postcards from new zealand
2 July 2021
Unsympathetic genre breaking is postcards from new zealand’s (all lowercase please) speciality. The faceless outfit thrive on distorting expectations and delivering the unpredictable through dynamic soundscapes and progressive use of instrumentation. Since forming in 2008, postcards from new zealand have released 21 full lengths and an EP through Bandcamp. The new album, ‘city islands’, is their first release with Mandrone Records.
This release sees postcards from new zealand delve deeper into their use of electronics to produce epic soundscapes. The opening track, ‘as the towers crumbled’, presents a powerful electronic focus, which plays with non-standard rhythms and hard-hitting beats. With the incredibly atmospheric mixture of heavily distorted, razor-edged synths and guitars blending seamlessly, it’s simultaneously haunting, heavy, serene and captivating. The moods of each track flow and develop in the most compelling way. The track ‘snow and sand’ feels like the aural version of exploring a desert. There is an unmatched vastness to the soundscape produced in this track with a timeless quality. Rhythmic, calming depths of an ocean world are unveiled in ‘ocean avenue’, and yet, a dark undertone is ever present. The war-like setting of ‘it just kept coming’ delivers an astounding impact. From the marching rhythm and sense of an unknown army encroaching closer, to the uncanny aftermath and haunting sense of apparent calm.
An immersive adventure, in which any sense of time and space is shattered, awaits the listener. The sheer power and intensity of the soundscapes are incredible and reveal the highly skilled musical ability of postcards from new zealand. From the awe-inspiring to the disturbing, ‘city islands’ is a dramatic experience to be had.