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Congress of Animals - Congress of Animals

Release Date: 07.12.2018

Wellington supergroup CONGRESS OF ANIMALS features members of Trinity Roots, Fly My Pretties, Flight of the Concords and the Wellington Ukulele Orchestra. They recently completed a NZ tour to much critical acclaim and this week released their debut self-titled album, which was two years in the making due to the conflicting schedules of its members. Listen to the album below.


Moniker - Merry Krautmas

Release Date: 07.12.2018

Good news! You can avoid all those horrific Xmas #1 contenders and cheesy Xmas carols with a unique festive album this year...Merry Krautmas by MONIKER (three members of The Phoenix Foundation, previously responsible for the Hunt For The Wilderpeople soundtrack). As the title suggests, this is an album of Xmas tunes re-worked in the style of Krautrock. Read the Under The Radar review and download it below.


Mel Parsons - Glass Heart

Release Date: 07.12.2018

The fourth album by West Coast indie-folkster MEL PARSONS was recorded with producer Mitchell Froom (Crowded House, Suzanne Vega, Richard Thompson, Randy Newman) between Lyttleton and North America. calls the album "an exquisitely crafted body of work which reveals a darker, fuller side to the singer and songwriter's acclaimed sound" - read the full review, listen to the album and tune in to her RNZ live session below. 

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Dog Power - dog power

Release Date: 23.11.2018

The debut self-titled album by Christchurch band DOG POWER was released on Flying Nun at the end of last week. The experimental indie-pop duo favour samples, live percussion, drum machines, synthesisers and guitars behind deep unique vocals to achieve their industrial electronica and highly-charged rock sounds. Listen below. 


MELODOWNZ - Melo & Blues

Release Date: 23.11.2018

The hotly anticipated double EP by Auckland artist MELODOWNZ is out now. Titled Melo & Blues and featuring big singles Peace $igns, Gang $igns and the R&B flavoured $moke (feat Villette), this release sees the HIGH BEAMS project member collaborate with Troy Kingi, Louis Baker and UK rapper HOOPS, with production from Christoph El Truento and Mikos Da Gawd. Listen below.

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Diggy Dupé - Island time

Release Date: 23.11.2018

There has also been a steady flow of tip top hip hop flowing out of Auckland in 2018 and it’s not slowing down yet. The latest contributor is Grey Lynn MC DIGGY DUPÈ, whose Island Time EP follows 2017's hotly received K.O.T.I.C release. Read the Under The Radar review and listen to the EP below.

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Blair parkes & cardigan bay - Little rapids

Release Date: 16.11.2018

The wonderful BLAIR PARKES released his second album of 2018 this week, this time with the help of his CARDIGAN BAY bandmates. Previously featured album Always Running (scroll down for reviews) is one of my favourite releases this year and new album Little Rapids brings a gentler, more laid back vibe with an infectious depth and warmth. Stream and buy below.

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Marlin’s Dreaming - Talk on / comic

Release Date: 13.09.2018

There have been so many great releases out of Dunedin in 2018 and MARLIN'S DREAMING EP titled Talk On/Comic is another to add to the list. Surf-rock complete with lots of reverb-driven guitars - listen to the collection of catchy tunes recorded at Chick’s Hotel and read the NZ Musician review below. 

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Yoko-Zuna - voyager

Release Date: 16.11.2018

Auckland electronic hip hop artists YOKO-ZUNA released sophomore album Voyager this week on Loop Recordings. The album features collaborations with Ladi6P MoneyNoah SleeSWIDTJessB MeloDownz and Raiza Biza - read the Radio 13 review and listen to the album below…and check out that beautiful album artwork!


Christoph el truento - LWMP18

Release Date: 16.11.2018

Check out this release by sound explorer CHRISTOPH EL TRUENTO. New album LWMP18, released on Berlin label/collective Cosmic Compositions, is full of fabulous sample-heavy tracks touching a wide range of genres - read The 405 review and listen to the album below. 

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KINGS - Lov3 & 3go

Release Date: 02.11.2018

Producer-rapper-songwriter KINGS is back with album number three after a busy 12 months that included breaking the record for longest running No. 1 NZ single for his track Don't Worry Bout It. He has clocked up over 10 million streams across his first two releases and the new album already has two singles making waves in NZ. Listen to the album and read the Hit Up Ange review below.

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Cindy - Cindy

Release Date: 02.11.2018

There is a new punk band tearing up Auckland featuring members of DHDFDSCool Runnings and Magic Factory. The four piece have built a fierce live reputation and this week released their debut self-titled EP. They also released a video for the lead single Dethamphetamine PV1 - watch the video and listen to the EP below.

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Fanau Spa - Fanau Spa

Release Date: 02.11.2018

FANAU SPA, named after Fanau Spa Studios on Auckland's Karangahape Road where the album was created, released their debut self-titled mixtape last week. The nine-member hip hop collective call themselves a "family rap ensemble," featuring Queen KapussiJoe KoriBig Fat RaroCoco SolidXamiishiManuBrown Boy MagikTH1R§T3EN and Yumgod. Read the Under The Radar review below.


orchestra of spheres - Mirror

Release Date: 02.11.2018

ORCHESTRA OF SPHERES released their fourth album last week, titled Mirror. The Wellington band have built a cult following with their mix of psychedelic groove and electronica rhythms, and the new album continues their cross-genre journey. If you have been listening to our New (Zealand) Releases playlist you'll be familiar with first single Koudede - read the Quietus album review below.


Alae - Henry St

Release Date: 26.10.2018

Alt-pop band ALAE's debut album Henry St is out now. The band doubled in size and sound during the recording process and the lead singles have already amassed over 3 million Spotify streams. Atwood Magazine calls the album “a cascade of raw, intimate expression, Henry Street is a debut for the ages – a cohesive, creative, and powerfully evocative introduction to New Zealand’s Alae” - read the full review below.

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Unknown mortal orchestra - IC-01 Hanoi

Release Date: 26.10.2018

The second full-length album by UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA of 2018 is out, which is perfect timing for their upcoming UK tour. IC-01 Hanoi is instrumental, experimental and at times brilliantly mental. Hardcore UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA fans will love the psychedelic jazz explorations as arguably NZ's biggest international act right now continue to push boundaries. Listen and read the excellent Happy Mag review below for the rundown.  

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raiza biza & remi - Black hole sun

Release Date: 26.10.2018

In true ANZUS spirit, fast-rising Kiwi hip hop star RAIZA BIZA has joined forces with Melbourne's REMI and renowned Detroit producer BLACK MILK to release 6 track EP Black Hole SunRAIZA BIZA is one of the leading lights in the current purple patch being enjoyed by NZ hip hop - according to the Noisey (Vice) review below the EP is a 'meeting of New Zealand & Australian rap titans'.

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MC Tali - Love & Migration

Release Date: 26.10.2018

The First Lady of Drum and Bass, MC TALI released new album Love & Migration this week. Tali, the first female to grace the cover of DJ Magazine International, visits London in November to play at SINE Drum & Bass Warehouse Rave alongside some of the giants of the genre, including LTJ Bukem. The new album is reviewed by Libel below.

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Julien Dyne - teal

Release Date: 19.10.2018

JULIEN DYNE's new album Teal is described as 'a joyful exploration of afro-influenced percussive house and electronic soul' by Vinyl Factory. The former Opensouls drummer had opening track Design included in Maryanne Hobbs'BBC 6 Music Recommends list during the album’s first week of release - listen and read the Exclaim! album review below.

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Fruit juice parade - the more you don’t know the less you know

Release Date: 05.10.2018

A wonderful new EP and another great recording from the excellent Papaiti Records is the debut collection from FRUIT JUICE PARADE titled The More You Don't Know The Less You Know. The teenage Palmerston North duo were interviewed by fellow Kiwi indie-emo band Carb on Carb in the Under The Radar interview and article below. 


Connan Mockasin - Jassbusters

Release Date: 12.10.2018

CONNAN MOCKASIN's new release is Jassbusters, his third album and the first part of a concept series titled Bostyn 'n DobsynMockasin's trademark smooth melodies are present throughout, as is his unconventional, eclectic style. Uncut Magazine celebrates the weird and wonderful world Mockasin creates while reaffirming his position as 'the maddest biscuit in the box.' Read the Pitchfork review below.

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indi - Precipice

Release Date: 12.10.2018

Berlin-based contemporary composer INDI, formerly of Christchurch trip-hop band Doprah, released her debut album Precipice last week. The album blissfully mixes electronica with classical instrumentation via complex multi-layered structures. The Line of Best Fit describe the album as experimental alt-pop - read the full review, listen and buy the album below.

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Jaggers x Lines - Burn cycle

Release Date: 05.10.2018

The debut album by Dunedin duo JAGGERS x LINES, titled Burn Cycle, is out now. Self-proclaiming their sound as 'trip-pop,' the album is full of bass-heavy tunes combined with old school hip hop beats and clever lyrics. Songbroker.NZ describes the release as ‘A joyously chaotic, bass-heavy, pop minded exploration of Gray’s experiences healing from trauma; the album lyrically builds itself bubbles of personal revelation to have them pop into the lush and silky production that can’t help itself but compel you to dance.’ Read the review and listen to the album below. 

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Rhian Sheehan - A Quiet Divide

Release Date: 05.10.2018

Cinematic electronic composer RHIAN SHEEHAN released his first album in five years to overwhelmingly positive reviews. A Quiet Divide shifts between ambience, post-rock and modern composition with wide sprawling soundscapes attracting gushing descriptions such as 'pure sonic bliss' from reviewers. Stream the album below while reading the review from from A Closer Listen.

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bad sav - bad sav

Release Date: 28.09.2018

Dunedin trio BAD SAV released their much-anticipated debut on the awesome Fishrider Records label. The band, including members of Death and the Maiden and Shifting Sands, have been around for a decade building their live reputation so there is much excitement around the release of this LP. It is a beautiful piece of work and has already established itself on my 2018 best of list. Read the Under The Radar review, listen on Spotify and buy the album below.

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Hybrid Rose - Warhol

Release Date: 24.08.2018

Wellington electronic artist HYBRID ROSE released her second album titled Warhol. The album mixes futuristic beats with a retro vibe to create what Under the Radar describes as 'cyber-pop.' Not shy of making a political statement, Rose challenges herself to move out of comfort zones to create a different sound - listen to the album below and read the full UTR review below.  

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HIGH HØØPS - Seasons on Planet Earth

Release Date: 21.09.2018

Jordan Arts has previously released music as part of soulful R&B band Leisure and most famously as one-half of breakout duo Kids of 88. This debut album as a solo artist under the HIGH HØØPS moniker is a collection of tunes drawn from 70s funk, 80s disco, 90s R&B and 2000's dance music, creating a warm future house vibe. Read the Radio13 review and listen to the album and RadioactiveFM interview below.

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The Chills - Snow bound

Release Date: 14.09.2018

The Chills new album Snow Bound is out and already receiving glowing reviews. The Martin Phillips fronted band have produced a heavier, darker album than 2015's Silver Bullets (and possibly any other from their extensive catalogue). The Flying Nun originals, now releasing music on Fire Records, famously did two BBC Sessions with fan John Peel and are regarded as one of NZ music's most respected international exports - this album will grow the legend. Read the Soundblab review and Sunday Star Times interview below.

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Princess Chelsea - The Loneliest Girl

Release Date: 07.09.2018

Princess Chelsea, former member of The Brunnettes and current member of the Lil' Chief Records collective, has a rich history of producing catchy 80s synth-pop tunes combined with clever lyrics that project a sense of humour sometimes darkly at odds with the pop vibe of the music. Her latest album, The Loneliest Girl, delivers on the promise of the first two singles from it - read the Soundblab review and Under The Radar interview below.

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Blair Jollands - 7 Blood

Release Date: 01.09.2018

Emmy Award nominee Blair Jollands splits his time between crafting songs described as 'cinematic in scope' with composing, score-writing and producing music for film. Jollands has regularly been compared to songwriters Nick Cave and Beck and has previously worked with The Strokes producer Gordon Raphael. The title of new album 7 Blood refers to the natural herb he used to battle Lyme disease - for more on this multi-talented artist, the album and his experiences settling in London listen to the RNZ interview and read the Gig Soup interview below.


Neil & Liam Finn - Lightsleeper

Release Date: 24.08.2018

If NZ had a music royal family they would be called the Finns. Neil, Tim and Liam are associated with much loved solo albums, bands (Split Enz, Crowded House, Betchadupa) and side projects (the amazing 7 Worlds Collide featuring members of The SmithsRadioheadPearl JamWilco; Together in Concert: Finn/Runga/Dobbyn). Last week a new family album was released - Lightsleeper by Neil and Liam Finn. It is the first time the father-and-son team has recorded an album together (although they have put in regular appearances on each others albums and and shared many stages on tour). Read The Guardian's review below.

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Various Artists - Sickest smashes from arson city (legacy Edition)

Release Date: 10.08.2018

Judging by the quality of the bands featured on the Sickest Smashes From Arson City albums, it seems the devastating earthquakes inspired Cantabs to pick up their instruments and get creative. If you don't already know Wurld SeriesBen Woods or Salad Days this second edition of the Melted Ice Cream label's compilation series Sickest Smashes From Arson City is the perfect introduction. Stream and buy the album below.

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Blair Parkes - Always Running

Release Date: 23.07.2018

Christchurch musician Blair Parkes has been ever-present in NZ music over the past three decades, releasing music on some of our most iconic labels (Flying NunFailsafe). Via various bands and solo projects he has also recorded music across an astonishing variety of genres: indie-guitar (All Fall Down), alt-rock (Little Dead ThingsRange - who started out playing country), electronica (Thomas:Parkes,The L.E.D.s), electro-pop-rock (Saturations), and experimental sound-art (Condensations). Always Running, his latest album, has been described as a 'synth-based sonic collection. Read the AudioCulture article below for more info on the man behind the monikers.

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Roy Montgomery - Suffuse

Release Date: 17.08.2018

Roy Montgomery's first band released the first ever Flying Nun record (The Pin Group's Ambivalence 7" in 1981), and since that distinguished debut he has created music spanning post-rock, lo-fi, avant-garde experimental and folk. His style is described as atmospheric and cinematic and his latest album Suffuse is a collection of collaborations with vocalists including Juliana BarwickLiz HarrisShe Keeps Bees,Purple PilgrimsHaley Fohr and Katie Von Schleicher. Read the Pitchfork review below.


Avantdale Bowling Club - Avantdale Bowling Club

Release Date: 17.08.2018

Avantdale Bowling Club, the latest solo project from NZ hip hop innovator Tom Scott (formerly Homebrew@PeaceAverage Rap Band) brings together some of the genre's finest local talent for this first, self-titled album under the new name. Read the Nowhere Bros album review below.

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Dudley Benson - Zealandia

Release Date: 10.08.2018

The third album from Dunedin-based Dudley Benson has taken eight years to see the light of day. The album features orchestra's and choirs, electronica, taonga puoro, bagpipes and harps while portraying New Zealand as a country yet to be fully realised. Read the Under The Radar interview to hear how this remarkable producer has spent the years between releases and the inspiration for the album.

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The Beths - Future Me Hates Me

Release Date: 10.08.2018

Following popular EP Warm Blood, a succession of catchy indie-pop singles (including having Happy, Unhappy named Rolling Stone Song of the Summer), The Beths debut album Future Me Hates Me is surely the most eagerly anticipated NZ album of 2018. Filled with great pop melodies, hooks and humorous self-deprecating lyrics that will have you singing along on your first listen, this album looks set to launch The Beths internationally. Read Soundblab's 9/10 review and Rolling Stone Magazine's interview below. 

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Ha the Unclear - Invisible Lines

Release Date: 03.08.2018

Auckland-based Dunedin band Ha the Unclear follow up their wonderful 2014 debut album Bacterium, Look at You Motor Go with another album of fine alt-pop indie. Following support tours with The Shins and The Dandy Warhols the band had two hit singles (with one named on the APRA Silver Scroll Awards shortlist) and the new album has been extremely positively received in New Zealand. Read The Spinoff's track-by-track album review and the NZ Herald interview below.

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Vincent h.l - Weird Days

Release Date: 29.06.2018

Auckland musician Vincent H.L says he makes country music for tramadol nightmares and describes the sounds on his debut album Weird Days contains psych-sounds as a "tired, woozy feeling, sort of like a golden hangover day...and in other places it gets a little bit spaghetti western." Read the Spinoff interview below for an insight into the unique music and album. 

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Julian Temple Band - Antarctica

Release Date: 01.06.2018

Antarctica is the sixth full-length release from Dunedin-based alternative band Julian Temple Band. Over the course of their career they have moved between surf-rock, alt-rock, folk and blues, finding most success with 2013's Upsidedownbackwards. Now with six members, the latest album crosses genres mixing synths, violins and classic rock elements - read the Ambient Light review below.

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SWIDT - The Most Electrifying EP

Release Date: 27.07.2018

The biggest thing in NZ hip hop right now is SWIDT. An acclaimed album, two 2018 EPs, two NZ Music Awards, shortlisted finalist for the APRA Silver Scroll Award - all of this within the past 12 months. The Onehunga collective move through a variety of vibes within this six-song EP, available now on Spotify. Read the Sniffers review below.

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Release Date: 18.07.2018

Self-proclaimed indie-country band Schofield Spires released debut album Belefonte last month. The Blair Parkes produced album also crosses into psychedelic pop/rock territory with plenty of changes of pace and lots of catchy singalong tunes...some complete with guitar solos! Read the NZ Musician review below.

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chelsea jade - Personal best

Release Date: 20.07.2018

Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Chelsea Jade started her music career performing in an Auckland folk trio alongside Liz Stokes of The Beths. When that band ended she released music under the Watercolours moniker before establishing herself as the Chelsea Jade we now know, creating indie-pop music with big hooks. Vice magazine describes her as New Zealand's "accidental dream pop hero" - read the NZ Herald review of her new album, Personal Best and an in depth interview with The Spinoff below.

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Kimbra - primal heart

Release Date: 20.04.2018

Earlier this year double Grammy Award-winner Kimbra released her third album and it has already delivered five hit singles. Described by Pitchfork as "a one-woman odd-pop machine; a producer, an arranger, a multi-instrumentalist, and a unique dynamo vocalist," Kimbra took the world by storm as co-vocalist of mass worldwide hit Somebody That I Used To Know. Electronica meets R&B on her latest album - read the review and interview from NME Magazine below. 

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The Naked and Famous - A Still Heart

Release Date: 02.03.2018

The Naked and Famous burst onto the scene with their debut album Passive Me, Aggressive You in 2010, winning seven NZ Music Awards including best album. Lead single Young Blood won best single, went to #1 on the NZ charts and went platinum in the US. On A Still Heart, released earlier this year, the band have returned with a stripped back line-up playing an acoustic compilation of the hits from their three LPs. Read their NME Magazine interview below to hear what they've been up to and how the latest album and tour came to be acoustic.

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The adults - haja

Release Date: 20.07.2018

The Adults new album is inspired by sounds of Sudan (the nationality of band leader Jon Toogood, rock-god of Shihad). The supergroup project has previously included NZ music icons such as Shayne Carter, Julia Deans, Ladi6, Tiki Taane and Anika Moa amongst others. The 2018 edition features collaborators Estère (touring the UK next month), Aaradhna, Chelsea Jade, JessBMiloux and Raiza Biza. Read the NZ Herald interview with Toogood below.

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Polyester - polyester

Release Date: 06.07.2018

The debut album by synth-pop band Polyester will help those of you who have been in the UK a while to hold on to your New Zealand accent, sounding proudly Kiwi over atmospheric keyboards and 80s style guitar. The band impressed many at Laneways Festival and are getting a strong following in the Auckland music scene. They are so cool that this album is even available on (limited edition blue) cassette! Review and interview below via Under The Radar.

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boycrush - Desperate late night energy

Release Date: 15.06.2018

Lush electronic beats with cameos from some of the finest female voices in NZ music fill this eagerly-awaited album by Boycrush, aka Alistair Ross Deverick. Deverick steps out from behind the drumkit, having previously beaten the skins in The Ruby Suns and performed with the likes of Neil Finn and Lawrence Arabia to demonstrate his all-round abilities as a multi-instrumental singer and songwriter. Check out Ambient Light's album review below.  

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Wurld Series - Stately and Befrothed

Release Date: 04.07.2018

Christchurch guitar band Wurld Series follow up their 2017 debut album Air Goofy with the excellently-crafted Stately and Befrothed EP on the brilliantly named Canterbury indie label Melted Ice Cream Records. If you are a fan of 90s slacker-rock from the likes of Pavement and Sebadoh this is definitely one for you. Read more about the album and current NZ tour from Under The Radar below.

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Death and the maiden - wisteria

Release Date: 19.04.2018

The sophomore album from Dunedin band Death and the Maiden is described by the band as aiming to 'celebrate the excruciating beauty and crushing weight of everyday life.' This is achieved using reverb-washed guitars, melodic synthesisers, programmed beats and pulsing bass. Described in The Quietus (UK) as 'beautiful, scary and endlessly evocative,' the album was The Listener (NZ) Album of the Week and received a glowing review by Penny Black Music which you can read below.

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johnathan bree - Sleepwalking

Release Date: 08.06.18

Johnathan Bree, formerly of the Auckland indie pop faves The Brunettes and co-founder of Lil’ Chief Records, released his much anticipated third album Sleepwalking and it is as great as the lead singles promised. Deep cutting lounge-pop love ballads with beautifully intricate orchestral arrangements complement Bree’s laidback baritone delivery to create an atmosphere of melancholic love, romance and sorrow. A broad album, at times mixing experimental avant-garde with tasteful soul and melodic pop, this album deserves all the accolades it will inevitably receive. Read Soundblab’s take on the album below.

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katchafire - Legacy

Release Date: 01.06.18

Classic roots-reggae favourites Katchafire are back with their fifth studio album, aptly titled Legacy. Since starting out as a Bob Marley covers band back in 2000 (and naming themselves after his album Catch A Fire) the Hamiltonians have gone on to platinum-selling status, playing their own brand of sunny ska while building a fierce live reputation. They may have guest cameos from big Jamaican names on their latest release but they still wear their Maori heritage on their (record) sleeve - check out Legacy's waka-warrior album artwork and read the review from Top Shelf Reggae below.

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Release Date: 01.06.18

Teenage heavy metal thrashers Alien Weaponry have released their debut album Tū on respected Austrian indie metal label Napalm Records.  Proud descendants of Ngati Pikiāo and Ngati Raukawa, the trio celebrate their heritage and Te Reo by singing their catchy groove metal in their native tongue. The band are due to visit Europe later in the year to play at Bloodstock Open Air Festival in Derbyshire and a string of German shows and festival appearances. Read the review from Overdrive Music Magazine and watch Vice's video profiling the band below.

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Tami nielson - sassafrass!

Release Date: 01.06.18

Country music singer-songwriter Tami Neilson’s latest album stormed straight into the NZ Top 10 in its first week of release. The four-time Best Country Album winner at the New Zealand Music Awards is renowned for her soul-infused country sound but her latest release emphasises the soul aspect without losing the rockabilly feel that won her the 2014 APRA Silver Scroll Award. Tami visits London in September for a show alongside Luke Winslow-King - read the NZ Herald album release interview below and get tickets to her Bush Hall show via See Tickets.

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WAX CHATTELS - Wax Chattels

Release Date: 18.05.2018

Self-proclaimed ‘guitarless guitar band’ Wax Chattels have released their debut album on the Captured Tracks label. The trio, who met at jazz school while attending Auckland University, used a live set-up to deliver their rumbling basslines, driving drum beats, brooding synthesiser melodies and haunting vocals in the loudest noise-rock way possible. The album achieved an 8/10 rating in Loud and Quiet magazine - read the full review below.

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Carb on carb - for ages

Release Date: 04.05.2018

Auckland duo Carb on Carb have followed up their debut self-titled album with a new record of emo-pop/punk complete with power-pop melodies, smooth guitars, sing along choruses and deeply personal lyric themes. The album, titled For Ages and released on Papaiti Records earlier this month, was reviewed by Under The Radar. Read the review and interview below.

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Julia Deans - We Light Fire

Release Date: 14.05.2018

It’s been seven years since Julia Deans released her Taite Music Prize short-listed debut solo album, Modern Fables. The follow up album, We Light Fire, mixes synthesised electronic elements with expertly crafted pop-rock with hints of country, demonstrating why the former Fur Patrol leader is considered one of our finest contemporary singer-songwriters. Including a long list of well-known Kiwi musician cameos, read the NZ Herald's album review below.