Described as (Sunday Star Times, NZ) ‘warm clouds of distortion and feedback cloaking every sound and gorgeous hazy melodies that swirl around you like smoke’. 5/5 stars
In Circles is finally given the treatment it deserves, this is a limited edition 12” pressing of what is to become a future classic lo-fi New Zealand album. This album sounds it’s best on vinyl, there is no doubt that the washed out distorted guitars and drums were made for vinyl. From The Crate Records delivers this record as is should be heard and seen, this boutique pressing was manufactured by Bill Smith Custom Records, a family owned business in El Segundo, California. The artwork has been re-worked specifically for vinyl, right down to the finest detail that includes a one page insert with new artwork.
About the album...
Recorded at multiple locations in Auckland, from the fanciest of recording studios to makeshift vocal booths in bedroom closets; with cellphone recorded pianos, and featuring musicians ranging from high school colleagues to IT programmers, ex flatmates, brother-in-laws and even a record spinning Texan cargo loader - In Circles, the debut album from award winning producer Jeremy Toy as She’s So Rad, is one expansive affair.
Drifting between gorgeously bruised, camouflaged pop songs coated with layers of washed out guitars and effects, and purposefully lo-fi beaty gear that references golden era hip hop while sounding modern enough to be tagged chillwave, In Circles is both economic and profoundly satisfying.
Appropriately enough it begins with Iceblock, a track that was originally recorded in Jeremy’s home studio in 2009. Making a splash on the b-Net network and also attracting the attention of Round Trip Mars, it became the catalyst for the direction of She’s So Rad with its irresistible lo-fi, hazy indie rock sound. From that exceptional entrance, every song is treated differently; with guitars from the 60’s, synthesizers from the 70’s, drum machines from the 80’s and samplers from the 90’s. Melding everything together, the album was processed through two quintessential ‘shoegaze’ delay/effects units, and an old Yamaha 4 track cassette recorder that was purchased at a thrift store in Vancouver, giving the whole affair a whiff of 1990’s garage rock.
Far from idle, elsewhere during the writing and recording of In Circles, Jeremy has been working with Sami Sisters on their debut album, Julien Dyne on his sophomore release for BBE, engineering for Ladyhawke on her first remix, as well as programming drums and playing bass for Liam Finn.
Standing In The Rain is Opensouls' terrifically accomplished sophomore album and well and truly solidifies their standing as a top-shelf NZ soul band.Standing In The Rain is a concept album, made with the intent to reflect the sound and feeling of a musical era; late-50s, early-60s British and American R&B.Inspiration was drawn from traditional songwriters such as Lennon and McCartney, Smokey Robinson, Holland/Dozier/Holland and Van Morrison. Consequently, the album has an unmistakable vintage quality, reminiscent of Motown in its heyday.Opensouls' aim was to create an album that involved the entire band performing 100% of the time. Unlike their 2006 debut, Kaleidoscope, with drum programming and computer sequencing, Standing In The Rain was tracked entirely live by the band's rhythm section and recorded at Jeremy's Spare Room studio at his home in the AK suburb of Westmere. The band didn't want a polished, expensive studio sound â€“ after studying how old soul records were made, they used basic recording gear, pushing it to its full potential, obtaining a raw, gritty quality.