Unknown Mortal Orchestra's new album Sex & Food has an international flavour - well, its story does at least. Sex & Food was recorded in locations including Seoul, Hanoi, Reyjavik, Mexico City, Portland and Auckland.

The album's first single American Guilt embraces what Ruban Nielson calls the abandoned genre that is rock music.

"In a perverse way I wanted to embrace this abandoned genre ... that I keep reading is "dead" and invite people to hear what this living dead genre sounds like in the UMO universe."

Sex & Food is out April 6.


Hawke's Bay artist and producer Cody Wave has worked with TY, Smashproof and Sid Diamond, among many others, but now it's his turn for the spotlight.

Wave's debut release Royalty is out now and features PT & TY as well as O.D. and singer Mark Graham.

Dunes - Tessa and Jamie McDell.
Dunes - Tessa and Jamie McDell.

Dunes have released their debut album.

The self-titled record from the McDell sisters Jamie and Tessa brings together pop and electronica, a mix of the sisters' musical leanings.

Both grew up listening to country, but while Jamie forged a pop career, Tessa was more interested in synth and electronic avenues, her influences extending also to hip-hop and R&B.

The sisters say they started writing collaboratively when they realized how little involvement they had in each other's lives growing up.

With music being their common ground, writing and recording over the past year became their way of opening up to each other about some of their most difficult experiences, they said.

Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band. Photo / Supplied
Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band. Photo / Supplied

Get set for a big night as the big sound of Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band will soon be heard again in New Zealand.


The Beanblossom, Indiana, outfit were last here in 2016, impressing audiences as they have worldwide since, touring in support of last year's album Front Porch Sessions.

The three-piece will perform at Auckland's Tuning Fork on Friday, February 23 and at Splore Festival, Tapapakanga Park that weekend.

And yes, it's a three-piece, but still a Big Damn Band. It's an act that has to be seen to be believed. As the Rev explains: "Because I play finger style, I play the bass and the lead guitar at the same time. The washboard almost fills the space, almost like rhythm guitar, so between that and the drums and me, you don't feel like you are missing anything from a band that has five or six people".

UPDATE: Taranaki's The Slacks will open for the Big Damn Band at the Tuning Fork next week. The band are getting set to release their single Yeah Nah next month, following their popularity of 2016's Big Aroha, which had a video shot in a local 4-Square.

Some of the most exciting and interesting albums of the past few years will have follow-ups released over the next few weeks.

Car Seat Headrest, whose Teens of Denial was the best album of 2016 (IMHO), will release Twin Fantasy, a reworking of the 2011 release of the same name, on February 16. Frontman Will Toledo and band will play Auckland City Limits on March 3.

Meanwhile U.S. Girls, aka Meg Remy, is set to follow up her excellent 2015 album Half Free. In A Poem Unlimited, also due for release on February 16, will see Remy rallying against the public lies told by political and religious leaders.

And Lucy Dacus will on March 2 release Historian, the follow-up to 2016's No Burden. She has described the new record as a concept album about "cautious optimism in the face of adversity". "It starts out dark and ends hopeful, but it gets darker in between; it goes to the deepest, darkest, place and then breaks," she explains. "What I'm trying to say throughout the album is that hope survives, even in the face of the worst stuff."