Strawpeople Unveil Their First New Album In Nearly 20 Years

4 August 2023 | 1:24 pm | Mary Varvaris

"Finally got our sh*t together..."


Strawpeople (Source: Facebook/Strawpeople)

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New Zealand pop duo Strawpeople are back with their first new album since 2004’s Count Backwards From 10. Today, founding member Paul Casserly and vocalist Fiona McDonald have released Knucklebones, which you can listen to below.

Casserly first informed fans of new Strawpeople music on his Twitter last month. “Finally got our shit together,” he wrote on 14 July. “New Strawpeople album out August 4, pre order on Bandcamp or pre save streaming platforms via link below and yes there’s vinyl too! Look at the lovely cover photo by Angus McNaughton.” He also posted a bunch of photos, including a picture of the duo working hard in the studio.

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Strawpeople formed in 1988; McDonald joined the band in 1991. Before today’s release, Strawpeople put out eight albums, with their 1996 fourth album, Vicarious, giving the band great commercial success. With Vicarious, the group debuted at #4 in New Zealand and stayed on the country’s albums chart for six months.

The band cracked Australia in 1995 with their track Trick With A Knife peaking at #37 in the ARIA chart and #78 in the triple j Hottest 100. Singer Fiona McDonald also went on to be a judge on the first season of NZ Idol and released a successful solo album A Different Hunger.

Knucklebones isn’t a totally isolated affair. In fact, it’s quite collaborative, with the pair enlisting Pluto’s Matthias Jordan on keys, saxophone player Nick Atkinson of Supergroove fame, drummer Chris O’Connor, bassist Mark Hughes and Auckland busking guitarist Luke Hurley on board across the new album’s nine tracks. Casserly and McDonald shared co-producing duties on the album.

“I called Paul when we got the master back, and said, good job us,” McDonald said in a press release via Scoop NZ. She said working with her old collaborator in Casserly again was “a rare treat. Paul has always been my favourite writing partner. We usually agree on things, and for some reason, our outsized egos don’t seem to overlap.”

On reuniting with guitarist Chris van de Geer and bassist Joost Langeveld, Casserly added, “It’s so cool to work with these guys again. They live and breathe music. They’re kinda the godfathers.”

You can listen to Knucklebones below and pre-order the vinyl or CD from Bandcamp.