Thursday, June 05, 2014

NZ Music Month

A little bit late to the party, but May was New Zealand music month. I thought that I'd take some time and write a little bit about my favourite NZ musicians. (Some of these, now live - and are claimed as Australians by Australia ;)) The first few probably don't need much of an introduction, as you've either heard them (or heard about them from me).

Brooke Ligertwood (Fraser) 
The first Brooke Fraser song I heard was 'Lifeline'. Brooke has such a distinctive voice, and there is a beautiful depth to her songs. I am also really like the songs she has written (or performed) with Hillsong.

I'll always have a soft spot for Brooke seeing she grew up in the same part of NZ as me & went to the same primary school as me (albeit a few years after me), and F& I had her song 'Arithmetic' played during the signing of the register at our wedding.

Hayley Westenra
Came to fame as a 'classical-crossover' singer & was part of the Irish group Celtic Women for a time, before continuing her solo career. Hayley worked with Ennio Morricone for her album Paradiso, one song is put to the music of 'Gabriel's Oboe'.  My favourite is the version of 'Pokerekere Ana' - a traditional Maori song - she sang with Russell Watson (video below), also below is the version of Viva Per Lei she sang with Andrea Bocelli - beautifully matched voices (and some great Ice-skating).

Neil & Tim Finn (covering ...  Split Enz & Crowded House)
No introduction needed. The Finn's are arguably one of the best songwriting pairs since Lennon-McCartney - and have a similar way of creating magical phrases 'things aren't cooking in my kitchen'. I remember singing 'Better Be Home Soon' during primary school in NZ.

Bonus - I love the version Neil Finn (& Friends) did of The Smiths's song 'There's a light that never goes out'.

Lizzie Marvelly
Lizzie (Elizabeth) Marvelly started off performing classical & kiwi standards. Her second album 'Home' is one of my all-time favourite albums, because it brings my time growing up in NZ back to my mind.  This year Lizzie made a change and is singing/writing more pop songs. I respect her for being true to herself and where she is at as an artist; and am looking forward to her EP (Collisions) which will come out next month. One of the songs that captivated me, from Home, is her cover of Dave Dobbyn's Welcome Home. (Here's the original).

Don't know how I found out about Broods. Broods are a brother sister duo, and their first album came out this year. Have a hauntingly beautiful sound.

Another band of brothers which has come out of NZ, though I they are now based in Australia.  Dreams is my favourite album and one you need to listen to from start to finish.

Bic Runga
Haunting voice - my favourite song is 'Sway'.

Dave Dobbyn
If you're trying to think of iconic NZ artists - it is hard to go past Dave Dobbyn - the two the come to my mind are 'Welcome Home' & 'Slice of Heaven'. Below is the film clip of 'Slice of Heaven' (ft. the cast of Footrot Flats).

Lydia Cole
Think I've posting on Lydia before, but a great sounding singer-songwriter. Her song 'Drawbridge' captures my mood from time to time. 'I wish there was a drawbridge and the Tasman was a moat; And I wish I could be with you less aeroplane or boat'

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