18 Jun 2017

Walk on the Gentle Side

From New Horizons, 5:00 pm on 18 June 2017

William Dart listens to three recent New Zealand releases – all with a certain gentleness of spirit – from Miles Calder and the Rumours, Matthew Smith and The Nukes.

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Photo: Southbound Records

Miles Calder & The Rumours cite Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan and '70s Neil Young as fellow figures in the landscape their brand of alt-Americana inhabits. William hears more than a whiff of The Band, as well.

"There's a strain of melancholy running through many of these tracks, and maybe there might come the occasion when a song like 'Cold Wind' would leave me as obdurately chilly. But on the right afternoon, its sweetness might well be irresistible."

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Photo: Lyttleton Records

Matthew Smith used to play with the hard-rocking band Von Voin Strum, but recently he's been exploring quieter domains and he's just released a new solo album on Lyttleton Records, on which he concocts a hypnotic world. Behind his vocal ruminations, the backdrop subtly shifts from song to song.

Something perkier to end with, although with ukeleles to the fore, The Nukes are not going to scare many horses.

"They have their own mix of jokey, blokey tongue-in-cheek, as well as the liquid loveliness of the Pacific's four-string strummer."

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Photo: Yellow Eye Music

Music Details

'Song title' (Composer) – Performers
Album title
(Label)

'Under an Endless Sky' (Calder) – Miles Calder & The Rumours
Miles Calder & The Rumours
(Southbound)

'Cold Wind' (Calder) – Miles Calder & The Rumours
Miles Calder & The Rumours
(Southbound)

'To The Sea (Reprise)' (Calder) – Miles Calder & The Rumours
Miles Calder & The Rumours
(Southbound)

'Blue Skies' (Calder) – Miles Calder & The Rumours
Miles Calder & The Rumours
(Southbound)

'Shiver Roses' (Smith et al) – Von Voin Strum
Kiwi Hit Disc 148
(NZ On Air)

'Black And White' (Smith) – Matthew Smith
Matthew Smith
(Lyttleton)

'Doesn’t This Feel Like Home' (Smith) – Matthew Smith
Matthew Smith
(Lyttleton)

'Facebook Wall' (Parker) – The Nukes
Each to Their Own
(Ode)

'Mankind' (Thiele) – The Nukes
The Nukes III
(Yellow Eye)

'Palomine' (Parker) – The Nukes
The Nukes III
(Yellow Eye)

'Pohutukawa Blooms' (Parker) – The Nukes
The Nukes III
(Yellow Eye)