"I'm only as young as the minute is, full of it...But I know they'll never own me". Independent, self referential, smart for her age, hyped, 16, mysterious: everything you've read and subliminally heard has lead up to this moment: Pure Heroine. This is Lorde's million dollar cheque. Pressing play, it's hard to forget the PR smoke stack that has pre-empted her debut. I'm critical already. I'm not supposed to feel this way before I review an album. Everything seems calculated like a game of media Battleship. Or is that what they want me to think of the supposed "Anti-Miley"? Screw it - I just need to listen.
‘Tennis Court' is a great opener. There is something there, in amongst that MIDI soundscape and constant rhetoric. It's an effective statement, and yeah, it sends shivers down your spine when the chorus hits. I thought the video was great too, a one shot take that portrayed Ella Yelich-O'Connor as an android weirdo akin to a young Bjork. ‘400 Lux' is a continuation of that song, and unassuming - it could fit onto the recentNine Inch Nails record. Her layered voice writhers through these ten songs, all drawling pout, all lazy, seductive murmur. It's hard to not become drawn in and just bathe in the fascination that a young serpentine Kiwi made this music. Yeah, she's had help from Joel Little of Goodnight Nurse and Kids of 88, which I'm muted about - I like to think that Lorde steers the big wheel.
‘Ribs' will be a future single, and of all things, I'm reminded of Strawpeople. For all its success, ‘Royals' is by far the best song here. It still hits. She will have that US #3 spot for the rest of her life, and we won't let the poor girl forget it anytime soon.
I think the music is lovely, and the arrangements creative. It's inoffensive material: nothing new, nothing groundbreaking, but a welcome addition to the Kiwi canon. I have to admit that I'm not a fan of the lyrics, especially after reading O'Connor's recently self penned puff piece. She quoted William S Burroughs, identified with Nicki Minaj of all people, and declared herself "...a singer, a performer, a popstar and a writer." That's great to hear, but you've also got science and maths after lunch. It's a move that she will (hopefully) look back at and regret. I initially thought she was speaking of and chastising others in these songs, but on repeated listens, the lyrics are literally about her. It sometimes reeks of twitter feed set to music, or a bad creative writing paper. Still, I like Pure Heroine.
New Zealanders are treating Lorde's ascension to fame like it's some sort of Olympic sport. She empathises with the lady who wrote ‘Come on a Cone' - we have to accept that Lorde ain't doing it for us. Still, we defend this girl to our wits end because we need a national hero. Idealistically, a waify, attractive teenage hero. Youth is longevity, it's an investment in the music business, and it's the currency that is accepted everywhere. She's got something, and good on her for running like hell with it. Like in the great closer ‘A World Alone', Lorde declares that the people are talkin'. They are. Now for the next move.
In the mid to late 90's, when grunge began to wither away and MTV strived to find the next easy to access label to attach to new batch of up and coming rock bands, global attention started to shine on the Alt Rock scene.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
Anthonie Tonnon is taking his new Extended Player and single to Australia, and to New Zealand towns that missed the first run of dates, or sold out too quickly. He’ll also be appearing at three summer festivals this February.
After a stand of three Auckland concerts that sold out in minutes in January, Connan Mockasin is hitting the road across Aotearoa for the first time in eight years this summer for a select run of headline shows.