When I chose Erlend Øye's album Legao, little did I realise that I will learn to love this album with time. Released as a product of the Øye's independently owned record label Bubbles Records, this gem of an album by the nerdy poster boy of what I really consider indie music, blew my mind away.
Øye is a Norwegian musical genius, that's how i would introduce him to an audience that hasn't heard him before. A composer, musician, producer, singer and songwriter in his own right, the bespectacled genius was once a part of the indie folk duo Kings of Convenience, and the leader of his own band, The Whitest Boy Alive. His work with fellow Norwegian musical stalwarts Röyksopp, influenced his interest in electronic music, although, unlike his earlier work this album is inspired by his time with the Kings of Convenience andThe Whitest Boy Alive. Recorded in Reykjavík, Iceland with Keflavík reggae group Hjálmar, this gem of an album is Øye's route to return to his indie roots. With an Icelandic reggae assembly backing a Norwegian indie artist based in Italy and recorded in Berlin, Legao sounds non-viable on paper, but in reality, the international influence only adds to the melancholic aura surrounding this record.
Fence Me In, the first track off Legao does have tinges of lyrical inspiration from a genius in his own right,Leonard Cohen. Fence Me In, and Garota, are not really reggae material, nonetheless the melodies are pensive and leave listeners in rapt nostalgia. The tropical guitars on these songs remind you of Jamaica, but it is the Icelandic touch that avoids you taking a mental trip to the Caribbean paradise. The syncopated rhythms on Fence Me In and Garota are not reggae basics either, but the influence is stronger in Could You Be Loved, although it fades on the jaunty Super Furry Animals, inspired by neo-pyschedelic bands from the 80s.
Bob Marley's signature reggae influence is all over a very lyrically contrite Peng Pong, the outro reminiscent of all the heartbreak and if it were not for the track listing, undeservedly needs to be the cynosure of Legao, in its entirety. Peng Pong, is a song for anyone who has been in and out of love. Here is where Øye's lyrics of being loved or the lack of it, remind you of Cohen's Chelsea Hotel, cementing his position with the hallowed Mr. Cohen himself.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, the breakdown of a relationship is pure musical gold. Bad Guy Now, isn't nice but, as a narrative of being amidst a breakup, the song does a very good job at being one third of an arresting trio made up of Who Do You Report To and Whistler. Øye's lyrical genius comes again to the fore on this trinity of songs that explore love from his view.
Unrepressed to say the least, Save Some Loving is a selfish ode of love to the most important person in the world -yourself. For those who are aware of Øye's previous work, it is disappointing to know that he has disrobed Legao of any electronic music influences. Rainman is as colourful lyrically as it is in its accompanying video, illustrated by a fan, Clara Cebrian. Reggae reigns supreme in a rather wistful and broody Lies Become Part of Who You Are. The bespectacled Scandinavian modern day Cohen, may not be visually appealing but, its his musical genius that makes Legao an absolute stand out and worth the time he set apart on his début and sophomore albums.
Heavily autobiographical and tastefully wistful, the effortless musical scores, elegantly articulated lyrics and a caressing voice,prove that Øye's Legao is a testament to his balladeering skills. Fence Me In's chorus has him crooning, "There's poetry in every moment of the day/ Tell it to my face, if you ever hear me say/ ‘My well is empty; I am done/ My inspiration has dried up, and the spark has gone", although, Legao is a paradox to those very lines. Just like the fans who waited to hear him after the début, I will definitely wait for the blasé style in Øye's work to return in due time, since and I quote Rainman's arresting chorus, "Loving you is like waiting for the rain to come," to prove that his music is most appreciated.
As international as Øye's video for Garota filmed in Seoul, the album is a must have for people who love indie music. A Norwegian electronic artist playing reggae infused tunes with a band from Iceland may not be interesting on paper, but listen to it and you will realise why music cannot be limited any more.
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.