Whanganui-based musician Anthonie Tonnon has released his new single Entertainment, the first taste of his upcoming album, Leave Love Out Of This.
The song blends traditional guitars and drums with synthesisers and electronically generated percussion, and tells the story of an athlete who is given a once-in-a-lifetime chance at a career in television.
Tonnon said his third full-length record had "been in the works for a long time".
"Me and my producer Jonathan Pearce have been working on this since 2017, but there have been a couple of interruptions along the way.
"I got the chance to make A Synthesised Universe [a performance developed for the Perpetual Guardian Planetarium at Otago Museum] and then I got interested in making the Rail Land show."
Tonnon's annual Rail Land shows take audiences by rail and other public transport to musical performances at remote community halls.
Pearce has also been busy over the last couple of years.
"Jonathan's band The Beths released their album [Jump Rope Gazers] and it was really successful overseas," Tonnon said.
"He became a permanent touring person and I moved to Whanganui, so suddenly we were doing the album back and forth, by distance.
"We've just chipped away at it, and whenever Jonathan's been back in the country we've tried to get into the same city for a day and record something, maybe with another musician."
Tonnon said when he began his music career in Dunedin, making an album "always felt like the big thing to do".
"They're like the novel for a musician, aren't they? You want to make a great one.
"It's very familiar for me to go back to that format, but in the meantime I've branched out and made almost performance art, and I've become quite interested in the potential of music in a wider sense.
"The amazing thing about musicians, and not even well-known musicians, is that they can convince 20 or 200 people to leave their house for four or five hours and go somewhere.
"Something like Rail Land gave me a way to use the power of music and turn it towards other goals, like advocacy or celebrating our public transport systems."
The new album will come out on friend and fellow musician Nadia Reid's Slow Time Records label.
"Nadia started her label to release her own music, but she wanted to turn it into a label with a stable of artists," Tonnon said.
"I was doing her Christmas show in Dunedin a while back and she said it would be great if she could release me on Slow Time.
"It made perfect sense."
Tonnon said he experimented with new technologies as the album slowly took shape, and incorporated a Synthstrom Audible Deluge into his A Synthesised Universe show.
"My solo shows are very dependent on a lot of synthesised drum beats and synth strings, but I also have a 1968 guitar, which adds an organic touch to the sound. For the album, it was a matter of working out a balance between the two.
"Every time I've been taken away to do a new show or tour it's influenced where the album goes, and I think the same goes for Jonathan.
"You can try to do the whole album at once, and that sometimes has a lot of life to it, but there's always something you regret, or something you did in too much of a hurry.
"In this process we've been building it and taking it back down, then building it up again when we've learned something new."
Leave Love Out Of This will be released on July 16 on Slow Time Records (UK/EU/NZ), Misra Records (North America), and Flippin Yeah Records (AUS).
Tonnon will be touring New Zealand with a full band to support it, with a stop in Whanganui in the works.