Beloved Kiwi band Cut Off Your Hands are bidding a final farewell to fans with the release of their third and final
record HLLH, out on 16 October. They’ve toured the globe many times with the who’s who of indie music, but this final record will
be launched at a show just a couple of doors down from the bar where it all began on Karangahape, a fitting chance to
farewell the fans that have followed them for close to 15 years. Today, they share ‘Blue Smoke Draft’, a track about
instability of memories and the magic of reconnection both through and to music.
A typically autobiographical track, ‘Blue Smoke Draft’ draws from frontman and songwriter Nick Johnston’s memories of
the last times he saw his Grandfather before he passed and how listening to the classic Kiwi tune ‘Blue Smoke’ together
not only connected the two together, but helped reconnect Nick with music when he was burnt out from touring and his
experiences in the music industry.
“It was a meaningful reconnection with music for me personally as well as with my beloved Poppa,” Nick says.
“Structurally the song continues the theme of HLLH in that it is a repetitive chordal motif over which the melody and lyrics are made to do the work of defining the song.
The references are strong on the sleeve, from ‘Naive Melody’ by Talking Heads to ‘Strange Overtones’ by David Byrne, and
‘Star Guitar’ by Chemical Brothers. There is also a less than subtle ref to LCD Soundsystem’s ‘Someone Great’ - another
song about losing a paternal figure.”
‘Blue Smoke Draft’ is the latest in a series of singles from HLLH that have been drip-fed to eager fans over the past few years. The record is set to be released independently on
limited edition vinyl and streaming via DRM on Friday 16 October. Pre-orders are open for the LP through Flying Out
and on digital platforms.
Cut Off Your Hands play their final ever shows at Whammy Bar in Auckland on 9 October and Wellington’s San Fran on 30
October with an eight piece line-up which allows the full texture of the record to be realised in the live context.
Joining the three remaining original members of Cut Off Your Hands (Philip Hadfield on Bass, Brent Harris on Drums and
Nick Johnston Vocals and guitar) is longtime collaborator and producer of HLLH Jeremy Toy on guitars. Family member Luke
Benge (Paselode, Rohypnotise, John Maus, PashT) joins the band on synths and keyboards, another family member Priya Sami
will add percussion and vocals, and Elisapeta Heta and Soane Tui (Courtroom Brown) who sang on much of HLLH join the live band again on vocals. The live show will feature a selection of songs from the full back catalogue
including early shaky hands EPs. Tickets are on sale now via Ticket Tailor