Ah New Zealand, you beautiful little neighbour. Home of Hobbits, far superior rugby teams and Pharlap. Us Aussies may give our Kiwi cousins plenty of shtick, but truth be told there’s a plethora of great music coming forth from the two island nation. There’s a musical culture bubbling away in New Zealand that is confident, unpretentious and seemingly unaffected by the nauseating waves of status quo that seem to effect so many Australian bands. So sit back, relax, and soak in another esteemed Happy listicle!
Middle Earth isn’t the only thing our Kiwi cousins do well, they have some of the best music going around! Here’s 7 New Zealand musicians you need.
Seriously, how can we not lead with Princess Chelsea? Her brand of experimental pop is simply (and to use a horribly worn out yet relevant cliche) out of this world. Hypnotising and commanding, look no further than No Church On Sunday, or indulge in the fun of one of her older singles The Cigarette Duet. Her approach to songwriting is clever and she wields her music with one foot firmly planted in the pop realm, and the other off god-knows-where giving her the edge we love her for.
Dream pop can be a polarising genre at times. It’s sweet, lofty and easy on the ears, but sometimes it can be in danger of being without any relevant message. Yumi Zouma is the exception. Their gorgeous melodies matched with their thoughtful songwriting. Effortlessly graceful yet still managing to maintain a sense of focus, this is the band all dream poppers aspire to be. Also, their artwork and press shots are always killer!
Tom Lark was recently in Australia playing some shows, and if you’re a fan of clever and insightful pop rock he’s the guy for you. He’s a simple lad but an endearing one at that, his self titled EP released late last year a collection of tales from a guy who hails from the ‘burbs but manages to find the romance, adventure and wonder in what would otherwise be a dreary setting.
Nakey fill the quota for slacker rock bands on this bill, and quite frankly there is no one else who holds a candle to them in this respect. Their DIY aesthetic to their music and videos may seem crass to some, but it somehow manages to be charming in a twisted sort of way.
Usually when someone says they have writer’s block it is a signal for creative doom. Not for Miles G. Loveless, his single Writer’s Block under the moniker of Pikachunes is an amazing jam that leaves head and shoulders above the masses of bedroom producers at work today. His beats are a brilliant fusion of distorted electronica and fun synth-pop, not to mention his penchant for killer lyrics.
For a taste of frantic, frenzied riot grrl inspired tunes Miss June is the band you want to keep an eye on. The punk rock collective came together with the intention of just being a live band for Annabel Liddell’s solo work, but thankfully for guitar thrashing fans everywhere the group evolved into something much more. Their EP Matriarchy is coming soon, and the title track is more than enough to have you salivating. Heavy, fuzzed out six strings and Liddells’ passionate lyrics delivered with coarse vocals make or a brilliant punk rock showing.
Young Mainard Larkin, otherwise known as Larz Randa, or more simply Randa, is a rapper who is seriously on top of the game. With a seriously infectious flow and slick references to Harry Potter and The Breakfast Club among many other, Randa is well and truly on the way to becoming a pop sub-culture icon. Randa has always been a confident rapper, but the work really came into it’s own on the Rangers EP. So if refreshing, high energy hip-hop is what you’re after then look no further.