Release of the Vengeful Millennial

Electro Rock, INDIE, Indie Rock, Rock

Pop in your air-pods and grab your avo-toast, Hazza Making Noise’s Debut EP Vengeful Millenial is here, and it’s solving the housing crisis.

Harry Platt, the face behind Hazza Making Noise, has been releasing a string of singles since 2018. Each track takes a unique spin on re-imagining the grunge era through electronic music. Singles such as Do You Wish To Print A Receipt cracked the algorithm to break into a hallowed Spotify editorial playlist. Regular single release shows with backing band, The Ellice Road Boys, have helped build up a loyal fan base eager for the first debut EP.

NoMoreGaps is the opening track of the EP, and it starts tentatively. A mellow take on the lead riff begins to fade in with samples taken from the countdown self-checkout aisle, a subtle node to an earlier single. The track then swells in with its catchy synth lead and builds to a fast pasts chorus with off kilter rhythms and shouted vocals. “The duelling riffs in the verse is probably one of my favourite things I’ve stumbled into” says Harry, “The bass and guitar really groove out, and the beat just sews it together”. The track continues bouncing between ambient verses and bridges and its “bipolar punk rock chorus” which talks of liberating oneself to all sorts of vice to fill the gaps.

Boomers is Disguise is a punk rock football stadium chant that comes in hard straight out of NoMoreGaps. The track previously came out as a single with artwork showing ol’ Winnie Peters sporting a fantastic pair of Groucho glasses. The track goes hard with mellow verses teasing the reckless pace and chanted vocals of the chorus. The track came from an old flatmate who dared Harry to write a “rock-opera about baby boomers”. This becomes clear in the bridge where the chorus fade back for a chorus of Harry’s to slowly sing the mantra “Blame the Baby Boomers, Blame the Goverment, Blame the Baby Boomers, It’s all their fault”. Its a hard hitting tune, definitely slaps.

After the two fast paced singles, we’re lead into a reprieve with a slightly western guitar riff over some ambient instrumental loops. Harry starts with introspective lyrics with self doubt and wistful thinking of the past. This builds with a heavy kick groove then proclaims the track title, Rewind Time, Return Desire, in true stadium rock fashion. The instrumentation does a fantastic job of setting the tone of pining for a passion now lost.
“How can a treasure become a monotonous curse?
We follow each other’s lives like two satellites orbiting different Earths””

The ambient instrumental loops begin to speed up as a the bass guitar takes the lead in A Ship Came Into Harbour. The catchy riff is backed up by a soft guitar with a delay that almost makes it sound like a robotic cello. The track takes a twist on the drinking game, describing people as ships struggling to retain control in the ocean, holding the precious cargo of their hopes and dreams. The track builds into a big guitar solo distinctive with its heavy delay, which gives way to a strings led bridge with a final iteration of the chorus in a hard hitting half time.

The music suddenly drops into a menacing groove with the same guitar tone with heavy delay, electric drums and a soft piano line, reminiscent of Gorillaz. NoMoreCows is a scathing critique of people ignorant of their privilege and selfishness from a self proclaimed “Doctor Truth”.

“The diagnosis is not looking good,
with medium to high chance you’re an ignorant fool
Roaming around this stolen land,
All that bastard freedom, can you not give a helping hand?
But alas it’s the divine meritocracy,
a product of your own making that you foolishly believe”

The track also includes some self reflection considering Harry’s own privelege stating he is “Riding [his] bike in a tailwind”. After proclaiming that “this race must be rigged” the track drops, and lets anticipation build. This finally drops into a filthy heavy riff which takes the prize as THICCest groove on the EP.

Vengeful Millenial was a switch up from HMN’s usual exploratory singles to form a cohesive body of work. “I always wanted to do a project where each song blends into the next” says Haryy “I like the sense of journey that is created when the record doesn’t break between songs, and there is relationship between themI mean it’s probably a f*cking terrible idea in the age of streaming and the dominance of single tracks and playlists … but sh*t sometimes you gotta just do want you want first.”
Personally I’m a big fan of through album listening. It’s good to finally have a cohesive bit of HMN to delve into. Here’s to many more.

Listen in to Vengeful Millennial and Follow Hazza Making Noise on Spotify, Apple Music, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

KITA – Self Titled Debut Album

INDIE, indie pop

KITA is the debut self-titled album by Wellington musical alumni Nikita Tu-Bryant, Ed Zuccollo and Rick Cranston. Between them, these talented musicians have played with such artists as Holly Smith, The Black Seeds and The Bushman. Combine this with Grammy award-winning producer Tommaso Colliva and you have an album heavily influenced by a wide range of genres and styles.

The overall feel of the album is very calm and down to earth, with rich instrumentation, warm tones and a rain motif featured in more than one track. I particularly enjoyed the solos and licks that showcased the skill of the musicians without overpowering the vibe of the track – KITA feels like the perfect album for a midnight swim, drive down an empty street or to have a quiet drink in a dimly lit speakeasy. Almost as though they are aware of this, KITA found a few moments to check if you’re really listening with massive musical moments. For this reason, a personal favourite was River in My Veins.

The single from this album is Everyday, released with a music video one week prior to the album release. The relaxed jazzy, indie pop feel of the song is perfectly portrayed in a music video of slow, dead-pad dancing and soft pink and blue lighting. This track is a great introduction to some of the more complex songs on the album. Tickets are on sale now for their album release tour and I reckon it will be one to catch!

Can’t get Keeley Shade’s track off my mind

Ambient, Folk, INDIE, indie pop, Pop

Canadian born alt-pop-folk artist Keeley Shade seems to have materialised from nowhere. Her debut track On My Mind has sparked intrigue, featuring on the NZ top 20 and earning over a thousand streams on Spotify. The track is an impressive first release, establishing Shade as a force worth watching.

Keeley Shade’s On My Mind swells into existence like waves on the sand. The instrumental intro is built by fading piano and a crackling microphone. The producers use every ounce of sonic space. The simple melody in the first verse allows the dreamy soundscape to speak for itself, and Shade’s lyrics are mysterious, allowing for an open interpretation.

The introduction of high guitar in the interlude feels like your mind opening. One My Mind’s production is flawless and creative, experimenting with texture and painting colours. The empty space is always meaningful, building a pensive atmosphere. The purity in Shade’s vocal delivery is calming.

The bridge provides a low moment in the song, as Shade thinks about throwing it all away. The backwards vocals are otherworldly, giving the sense that we are caught in a trance as the piano plays reverberating scaled. The sudden shift in tone is a risk that pays off when the track returns to its original vibe.

On My Mind is an innovative first release, and I look forward to seeing where Keeley Shade goes next with her sound. You can keep up with here on Facebook and Instagram.

Angry Girl – Vikae

electro pop, Electro Rock, INDIE, indie pop

Dropping this Friday is the kind of song that makes you want to hire a security team. Vikae has outdone herself with her latest single Angry Girl, featuring killer production and lyrics that will cut you back like a weed.

Beat one is ominous and expanding. The track utilises sinister synths and percussion to set the tone: she. is. livid. Vikae’s theatrical vocal control creates the believable character of a girl who’s been wronged. I loved the use of octaved vocals in the pre chorus; it’s an effect that’s always satisfyingly unsettling.

The drop into the chorus is perfect. The rhythms are super interesting, and the harmonies are epic. Angry Girl uses silence expertly to build tension, and a sense of foreboding. You can experience Angry Girl in all its rebel glory at Vikae’s Casette Nine release this Friday. Come grab a beer!

Queen of Disaster – Chiara Foschiani

electro pop, INDIE, indie pop

If you love Christine and the Queens as much as I do then you’ll adore Chiara Foschiani. Ignoring the fact that her age makes me feel like a recent retiree, I was incredibly impressed by her debut single Queen of Disaster. Born in 2003, Chiara Foschiani is a Parisian multi instrumentalist and producer who left high school to pursue music full time when she was 16. Having generated notable interest on soundcloud, Chiara released her first Spotify track in October.

I was suspicious at first of the “poppy” introduction, but Queen of Disaster quickly melts away into a super groovy pre chorus. The lyrics are simple but effective, with some killer moments like the line the earth is on fire. The chorus layers epic vocal harmonies and what sounds like an electric banjo. The production is creative, and you can hear how much fun Chiara had in the studio.

Chiara Foschiani is a new kid on the block, but she’s not to be underestimated. Her debut single is both creative and impressive. I look forward to following her musical career! Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

Misconceptions – Lévyne

indie pop, Pop, Singer Songwriter

Lévyne is an alt-pop gem who’s been flying a little under the radar in Auckland for a while now. She’s released consistently intricate and creative singles such as Pause, and Look at Me which culminated in her Debut EP ‘Being Low‘ which easily differentiated itself amongst the sea of kiwi pop released this year. With Misconceptions coming out last Friday Lévyne is ramping up the excitement for new things to come.

Misconceptions is a scathing review of a heartbreak. It’s “ultimately about a relationship ending with each person having a different side to the story.” The song begins meek but cuts to self assurance and an empowered retrospect. The song “serves as a realisation that it’s not worth spending your time stressing about people that don’t want to understand your perspective.” tells Lévyne “It was quite a liberating song to write – to draw a bit of a line in the sand and express that enough was enough!”

Lévyne teamed up with Daniel Martin and Ølympus to write and record the track before adding Oscar Keys, and Matthew Twyman into the mix to make the magical music video released today!

Lévyne has managed to keep busy despite the lockdowns this year sharing the stage with kiwi heavyweights Daffodils and Foley. This summer she will be taking her music to the crows of Rhythm and Vines

In between lockdowns in Auckland, Lévyne has still managed to play shows, supporting the likes of Daffodils and Foley and now she’s set to play NZ’s biggest New Year’s Eve festival Rhythm & Vine! Don’t sleep on Lévyne, this girl is going places.

Check out Lévyne on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Spotify.

Gecko – Climbing Frame

INDIE, Singer Songwriter, Uncategorized

It’s been a long time coming, but Gecko has finally released his sophomore album Climbing Frame!

Gecko is an absolute gem of a musician that I had the pleasure of seeing perform in a ruin of a chapel in London before I even knew he had graced the stage at So Far in my home turf in Auckland, New Zealand.

He’s a just a completely different breed of musician to any other I have ever come across. Gecko gets up in front of an audience and leaves them uncertain whether or not they’ve just seen a comedian spin them into fits of laughter, or a thoughtful singer songwriter leave them introspective for the evening. Listening through Climbing Frame is no different.
Gecko starts off the album with his playful single “Can’t know all the songs”, a fun jab at people who always expect every musician to have an encyclopedic knowledge of their own musical taste. We’ve already had the delight of reviewing this song, if you want to read more check out what Isla had to say here!

This is then juxtaposed with the title track “Climbing Frame”, which is a beautiful take on children’s ability to take a bad situation and take a creative, fun spin on it. This song “tells the story of a tree that had fallen down in a storm in the middle of Queens Park. Without a seconds thought, it had become a new climbing frame for the kids who frequented the park.” Gecko muses that “there’s hope that the youngest people in this world will turn the apocalyptic hand that they’ve been dealt into something positive that we have not yet seen.”

The album also throws perspectives at you that you wouldn’t expect. “Laika” tells the story of the first dog sent into space but the Russian space programme to become a “distant canine, drifting in space time”. The song is playful in nature, but delves into an oddly relatable existential crisis of a dog who is riddled with self doubt and not feeling worthy to be sent to space. Although Laika thinks “I guess the sooner I go, the sooner I can come home”, the song twinges at the heart strings with the sad reality that this was a one way trip for Laika.

“A Whole Life” tells the endearing story of a younger Gecko explaining to Nursery kids how difficult his first year at school was and the importance of not calling your teacher mum. The song progresses through life always telling a younger gecko that although you “might not want things to change” you must grow up, and that there’s a whole life ahead. The song touches on the difficulties in each stage of life, but how each stage is bearable, and that we get through it. It’s a reassuring sentiment, especially in times such as these.

Gecko’s first album was called ‘Album of the year’ in the Morning Star, and his music has taken him across the world from Stockholm to over here in lil old New Zealand. We wish all the more success to Gecko in his future endeavours, and look forward to seeing more music come through.

Make sure to follow Gecko on Facebook, Instagram and Spotify.

I Don’t Wanna Be In Love – Mikaela Cougar

INDIE, Indie Rock

Following the release of her singles “See Straight” and “Lucky Star, Mikaela Cougar is back with another banger. “I Don’t Wanna Be In Love” channels nostalgic 90s girl band vibes combined with that laid back bucket hat aesthetic we know and love.

In this track Mikaela reflects on passing pages of life as she walks into a new chapter. She found the track “basically wrote itself… like a stream of consciousness.” The artist’s choice of conversational lyrics brings an element of “realness” to the song; like we’re sharing a beer as she externalises her thoughts. The hook line “I don’t wanna be in love because it’s way too hard” is charmingly matter of fact. There’s no need to dress the sentiment up in poetry and metaphors; it stands on its own with intrigue and vulnerability.

I loved the pauses in the first chorus, as Mikaela chose to match the rhythms of the instrument with her rambling lyrics. Moments of silence can be what makes a song, and she utilised these to their full potential. The psychedelic breakdown and Gwen Stefani vocals in the bridge lifted the song to that “effortlessly cool” sound that Mikaela is famous for.

The blending of bitter lyrics with an optimistic soundscape in the chorus were effective in capturing the hindsight that comes with stepping out of a situation. Mikaela has moved on; the negativity of this failed relationship can’t touch her now. Overall, “I Don’t Wanna Be In Love” is another killer track from what is quickly becoming one of my favourite emerging artists. I can’t wait for the 2021 release of the full EP.

Big Bam Boom – The RVMES

INDIE, Indie Rock, Uncategorized

Dynamic and bold, The RVMES are a genre-defying “stir-fry” band of brothers from the big smoke. The four piece waste no time, and in their short two years as a collective they have “caused mayhem” on a 10 day North Island tour, and released a self titled 9 track EP. The RVMES show no sign of stopping with banger after banger under construction and a brand-spanking-new single Big Bam Boom out September 12.

RVMES’ latest track starts with as much of a bang as you’d expect from a track so bold as to go by Big Bam Boom. The lads launch into a scurrying rhythm section and gang vocals to sing the title line, before a stupidly catchy falsetto “ooh”. The vocals lie somewhere between indie-rock and acoustic rap as lead singer Edwin Judd riffs about people watching.

The arrangement is so fun, and so creative. It’s impossible to send praise in one direction in particular, because the band refuses to sit still for a micro second. The rhythm section diversifies with every bar, finding epic moments where drums, bass and guitar can lock together. While the verses themselves are riddled with cool lyrical and instrumental moments, nothing beats the soaring Big Bam Boom chorus. If that’s not enough for ya the band launches into a killer instrumental section at the end enough to have your fitbit asking if you’re okay.

The energy is r e l e n t l e s s l y e l e c t r i c . I’ve never had the pleasure of witnessing Big Bam Boom live, but I can feel the floor rattling with the mosh pit through my headphones. You can hear how much fun The RVMES had recording the beast, and it makes it a riot to listen to it. Keep an eye out for their live gigs on Facebook and Instagram – I might see ya there.

Isolated – Nick Dow

Acoustic, Singer Songwriter

Nick Dow is back, and immediately sending shivers down my spine.
Isolated, is an eerie and ethereal piece that belongs in an abandoned ruin of a concert hall. The sound builds on echoing arpeggios with a rough falsetto that soars through the spacious soundscape reminiscent of Radiohead. This is one of the simpler songs Nick has released steering away from earlier complex works, but I believe the beauty of this song comes from it fully utilised stripped back arrangement, a delicate touch on the keys, and flawless harmonic progression. The song appears to be topical with 2020’s isolating lock downs worldwide, striking a chord with many of us pent up inside isolated from the world around us.

Isolated is the first we’ve heard from multi-instrumentalist Nick Dow since his well received debut album “Layers” quoted as being “about as good as debut albums get” which charted in NZ and set Nick off playing shows around NZ. Nick has built up a reputation around Auckland as a formidable musician, with talent as a vocalist, pianist and violin player, playing for musicians such as TEEKS.

Catch Nick Dow playing in Auckland on the 31st of October with BEING. and Chris Wallace at the Wine Cellar.

Keep up with Nick Dow on Facebook, Instagram and Spotify.