World Tour – New Zealand & Opinions on Lorde

The Sound Opinions World Tour rolls along, making its next stop in beautiful New Zealand. Jim and Greg take a virtual trip to the other side of the world to explore the best of kiwi music, focusing on the influential jangly pop movement known as the Dunedin Sound. Plus, they review the sophomore album from New Zealand's biggest pop star, Lorde.

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Lorde Melodrama

We're kicking off our New Zealand stop of the World Tour with a new record review from the island nation's most well-known artist-Lorde! Lorde first achieved success with her 2013 album Pure Heroine and the memorable single "Royals." It's been four years and her new record Melodrama offers a post-teenage take on young adulthood and overnight fame. Greg notes that Melodrama is at its core a singer-songwriter album, with Lorde writing some of the most innovative songs of the modern pop era. Specifically when it comes to the lyrics, Greg likes the idea that this is her“loss of innocence”record full of realizations about the world, and he gives it a Buy It. Jim agrees with Greg about the great songwriting and performances from Lorde, which he feels are superior to the over-production on the record by fun.'s Jack Antonoff. While he preferred Pure Heroine, Jim still thinks that Lorde is the real deal and gives Melodrama a Buy It.

world tour

New Zealand

The Clean

Lorde is just the biggest name in a long line of important musicians coming out of New Zealand. So this week, Jim and Greg fire up the jet to take the Sound Opinions World Tour to the other side of the world. As a guide, they're joined by Wellington-based critic Nick Bollinger, host of The Sampler on Radio New Zealand and author of several books including the recent memoir Goneville.

They focus on an influential era in kiwi rock emerging in the early 1980s known as the Dunedin Sound that's closely associated with the legendary New Zealand indie label Flying Nun Records. Based around the southern university city Dunedin, the Flying Nun bands drew upon early psychedelia, American garage rock, and The Velvet Underground to create a distinctive jangly guitar-based sound, much of it released on lo-fi 4-track recordings. But while the key bands like The Clean, The Chills, and The Verlaines shared an aesthetic, Nick argues that their musical approaches actually were varied. By the late ‘80s and early ’90s, the Dunedin Sound had fully evolved to incorporate the shoegaze of Bailter Space and even the dance beats of Headless Chickens.

A key part of New Zealand's culture is its indigenous population. Maori, Samoan, and other indigenous groups make up nearly 20% of the population and have had a major impact on the island nation's pop music. Nick traces the history of Maori music from the Hendrix-esque guitar styling of The Human Instinct to the reggae boom of the '70s to the embrace of hip-hop. He also makes recommendations for great contemporary kiwi artists, including singer-songwriter Aldous Harding, power-poppers Kane Strang, electro-soul artist Electric Wire Hustle, and the eclectic producer Lord Echo.



“Children Crying”The Congos

Greg recently received the 2017 reissue of Heart of the Congos, the debut album by reggae group The Congos. Initially released in 1977, the album was recorded by legendary Jamaican producer Lee“Scratch”Perry. Regarded by Greg as“the perfect summer record, and one of the greatest reggae albums ever made,”it's no wonder that Greg's Desert Island Jukebox pick is "Children Crying." He loves the song's restraint, as it focuses on the singers more than the studio effects typically applied by Perry, who Jim describes as“the king of triple layered reverb.”Perry creates a rural, lo-fi sound by having baritone Watty Burnett bellow into a cardboard tube to mimic the sound of a cow mooing. According to Greg, this psychedelic scenario, combined with the beautiful lead vocals, make it a masterpiece.

Featured Songs

  1. Lorde, Green Light, Melodrama, Republic, 2017
  2. Lorde, Royals, Pure Heroine, Republic, 2013
  3. Lorde, Perfect Places, Melodrama, Republic, 2017
  4. Lorde, Writer in the Dark, Melodrama, Republic, 2017
  5. Lorde, The Louvre, Melodrama, Republic, 2017
  6. The Clean, Tally Ho!, Tally Ho! (single), Flying Nun, 1981
  7. The Bats, Tragedy, Daddy's Highway, Flying Nun, 1987
  8. Look Blue Go Purple, Cactus Cat, LBGPEP2, Flying Nun, 1986
  9. The Clean, Fish, Great Sounds Great, Good Sounds Good, So-So Sounds So-So, Bad Sounds Bad, Rotten Sounds Rotten!!, Flying Nun, 1982
  10. The Enemy, Pull Down the Shades, Live at the Beneficiaries Hall, unreleased, 1978
  11. Toy Love, Swimming Pool, Toy Love, Deluxe, 1980
  12. The Chills, Rolling Moon, Rolling Moon (single), Flying Nun, 1982
  13. The Clean, Anything Could Happen, Boodle Boodle Boodle, Flying Nun, 1981
  14. The Chills, Kaleidoscope World, Dunedin Double, Flying Nun, 1982
  15. The Verlaines, The Lady and the Lizard, Hallelujah - All The Way Home, Flying Nun, 1985
  16. The Verlaines, Death and the Maiden, Death and the Maiden (single), Flying Nun, 1983
  17. The Chills, Pink Frost, Pink Frost (single), Flying Nun, 1984
  18. Sneaky Feelings, Throwing Stones, Send You, Flying Nun, 1983
  19. Split Enz, I Got You, True Colours, A&M, 1980
  20. Bailter Space, Robot World, Robot World, Flying Nun, 1993
  21. Straitjacket Fits, She Speeds, Hail, Flying Nun, 1988
  22. Headless Chickens, Cruise Control, Body Blow, Flying Nun, 1991
  23. The Bats, Made Up In Blue, Made Up In Blue (single), Flying Nun, 1986
  24. The Human Instinct, Black Sally, Stoned Guitar, AIR, 1970
  25. Herbs, Light of the Pacific, Light of the Pacific, Warrior, 1983
  26. Upper Hutt Posse, E Tu, E Tu (single), Jayrem, 1988
  27. Scribe, Not Many, The Crusader, Dirty, 2003
  28. Aldous Harding, Imagining My Man, Party, 4AD, 2017
  29. Kane Strang, My Smile is Extinct, Two Hearts and No Brain, Dead Oceans, 2017
  30. Electric Wire Hustle, They Don't Want, Electric Wire Hustle, Every Waking Hour, 2009
  31. Lord Echo, Makossa No. 3, Harmonies, Soundway, 2017
  32. The Congos, Children Crying, Heart of the Congos, Black Art, 1977
  33. Violent Femmes, Telephone Book, 3, Slash, 1988
  34. Everything But The Girl, Driving, The Language Of Life, Atlantic, 1990
  35. John Prine, Paradise, John Prine, Atlantic, 1971
  36. Interpol, NYC, Turn On The Bright Lights, Matador, 2002
  37. Timber Timbre, Sewer Blues, Sincerely, Future Pollution, City Slang, 2017
  38. Matthew Ryan, (I Just Died) Like An Aviator, Hustle Up, Starlings, self-released, 2017