Leave Work Press Play

I work in a very quiet law office, known at The Library (which would be perfect if it actually was). We have the tummy-rumblers, the furious chewers, the involuntary sighers and the out-loud-thinkers. I probably fall into three of those camps. In some ways it’s a respite from the noisy world but I miss listening to music, and always look forward to shoving my headphones into my ears on the walk home. I’ve put together a playlist of songs I’m listening to at this very moment. See the link below. And the very cool thing is there’s a song on the list by my work colleague’s band, Mecuzine. I like to think that while he’s tapping away on the keyboard he imagines it’s not a computer but his piano and he’s hearing the song in his head. Mecuzine’s members have serious NZ rock cred. Album due out 13 July.

As soon as I heard Death Cab for Cutie had a new song, I had to immediately go and listen to it (in the bathroom at work). Although the band (and we) miss the brilliance of guitarist Chris Walla, Gold Rush still brings the clever lyrics DCFC are known for, even with the hackneyed distortion of Ben Gibbard’s voice. And the hook at the start is from Yoko Ono…

One of my picks for album of the year, Microshift by Leeds-based band Hookworms, is well worth listening to. It’s the band’s third and most accessible record – less abrasion, less drone and less overall noise and fuzz. It jumps across genres – post-punk, indie rock, electronica while maintaining an overall euphoria and jubilance. If you like Arcade Fire or LCD Soundsystem this is the album for you.

If you’re in the mood for genuinely happy pop (and who isn’t), listen to four-piece, The Beths. And these just aren’t any old Beths. They are our very own Beths hailing from Auckland. Press play for Dopamine.

The List:

Bat those lashes, Natasha

Cover of
Cover of Two Suns

Compelling  and unconventional with a memorable voice, 33 year old Natasha Khan has been likened to Kate Bush, PJ Harvey, Tori Amos and Bjork. However Khan, more commonly known as Bat For Lashes, is carving her own track with her emotive, and sometimes theatrical but never ordinary,  indie-pop/dream-pop songs.

Khan had produced three albums since 2006: ‘Fur and Gold‘; ‘Two Suns‘; and last year’s ‘The Haunted Man‘. What I love about her music is that it’s unpredictable and catchy all at the same time. There is a jubilance, an exhilarating freedom, in many of the choruses to her songs that grabs you unexpectantly (especially given the raw subject-matter). Khan’s voice is the centrepiece of everything and its authentic quality holds us steady amongst the noise –  the stirring orchestral strings, the all-male backing choirs, the emergence of unusual instrumental sounds that are purely electronic in origin. And, somehow, it all seems to work.

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