By HUGO ROBINSON.

Mitski teaser track, new album coming

Japanese-born, New York-based pop-punk/indie rocker Mitski has released a teaser track in anticipation of her forthcoming album Puberty 2, out June 17th on Dead Oceans. The track, titled Your Best American Girl, features Mitski’s characteristic, warbling voice, but more confidently than in Bury Me At Makeout Creek. The song deals with her transplantation to the US from Japan and the alienation that she felt with it. It is very similar to the tracks that appear on her 2014 record, but the picture seems to be just a bit clearer.

 

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis concert

Macklemore and long-time collaborator Ryan Lewis are a controversial pair. Well, Macklemore is. But other than being the fussy kid at Christmas who wants to sit with the adults, he is also making pretty good poppy rap. The Heist has been followed up with This Unruly Mess I’ve Made and in true pop style, this round of touring will be bigger, bigger and bigger! They’ll be playing at Vector Arena in Auckland on July 28th and Horncastle Arena in Christchurch on July 30th. Tickets are on sale now. Go to www.livenation.co.nz for more info.

 

Kill J kills it

Kill J is by far one of my favourite pop artists at the moment. She is actually interesting! The Scandinavians are always onto the best of everything, aren’t they? With an impressive high vocal range, subtle but innovative – for pop standards, this ain’t no Iglooghost or nothin’ – production and a passionate delivery, Kill J is, excuse the pun, doing things better on You’re Good But I’m Better. Another element of Scandi-Pop (this is what I’ll call it now) is fashion. Anna of the North, MØ, Kill J, they are so swanky. So swanky. I think it’s where I want to live one day.

 

Record Store Day!

April 16th is the day to celebrate vinyl. What a great thing vinyl is. How impractical. How cool. This Record Store Day, you better dust off your mum’s audio-technica, pop on some Joan Armatrading and relax. Or, go down to Slow Boat Records, Real Groovy or Pennylane Records and pick some new ones up. Specifically, keep on the lookout for, say, a 180g heavyweight vinyl reissue of Changesonebowie. So yeah, life’s good for Bowie and vinyl enthusiasts alike.

 

Matmos – Ultimate Care II

Matmos has been around since 1995. They could’ve got stale. You know, when organic things are left out, they go off pretty quickly. But these guys, they’re organic, free-range experimentalists and their play with sound has continued to be more boundary-pushing than any of the young bucks gracing the scene today. The duo, along with – despite what I just said – a host of amazing collaborators, sampled a washing machine to make a heck of a 38-minute-long track. A washing machine.

“Did I hear that right, Hugo?’, you’re asking. Yup, you do hear correctly. A washing machine. I bet you feel bad for not doing the laundry now huh? Laundry is cool. All the experimental electronic duos are sampling it. But wait, no, only Matmos are because they freaking rule. The moral of the spiel is this: It takes talent and supreme creativity to make a varied, intense and even epic soundscape out of such sample material. The genius is unquestionable. It’s writing Dickens on a napkin. Its painting Pollock with a lump of coal. Listen to it on Spotify.

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