Mermaidens announce UK and European Tour dates, shares You Maintain The Stain video

YMTS.jpg

Following a successful mini tour of Aotearoa, Mermaidens share the music video for 'You Maintain The Stain' (#1), the a-side of their 7" split single You Maintain The Stain / Cut It Open, out now on Flying Nun Records. See below for full list of UK and European tour dates, just announced this morning.

'You Maintain the Stain', a stern letter to “The Man” that resembles a big, subtle middle finger to the messed up power structures in this world. The stain refers to the deep-seeded microaggressions that so many experience. The stain is all that is bad.

“It's about being assertive and having attitude - thus defying gendered expectations that women should handle situations in a calm, kind way,” explains bassist/vocalist Lily West.

Blow by deathly blow, “The Man” gets dragged through a hot sludge of heavy bass-filled corridors, overcut by Gussie Larkin’s angular, off-kilter guitar lines - a topical gnawing of teeth fresh from the kill.

“You won’t look me in the eye, you’re afraid I see you. You can’t hide. Your things cast a light… I see through you, I see right through...” sings West in a cold, certain voice over a series of hard hitting sonic bludgeons, emphasized by Abe Hollingsworth’s dynamic work on the kit.

This is Mermaidens louder, more crushing and propulsive than ever. They are in their element, and at their most raw and confronting.

Stream You Maintain the Stain / Cut It Open here:
Spotify | Apple Music | iTunes

Listen to newly released B-side 'Cut It Open':
https://soundcloud.com/flyingnunrecords/cut-it-open/s-qLmUY

The earliest sketches of Wellington trio Mermaidens follows the story arch of how most bands start; through long-term friendship and bonding over music that shaped their salad days. For Mermaidens, it was an eclectic melting pot of PJ Harvey, Warpaint and Fugazi to name a few.

Together, childhood friends Gussie Larkin (guitar/vocals), Lily West (bass/vocals) and Abe Hollingsworth (drums) form a powerful trinity of unwavering creativity and relentless work ethic. Their time together as Mermaidens has been a fruitful one; a timeline consisting of two critically acclaimed albums, being signed to iconic indie label Flying Nun Records, and a wide range of live supports that include Sleater Kinney, Death Cab for Cutie, Lorde, Mac DeMarco, and The Veils.

The internationally acclaimed Perfect Body (which drew a 2018 Taite Music Prize nomination) saw their circle of influence expand to a new, global audience. With its progressive and cinematic stylings on angular post-punk and grungeGoldFlakePaint said the record “should prove to be one of the summer’s most brilliant long-players," while long-time music critic Graham Reid of Elsewhere confirmed it as “a real listening experience.” Clash Magazine praised the record for its “Noisy, scratchy, enigmatic songwriting.” But perhaps it was God Is In The TV that explained the commanding presence of the record best by saying “I can quite believe that some of their tracks have mystical properties.”

Come 2019 and the trio are set to release a body of new work. The first split single 7” "You Maintain the Stain" / "Cut It Open" was released in April on Flying Nun Records. The band are in a new space. We are in darker, more confrontingly uncomfortable territory.


Follow Mermaidens online:
Facebook - Instagram - Twitter - Spotify - YouTube - Website

Europe Tour Poster_DIGI.jpg

Aldous Harding shares 'Fixture Picture'

Fixture screengrab 1.png

“Both fascinating and frightening, highly eccentric and blisteringly beautiful – a record destined to worm its way deep under the skin.” Q ★★★★★

“Cryptic and deeply idiosyncratic songs, a record you don’t want to turn your back on in any way.”
MOJO ★★★★

“It’s easy to become swept up in this world of sustained and excruciating beauty.”
Uncut 8/10

“A warm, textured collection of songs that breathe life at every corner.” DIY ★★★★


Today, Aldous Harding shares a new song and video for ‘Fixture Picture’ from her forthcoming third album Designer, out April 26 on Flying Nun Records (New Zealand). Co-directed by Aldous Harding and Jack Whiteley, the video’s suspenseful opening scene finds Harding strumming her guitar on the white cliffs of Dover. The pay-off comes later with a dramatic and enigmatic live performance by Harding and her band inspired by Alejandro Jodorowsky.

‘Fixture Picture’ follows first album single ‘The Barrel’ and its delightfully off-kilter accompanying video, the latter described as “uplifting and beautifully arranged,” by MOJO, with the Guardian saying “her spell remains strong." Watch ‘The Barrel’ video here.

Aldous Harding’s third album, Designer is released on 26th April and finds the New Zealander hitting her creative stride. After the sleeper success of Party (Taite Music Prize winner 2018), Harding came off a 200-date tour last summer and went straight into the studio with a collection of songs written on the road. Reuniting with John Parish, producer of Party, Harding spent 15 days recording and 10 days mixing at Rockfield Studios, Monmouth and Bristol’s J&J Studio and Playpen. From the bold strokes of opening track ‘Fixture Picture’, there is an overriding sense of an artist confident in their work, with contributions from Huw Evans (H. Hawkline), Stephen Black (Sweet Baboo), drummer Gwion Llewelyn and violinist Clare Mactaggart broadening and complimenting Harding’s rich and timeless songwriting.

Joined by her new 4-piece band, Aldous Harding kicked off a string of US dates with a SOLD OUT show in NYC on Monday night. Brooklyn Vegan called the performance “flat out amazing” adding “there was a clear connection between her and the audience, who were pin-drop quiet and hung on every note.”

ALDOUS HARDING - DESIGNER

Aldous Harding
Designer
26 April 2019


1. Fixture Picture

2. Designer

3. Zoo Eyes

4. Treasure

5. The Barrel

6. Damn

7. Weight of the Planets

8. Heaven is Empty

9. Pilot

Pre-save and preorder Designer, out April 26 on Flying Nun Records (NZ)
https://aldousharding.ffm.to/designer

To celebrate the release of Designer in Harding’s home territory, Flying Nun Records will press a special, limited edition blue/black colour vinyl for New Zealand fans. Pre-order now from Flying Out  or your local music store.

Follow Aldous Harding
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Flying Nun Records
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube | Instagram

Levi Patel releases A Shifting Lightness I

LeviPatel-3.jpg

New Zealand composer, Levi Patel unveils the first serving of new music since the critically acclaimed, Affinity. The album was the artist’s first solo release with Marigold Music, and was met with love from around the globe on its release in 2017. Today, Patel shares A Shifting Lightness I, out now and available on all digital platforms.

This four track release is the first chapter in a larger body of work, to be released as a triptych throughout 2019. Directed by filmmaker Jonathan Zsofi, Patel has shared sublime visuals for a newly revealed piece titled ‘With wings falling’.

Surrounded by the natural light and panoramic views of rural Matakana, the early sketches of a lengthy project titled A Shifting Lightness took place whilst living alone in Patel’s family home over an 18 month period between 2015-2017. Written in isolation, the flow of his journey exploring light and memory would evolve into subtle melodic ideas, built around the central voice of the piano.

The final recording is enveloped in the wairua of beloved music venue Leigh Sawmill. The space within the well lived walls has been witness to a long life of musical history and tradition. It is an environment wrapped in nostalgia and reflection, matching the thematic undertones of part one.

“Given time, memories become brighter and more beautiful as the bad parts fade. Spending so much time alone allowed me to reflect on my past, which came with a warm nostalgia, but at the same time I knew that my feelings weren’t a reflection of the whole truth,” says Patel of the compositional process.

A Shifting Lightness I opens with ‘Signals silent’, a minimalist beauty that acts as a precursor to the poignant and emotive ‘Her angled beauty’ (cello, violin, viola and double bass was provided by James BushPascal RoggenRachel Grimwood, and Eric Scholes throughout the project). A slow building crescendo, ‘With wings falling’ is a continuation of Patel’s delicate string arranging, unfolding effortlessly and building in  emotion wherever necessary. A revised version of fan favourite ‘As she passes (nocturne)’ draws a bittersweet conclusion to the first chapter; a warm, fleeting reminder of an old friend cast to time and memory.

All three parts of the triptych were recorded with the detailed attention of STUDIO 509 engineer Jacob Rush, and mixed by Simon Gooding. The project was co-produced by philosopher and musicologist Jeremy Reid. The artwork was created by Edgar Melitao and Corban Koschak, wholy informed and guided by the mood of work and the Matakana environment it originated in.

“The Matakana studio is half underground, so from where I was writing every day, I could only just see through a single window above ground. It was basically all I saw for the 18 months I was there," Patel reflects.

With cathartic musical brews, Patel’s journey took flight in 2014 with his self-released EP Forms, which was closely followed by second EP Of Sleep and Time, the spiritual home to much-loved composition ‘As she passes’ which has received well over 7 million streams across Soundcloud and Spotify worldwide.

In recent years, Patel has composed for multiple international films, including Nils Clauss’ Last Letters (a touching tribute to the victims of the Sewol ferry tragedy). He also co-wrote and featured on fellow kiwi Rhian Sheehan’s recent album, A Quiet Divide. Patel composed the soundtrack for short film It’s Snowing Outside, written and directed by Lucasfilm producer Rayne Roberts, and worked briefly at Skywalker Ranch with a team supervised by André Fenley (Iron Man, Minority Report, Fight Club, Jurassic Park).

 
A Shifting Lightness - Afternoon 03.jpg

A SHIFTING LIGHTNESS I

1. Signals silent
2. Her angled beauty
3. With wings falling
4. As she passes (nocturne)

Spotify | Apple Music | iTunes
Out now on Marigold Music

 

“You’d be quick to draw comparisons with Nils Frahm’s early days, but it’s Ólafur Arnalds and Otto A. Totland who’ll be witnessing a similar young prodigy tread in the same, gentle footsteps.” - A Strangely Isolated Place

“deserves a place near every fireside and in every front parlour” - Elsewhere

“A bright new star has flashed its way across the skies in the Southern Hemisphere… the compositions on Affinity will hold their appeal for generations to come.” Sunday Star Times ★★★★½

“Life-affirming music” - A Closer Listen