‘A Cup Of Tea and A Lie Down’ is a collaborative reissue on Flying Nun and Capture Tracks labels. Originally released in 1986, New Zealand’s Able Tasmans’ debut album is a pioneering exploration of keyboard driven, baroque indie pop intergrated with field recordings and crafty guitars. The release includes the bands first EP ‘The Tired Sun’.
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- A Cuppa Tea and a Lie Down by Able Tasmans
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Captured Tracks attempts to document every squeak that emerged from anyone who lived in New Zealand in the 1980’s continues on this very worthy compilation from “the only New Zealand band to tastefully incorporate bagpipes into a song”.
A cursory listen to the first three tracks alone will tell you that this is an intense mixed bag of dark pop. Following screechy avant garde opener ‘Inside the Modern’ comes ‘What Was That Thing’ -an absolutely note-perfect example of what is great and good about New Zealand music, it sounds mostly like the Chills but has darker hues exemplified in the affected screaming in the middle eight. This is a NZ classic and how I’ve not heard it before beggars belief. ‘Little Hearts’ starts in a the Bats-like manner with mandolin strums before erupting into a cavernous organ drenched slab of 60’s influenced pop. The album veers between piano laments, (‘And Relax’), ? and the Mysterions style swirling organ pop (‘Rainbow’), baroque ballads that recall the Lefte Bank (‘Fa Fa Fa Fa') and ‘Murmur’ era REM relocated to Dunedin (‘Sour Queen’).
Pick up any number of ‘80’s records and you generally get the same style throughout with hints of variation but the remarkable thing about Able Tasmans is that they go all over the shop here enthusiastically documenting their love of all kinds of musics. This is really worth picking up and contains their first album, debut 12” and some bonus tracks. There’s still some gold left in those NZ hills.
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