Aidan Verity is a breath of fresh air from Wellington, New Zealand. Her music, written in a retro time lapse, sends the listener straight to a 1960s prom. Classically trained, Verity uses her musical knowledge and intuition to walk between acoustic and electric soundscapes. Her latest release Believe in Meis thoughtful and clever.
Believe In Me was written from the pits of self doubt. Verity found herself swaddled in a blanket lamenting her inability to back herself. She explores her struggle with changing her own mind, and asks the question “how long until I can say I believe in me?” This question eventually fades away, unanswered.
Heavily influenced by Christine and the Queens, the track has a mesmerising, swaying feel to it. A quarter of the way through Believe In Me develops with epic use of affected backing vocals. Verity demonstrates her skill as a writer and performer, concluding the piece with an almost spiritual use of reverb.
Chris Pidsley has dropped a couple of tasty indie-rock tracks recently which we can’t get out of our heads! Cinnamon & Berryhead show Chris Pidsley’s increasing talent as a song writer and mastery of creating a relaxed, happy soundscape. Cinnamon has an intro that’ll be sampled into a chill-hop track any day now. The track moves into classic up-beat indie rock vibe with retro synths, chorused guitars and lazy vocals. Chris uses rhythmic flourishes and tasteful layering to keep us listening throughout the track. The track is about “the excitement and emotions you feel when you kiss someone for the first time.” Berryhead is the sleepy b-side to Cinnamon. The song is a beautiful lullaby reminiscent of Jose Gonzalez, Cavetown or Syd Matters that would sit perfect on the “Life is Strange” Soundtrack. Chris has beautiful strings and synths to accompany his multi-tracked vocals the combines into a beautiful elixir that washes over the senses to put you at ease. Chris wrote Berryhead “…whilst on holiday in Torquay. On a walk to Berryhead I saw a bench dedicated to a couple who said that spot was their favourite spot in the world. I based the lyrics on this idea of a couple growing old there and the beauty they saw in each other as well as the location.” Berryhead might be my personal favourite track from Chris Pidsley so far.
Can’t Know All The Songs begins with an epic 80s drum fill and groovy synth. Once again, Gecko has achieved the near impossible of writing “comedy music you’d actually add to a playlist”. The track is characterful and well produced. He’s made such an impact with the song that Wheatus (remember Teenage Dirtbag?) tweeted about it.
Verse one jumps into a Gecko-style internal monologue. He strings metaphors together to paint a ludicrous picture of what it’s like to have the audience yell “play Wonderwall” during your original set. Can’t Know All The Songs is an anthem for anyone who’s ever played a gig.
We had the pleasure of seeing him perform this single at a Sofar gig early this year, and the audience was in stitches with laughter. Gecko manages to translate his personality into recording with flair. His comedic timing and tone of voice allow the jokes to translate to the recorded medium. The song pulls back for a mock emotional bridge before finishing with a final epic chorus. Don’t miss Gecko— he’s an absolute riot.
Fighting on the frontlines of the pandemic in London hospitals hasn’t stopped MYRY from adding another beautifully melancholic piano track to her repertoire.
Stuck in a Loop is a stripped back inner dialogue accompanied by MYRY’s warm piano and WULF‘s soft vocals. The song is gentle but builds with a quiet strength that stretches and swells until you’re swept up in swathes of synths bringing the song into a rich climax. The music sounds like a beautiful blend of Regina Spektor and Lydia Cole, combining the charm of a singer-songwriter and a piano with a sophisticated soundscape of synths.
MYRY has built a reputation for herself with the success of her Debut Single Ghosts, called a “Headphone moment” by BBC introducing. Record of the Day said her “voice [was] as captivating as Freya Ridings or Birdy“, but MYRY’s success began earlier than this. As a teenager MYRY was a Youtube success garnering millions of views from various covers, including everyone’s favourite song with a cup, “When I’m Gone“.
Hints of an upcoming EP from MYRY have been mentioned, and we can’t wait to get our hands on it.
We bumped into an old friend from uni the moment we entered the bar. Much like the artists, we’re back in New Zealand while we give the other continents space to breathe for a while. It’s sort of comforting though, to be in my hometown while the world is crumbling. There was an electricity in the air; kiwis had been clawing at the walls to get out for a pint, and New Zealand was 21 days corona free. Time for a party.
Wunderbar is a local treasure— the beer taps light up like christmas, and the baby head lamps give it a certain je nes sais quoi. The bar was brimming with socially starved millennial, and the gig space was packed. We thought we might not find space in the room, but managed to weasel our way to front stage. It’s a good thing we did, because what followed was the most incredible, intimate acoustic set I’ve seen since sofar.
Eddie Kiesanowski of Pretty Stooked opened the gig like he owned the bar. New to solo sets but no rookie on the stage he seemed comfortable, and so stoked to be there. His stage presence is laid back and welcoming. Charisma aside, the man’s songwriting is phenomenal. He shared a smorgasboard of songs; some old, and some written over lockdown. It’s difficult to pick one facet of the performance to focus on— we were impressed by the sense of witty humanity in his lyrics, but perhaps most floored by the power in his vocal performance.
Pretty Stooked was a tough act to follow, but MIM rose to the challenge like a helium balloon. She too seemed incredibly comfortable on stage, and chatted to us like old friends. Her emotive voice had the audience leaning in to catch each detail as she regaled us with tales of introspection and mental illness. Moments later she would unleash her insanely powerful voice for a long held note that demanded applause. For the second half of the set MIM was supported by friend Seb Warren, who added another layer of beauty and colour to the evening with his guitar playing and backing vocals.
Few can capture hearts wearing a skivvy, but VALA rise to the challenge with enthusiasm. Following the success of the infectiously groovy Say You Want It (That Way), the 60s inspired 4 piece released Only One on the 5th of June. Set in the same vintage universe, Only One is the nostalgia fix we’re all in dire need of. Rustle up your dancing shoes, ‘coz she’s groovy.
Featuring those characteristic VALA vocals, the piece is driven by masterful drumming and summery guitar timbre. Only One is a sincere piece of writing. Its chorus features those specific little details of love. The singer wants to be the “only one”; say goodnight and then wake his love up with tea.
The song comes hand in hand with another retro music video destined to bring back memories of more simple times. You can also check out their live session of the track here. Don’t miss VALA and their contagious grooves– you can find them on Facebook and Instagram.
Hannah invites us into a hazy drunken discussion about becoming disillusioned with a worldview proposed by common media. Various creatives from their own bubbles brought together their own visual takes on the song, creating an eclectic video montage of diverse expression. Hannah talks of just managing to scrape by, but reluctantly acknowledges that we should keep on trying.
We found Hannah in London prior to lockdown with the ‘Loud Women’ collective where she wow’d an audience with a heavy and raw performance. Taking influence from a variety of artists including Nick Cave, Alison Mosshart, Debbie Harry, The Carpenters, Sonic Youth, The Watersons and Queens of the Stone Age, Hannah produces music that is quite special, and delightfully off kilter.
Max Earnshaw’s latest single Stay has an infectious feel good groove that has you bopping and toe tapping right in your seat. The track is chocka with tight grooves from reknown Adam Tobeck, juicy guitar tones from Christo Karadjov, James, Fistonich and Max Earnshaw himself, all wrapped masterfully together by a Luan Meaker Mix. Max brings the same fun and positivity to his tracks that you’d expect from Jet or Franz Ferdinand. We can’t wait to hear this track live when Aunty Cindy lets us play again!
Weightless Without by Bridges is a song made to be played in a stadium. The track is big, the drums are booming, the listener is lost in a sea of guitars and BVs. It’s an epic track that deserves a seat in the climax of a film.
Following her well received debut single Sister, Weightless Without is the second single from Kiwi artists Bridges. Bridges has built a solid reputation in Auckland city playing in spaces such as Movespace, and playing on the air at RNZ. Bridges started out in Christchurch known as Rachel Hamilton performing as an acoustic singer songwriter, but made the move to Auckland to study and redefine her sound as an indie-pop artist.
RNZ premiered the cinematic lyric video below for Weightless Without on the 28th of May.
Stephen Cooper is a rising artist from Dublin, working under the anonym Fly the Nest. Boasting powerful vocals, convicting lyrics and impressive production, Cooper is a force to be reckoned with.
Fly the Nest’s latest piece released into the wild is an epic dedicated to frontline workers in these uncertain times. Superhuman is a triumphant anthem likening those risking their lives in the pandemic to the heroes we see on screen. The piece begins with an epic guitar solo and driving rhythm section. It melts into the lyrics “I keep on running till my legs give out”, an homage to the gruelling hours medical practitioners face. The line “against the odds we’re still fighting” inspires faith in the health system.
Cooper’s powerful vocal performance is moving. He was inspired by his family, many of which are working on the frontline. His “whole family work in healthcare… nurses, doctors, the works”. He sees Superhuman as “the least (he) could do to support the frontline.”