Long before Lord of the Rings and Flight of the Conchords, New Zealand was a pop music wonderland, exporting brilliant and quirky bands like the Bats, the Mad Scene and the 3Ds. And most of those great kiwi bands (include two out of three just mentioned) featured members of the Clean, who since forming in 1978 have been churning out some of the best indie rock not just down in New Zealand, but anywhere.
Of course, we haven't heard from them in a while. Their last proper full-length, Getaway, came to us in 2001. And though Merge released the massive (and essential) 2-disc career-spanning collection Anthology in 2003, new material has been pretty scarce from the Clean. Until now that is. The band has announced that they will be releasing a new album later this year, entitled Mister Pop. The band continues to push the boundaries of their own off-the-wall pop sound, incorporating elements of British folk and Eastern and African guitar tones on the new record while maintaining their distinct dreamy hues throughout.
Merge Records will release Mister Pop on Sept. 8, the same day as the new Polvo record! Seriously, those Merge folks really know how to put together a 20th anniversary celebration.