After years of working collaboratively with New Zealand songwriters and musicians, the isolation of 2020 has inspired something completely different from Molly Devine. It’s been a year of polar opposites for the artist. One moment she was touring the country with her new single Call Me Up, the next she was home alone crowded by her thoughts along with the rest of Aotearoa. Fortunately for Molly she runs a music school out of her home, so she spent her hibernation in a mini recording studio.
Wanderer is about the “magnetism (Molly) feels towards simplicity and easefulness”. The track is a first for Molly, as she wrote and produced it solo. Wanderer comes with a beautiful music video that paints pictures to compliment the soundscape.
Wanderer begins with a sparkling right hand piano line, and twinkling city lights to match. The introduction is based around a montage of busy modern living; a time-lapse of traffic, flight times at the airport, a crowd at a zebra crossing. As Molly’s soothing voice describes a “familiar silhouette leaning against the door frame”, the imagery settles into a warm indoor scene. There’s poetry in Molly’s lyricism. She “loves you like the ocean loves the moon”, drawing imagery from nature to parallel human emotions.
I particularly enjoyed the appearance of classical guitar; an intricate line written by Jayendra Birchall. The dynamic blend of Molly Devine’s songwriting and Birchall’s mystical performance results in an ethereal piece of writing; reminiscent of some of Sufjan Steven’s work. Wanderer is a beautiful piece of writing. I look forward to keeping up with Molly’s journey on Facebook and Instagram.
It’s easy to disappear into the beautiful soundscape that Lorenzo creates in his acoustic lead follow up to his Single Pharos. The track is slow and lumbering with rich baritone vocals reminiscient of 90s grunge (but the vocalists who could sing more vowels than urrrr). The soundscape is dark and smokey which is a diversion from Lorenzo’s usual performance with his band Close to the Bone. Singer Lorenzo was inspired to tackle his solo project with lockdown and managed to self record the three songs released under Lorenzo Hazelwood in his home studio. These were picked up and worked on with Toby Lloyd from Tiny Triumph Recordings and Mastered by Luke Finlay from Primal Mastering. Lorenzo plans to release more music during the year so make sure to follow him on Facebook,Instagram and Spotify to catch more broody dirges! Hopefully another lockdown isn’t required to draw out more creativity.
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.
Award-winning singer, songwriter and producer Villette is back with a bang on her new single ‘Curious’ – the first track from her upcoming EP. The single immediately grabs you with a brisk beat and chorusy guitars straight out of a Mac Demarco track. The song develops into an upbeat R’n’B groove with hints of disco and funk that could’ve come straight outta Michael Jackson’s catalogue.
‘Curious’ is an ode “to the girl that’s on a mission but enjoying the journey,” explains Villette. “It’s a tale of enjoying the ups and downs of life and venturing further down forbidden paths”. Produced by Ben Malone and co-written with Max Gunn and Jono Boyle, ‘Curious’ signals “a new chapter” in Villette’s journey. She describes her upcoming EP as “upbeat and exciting”, a diversion from her usual smokey slow jams of the past. “The writing style and content is reflective of where I’m at in life as well, and that is mirrored in the whole EP,” Villette says.
Villette’s release of curious has been coupled with an official music video, which is filled to the brim with nostalgia, kiwi summer, and infectious good vibes. Don’t miss it! Watch below.
Born and raised in New Zealand, Villette has cultivated her sound through experience singing, producing, DJing and songwriting. Her music has taken her on tour across NZ, Australia and the USA with her last mixtape “Drip Crimson“. Earlier works had her putting together a one of a kind 360 Music Video, Money, which took her visual performance to a whole other level.
Self proclaimed “pop star for dorks” Geoff Ong has released another single, and it’s insanely catchy. I first heard the track on release day, and the optimistic hook line has been rattling around in my brain ever since. The icing on the Into Into You cake is the fun and professional music video choreographed by Anton Pulefale and Victoria Villapol, and directed by Geoff Ong himself.
The music video starts with Pulefale and Villapol standing back to back in a studio with a light directed at the camera. Ong asks the question “is it weird to think we could have been just strangers passing by in the street?” before wondering about the universe and its plans. It’s a feel good song, all about revelling in the magic of new love.
The dancers capture the mesmerising nature of a new relationship by moving in slow motion together. They snap into an energetic chorus while the movement of the editing aligns with the rhythm section. It’s a carefully considered video, but it still feels charming and genuine; the dancers look like they had a lot of fun filming it.
Tastefully filmed and edited by an artist with countless strings to his bow, Into Into You is infectiously groovy. The next time you need a slice of optimism load up the video and get smiling. Don’t miss Geoff Ong when he next plays live – his shows are outrageously dynamic, and so much fun.
South For Winter is the otherworldly folk trio comprised of Nick Stone, Dani Cichon and Alex Stradal. Stone and Cichon met as volunteers building greenhouses in the Andes Mountains. Here they wrote Fallen Seeds, the first of many mesmerising pieces they would work on together. Upon moving to Nashville in 2017 they met the missing piece in their sound: classically trained cellist Alex Stradal.
Always You summons the sun in the winter. It begins with a strong acapella sentiment from the pure voice of Cichon. Her signature lyrical style sounds Oh my love when I lose my hold / when my eyes forget their youth / when the wind’s worn down these bones / oh there’s always you. South for Winter’s lyrics often walk the line between poetry and song, and their latest creation is no exception.
Cichon is joined by a bright ukulele and full band arrangement. Stone’s harmonies add colour and depth to the timbre, and the piece sets off on a boundlessly enthusiastic journey. It’s easy to hear the fun the musicians have when they work together. The three stylistic inputs result in a masterful and well balanced soundscape.
Always You is a more optimistic offering than the eerie murder ballads South for Winter is famous for, but there is a distinct familiarity hidden in it. It’s easy to hear the intricate sound of the band when the cello is introduced and the song breaks for a cheeky guitar solo. Perhaps this cotton candy track is exactly what the world is in need of this year. The song promises that despite all the darkness and inevitable passing of time, love will remain.
The band is set to release a full length album this year, and we couldn’t be more excited for more magic. Keep up with their progress on Instagram and Facebook.
Self proclaimed “geek pop” artist Jarni Blair has captured the sound of the sun with Higher than the Sky. A skilled instrumentalist and songwriter, Blair’s music is consistently well crafted, and his latest single is no exception to this rule. As a performer he exudes a sense of peace, and genuine excitement for sharing his work with the world.
Higher than the Sky is the summer jam we were all waiting for. Blair’s sound is reminiscent of John Mayer, featuring maestro guitar lines and feel good lyrics. Having said this, he continues to impress with his ability to get creative with his words, dodging overt cliches. One line that I found particularly charming was “she’s got no trouble tying a guide rope around the sunshine for me”. This sentiment captures the promise of a happy relationship.
The production on Higher than the Sky is tasteful, resulting in a full sound with momentum. The addition of half a line through a vocal filter gives the tune personality. From the studio to the retro themed music video, it’s clear to see that Blair had a lot of fun recording this song.
Higher than the Sky does remarkably well at holding its audience for four and a half minutes in a world with a two minute attention span. It’s a classic summer bop. One listen had me pining after a beer on K Road— and I don’t even drink beer. Keep up with Jarni on Facebook and instagram.