New Zealand indie pop collective ALAE have been spending quarantine down under. From acoustic at home performances, top song picks, and general lockdown thoughts, check out what they submit for QUARANZINE!
LOCKDOWN IN A NUTSHELL
As the world was told to calm down and bunker up, it seemed everything was just put on hold.
Someone had pressed pause on the world.
We all realised we had to do something to keep ourselves occupied.
Heaps of people got in to baking and nominating each other to do press ups for whichever cause seemed relevant or to talk about their fave albums.
It made for a pretty punishing on line experience.
The worst part of lock down for me was feeling as though I had no choice in the matter.
I hate feeling like I have no choice in what I can do with my time, so song writing became a chore, even looking at my guitar was a joke.
Part of my brain was saying “hey man, make the most of this time” other part thought I should stock pile booze etc and slowly loose my mind.
The end result was a mixture of both…
So, it’s either a win win or a lose lose…
I don’t really know anymore!
Bed time got later and later, as did wake up.
The concept of morning and night became a little less black and white.
Any hour of the day seemed like It was beer worthy, because what else am I gonna do?
‘BAM’ angle found – I’m just gonna do heaps of stripped back versions of our newer music.
No pressure and the works already cut out for me.
Our most recent track “Summer Thing” was pretty straight forward, it just wanted to be a jack Johnson kinda thang.
Super chill and vibey. The chord progression was strong enough on it’s own, easy to accent and change the chord voicings
Our previous release “Hit Me Where It Hurts” was a bit more complicated.
The chords and the way the guitar was played were pretty boring on their own, so I got my re harm on.
I’m pretty happy with how this one turned out.
It’s got more of a Ryan Adams covers Taylor Swift vibe.
The process of picking apart the songs I already new, helped get my flow back a bit.
I ended up writing a few new ideas using some new inspo, they’ve now been put away for later consumption.
While spending a lot of time inside, the collective has also been revisiting some of their favorite music. You can check out their lost down below!
TOP 10 SONGS
Wilco – Handshake Drugs.
I’ve followed these guys since I was a young’n.
Jeff Tweedy’s voice and Nels Cline’s expressive guitar have always hit a spot with me.
I chose this song in particular because it’s a pretty palatable introduction to the band if you haven’t heard them before.
If you like what you hear listen to ’Summer teeth’, ‘I am trying to break your heart’ and ‘One Sunday morning (a song for Jane Smiley’s boyfriend)’.
Basically listen to anything though… It’s all good.
Toro Y Moi – Ordinary Pleasure.
I was pretty late to the Toro Y Moi train, but I’m pretty stoked I got on board.
This guy has that sort of effortless coolness.
A soft, non abrasive voice that confidently yet humbly tells a story.
Backed up with that 60’s pop / 70’s free love kind of aesthetic / production.
The bass and those conga’s make this song so, so, so, so, sooo good.
Carol King – So Far Away.
This is a classic.
Carol is a classic.
I love you Carol. I mean it. I want a hug from Carol.
Everything she writes is so heartwarming!
Even if it’s about the saddest thing, Carol still finds a way to bring forward a kind of hindsight or an understanding that ‘what will be will be’.
It’s like all of her songs are made with essence of silver lining.
Josh Rouse – Jersey Clowns.
Growing up, Josh Rouse was my go to guy.
So relatable, so easy listening.
He’s in the same group as your Carol King, James Taylor singer songwriter buzz, just a different era.
He’s Indi adult contemporary – It’s just really good music.
Ya can’t fault him, he’s just good.
Bon Iver – Brocket WI.
This from a compilation called ‘Dark was the night’ which if you haven’t already, you should check out.
The way this song kicks in is awesome, super lo-fi bass double tracked with guitar or something.
Then of course his voice… The beat kicks in when you least expect it which is always nice.
This track is so nostalgic for me, reminds me of heaps of anxty things from my mid to late teens.
Papooz – Anne Wants To Dance.
These guys are so quirky, the singers voices match each other so well.
The lead vocalist has such an androgynous voice, it’s cool as hell.
The mumble of the violins in the chorus are really well placed and are so satisfying.
I’d love to see them live, their instagram is always fun to follow.
Beirut – Gulag Orkestar.
I went through a Gypsy Jazz faze in my late teens / early 20’s.
It hasn’t really ended.
This song is one of the first to really get through to me from that genre.
It’s perfect to smoke weed to… So chill.
Every time Zach sings, I can’t help but relate.
It’s not the most polished voice, but that’s what works.
It echo’s and is accentuated by the loose, gypsy vibe.
Vulfpeck – Wait For The Moment.
This tune is like a response to Randy Newman’s ‘You’ve got a friend in me’.
It’s a really sweet song with some super spicy vocals from Antwaun Stanley.
Every single member of this band is a machine.
Joe Dart – their bassist goes hard. Goose necks his way around most riffs which is always fun to watch.
Another band that would be amazing live.
Super Fury Animals – Juxtaposed.
I just love the lyrics in the chorus of this song.
“You’ve got to tolerate all those people that you hate, I’m not in love with you, but I won’t hold that against you.”
Also another good one liner –
“Just suppose I’m Juxtaposed to you.”
These lyrics always ring true.
Lewis – Cool Night In Paris
This is perfect if you’re in a weird headspace.
He mumbles his lyrics, his synth goes out of key, it’s loose as hell but it still feels so good.
Thanks to my Mate Matt for the intro to Ol’ Lewis.
You can now list to their newest single “Summer Thing” down below. Check it out and let us know what you think!