Monkey Records

To say that Luke Hurley is a living musical legend in New Zealand is no hyperbole. It’s been some 30 years since Hurley’s quirky first student radio hit, Mona Lisa, put him on the map and since then he’s toured constantly and become one of New Zealand’s most recognised street musicians.

Monkey Records celebrated his career in 2008 with a Best Of compilation put together by Monkey founder Nigel Braddock who first met Luke busking on the streets on Dunedin in 1987 when he was a student there.

30 years of busking has honed Luke’s technique as evidenced by The Sound, one of his more recent compositions on the 18 track Best Of which features highlights from six previously released albums. Available here:

Watch the music video here:

Another stand out track from the Gypsy Fever compilation featuring the best East European/balkan/klezmer music from Australia and New Zealand.

The Jews Bothers are well-known for their exhilarating foot-stomping hand-clapping repertoire, both original and traditional featuring wild Eastern-European dance medleys, neo-40s’ New York swing, gypsy “hot club”, schmaltzy waltzes and funky dance grooves. If you can’t dance to this band you gotta problem!

Gypsy Fever available here: or here:

Let it Go is the gorgeous second single from Sleepywolf’s debut self titled album.

Sleepy Wolf are a New Zealand-based indie folk duo featuring Karin Bettley on vocals and Sam Benge on guitar and backing vocals. On their debut self-titled album, Karin’s haunting songs and rich, soulful voice combine with Sam’s exquisite guitar playing and tasteful musical arrangements to produce something quite special.

The core of the album was recorded in just one day with the main vocal and guitar takes done live in one take as if they were playing in the living room like they have always done. Very little editing was done with all the added layers done in uninterrupted takes. Sam then played around with adding extra guitar layers including electric slide guitar, electric lead guitar, keyboards and backing vocals. Sam Prebble aka Bond Street Bridge was brought into to add violin on the tracks which has brought an extra dimension to the songs.

“Gorgeous, arresting music.” NZ Musician
“…soothing for the soul.” Substance is Meaningless

Album available here: or here:

"Ghosts" is the second single off Finnish songwriter Robin Pahlman’s self-titled debut EP. The video was filmed in early January 2014 in the city of Vienna and at the ruins of castle Schauenstein in Krug, Lower Austria.

These familiar places echo of people and stories and things we used to know, but you can never go back.

"I’ve got this feeling like so many times before
I hear them rattling their old chains outside my door.”

Buy links:

Mamaku - Twigs of Gold presale

Mamaku Project’s celebrated electro-organic sessions have crystallized into a compelling new album, Twigs of Gold, with a wide emotional spectrum, drawing on trip-hop, quirky grooves, and chanson. The lush sound palette, organically electronic, carries tender vocals, broody harmony and rhythmic word. Cinematic layers of altered guitar, flesh out driving analog-synth bass lines and stirring beats. Woodwinds, horns and conch shells adorn the compositions with luminous lines and inspired improvisations.

Dark yet playful, contemplative yet dynamic, this record, indebted to Aotearoa/New Zealand’s soil and sea, offers songs of the moment with a truly global sensitivity.

Twigs of Gold to be released January 24th.

Presale on Bandcamp here or itunes here.

2013 was our busiest year since Monkey Records was formed in 2000 and we evolved from a New Zealand record label to an international one with releases from Germany, Italy, Finland, Australia, and USA (as well as NZ). Our SoundCloud page clocked up a phenomenal 2.5 million plays and here’s a playlist of the best of Monkey from 2013. Happy listening and all the best for 2014!

Berlin is the debut single from Berlin-based indie folk duo Edwina and Deko, from their forthcoming album to be released early March. Download the single for free from our SoundCloud page.

Two travellers leave their homes by the sea and meet in a German class in Berlin. He was searching for a change. She wasn’t searching for anything. They decided to play music together for fun, but soon discovered a shared passion for harmonies and 60s folk. After only a few gigs the pair locked themselves away in a studio for three days to record their joint album “Berlin Seasons”. Nostalgically seeking the sound of an earlier musical era, their album was recorded almost totally live bringing out their pure, acoustic sound and raw emotion.

Deko is a musician, songwriter and producer from the seaport of Trieste in northeastern Italy, where the mountains meet the sea. Edwina grew up on the northern beaches of Sydney, Australia.

Check out the music video here.

The third single from Charity Children’s debut album is the poignant tale of a lost love. Based on a 17th century anonymous English poem, the song is from the perspective of a young woman whose lover has forsaken her. Featuring a sparse arrangement of ukelele, plucked bass, subtle strings and piano, the focus here is on the lyrics and a powerfully understated vocal performance from Chloë Lewer.

Check out the album here:

The project “Flow Signs" was born by the encounter of Francesco Giannico, electroacoustic musician and video artist, with Theo Allegretti, ambient-jazz pianist and composer, based on a common poetic and musical sensibility that favours natural landscapes, surreal environments and interior worlds. 

The flow can catapult us into a mental state of conscious unawareness, as though being swept away by a current of water and similarly Francesco Giannico (laptop, field recordings, objects, guitar) and Theo Allegretti (grand piano, prepared piano), with a diversity of expressive approach, reach a mediation creating a single cinematic and visionary stream.

Check out the video for the first single here.

Debut EP from Robin Pahlman out today: Robin Pahlman by Robin Pahlman.

Featuring beautifully warm arrangements and engaging songwriting, Robin Pahlman’s self titled EP is an assured debut. Hailing from Finland but currently based in Vienna, Robin will be touring Europe over the next few weeks to promote the release. Dates here.

"The sparse, expansive sounds that Pahlman creates with simple instrumentation are nothing short of enthralling." Listen with Monger