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U Up?

by Cowboy Machine

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Tell Me Why 02:39
Nine Lives 03:55
Sand Dunes 06:30


‘U Up?’ is Cowboy Machine’s debut long-awaited album of feral indie rock, emerging from the swamp that the city of Ōtautahi (Christchurch) attempted to slide back into 10 years ago.

On ‘U Up?’, vocalist Mikey Summerfield inhabits a persona that is probably best described as half songbird, half redneck pest. I kiss you, I break your neck. He can be found gently cooing you into a false sense of ease one moment, then barking like a bitch on heat the next.

“The zone is out of bounds… does it make you feel you so proud to have been the only one?” from ‘To The Border’ is perhaps a good indication of the album’s themes. Tip-toeing on the knife edge of taboo, the album posesses the sound of a spirit exploring love, sex, and death.

‘To The Border’ could be asking an escaped refugee how they did it, what it was like. ‘Morning Glory’ examines love for the recently departed. ‘How Did It Feel’ asks a spirit about how it felt to die. ‘Nine Lives’ finds Summerfield indulging in a dose of spectrophilia, a frightening feline spirit entangling herself around his ego. And the emotional peak of the album, Sand Dunes, finds Summerfield apologising to his mum for events unclear.

The album was recorded by Brian Feary at a studio named the Dogshit Factory in the bad-smelling suburb of Woolston amongst a period of big blowouts in 2018. The first single, ‘To The Border’ was featured on Melted Ice Cream’s 2018 compilation, Sickest Smashes from Arson City which is something of a census of the Christchurch indie rock scene.

The songs of ‘U Up?’ could be compared to those of John Cale, Neutral Milk Hotel, Nick Cave and Tall Dwarfs. The band possesses a wild energy live, and can be seen on tour throughout New Zealand in the coming months.


released November 27, 2020

Mikey Summerfield - vocals, guitar, violin, viola (Minisnap, Music Sucks, The Undercurrents)
Marcus Winstanley - bass (Minisnap, The Undercurrents, Barnard’s Star)
Thomas Isbister - drums (Adam Hattaway and The Haunters, Butterflies Welcoming Spring, No Broadcast)
Tim Moore - organ (Uncle Quentin, Von Klap, Marlon Williams co-writer)
Josh Braden - organ (Butterflies Welcoming Spring, No Broadcast)
Violet French - backing vocals (Kool Aid, Violet French and the Horrible)

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Brian Feary


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Cowboy Machine Christchurch, New Zealand

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