George Fenwick is an entertainment writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Hot Takes: Skins meets Broadchurch, plus the best live music & film

Glue, streaming on NEON, is like Skins meets Broadchurch. Photo / supplied
Glue, streaming on NEON, is like Skins meets Broadchurch. Photo / supplied

STREAM

I'm a sucker for reliving my adolescence through TV, and you can never go wrong with a good murder mystery. So when I stumbled across Glue on Neon recently, I couldn't believe I'd never seen it before. Like Skins meets Broadchurch, the eight-episode miniseries follows a group of teenagers in the tiny English town of Overton following the devastating murder of their friend, Cal. With an impeccable cast of largely unknown actors (unless you recognise Jessie Cave as Harry Potter's Lavender Brown), and a beautifully gloomy portrayal of the seemingly picture-perfect English countryside, Glue is a thoroughly engrossing watch. There's even a surprise supporting role from Kiwi legend Kerry Fox and a two-episode turn from Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Despite winning favour with critics, Glue reportedly had disappointingly low ratings when it screened in 2014 - so I'm rallying all my friends to help find it a new fanbase.

LISTEN

I'm starting to have to delete apps off my phone to make space for the amount of music I want to listen to at the moment. I've been blasting Tei Shi's new album, Crawl Space, on repeat; it's hands down one of the best alt-pop records I've heard in years. With shimmering, funky production and introspective lyrics, it's made all the more impressive by Tei Shi's role as writer, singer and co-producer. Across 15 tracks, there's not a single dud.

Tei Shi's debut album Crawl Space is one of the best albums so far this year. Photo / supplied
Tei Shi's debut album Crawl Space is one of the best albums so far this year. Photo / supplied

I'm also a huge fan of Perfume Genius' newest album, No Shape. After giving a giant middle finger to heteronormativity on his last album, Too Bright, Mike Hadreas has returned with a grandiose and triumphant record that explores the intricacies of being queer in the 21st century. I know it's only May, but I'm already calling these as two of the best albums of the year so far.

GO

Next week sees a triple whammy of world-class artists play shows in Auckland. The inimitable Sampha lands on Wednesday at the Powerstation (the show has been moved from the Studio), performing songs from his excellent debut album Process. A friend in Toronto told me Sampha was one of the best concerts they've ever been to, so I'm amped to see this R'n'B master in the flesh.

Sampha performs at the Powerstation next Wednesday. Photo / supplied
Sampha performs at the Powerstation next Wednesday. Photo / supplied

Canadian electronic duo Crystal Castles also play the Powerstation a day after, touring their new album Amnesty I. Last in New Zealand in 2013, the duo is known to put on an explosive and exhilarating live show. Then, on Saturday, Australian singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin plays at the Tuning Fork by Spark Arena. Jacklin's album Don't Let the Kids Win is one of my absolute favourites from 2016, and her performance at Laneway Festival in January was one of the most spellbinding live sets I've ever seen. These shows are not to be missed.

WATCH

The silver lining of winter's arrival is that it means film festival season is on the horizon. The New Zealand International Film Festival has already announced the first eight films from its highly anticipated programme in July, and this weekend marks the last days of the Autumn events programme. The Documentary Edge Film Festival then kicks off next week, featuring a world-class line-up of confronting, topical films covering everything from Whitney Houston to the struggle of Aleppo's civilians.

Catch The Salesman for $5 at Academy Cinemas. Photo / supplied
Catch The Salesman for $5 at Academy Cinemas. Photo / supplied

Alternatively, if you just want to catch that one movie you've been meaning to see for ages, Academy Cinemas' $5 Wednesday deal is still my favourite thing of all time ever. Academy always boasts an impressive mixture of mainstream and arthouse films, and tickets are wonderfully cheap all week - but especially on Wednesdays, when it's only $5 to see movies nearing the end of their run. So if you don't want to miss acclaimed films such as The Salesman or One Thousand Ropes, this is your chance.

- NZ Herald

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