by 6 shows in the U.S.A., including a support slot for Peach Kelli Pop in Brooklyn, NY, on 11 June.
Neil Finn joins Fleetwood Mac
Local legend Neil Finn has joined classic British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac following the departure of esteemed member Lindsay Buckingham. Joining him is Mike Campbell, formerly of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. The news sent media into a frenzy with The Rolling Stone, Billboard, The Sydney Morning Herald, Variety and countless other publications worldwide reporting on the line-up change ahead of the band's upcoming world tour. The official announcement from the band stated they are "thrilled to welcome the musical talents of the caliber of Mike Campbell and Neil Finn into the Mac family" while Finn says he "can't wait to play [with the band] some more". The first of the world tour dates have been announced with 52 shows set to take place in North America from October 2018.
In the meantime, Finn will be performing his latest album Out of Silence at two shows in Sydney this month, and one in Surfer's Paradise this June.
Estère releases second full-length album
Wellington "electric blue witch-hop" producer and performer, Estère released her second album My Design, On Others' Lives on 27 April with Rough Peel Records and according to US cultural site Afropunk who premiered the album it's "a glittering collection of unexpected and unidentifiable soundscapes that harken back to this DIY noise machine sound" and a "pop lover's dream". Bandcamp called the album "a bold record, full of confidence and rigor" in a feature about the album which included an interview with the artist herself. Estère was also interviewed for Australia's Music Love who said her "thoughtfulness and intelligence in her artistry is testament to her commitment to hard work, discipline and a love of learning."
Estère will be performing in Wellington and Auckland to celebrate the new release on Thursday 3 May and Saturday 5 May respectively with tickets available now on Undertheradar. She'll then be heading off to the UK and Europe for both headlining and festival dates including Afropunk Festival in Paris, France where she'll perform alongside the likes of D'Angelo, Damian Marley and SZA.
Connan's influence reigns
Though Connan Mockasin, originally from Te Awanga, has been relatively quiet for the past few months, his influence in the music industry is still evident far and wide. A highlight from the last month alone was his song ‘Forever Dolphin Love' (from 2010 album Please Turn Me Into The Snat) being performed by UK artist King Krule on BBC Radio 1. In addition to that, he was also cited as an inspiration by Portuguese band We Sea on the UK-based site Dazed, by Turkish artist Nilüfer Yanya on Turkey's Daily Sabah and by American Jack Stauber in the Pittsburgh City Paper.
Connan's only upcoming performance seems to be as a part of the the recently announced line-up for California's Desert Daze festival alongside the likes of Tame Impala and Death Grips but we're hopeful we'll hear more from him soon!
Openside - 'No Going Back'
Once the video for the new track ‘No Going Back' from Auckland pop-punk outfit Openside premiered April 19 on popular U.S.-based alternative music site, Alternative Press, the blogosphere couldn't get enough. Coverage from Substream Magazine, BroadwayWorld.com, Go See Live Music followed on and The Line of Best Fit even listed it in their Pop Never Dies column!
UMO release fourth album, Sex & Food
Unknown Mortal Orchestra released their highly-anticipated fourth studio album, Sex & Food, with U.S. label Jagjaguwar on April 6 much to the excitement of critics and music fans across the internet and around the world. Pitchfork gave the album a 7 out of 10 rating in its review from Jazz Monroe and named it one of the 7 Albums Out [on April 6] That You Should Listen To Now alongside Cardi B and Kali Uchis. The Guardian, NME and Billboard also reviewed the album with Billboard commending founder of the band, Ruban Nielson, originally from Auckland but now based in Portland, Oregon in the U.S., for his "ability to marry irresistible hooks and melodies with trenchant observations about relationships, tech and our shared humanity". In the days following the release, The Fader and DIY Magazine also ran interviews with Ruban.
UMO recently kicked off their Sex & Food world tour, beginning with shows in the U.S.A. and dates in the UK, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand to follow.
Bits & Pieces
· ‘Body' from HIGH HØØPS was named MTV Australia's Upload Of The Week on April 18.
· Alae's new video for ‘Stone Cold' premiered on Billboard.com.
· Lorde has been announced as one of the headline acts for Splendour in the Grass 2018 in Byron Bay, Australia, alongside the likes of Kendrick Lamar.
· New album from Waikato's Birds of Passage, The Death of Our Invention (released 6 April on German label Denovali Records) premiered on Hypemachine.
· Soul artist, TEEKS sold out his debut London show at St Pancras Old Church on 23 May.
· Drax Project of Wellington featured on the track ‘LIGHT' on U.S. rapper, Famous Dex's new album, Dex Meets Dexter.
· New track from Wax Chattels, ‘Career' premiered on The 405.
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