Andy Hummel is one half of Wellington folk outfit Rosy Tin Teacaddy. Rosy Tin Teacaddy is playing a special one-off show for this year’s Wellington Fringe Festival with Bond St Bridge at the Moorings Residence in Thorndon on Saturday 16 February. Details here Hummel also potters with computer based musical tomfoolery ranging from solo singin’ and songwritin’ through to instrumental electronica/ambient/post-rock wankery. (Click here for his 166 Days Until The End Of The World). He enjoys listening to music that makes him feel like giving up writing music. Here are five albums he’s loving right now…
1 – Hammock, Departure Songs: A wonderfully indulgent double-album of lush ‘ambient/post rock’. Essentially a guitar duo Hammock have managed to cram into this release, amongst the layers and layers of treated guitars; soaring strings and horns, massive drums and spooky drowned vocals. It’s all a bit melodramatic, cinematic and easy to file under ‘guilty pleasure’ so it’s often my go to album for headphone listening, particularly when travelling. It’s one of those albums that becomes a soundtrack to the everyday, the perfect veneer to see the world through. Introspective rose-coloured glasses, if there can be such a thing.
2 – The Impending Adorations, Gestalt: Another Paul McLaney project. Ye gods this man is talented. He magpies, constantly shuffling his influences like Scrabble tiles – waiting for the right combination to present itself. In this incarnation the guitars have given way to eerie keys sitting atop broken found-sound beat loops, beneath which a textural layer slithers constantly, occasionally offering a peek as to its origin. So far, so sound-art or minimal electronica, but here’s the catch – the voice. McLaney somehow serves up a song into the post apocalyptic detritus of the music. Double tracked! Triple tracked! And surprisingly, it’s all so humble. Irritatingly it’s rumoured he recorded this in a weekend. You know. As you do. Fuck me.
3 – Lowercase Noises, Passage: Solo project from the US artist Andy Othling. A collision of instrumental folk and guitar effects pedal shoe-gazing. There’s banjo (no really, it’s okay) and harmonium interplay with huge yet delicate swelling scapes. Very beautiful. It’s the music you discover while searching YouTube for tutorials on guitar delays. Like Andy himself, the music is gentle and understated – sincere. Just lovely.
4 – The Broken Heartbreakers, Wintersun: Actually, could also be their previous self-titled release. Easily one of NZ’s most under appreciated bands. At the core are song writing duo Rachel Bailey and John Howell. I can’t tell if it’s country or folk or pop – whatever, the music is hooky and the instrumentation is all clean, often acoustic, guitars. For me it’s the lyrics and harmonies of these two that work so well. The songs sound so crafted, lovingly nurtured; and, more than likely there’s some unexpected moment in the song where it bends off into a completely different place, usually led by Bailey’s heavenly voice – seriously, her pipes alone are worth a listen.
5 – Radiohead, In Rainbows: Once the spine-tingling effects of OK Computer started to wane for me I moved onto other things, mostly navel gazing. I missed the supposed angst inducing lack of continuity caused by Kid A and Amnesiac. I hadn’t given up on Radiohead at all, just dropped the ball. So, imagine the brain explosion that came with hearing Thom Yorke’s solo album The Eraser and then falling straight into In Rainbows? The opening track is in 5/4 for fucks sake, with a clap along if you’re able – ear candy for the jaded. The whole album is so rich and ornate … gutsy. It oozes intent. And delivers that same chilling physical shivers that OK Computer did a decade before – not in a ‘return to form’ way… just in how it feels so deliberate and well-considered and confident.