"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.
There's no denying that at my core, I'm a lover of progressive music - whether that means I love "prog" music or not is a question for another day, and is a topic which I touched on whilst talking to Steven Wilson the other week regarding the upcoming To The Bone show at Auckland's Bruce Mason Centre.
Auckland-based quartet Openside have added an extra date to their first, all-ages, nationwide tour. The group headlines The Seamless Tour will now perform a final show in Tauranga on July 20th featuring special guests DUNES .
Consisting of drummer/vocalist Cat Leahy and guitarist/vocalist Leisha Jungalwalla, This Way Northwill be a part of a very special night in Auckland called ‘Sass the Patriarchy’ an event they have been running in Australia.
As the days and nights get colder, we need something more to laugh about than the unpredictability of Auckland weather and lucky for us, The New Zealand International Comedy Festivalreturns (kicking off this Thursday 26 April).
I Am Giant’s have recently released their third and final album ‘Life in Captivity’. Featuring the singles ‘Dead Flower’, ‘Playing With Fire’ and ‘Don’t Look Back’, the band are currently touring New Zealand; their final tour and last hurrah in NZ.
To this day I still remember my introduction to Sepultura - camped out in the granny flat bedroom of long-time friend Kerry - a live version of their cover of Motörhead's Orgasmatron, and from there it continues to this day
The wait is almost over as Auckland City Limits is set to take place this Saturday (March 3rd) at Western Springs Stadium. Included on the bill are one of France’s most famous four-piece band's Phoenix.
“I find inspiration from people who are trying to do something different. There's a lot of producers trying to copy each other, eg Terror Squad. But it’s really cool to hear guys like SumthinSumthin, completely unchallenged in their own lane.” – Graham Matthews
John Butler Trio announce their return to New Zealand in March to play Nelson’s Trafalgar Centre on Saturday 2 March and an afternoon set outdoors at The Hunting Lodge in Waimauku, Auckland on Sunday 3 March.
British rock royalty Arctic Monkeys have ushered in a spectacular new era with their sixth studio album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, and it has now been announced that the band will return to New Zealand for a mammoth arena show in March 2019.
Californian rock legends Jefferson Starship will join TOTO and Dragon on next year’s ‘A Summer’s Day Live’ series, which will take in some of the most picturesque locations and popular concert venues across New Zealand.
In celebration of the highly anticipated November release of their fourth studio album Delta,English folk conquerors Mumford & Sons today announced details of a massive 60 date world tour which will include a very special one day event in Auckland this Summer –their first New Zealand show since 2015!
George Ezra toured the world nonstop for more than two years following the release of his debut LP Wanted On Voyage, finally making it to Aotearoa for one of the standout sets of this year’s Auckland City Limits.
Following the release of her critically-acclaimed My Design, On Others Lives in April this year, Estère teams up with the poetically tongued NZ/Rwandan MC Raiza Biza, to take on the myth of an infamous figure in cross-continental African folklore, the Tokoloshe.
If Anika Moa was feeling ready to kick back for the remainder of 2018, then things haven’t really run to plan. In fact it’s about to get a whole lot busier for the multi-talented entertainer with a new album release, tv series and live shows all on the way.
Since achieving international recognition from Rollingstone.com and Billboard.com for hit singles Too Strung Up and Stone Cold, and amassing over 3 million Spotify streams for their releases to date, Alae now unveil All Gived Up.
'Call Me', the latest track by Wellington electro-pop singer and producer Josie Moon made last week's New Music Friday playlists from Spotify Australia/NZ and Japan and influential UK blogger Popjustice.
Colin Mochrie, Brad Sherwood and Greg Proops the popular stars of the Emmy nominated Whose Line Is It Anyway? have teamed up to present an evening of extraordinary improvisational comedy for one show only at the Bruce Mason Centre in Auckland.
In a New Zealand first, five of the stars of Twin Peaks, Sheryl Lee, Kimmy Robertson, Michael Horse, Al Strobel, Dana Ashbrook and the Executive Producer of Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series, Sabrina S. Sutherland, will visit Auckland and Christchurch for an exclusive and unique CONVERSATION WITH THE STARS evening.
Singer Elaine Paige has announced an 8-date series of concerts from October 10 to October 25 2018, which will see her perform songs from her illustrious career along side an array of her favourite tracks by contemporary songwriters.
The critically acclaimed, award-winning comedian and actor, Catherine Tate, is bringing The Catherine Tate Show - Live to New Zealand for the first time, with shows in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch commencing November 28, 2018.
It has been announced overnight that Last Tapes Theatre Company's original production Valerie has been selected for a month-long season in the prestigious Summerhall programme at Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August.
Featuring Brouhaha: choreographer Malia Johnston, composer Eden Mulholland, AV designer Rowan Pierce; In Transit: choreographer Louise Potiki Bryant, composer/AV designer Paddy Free; The Geography of an Archipelago: choreographer Stephen Shropshire, composer Chris O’Connor.
The last hurrah of the Comedy Fest! The Season Finale! The bit at the end where the awards are decided, everybody relaxes and much fun is had. It’s the titled Last Laughs on Sunday 20 May at SkyCity Theatre.
The 13th Annual Doc Edge, International Documentary Film Festival opens today - Wednesday 9th May at Wellington’s Roxy Cinema followed by Auckland’s Q Theatre on Wednesday 23rd May, bringing an influx of prestigious directors and documentary subjects from all over the world.