We first discovered Pretty Stooked last year at a spontaneous Wunderbar gig post lockdown. We were taken by the humble way he owned the stage, and his epic songwriting. Christchurch was riding the high of any kind of outing, and the audience clung to each moment of music and magic. Eddie, the man behind Pretty Stooked had just returned from a stint in Melbourne and was hoping to gain momentum in the NZ music scene. A packed out Wunderbar served as an excellent welcome home party.
Over a year later it’s exciting to see Pretty Stooked backed by a star studded five piece. The band have already lit the fire, touring the South Island and playing a sold out headline show at Grater Goods. Now, with the help of Josh Logan (Loho Studios), they’ve prepared their debut single “My Line” for your ears.
Groovy from bar one, “My Line” is a meandering tour through the much loved indie pop-rock genre. The opening lyrics reveal that Pretty Stooked can’t sleep at night, wondering if they’ve lived their life the right way. The soundscape is one of pensive melancholy – they’re reflecting on mistakes, but not outright defeated by them.
The drop into the first chorus is satisfying, as Eddie holds back on a full belt, delivering the defeated line “I want you to feel it”. It’s a controlled performance; each moment feels intentional. This isn’t a proper breakdown, but these thoughts have lived in his head for a while now. Eddie’s brother Cullen Kiesanowski keeps it groovy with a driving bassline, and Mitchell Bowley-Black (The Hootz) keeps it steady on the drums. His tasteful fills in the chorus drops added energy without detracting from the vibe. Jayden Bowley builds a dreamscape with his affected guitar lines, aided by Tyler Robbins on the keys.
The track comes with a stunning music video. Colour graded and filmed to perfection, the team (Adam Hogan and Soane Jones Pamatangi) capture the natural overthinking state of your 20s. The slow motion shots and dreamy garden-city moments were so familiar to me, having grown up in Christchurch and spent enough time doing “nothing much”. “My Line” a stellar first track, and I can only imagine where Pretty Stooked will go from here. The band have plans to slow release an EP over the next 12 months.