Steve Abel

Steve Abel


Beautifully crafted elemental songs in the alt-troubadour tradition.


Abel was raised in the halcyon haze of the distant south sea isles of New Zealand. The simple sorrow and beauty of life seem to impregnate his songs that often sound primordial in origin.

He is emerging on us now, most recently playing four New York gigs in April 2009 accompanied by Jolie Holland - whom he met on the road in New Zealand and who features on his latest album FLAX HAPPY, which is garnering very favourable reviews around its UK release in May/June 2009.

Abel's song Hospice For Destitute Lovers won a finalist placing in the Music Video category of the ISC (International Songwriting Competition) 2008 and his debut album Little Death was awarded the Alternatui Album of the year in 2006 and was described as -
"Richly poetic lyrics create a mood that is dark, mystical and bordering on the avant-garde. Listening to these songs is like viewing pictures in a gallery." - NZ Musician Magazine

His follow up FLAX HAPPY, which features Texan chanteuse Jolie Holland, was equally well received with Radio New Zealand labelling Abel as "In a community of poet troubadours."

"Abel is a refined writer whose lyrics have a bone-bare quality - the sound of someone writing and singing from a place where there is no guile, just hard truth and clear eyes." - Graham Reid,


Flax Happy (2008, Kin'sland Records)

Fomenting the first album collaboration with the same band of musicians - newly named The Chrysalids - Abel's universally acclaimed sophomore release is "A fine collection of dark, otherworldly tunes - Sparse, spellbinding and special" (Marty Duda, Real Groove Magazine). FLAX HAPPY also features Texan alt-folk chanteuse Jolie Holland and New Zealand's Anika Moa.

"Wonderful. Actually, beyond wonderful."
- Andrew Tidball,

- Dominion Post

"A Rarity"
- NZ Herald

Little Death (2006, Kin'sland Records)

Little Death was named 2006 Alternatui Album of the Year and listed in the NZ Herald's Best Sounds of 2006. The album features the seminal Duet (Lonely I Be) with Kirsten Morrell, and the rollicking Sweetheart among many other heart-rending tracks.

"Arrant musical hypnosis...a treasure"
- William Dart, Radio NZ Concert FM

"A melancholic masterpiece"
- Pavement Magazine

"Beautifully crafted"
- Southland Express

Set List

We craft every set to the venue and situation but prefer to play around 40 - 45 minutes minimum. We can comfortably play for one and a half hours.

Typical basic set list:

Cinder of the Sun
Flax Happy
Lonely Babylon
Sad Girls
Black Hair
Heart of Misery
Little Death
Hospice for Destitute Lovers