Early indications of another great year

Amelia Murray. Photo supplied.
Amelia Murray. Photo supplied.

Here's a simple wee list for you, five reasons to get excited about a year's worth of cool New Zealand music ahead.

Here are a bunch of vital, exciting, and extremely talented local artists who are supposed (we hope) to drop new records in 2016.

We know more details about some than others, and only a couple of them have confirmed titles, but the rumour mill, excited social media posts, and early pre-release singles, are giving the indication that it'll be another great year for music.

So here it is, in no particular order.



After a quiet 2015, Wellington witch-rock trio Mermaidens dropped a surprise single called Seed late last year, and it's been on the top of my new year rotate since.

Cut as if Sleater-Kinney were pagan-worshipping Goths, Seed is eerie and naturalistic: the sound of a dark and menacing organic undergrowth overtaking its surroundings.

If it comes, this will be the perfect autumn/winter record: melancholy, magical and moving.

Due: "Early 2016''



Waiting for the new Street Chant album seems like it's been my part-time hobby over the past few years.

I know it's coming and it's going to be incredible, but OMG when?!

After the inimitable Means in 2010, and some killer stand-alone singles in the intervening years, it seems it's finally time for Hauora.

Songwriter Emily Littler has written about the difficulties she's had in finishing the album, calling it a "procrastination station'', which I totally get.

The first three tracks we've heard are all totally slick though.

Her songwriting seems to have been refined even further through the hard times and delays.

Absolutely perfect guitar-centric offbeat pop music.

Due: "Street Chant album is coming out April 1st, not kidding''



As i.e. Crazy, Claire Duncan pens feel-sad anthems.

As songs go, hers are a barrage of emotional dysfunction and honest feeling, setting fire to both the past and the future, leaving the listener stewing in her headspace.

Following the woozy rant of a jilted lover, Non Compos Mentis' first single is a transcendent rumination on agony and the viciousness of some memories in a post-relationship life. Raw and visceral, it's at once depressive and courageous.

"We're never gonna survive, unless we get a little crazy,'' she says, and she's right.

No one does crazy like i.e. Crazy.

Due: "The debut i.e. crazy album Non Compos Mentis (or, The Trial of Maggie Magee) will be released in 2016''



Auckland's Amelia Murray has turned her DIY bedroom project into a full band in recent months.

Pulling together the transcendent textures and pastel one-tone imagery of dream pop with propulsive rock riffs wrapped in a blanket of low-key melancholy, the addition of a band has given her songs more depth and room to breathe; more space to get lost.

As Murray sings in her latest single Little Uneasy, she's "still feeling [her] way'', and her audience is too, but these songs are all about the journey.

Due: "I'm looking forward to sharing a heap of new things with you soon ...''



Dunedin angsty kransky guitar rock trio Bad Sav has been around for at least six years now, and I'm not sure it has actually released an EP or album.

It had a relatively steady flow of great droning guitar pop singles in 2014, and a few posts indicating it was working on a record last year, so I'm really hoping 2016 is finally the year we get a much-needed Bad Sav full-length album.

Every time I've seen the trio recently, I've been completely blown away.

They're more post-rock than ever, with huge swirling and expansive walls of looped guitar enveloping the slacker dancey weirdness of their songwriting.

Due: "We're making a record y'all'' - May 17, 2015

"We have almost finished a record'' - October 14, 2015


Listen/follow at

• mermaidens.bandcamp.com/

• streetchant.bandcamp.com/

• iecrazy.tumblr.com/

• fazerdaze.bandcamp.com/

• badsav.bandcamp.com



Add a Comment