Alex Louise and Pat Shanahan who is originally from Wales, make upAuckland beats-folk duo Ophelia, who today are basking in the glorious Auckland autumn sun as I approach the eye-catching pair. It's scary, I mean they look the part, like they play in a band.
Alex adorned in tattoos from top to bottom looks like she's stepped off the stage at Westfest and Pat the ‘beats maestro' is quite happy to shoot the breeze about rugby and the landscape subtleties of Wales & NZ. Of course the only Welsh band that comes to mind are the Lost Prophets but we dilly-dally around it and decide not to go there. Instead I suggest maybe Alex's tatts combined with the duos acoustic nuances would make a great new music movement folk-edge.
"I did not do folk-edge because I'm not" she laughs. "I have no explanation for it. No, I did do folk and I liked hard-core back in the day, all part of it tried to create a bit of a different image".
Ophelia's song writing process is a natural osmosis that started out with Alex's original folk/acoustic tracks her way of story-telling so when Pat heard them he knew exactly what to do and began producing the duo's trademark electronic sound that has morphed into the Ophelia sound. "We just started writing records together" recalls Pat in his Welsh drawl. "It just randomly turned into this one day and we haven't looked back since really".
Folk music is a scary moniker that's usually synonymous with Roger Whittaker or Nana Mouskouri although Alex is a little more modern when it comes to her approach to song writing, something she was happy to do when she met up with Pat dabbling with Dubstep and EDM genres to fine tune the duos overall sound. "I use to write quirky almost Regina Spektor / Laura Marling-esque stuff" says Alex. " I put a few covers on YouTube that Pat found, we started playing around with that then tried something a bit more electronic, that's when we started writing collaboratively."
Play With Me is Ophelia's latest music video, its quirky theme of love and love lost is a perfect reminder of being content with what you have, Alex & Pat also feature in the video as retirement home workers with one of the main couple characters dying on screen. "In the song I kill them both off so they get off lightly with just one" she laughs.
"Yeah I've always been interested in the visual side of things" says Alex. "But Chris Williams who does all our videos from Design Weasel isjust really passionate and wants to try different things and completely takes charge and says "right we're doing this" and you have no choice". "I kind of gave him a concept and he just runs away and makes these awesome things" chips in Pat. "He's died on videos the guy on there. He's done it before, so he's well-seasoned that's what he does, he's on things then he dies on them". "Also I think the couple are actors and we just plucked them out of a retirement home" laughs Alex. "I think they pop up now and then to do some acting, Chris knew them and hijacked them".
NZ has no paparazzi or little that reaches fever pitch, well that is unless your name is Lorde, however the question of fans and stalkers finds its way into conversation, something the pair have no problem sharing about. "We haven't come across anyone too weird yet have we?" muses Pat. "Did you have something recently?" "I've had a couple of people in random places say "are you that singer?" which is always quite funny" she recalls. "I think I was at Melbourne airport actually coming back home and someone's like "oh you're Ophelia" I went "this is so cool". I was in an animal shelter yesterday and I felt really bad because I didn't say hi but someone came up to my boyfriend and said "is that Ophelia"? He said "yes". I got a little excited about that so I'm sending him back with an EP to apologise for getting embarrassed and not saying hi"'. "Obviously this one gets a bit more noticed mate, I'm fine with that and let her deal with that side of things" laughs Pat
Their debut EP 'Face the Sea' was released in November 2013 following an exciting reception for the single'Not So Frightening' and now Ophelia will be releasing their new recording Invisible. Recorded in Opus studio and Depot Sound, and mixed at Roundhead studio with Jordan Stone (Wilco, The Datsuns), Invisible was mastered by Ben Faggans (Flume, Rufus) and features guitars from Fabian Aravales on the final track Next Door and of course featuring the hypnotic Play With Me. "That one is our second single off our new invisible EP" says Alex. "It's out on Friday, we had Eden (single) come out a few months before that and we'll obviously release more off it as soon as it comes out".
There is no truth to the rumour that Pat will be getting tattoos anytime in the near future although he himself sounds a little more pessimistic about the duos musical future than being the next tattooed DJ god. "Full body mate". "Yeah, keep up" Laughs Alex.
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are gracing our shores on the 28th of November at Galatos. After a 4-year hiatus, they have burst back onto the scene and headed straight for the spot they are most familiar with, number 1 on the Billboard Christian Rock Charts.
Breakups are never easy - whether it's a romantic tryst, a teenage crush, or with a young Mark and his favourite band Dream Theater, that dark moment when founding keyboardist Kevin Moore left the group in 1994.
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
Due to incredible demand, internationally renowned award-winning musician, comedian, actor, writer and composer TIM MINCHIN has today announced a third and final Auckland show as part of his Australasian tour of his live show BACK.
Legendary, GRAMMY-award winning band FLEETWOOD MAC today announced an Australian and New Zealand tour, set to kick off on August 9 with two shows in Auckland on September 16 and 19, along with a welcome return to Dunedin on September 21.
California’s radical sons, The Growlers arrive in the country this week for the start of the Australian leg of their mammoth worldwide ‘Beach Goth’ tour. In what is guaranteed to be a rollicking, majestic wave of movements all around our golden coast,
Timaru’s iconic Soundshell in Caroline Bay will host two of the most well-known bands in New Zealand in a one-day entertainment extravaganza this January. Katchafire and The Black Seeds will headline the R18+ event at the Soundshell on Saturday, January 26, 2019. They’ll be joined by The Butlers.
In true kiwi summer tour tradition Marlon Williams will now take The Tūrangawaewae Tour to a further six markets this February making it a total of 12 shows - Marlon’s most comprehensive New Zealand tour ever!
With sounds primed for a hot summer ahead, Christchurch four piece Mako Road have arrived with the perfect soundtrack for long nights, cold drinks and hazy days with the ‘Local Safari’ EP, which releases today.
“Music can bring us all together, it bonds us, it strengthens us...” this song “Your Guardian Angel” by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus has been dedicated to Toyah Cordingley.
Please spread the word to anyone who loves the song, or has lost someone too early also, feel free to leave any dedications in the comments of which we will share direct for Toyahs’ family and the band to see.
On the heels of releasing several collaborative hit tracks this year, five-time Grammy Award-winning artist and producer Mark Ronson returns with a brand new single of his own ‘Nothing Breaks Like A Heart’ featuring Miley Cyrus.
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.
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.