The Body Lyre – Work

Dear friends! This is our music video for ‘Work’, a song we recorded in 2012 and recently released as a 7”.

Kalem O’Brien (our former bassist) cut and assembled this from an aged VHS recording of me and some other kids competing on a Welsh language gameshow for primary schools back in the mid-90s. It was a gameshow themed on grandmothers’ underwear, and no, I don’t know why. I’m the boy on the blue team. We lost and I fucked it all up for our school. The whole thing was a surreal experience even by 90s Welsh TV standards and I think Kalem’s edit captures and amplifies that feeling perfectly. And I can’t think of anything better in the world to accompany the lyrics of this song.

All of our Pledgeme orders have been sent out and you can buy the ‘Blood/Work’ 7” and ‘Escape Songs’ LP or CD/book from Slowboat Records and RPM in Wellington or Real Groovy in Auckland from this weekend. Or you can feel free to email me to buy anything directly: The songs are also all free/koha for stream/download from

Currently writing new songs and with a new linep: me, Callum Gay, Alex Ross, Nina Siegler and Graeme Cummack. Check out Callum’s other band Spook the Horses’ new song ‘Flood’ from their upcoming record at It’s awesome.

Thanks and wellest wishes to you all.


CALH / Performance Arcade 2013

Hey everyone,

We’ve had an awesome few weeks of shows; first opening for A Place to Bury Strangers and then the weekend past at Camp a Low Hum, and now this Saturday we’re participating in the Playground Collective’s Performance Arcade 2013. The Saturday afternoon music series has us playing alongside our friends Seth Frightening and i.Ryoko in a shipping container on the Wellington waterfront near Te Papa – details HERE.

In bad news, one of the sides of our new 7″ has had to be replated at the pressing plant, so we’re unfortunately looking at further delays with sending out the PledgeMe orders. We’ll stay in touch and let you know as soon as they’re ready to be sent out.



PledgeMe update

Everyone who pledged towards our new 7″ and LP etc should now have been contacted to confirm orders and details – if you haven’t received the email, please check your spam folder (it’s pretty spammy).
If you missed out on pledging while the campaign was active but still want copies of any of the records, just have a look at the PledgeMe page for the options and then send an email to with what you’re after.

The vinyl is being pressed in Australia and artwork printed in NZ at the moment, and an estimate for shipping etc would be mid-January at this stage. Keep an eye on this page for updates!


Blood/Work 7″ got its crowdfunding!

Hey everyone,

After three of the most stressful weeks ever, we made our funding goal! Thanks infinitely to everyone who pledged to make this project possible. At times I really didn’t think we were going to make enough to release the record, so we’re really grateful to those who chipped in.

What happens next? Well, we will receive the full list of pledgers from PledgeMe this week, and then we’ll be in contact about any specifics we need to chase up over the next month (e.g. shirt sizes and designs, delivery addresses and the like). The record will be sent off to press this week, so we’ll be aiming to have all of the packages sent out by Christmas time. In that gap, we’ll post plenty of updates and be sure to stay in touch regarding different options – especially on the shirt design, for which there will be two choices.

Oh, and everyone who pledged for the new 7″ will receive a special cover edition, numbered out of 50.

We have a couple of shows coming up too. This one is on Wednesday:

That’s us, Spook the Horses and Bachelor of Architecture this Wednesday 14th November at San Fran Bath House – and it’s free!

And we’re also opening for the Omar Rodriguez Lopez Group on Tuesday November 27th at the San Fran Bath House again – tickets are available here.

After that, we’ll be planning a New Zealand tour early next year and continuing to write for our next release.

That’s all for now – thanks again for helping us release our new record! We love you all. x

The Stuff



We’ve got two days left on our PledgeMe campaign to fund the release of Blood/Work on vinyl and we’re just over halfway there! If you’re interested in buying this record, don’t hold off now as it might not happen if we can’t afford to do it on vinyl (I can’t see any other less expensive physical format for releasing a two-song EP that’s still desirable, and digital-only releases seem like something of a non-event to me). If you’d like a copy of the record (or any of the other stuff we’re selling) and don’t have a credit card to use for pledging, just email me at and I can take cash by bank deposit to pledge for you.

One important note that people might not be aware of: with PledgeMe campaigns, if the overall funding goal isn’t met by the due date, none of the rewards/pledges made will be charged. In other words, if the project doesn’t meet its funding goal, the project doesn’t go ahead.


A couple of people have asked why we’re using PledgeMe and crowdfunding in general for this release and not just putting it out ourselves and then selling it. I think the crowdfunding model could offer a really interesting alternative to the old model of make the product, market the product, and (hopefully) sell the product. It seems pretty easy to consume rather than listen to the many millions of bands we’re assaulted with online every day, and crowdfunding a release by asking listeners what they want (rather than the band telling them what they want) might reestablish that investment in the work and provide a more intimate connection between bands and listeners. In short, pledging money towards a crowdfunding campaign isn’t equivalent to the act of just buying a product – it’s making the project itself possible.

Anyway, a little more on the stuff available through our PledgeMe campaign:

Blood/Work 7″ + Digital Download: These are two new songs recorded in September 2012. Blood is an instrumental track whose only vocals are provided by the sampled singing of the sex workers on Marion Street late at night. Their voices used to reverberate along the alleyway next to my apartment; shrieking, laughing, singing, even praying. There was no pitching or temporal manipulation involved, I chopped and edited a 40-minute raw track of their voices over a couple of months. Work is a much faster and rawer track that musically reminds me a little of mine and Kalem’s old band, Strangers. Lyrically, it’s an examination of competing Western notions of freedom in the context of consumer capitalism: we live in a social world in which result and outcome are considered infinitely more valuable than method and process. The 7” comes housed in a full-colour single fold sleeve with lyrics/credits in a pressing of 200 copies. The first 50 copies ordered will be numbered and with a special cover insert. The digital download will be provided through Bandcamp, which offers a number of file formats. These songs were again recorded, mixed and mastered by Tim Shann. Click here to listen.

Escape Songs LP / Book+CD: Most of you will be familiar with this drawn-out album, which we intended to release almost two years ago. This album was written and recorded song-by-song for the twelve months of 2010 and then compiled into a full-length album. The LP version comes in a single sleeve with cover artwork, lyrics, credits and a letter from the band, in an edition of 100 copies (10 handmade copies were produced to sell at shows but are all gone). The Book+CD edition comes in a plastic sleeve with 80-odd pages of artwork; each song has its own visual series done by the band and a couple of other artists (Zachary Jordan Penney, Hywel Thomas). This album was again recorded, mixed, and mastered by Tim Shann, and it also features Ana McGowan on vocals/cello/accordion and Tim Shann on bass (who’ve both since left the band). Both editions were released by Auckland-based independent label Mole Music. Click here to listen.

T-shirt: We’re not ready to reveal the design of this just yet, but rest assured that it’ll be minimal and fashionable enough to wear in public without your cool friends telling you to go home and change. Available in black and white, in sizes small, medium, large, XL.

The Vault: Contains all of the aforementioned editions (not the t-shirt though) along with a pile of demos of almost every song we’ve released, live videos and writing videos, and some covers (including our ill-fated attempt at doing Communist Daughter by Neutral Milk Hotel during our early years as a band, as well as Hank Williams, Smog and more). It also comes with some original artworks from the Escape Songs book, setlists, drawings, a letter and anything else we can find. Comes in a box.

Cover a song: We’ll cover and record any song of your choosing – it could be one of your own songs, something you like, something you hate and want butchered, or just a weird curiosity track that you’d like to hear done in our style (think Eiffel 65’s ‘Blue (Da Ba Dee)’ or Will Smith’s ‘Willenium’, for example).

So that’s it: one more day to pledge. If you pledge we will love you forever and use the money to stay active in writing and releasing music. We’d like to be a real band again.

Thanks for reading. x


An Everything Update

I don’t update this blog any more, but click here for our PledgeMe campaign to fund our new 7″, Blood/Work. Click here to listen to the new songs. We’ve made a new site but haven’t got it finished yet. At the PledgeMe page you can preorder copies of the new 7″, the Escape Songs LP and book/cd, t-shirts etc.

Currently, the band is me (guitars, vocals, trumpet etc), Callum (drums, percussion), Graeme (guitar) and Kalem (bass). We’ve got a couple of gigs coming up and unfortunately the best way to find out about them is through our FB account (here). After the current campaign is done we’ll make sure to ease the reliance on FB in light of its monetisation of public posts and so on (more here on this) and use our new site. The internet is confusing.



come shake it