You might know of Popstrangers, their name is an all too familiar one to Kiwis who drift in the right circles.
The band is made up of three New Zealander's; Joel Flyger, Adam Page and David Larson who now reside in London. Previously described as being “heavy yet accessible” their latest releases have seen a different sound emerge, with the heaviness giving way to a janglier 80’s pop sound.
While recognition for their music hasn't been given liberally, the band have earned slots supporting artists like MGMT, Dinosaur Jr and Crocodiles on their Australian and NZ tours as well as being nominated for the Critics Choice award at the 2011 NZ Music Awards.
Eli Driftwood is kinda odd, and if he isn't he portrays that image well. Brandishing a blend of country, folk, alt-pop and blues, the Northland native will apparently be relocating to Texas sometime soon.
Eli previously went by the name Elliot Brown, and wrote for his band The Stomps. He rides solo now, and his debut album ‘Lies Your Momma Told Me’ has been well received. Best of all it’s free, so you should really go download it from here: http://elidriftwood.bandcamp.com/album/lies-your-momma-told-me
Another Kiwi act now making a name for themselves in London, Two Cartoons are Brad Craig and Isaac McFarlane. The duo have recently added a drummer to their mix, considerably boosting the dynamic of their live shows and giving their album which is currently still being worked on in the studio a technical shove in the right direction.
Two Cartoons walk that fine line between pop and indie, a sound which has earned them a label deal in the UK. They plan to tour Australia and New Zealand at the end of the year, and I can’t recommend enough going to catch them live. Their weird brotherly chemistry on stage makes for an incredibly hectic and enjoyable show.
To date the group has released two EPs, ‘Jelly Tip Lips’ and ‘Tiny Terrors’ both available for free online from http://twocartoons.bandcamp.com/.
Self described as “five white, middle class, cis-gendered males”, Trust Punks are the heaviest I have to give you in this brief offering. While they manage to make fun of themselves with their name, their music can kind of be taken seriously.
Hailing from Auckland, the group formed from the ashes of the two bands ‘Cool Cult’ and ‘Grass Cannons’. General consensus is that Trust Punks are much bigger than the sum of their two parts.
I don’t have much else to say about them. They’re good.
My personal favorite on this list, Tonnon is one of those rarities life throws at you every now and then, and you’re very very happy that it does.
I first heard his music in a live recording played on Kiwi FM, and I spent a while lingering on who the fuck that guy was. It wasn't until I later heard a remix of one of his songs that I recognised his voice and managed to find him online. Turns out I was late to the party.
Tonnon is one of the more established, but still relatively low key artists that New Zealand has to offer the world. He delivers heart melting music that somehow still manages to make you feel like you should be on a farm somewhere bailing hay. Maybe it’s his outlandish Kiwi accent.
Currently Tonnon has one full album ‘Up Here For Dancing’ released as well as a few shorter EPs and singles. Another full album which I believe will be titled ‘Successor’ (I hope I’m allowed to reveal that) is due to be released soon. I've been fortunate enough to preview it and it’s seriously amazing.
You can stream all his music from his website.