Left It Out To Shine - The Prophet Hens (from 'Popular People Do Popular People' LP)
Delphine (With A Purpose) - Trick Mammoth (from Digital Double A-Side)
Gaze - Astro Children (from 'Proteus' LP)
Pin Me Up - Mavis Gary (from 'Pin Me Up' LP)
So High - Males (from 'Run Run Run / MalesMalesMales' LP)
All hail the new sound of Young Dunedin. I swear to god there is something magical in the air down there. Certainly something was fuelling this impressive production line of insanely addictive, quirky off-kilter Pop in 2013. Of course, being on the other side of the world it is entirely possible that every year has seen some kind of wonderful development in New Zealand Pop that I just have not been aware of, but nevertheless one does suspect that 2013 will be seen as one of remarkably fine vintage.
So this final advent entry kind of breaks all the rules* by throwing a full fist of songs firmly in your face, and no apologies for that. Indeed such was the breadth and depth of sounds coming out of New Zealand this year that the difficulty was keeping it to just five. Of those five, the (almost) common thread is the wonderful Fishrider Records imprint who released the terrific Prophet Hens, Males and Trick Mammoth records. Indeed you may recall Fishrider from last years’ advent series with The Puddle and Opposite Sex records, and the good news is that they will once again hook up with Exeter’s finest Occultation label to issue the debut Trick Mammoth full length ‘Floristry’ in the UK. In fact, Trick Mammoth are another connecting thread between four of these cuts, for this fabulously talented trio weave their tentacles into into Males (Sam Valentine), Astro Children (Millie Lovelock) and Mavis Gary (which actually is the solo trading title of Adrian Ng). These kids really were on fire this year. Ditto Prophet Hens, whose ‘Popular People Do Popular People’ was half an hour of the finest contemporary concoction of that legendary (mythical?) ‘Dunedin Sound’.
Can’t wait for 2014.
*No Rules, man!