Exploring more of the finer sounds from across the ditch
New Zealand has pumped out a lot of brilliant musical acts over the years from Split Enz to Dragon to Flight of the Conchords.
Last year, we looked at a bunch of artists and bands that you need on your radar as the Trans-Tasman bubble was being taken advantage of (what a time, eh?).
Dunedin indie-rockers Soaked Oats came in hot on that list and recently launched their debut LP Working Title at The Curtin, so we thought it prudent to enlist their services and get the inside scoop on more bands to watch from across the ditch!
Read all the latest features, columns and more here.
The experimental project of Anita Clark, Motte has just recently released her second album Cold + Liquid under Ba Da Bing. Anita builds lush atmospheric music, combining looped violin with delicate vocals and other interesting textures.
We (Soaked Oats) were lucky enough to have Anita feature on our new album Working Title, with her providing vocals on the track ‘Pink Beach’ and strings for ‘Something’. Anita’s music lands somewhere between longing and hope.
Fazed on a Pony
Fazed on a Pony is the alt-country project led by songwriter Peter Mcall. The band has just put out the eight-track release it’ll all work out. It has been one of our favourite releases from this year (‘Fanfare’ is a stand out track).
Fazed on a Pony started out while we were all still living in Dunedin and we got to see them play heaps. Peter’s got a real charming gentleness that comes through with his songwriting and vocal delivery. The band are real sweeties too.
Based out of Lyttelton, Ben Woods has been releasing some of the best indie music in New Zealand over the last few years. His recent release Dispeller was no exception. The last track on the record – ‘White Leather Again’ – is particularly powerful.
There is a lot of humanity in Woods’ music, with a lot of the mutterings and footsteps from the recording process being left on record.
Post-punk’s Dale Kerrigan put on one of the best live shows of any band playing in New Zealand at the moment. After watching Dale Kerrigan you will feel like your eyebrows have been blown off.
Singer Shlee (Ashley Nicholls) has a real presence about her on stage and drummer Josh Nicholls is one of the best around. Their recent album the water is their best work yet.
Hannah Everingham is a Christchurch-based singer. She’s releasing her first full length album soon, which she’s teased with the single ‘So Long Underground’.
She’s slowly stealing hearts and minds in Christchurch with some wonderfully intimate shows, and will soon steal further afield. Some good songs to come…
Lucien kind of blew my (Oscar) mind, or was part of a shift in how I looked at music. When I first heard his record Wax///Wane I didn’t think something like that could be made here… it just sounded too smooth.
Then I read up on his past – time in Paris, time with Mulatu Astatke, time doing a PhD on Ethiopian Jazz, time scoring films and theatre. Then I got to see him play live, and stuttered through trying to talk to him about his work. He doesn’t say much, but says plenty when playing, summoning up something new each time to breathe through his saxophone.
Big love for Lucien Johnson.
The solo project of Jonty O’Connor – an incredibly prophetic individual who has played in just about every band we know.
His new record ‘Get Me Off This Sphere’ captures all of the wonderful manic thought and energy that stirs around and collides within his large viking frame.
Rachel is an extremely talented multi-instrumentalist who recently moved to Wellington from Philadelphia in the U.S. But I would say the most captivating aspect of her music is her vocals. She is very restrained in how she delivers her vocals, and she has a very unique tone.
Hearing her sing for the first time is kind of like tasting a new food, but somehow it reminds you of something you already love. Rachel’s music draws on lots of musical influences like soul and folk. Check out her project Rachel Andie and the Fifth Element.
Ha the Unclear
Our big brother band. Ha the Unclear have been putting out hook-laden introspective indie bangers for a few years now. They recently signed to French label thinkzic! and will soon be touring Europe on a regular basis.
Micheal Cathro (vocals) somehow manages to use big scientific concepts like evolution and the beginning of the universe as metaphors for the mundane of everyday life. He also sings in an unapologetically thick kiwi accent which is very charming (for a kiwi).
They are a super fun band to see live and will leave you feeling joyously philosophical. They have had a really big influence on us as a band, not just musically but in all the things you need to think about as a band.
Check out more of Soaked Oats here.