Looking for stuff to listen to while in self-isolation? The RNZ Music team have picked six newly-released New Zealand albums for your listening pleasure.
1. Tami Neilson – Chickaboom!
‘Queenie Queenie’ isn’t the only immediately hooky song on Chickaboom!, but it’s a good example of how stripping things back is working for Tami Neilson.
Her new album encompasses jukebox rockabilly, gospel, torch song and hillbilly twang, and what makes these durable old styles work for Tami is her ability to adapt them to things she really wants to say.
In this case it’s the theme of female empowerment that runs right through the record, from the multi-tasking mother of ‘Queenie Queenie’ to the singer addressing a recalcitrant partner with withering irony in ‘Call your Mama’. – Nick Bollinger (read his full review here)
2. Nadia Reid – Out Of My Province
The songs on Nadia Reid’s third album showcase the songwriter’s emotional depth and maturity with vivid vignettes of old memories and wounds, of world wandering, and musings on the future.
While her woozy melodic vocal turns and finger-picked guitar are familiar to anyone who has listened to her previous work, the rich production from the team at Spacebomb Records in Virginia supports the songs sympathetically, and makes the songs even more affecting. – Kirsten Johnstone
3. Roy Irwin – Self Titled
Roy Irwin has been called New Zealand’s garage punk virtuoso, but his latest album is dreamy, mellow and genre-bending.
While many of the album’s songs are moody soundscapes, listening doesn’t take you into a depression, instead they uplift you. Perfect for daydreaming about being outside in the sun with your friends. – Charlotte Ryan
4. Hamerkop – Remote
Annabel Alpers (Bachelorette) has always excelled at making her machines display their humanity, and this continues with Hamerkop, her Baltimore based duo with partner Adam Cooke. They make a spellbinding sound: warm oscillating synths, crystal clear field recordings, krautrocky rhythms and Alpers’ chalky voice. – Kirsten Johnstone
5. Ria Hall – Manawa Wera
Ria Hall’s Manawa Wera is the latest in a long line of classic Aotearoa roots reggae albums. Packed with potent and heartfelt political messages, Hall's "songs of hope, faith and love" will get you moving too, with stonking basslines and wonderfully bouncy reggae beats.
The APRA-award-winning artist recorded her new album with a extremely impressive group of musicians: Troy Kingi, Wiremu Barriball (Katchafire), Ara Adams-Tamatea (L.A.B.), Zane Graham (Sons of Zion), Warren Maxwell (Trinity Roots, Little Bushman), Rob Ruha, and Riki Gooch (Trinity Roots). A great listen for sone skankin' in the lounge. – Alice Murray
6. Yumi Zouma – Truth or Consequence
The members of dream-pop band Yumi Zouma already know a thing or two about working in isolation: the quartet are based in Christchurch, New York, London and Wellington, but managed to create this lovely album across the ether.
Christie Simpson’s vocals are a lot more confident than on previous releases, and their heartbroken, nostalgic disco-sheen is perfect for late-night lounge parties for one.