Your New Favorite Band Premiere: Carb on Carb from New Zealand


Carb on Carb, Auckland, New Zealand’s resident emotive-punk duo, are releasing their sophomore album for ages on May 4th with celebrated Australian label Black Wire Records.

Working with emo heavyweight mix engineer Chris Teti (The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die), Nicole Gaffney (vocals, guitar) and James Stutely (drums) have crafted a cohesive, heart-on-sleeve record. Nicole draws vocal inspiration from varied sources, with melodies and delivery that encompass the passion of emo and the powerful softness of RnB. Backed by her alternate-tuning full-strum guitar style, and James Stutely’s distinctive drumming, the result is altogether energetic and memorable. The album was recorded by Dylan Adams at his Coogee Beach studio in Sydney and mastered by Dan Coutant in New York.

Across 10 tracks the band explores many common preoccupations, with humour but also heart,  as song titles like Fake Meat/Real Friends suggest. They examine resilience, what home is when you’re constantly moving, what teenage dreams mean in your mid-twenties, competing work and life pressures, and the personal as political. Crushing album closer Mitimiti is a love letter of sorts to both New Zealand and friendship, ending with the simple but heartfelt “giving me a chance/to learn who you are/people who mean the most.” Through the course of for ages these threads are drawn together into the concept of continual coming of age as an inspiring way to constantly redefine yourself.

Carb on Carb have a reputation for being tour dogs. Tonally, the album echoes the many intimate community spaces the band have played; basements, living rooms and DIY venues. In their relatively short lifespan they have already toured China, South East Asia, the US (twice, including showcases at the prestigious CMJ and Gainesville’s The Fest). They have made multiple runs across Australia and New Zealand, headlining DIY festivals No Front Fences and SAD By, as well as support tours with The Hotelier and Joyce Manor.

First single It’s Been a Rough Year was released in February and added to Spotify editorial playlists Local Noise, Women of AU and NZ and more, as well as rotation on community and student radio throughout Australia, NZ and the US. The track’s summery vibe blended with alternative guitar lines make for a feel-good anthem, with belting lyrics “resilient, you’ve got this right” attesting to the individual power to overcome life’s challenges. It’s just a matter of time before “you’re in control, you’re not alone” is an assured dancefloor shout-out. Weirdo Wasteland summed up the track, “Carb on Carb have weaved this raw emotionality into a resolute anthem…this is the kind of song that’s important to have these days. Listen to it and tell me it doesn’t make you feel a little bit better about life as it is for you currently.

Second single Nicole’s Express continues that theme of growth and resilience. The spacious and reflective opening riff sets the scene for the vulnerable first line “not leaving my routine, I might break”. The track builds gradually towards a resilient and cathartic finale with the inner-monologue-turned-sing-along “don’t forget to breathe.” Its release was announced by a video premiere on Stereogum; the video follows the band and friends (Wellington band Prizegiving) on their 2017 Australian tour, documenting the first sip taken of every coffee. Nicole’s Express and preorders for for ages are out now.

for ages is out Friday 4th May 2018.

Carb on Carb upcoming tour dates:

Friday 4th May - Christchurch - Space Academy

Saturday 5th May - Nelson - Club Paradox

Friday 11th May - Palmerston North - Snails

Saturday 12th May - Wellington - Caroline

Sunday 13th May - Wellington - Upoko Alpine Resort (quiet show, for ages in full with a cellist)

Friday 18th May - Auckland - Portland Public House