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Stereo Embers The Podcast: Paul Kean (The Bats)

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“Electric Sea View”Well, it’s hard for us to think of a more charming, beguiling and altogether mysterious band than The Bats. The New Zealand outfit got their start in 1982 in Christchurch and their By Night EP in ’84 was one of the first releases for the now legendary Flying Nun label. Flying Nun aren’t the only legendary ones in this conversation—The Bats fall into that category as well. With ten album under their belts, including classics like Silverbeet, The Law of Things and Free All The Monsters, The Bats remain one of the most consistently brilliant bands around. Although they’re based in NZ, over the course of their career they’ve toured the U.S. and Europe, including a stint opening for Radiohead. Their CV also includes playing SXSW, garnering rave reviews from magazines ranging from Mojo to Uncut, being shortlisted for the prestigious Taite Music prize and playing in front of nearly 150,00 people for the free relief concert in Hagley Park after the 2010 Canterbury earthquake. The Bats sometimes take a year between records and other times they take ten. But no matter how long they take, their work just keeps shining with that unique Bats sound. Their new album Foothills might even be their best yet. Filled with sneaky rhythms, wistful melodies and poetic lyrics, the fact is The Bats have never sounded better. In this conversation with bassist and New Zealand Hall of Fame inductee Paul Kean, the subjects range from what’s kept the Bats lineup unchanged for 40 years, their admiration of Nirvana and editorial honesty within the ranks of the band.

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