By ALEX LYALL

 

We had International Women’s Week this week (okay it’s technically just the day – but it should be the whole week) so we’re taking a look at some of the music news around strong women. Kaylee Bell is opening for The Dixie Chicks, First Aid Kit release a breathtakingly relevant single and classical musicians respect the work of Grimes.

 

Kaylee Bell to open for the Dixie Chicks

The Dixie Chicks are bona fide legends, so it’s fair to say this concert will be a big deal. New Zealand goes tit-for-tat with our own stellar country talent, Kaylee Bell. A Waimate (South Island – before you ask ‘where?’) native, Bell has also lived in Nashville, which is where she wrote Getting Closer. She’s supported big acts before: Tim McGraw, Keith Urban and Faith, but the Dixie Chicks is something else. But she’s ready.

 

First Aid Kit release track on International Women’s Day

The release date isn’t an accident, You are the Problem Here is a rightfully angry attack on how our culture uses alcohol to defend sexual assault. What’s remarkable about this track is the total change in tone from their usual folksy melody-making. How did that happen? Well, since then, things have changed politically for the worse for women. Essential listening. Everybody needs to hear this song – immediately!

 

Grimes goes to the orchestra

When Visions was released in 2012 it felt like a wee grenade had been thrown into the indie world. Well, now the classic world is feeling the same explosion. A dozen composers will reinterpret the album during a series called Many Visions: Plumes Deconstruct the Music of Grimes. One track called Nightmusic already has a bit of Mozart as a sample, so it’ll be interesting to see what they do with that one.

 

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Their Greatest Hits

Nick Cave – who just stunned Auckland audiences – is releasing an updated greatest hits album. Except it’s not quite like that… what this compilation album serves to do is highlight the absolute best, not just the hits. Members and ex-members alike have had a say on what makes the cut. More than that, the deluxe edition features a huge sprinkling of all their most impactful live recordings. A must for anybody who calls themselves a Bad Seed.

 

The Dollar Bill Murrays – I Want Everything

Speaking of cool-dude Australians, here’s a new band called The Dollar Bill Murrays from Brisbane. I Want Everything is both chill and paranoid, pacing itself slowly enough to reflect the spaced-out swagger of Queens of the Stone Age while double-downing on this demand to have it all. It’s a shame summer’s over, as this would go down a treat at the BBQ.

 

New Fleet Foxes Album   

Unlike most uni students I know, Robin Pecknold has short hair now. Crack-Up is the band’s first album in six years because Mr. Pecknold is an academic first and foremost, and spent the last six years at Colombia. Third of May/ Ōdaigahara is the first release from the album, and its boldness is a tell-tale sign that the whole album will be fire.

 

Miss last week’s Haul? No worries, just click here to see it!

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