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.
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.