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Weekly Listening: PNC, Name UL, KVKA and more

Wednesday 20th April 2016

A showcase of some of the best new music releases from the past week.


PNC – ‘Jonah 95’

With a nod to one of our greatest, PNC is back with an endless onslaught you wouldn’t want to find yourself on the other end of. Everyone’s on blast but, by god, how about the bars themselves: “Now overseas is what I’m striving for / to live the life my mother’s always been fighting for / father never paid a dollar on the child support / wouldn’t take the call if he holla’d on the life support.” Too real.

Name UL x KVKA – ‘Hydrate’

There’s moments throughout the David Argue-directed video for ‘Hydrate’ where both Name UL and KVKA fall just slightly out of focus. That’s not something you could say about the raps themselves though – if anything, the visual effect only seems to emphasise the dizziness of their rhymes. Name UL might just be local hip hop’s most improved player of the year, while KVKA – who’s coming up in Hamilton’s Stay Savage crew – treats us to a fierce blast of one-liners. For those not attuned to the duo, consider this a heads up.

Zen Mantra – Zen Mantra

We’ve talked about it plenty already, but the self-titled second album from Zen Mantra is finally out. It’s been a few years in the making, and as Sam Perry told us this week, it took a long time to really capture the sentiment of some of the songs. “I needed distance from my emotions to properly articulate them,” he says. The wait was worth it.

Skepta – ‘Man (Gang)’

It’s been a long, long wait for Skepta’s forthcoming album, Konnichiwa, but the ball is officially rolling. First up, the album itself actually has a release date now – May 6 – which is quickly approaching. Secondly, and best of all, we have a new song on our hands. ‘Man (Gang)’ is sharp and unrelenting, a pointed attack that’s hinged on, of all things, a Queens Of The Stone Age sample. Hopefully the full album is just as good.

Pales – ‘Pales Song’

Wellington prog-folk trio Pales – Rose Blake, Mike Isaacs and Scott Maynard – are gearing up to release their new album Don’t Be So Nice in just over a couple of weeks. ‘Pales Song’, the first release from the record, reveals their sound to be as sparse and fragile as ever, relying totally on hushed guitar and gentle vocals.  

Craig Elliot – ‘The Roaring 2020s’

Now based in the UK, Wellington-raised musician Craig Elliot appears to have unveiled a brand new song on the low this week. It’s his first since the repackaged Abandoned Theme Park double EP, released late last year, and this one is a hyperactive rush of guitars and melodies, not dissimilar to the messiness of some of J Mascis’ best work.

Cover photo: Facebook

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