30 May 2020

NZ Music Month 2020: Fresh Music Daily

From RNZ Music, 12:00 pm on 30 May 2020

The RNZ Music team is celebrating NZ Music Month with Fresh Music Daily - new music from a different Kiwi artist every day.

May 31 Finn Johansson - ‘6 Pack’

Wellington musician Finn Johansson describes his music as “the pinching feeling of hope just before you have your heart broken”. His songs are full of curiosity, and packed with non-sequiturs about raw love and pain.

Finn is a regular contributor to Karyn Hay’s Lately show on RNZ National.

‘6 Pack’ is his latest single, and was recorded with a dislocated elbow and written with “a semi-dislocated mind”. Finn’s calling it “The song of the winter.”

May 30 Marlins Dreaming - ‘Sink or Swim’

Marlin’s Dreaming are a Dunedin four-piece that formed in 2017. They’ve released two albums, a string of EPs and singles, and supported acts including The Chills, Kirin J Callinan, and Ocean Alley.

‘Sink or Swim’ is from their latest album Quotidian, which came out in April. They recorded this special live version of the track while in lockdown.

May 29 Alexa Casino - ‘Keep Breathing’

Bedroom producer, singer, songwriter, and DJ, Alexa Casino has been steadily producing music since 2016, releasing her debut EP Cheer Up Try Hard Tear Up Cry Hard in 2017.

Her music takes the essence of emo (think rock music with an emphasis on emotional expression), and translates it into minimal RnB pop.

She sings about everything from heartache to mental health, making songs that remind people it’s ok to have the ‘Big Feelings’ - she’s got them too.

Alexa's track ‘Keep Breathing’ is out next Friday, June 5. She wrote the song when her dog Chelsea was dying, sampling  the sound of her breathing, which repeats throughout the song.

Writing the track which is essentially about Alexa’s coping mechanisms, was a cathartic experience.

“When you're having a hard time coping, it's not always easy to remember to just keep breathing and to keep going when everything feels like it's over. It's a really poignant and emotional song for me, more so than anything else I've made.”

May 28 Jake Love - ‘Waste Away’

Tāmaki Makaurau alt-pop artist Jake Love released his debut EP Soccer in February. His music “takes the ethos of an 80s prom and combines it with a back catalogue of relationships and heartbreaks”.

‘Waste Away’ was the first song Jake ever wrote about his wife: “We were just a year or so into our relationship and I was trying to capture that university feeling where you have endless time to spend falling in love.”

The song’s sound is inspired by some of Jake’s favourite 80s high school movies: “I wanted to make something that’d fit in blaring out of John Kusack’s boombox.”

Jake had been watching 80s movie montages on YouTube, and decided to insert himself into one, using the only quarantine materials he had on hand.

“‘Waste Away’ captures that sense of timeless longing that 80s movies seem to evoke, while basing it in a sense of reality – an imperfect reality that exists outside the screen.”

Follow Jake Love on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

May 27 Leaping Tiger - ‘Aura’

Leaping Tiger is the project of 21-year-old music producer and bass player, Jacob Park. Taking inspiration from a wide range of genres, his music is a unique blend of electronic, alternative, hip-hop and RnB.

'Aura' came together after Leaping Tiger participated in the NZ Music Month initiative Two Daze, where Kiwi musicians are tasked with writing and recording an original song in 48 hours. This year was especially challenging, as it took place during Level 4 lockdown.

Jacob was listening to a lot of UK Garage-influenced music. He was inspired by club music at a time when going out wasn't possible. “It felt very therapeutic,” Jacob says.

May 26 Emily Muli - ‘Self-Care’

Emily Muli is an Auckland-based multi-instrumentalist, producer, singer and songwriter. Her music music fuses elements of neo-soul, RnB, jazz and her Pacific roots.

In 2019 Emily released her debut single, ‘Rhythm & Truth’, which she performed live for RNZ shortly after it was released.

When not making music, Emily is travelling the world as a young activist and humanitarian, serving her community through advocacy and creative arts. 

Emily wrote ‘Self-Care’ as a mental reminder to look after herself: “I'm always busy doing something, so I thought if I wrote a song about self-care, I'd actually listen to myself!”

When Level 4 lockdown began, she had no excuse: “Thanks to the help of my band, the video and track is literally us jamming live from the comfort of our own homes, with some iPhone-level quality shots and a whole heap of good vibes.”

May 25 Abby Wolfe - ‘Free Falling’

23-year-old Dunedin singer-songwriter Abby Wolfe has been making music since her early teens. The up-and-coming pop musician has a string of successful singles to her name, the latest of which is ‘Free Falling’.

“When I wrote ‘Free Falling’ it basically came down to me confronting my fears about being gay in the music industry,” Abby says, “I had it in my head that I couldn’t be both.

“I thought I had to suppress one half of myself so that my career could flourish. Free falling is about jumping into acceptance and love.”

The song’s lyric video was created in Dunedin by Made By Wade, aka, Wade McClelland,  who’s worked with Kiwi artists Summer Thieves, Raiza Biza and Mo Muse.

Abby hand-wrote the lyrics in the vid, to give it a personal and honest feel, “like you were reading the lyric sheet just after the song was penned”.

“We wanted to replicate the cover art,” Abby says, “To create an intimate-feeling performance video to pair with the song.”

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May 24 The Butlers - ‘Calenture’

The Butlers are a five-piece surf rock group from Christchurch.

They’ve toured New Zealand and Australia extensively, playing headline shows, opening for acts such as Teskey Brothers and Sticky Fingers, and performing at festivals including RnV, Electric Avenue and Bay Dreams.

The band was set to be heading to the U.S. this month for their first tour there, but have instead shifted their focus to recording the new material they’ve come up with over lockdown.

The Butlers’ frontman Walt Robberds recorded this special acoustic version of the band’s latest single 'Calenture' while in lockdown.

And if you’re wondering what ‘calenture’ means, it’s is a feverish delirium sailors experience at sea, causing them to hallucinate or meet their demise!

May 23 Jack Panther - ‘This Dream’

Jack Panther is an Auckland-born, Wellington-based indie-pop musician, who blends pop music with melancholy.

2020 will see the release of Jack’s debut EP, a collaboration with UK producer Ian Barter who’s worked with artists including Amy Winehouse and Paloma Faith.

Jack often experiences vivid and complex dreams, and his new EP is inspired by one particular dream about his future with an ex-partner.

The pair had an intense summer romance, then had to make the tough call on whether to continue long distance.

“I was in a passionate relationship that turned toxic,” Jack says, “I wrote about every intense moment of the relationship and ended up narrating its demise”.

The EP tells the story of summer love, long distance and heartbreak. Jack’s writing intertwines personal experiences with relatable feelings which showcase a vulnerable, brooding pop-side.

‘This Dream’ is Jack’s debut single. He recorded this special live version during lockdown with the help of filmmaker Bill Bycroft, who shot and edited it.

Follow Jack Panther on Facebook | Instagram | Spotify

May 22 Paper Plates - ‘What If’

Paper Plates is an alt-pop duo from Wellington. Members Agatha (keys, vocals) and Noah (drums) make music with explosive build ups and immersive soundscapes, that encourages self worth and identity. The pair released their debut five-track EP Playground Walls in September.

Inspired by a 'stare at the ceiling' kind of day, the EP relates to mental well being, break downs, relationships and all that makes humans, human.

Paper Plates wrote and recorded this brand new track, ‘What If’ as a kind of snapshot of their time in lockdown.

Produced by Ethan Thompson and featuring Ben Doornbos on bass and Reuben Burke-Munns on guitar.

“We wanted to encourage everyone to take care of each other, and take a breath in these somewhat stressful times,” the band says.

“It’s a friendly message to you all that it’s okay to not be okay – it’s important to acknowledge our problems and process things as they come instead of locking them away and pushing things aside.

“Stay strong, aroha nui from Paper Plates.”

Follow Paper Plates on Facebook | Instagram | Youtube | Website

May 21 Zane 2000 - ‘Time Just Is’

Zane 2000 is the alter ego of Christchurch-based musician Jonty O’Connor, who works as a session drummer and percussionist, composer and producer.

He’s spent time as a studio drummer at Ben Edwards' famed Lyttleton studio The Sitting Room, and has performed with the likes of Delaney Davidson, Finn Andrews, Emily Fairlight, and Barry Saunders.

Jonty wrote and recorded ‘Time Just Is’ during lockdown, with the help of friend Jimmy Rainey, who features on saxophone.

"At the start of lockdown a lot of my mental energy was spent thinking about the nature of time itself … the words, ‘Time! just! is!’ kept surfacing in my mind. It’s my reminder to live in the present,” Jonty says.

Jonty made the video on his phone using footage from his daily walks and an earlier visit to the Pyramid of The Sun in Teotihuacan, Mexico.

“A loose theme I had in mind when I was making the video was simply appreciating the sun in all its brilliance. Also the go kart place in Christchurch makes an appearance.”

Follow Zane 2000 on Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp

May 20 Antony Jeffares - ‘Idiot Day’

Tauranga native Antony Jeffares is a songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, now based in Auckland.

‘Idiot Day’ is a previously un-released track from his forthcoming album When Twilight Comes (I Am Still Yearning). Antony recorded this special live version of the track at home while in lockdown.

“‘Idiot Day’ was a sort of experiment in cathartic songwriting,” Antony says, “I can't recall what had been so wrong that day, but I remember the headspace well.

“Now when I find I'm having a similar experience, I'll often sing the 'moral' of the song to myself in my head: ‘Just let it sail, it's all gone to hell today.’ There's a bit of relief in acknowledging it probably won't get better.”

‘Idiot Day’ is the only 'acoustic' song on Antony’s upcoming album, which made it an easy choice for a live session in isolation.

“It was actually really nice to forget the drum machines and synths and studio and just sit outside and record a few takes on the acoustic guitar,” Antony says.

Antony's previous singles ‘Wrong/Loss’, ‘We Carry On’ and ‘Misery Under The Sun’ are available now, and will also appear on the album.

When Twilight Comes will be Antony's first album under his given name Antony Jeffares, but he's played in various projects over the years, including PleasePlease, Pig Island, and solo, under the moniker Ants Jeffares.

Before lockdown he’d been playing his new solo material live, along with his band, opening for acts such as French For Rabbits and Same Name Confusion.

Antony describes his sound as, “Finding a sweet spot somewhere between Peter Gabriel, Carole King and Blood Orange,” he’s heavily influenced by the Laurel Canyon scene of the 70s and new wave pop of the 80s.

May 19 Hybrid Rose - ‘Pixie Baby’

Wellington musician Hybrid Rose is a self-described “futuristic pop-star” with a nostalgic style. From shimmery 80s synth-pop to 90s techno, her music aims to create “a sugar-high of bubblegum debauchery”.

Hybrid Rose takes inspiration from artists including Charli XCX, Aqua, and Spice Girls - music that’s fast-paced and highly produced, but “filled to the brim with emotion, making you feel like you’re at the boss level of a video game”. 

‘Pixie Baby’ is the lates single from Hybrid Rose’s upcoming fourth album, due out later this year. It follows the release of ‘Mr Spaceman’ and ‘PLAZTIQUE’, which will also feature on the record.

“It’s a song about the feeling of when you’ve accepted that you’re starting to fall in love with someone,” Rose says, “You wanna be with them all the time, give them everything, do everything with them and it makes you so giddy and happy!

“I love this song because it’s how I feel a lot when I’m getting creative in my space and I’m feeling so excited and fulfilled by what I’m creating.

“I’ve been listening to so much Charli XCX, been jamming her Pop 2 mixtape a lot lately and I’m just so infatuated by the way she mixes the real world with the digital world, so the song is very 90s PC music-esque.”

May 18 Geoff Ong - ‘I Don’t Know’

Auckland musician Geoff Ong is a self-described pop star for dorks.

His songs are refreshingly genuine - an antidote to the lack of authenticity in a lot of pop music around today. Geoff makes music for people who feel like they’re not “one of the cool kids”.

Like all his previous singles, Geoff wrote, produced, mixed, and mastered ‘I Don't Know’ in his Auckland bedroom.

Geoff describes the song is “a flag bearer” for his upcoming debut album, due out later this year.

Alongside some newly recorded tracks, the album will include ‘Fingerprints’, ‘Don’t Know You No More’, ‘Save Me The Weekend’ and ‘All The Hours’ - all of which have made the Top 5 of the NZ Singles Charts.

‘I Don’t Know’ is about “struggling to figure out what's going on in your brain so you can actually explain it to someone”.

“I suppose at the core of it, it's about our desire as humans to be heard and understood, even when we don't entirely understand ourselves,” Geoff says.

Geoff made the video for ‘I Don’t Know’ during lockdown: “I was really struggling for ideas … I was like, ‘How can I make it interesting if it's just me around the house?’

He stumbled across a blog post talking about how augmented reality filters are "the new frontier for surrealist art”,  “And I was like ‘DUDE this is awesome!’

“I went on an Instagram deep dive and found a whole lot of cool AR filters and here we are! It all happened very quickly.”

Geoff in his forthcoming album:

“I want the album as a whole to be authentic, direct, and intimate. Music is such a powerful artistic medium because it sneaks its way into our subconscious and teaches us to be comfortable with pain and vulnerability and self-examination without us even knowing it.”

Follow Geoff on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

May 17 Neive Strang - ‘Paradigm’

Neive Strang is a 19-year-old songwriter and musician from Dunedin. Neive’s been playing and writing songs since she can remember and has been performing live since her high school years, when she was in a band called Painted Blind.

Neive released her first solo EP Expectations in her first year out of high school. She recorded and mixed it herself in her bedroom with help from her partner Jack who provided lead guitar lines and bass.

‘Paradigm’ is from Neive’s new album Moon Life, which is out next month.

The song is about paranoia and how it can stop you living life to the fullest.

Neive and partner Jack put the video together as a fun project during quarantine. Jack did the filming, cutting, and editing, and Neive painted and edited the animations.

“We’re both really happy with how it turned out given the little resources we had at home,” Neive says.

May 16 Sam Wave - ‘Find Someone Sexy’

Sam Wave is the moniker of Sam Mehrtens, an Arrowtown-based singer-songwriter, producer, multi- instrumentalist, filmmaker, and performer. ‘Find Someone Sexy’ is from Sam’s debut album Rhetorical What.

Sam made the video for ‘Find Someone Sexy’ during lockdown with the help of London-based content creator Zorowar.

“I was looking over my girlfriend’s shoulder while she scrolled through her Instagram feed,” Sam says, “And there he was.”

Sam was taken by Zorowar’s look and instantly knew that something beautiful could come out of pairing Zorowar with ‘Find Someone Sexy’.

“The song is like a shy wink that makes you feel like saying, ‘Hi’,” Sam says, “Drawing from the lyric, ‘Everybody in the house feeling tipsy,’ we thought, ‘Where and how?’… Online dating, webcam on.”

The video is flirtatious, sexually open and celebrates diversity in the internet era. 

Follow Sam Wave on Instagram

May 15 Theia - ‘Celebrity’

Alt-pop artist Theia first made a splash in 2016 with her debut single ‘Roam’. Her self-titled debut EP earned her three nominations at the 2017 NZ Music Awards; while her second, Not Your Princess, was nominated for two awards at the 2019 Waiata Māori Music Awards.

‘Celebrity’ is the fourth and final song from her 99% Angel mixtape, which is out today.

The song’s about selling your soul to the cult of celebrity: “People who would do anything to be seen as famous or successful even if it means losing themselves in the process,” Theia says.

The ‘Celebrity’ video takes its inspiration from the dark fantasy genre: “My vision for the video was for this elf-like girl to be tainted by groupies and the glam of Hollywood,” the video’s director Nas Nixx says.

The girl eventually transforms into a succubus: “The greed takes her soul; she’s surrounded by groupies, but she’s still lonely,” Theia adds.

To celebrate the release of 99% Angel, Theia is holding a Zoom party on May 24, where she will perform the mixtape back-to-back, with Australian DJ/producer Oh Boy. Keep an eye on Theia’s Instagram for details.

Follow Theia on Facebook | Instagram | Spotify | YouTube

May 14 Neil MacLeod - ‘Trems’

Neil MacLeod is a 20-year-old Wellington-based musician who’ll be releasing his third EP later this year.

Born in England, Neil and his family moved to Christchurch when he was a child. At 17, he relocated to Wellington to pursue a career in music, releasing his debut EP Sonder in 2017.

It was in Wellington that he formed what would become a long lasting and fruitful relationship with producer Devin Abrams, (Drax Project, Pacific Heights).

After featuring on Devin’s 2018 Pacific Heights record A Lost Light the pair began work on Neil’s first ‘professional’ EP To Unfold, from which ‘Trems’ is taken.

Neil on his live lockdown recording of ‘Trems’:

“When RNZ asked me to perform something at home, 'Trems' seemed like a nice option, as it gave me the opportunity to really transform one of my own songs. The recorded version of 'Trems' is densely produced - so stripping it back gave me, and will (hopefully) give others a unique experience of the song. 

“Lyrically speaking, 'Trems' plays with the comparison of aspects within a relationship and elements in nature. "Curl around me, open up like blossom" 

“It's a song of intimacy & trust. I've always felt that this song had a 'blissful' quality to it, but with this rework, new emotions have revealed themselves. 

“The new chords, played at an adjusted pace brings a new sense of desperation and pain into the fold - for me at least. 

“It's probably more telling of where my head's been at recently to be honest, but either way this has been a beautiful experience. Hopefully the recording can be of some comfort and joy to someone out there, that's my only hope for it really.

“Thanks RNZ for your ongoing support.”

Follow Neil MacLeod on Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp

May 13 Dillastrate - ‘Too Soon’

Christchurch neo-soul/pop duo Dillastrate are touring machines. They’ve taken their show around New Zealand more than ten times in the last few years, playing both headline shows and support slots for acts including Katchafire and Sons of Zion.

The duo - made up Henare “H” Kaa (drums, lead vocals) and Tim Driver (keyboards, loops, vocals) - recently released their debut self-titled album, from which ‘Too Soon’ is taken.

The album captures both the most energetic and most intimate aspects of Dillastrate, with “turnt-up” party funk mingling with vulnerable slow jams, wonky sideways grooves and bleeding-heart ballads.

‘Too Soon’ tells the story of one terrifying night from the perspective of someone who’s had sudden heart complications. It recounts their inner thoughts as they lie in the emergency room awaiting medical attention and grappling with their mortality. 

The video was produced in collaboration with choreographer Chloe Levings and dancers from Levings School of Dance in Christchurch.

Follow Dillastrate on Facebook | Instagram | Spotify

May 12 Solomon Crook - ‘The Day I Thought About Dying’

Solomon Crook is a 22-year-old pop musician from the beautiful town of Opoutere on the Coromandel. ‘The Day I Thought About Dying’ is the first single from his upcoming EP, due out later this year.

The song explores the feelings of loneliness and isolation that we can all face: “I wrote this song when I was feeling separated from the people I should have felt closest to,” Solomon says, “This song is me internalising those feelings and thoughts, reflecting on them and trying to understand them.”

The song’s sentiment is particularly potent right now: “It shows that if you are feeling alone, never be afraid to reach out to others. That’s why I love this song; although it captures a feeling of isolation it also carries a sentiment of hope and change.”

Solomon had fun putting this special live video together. He worked with his good friend and collaborator Oscar Keys, who gave creative direction over Messenger calls, and his girlfriend, Sophie Lemaire-Sicre who helped put together the set in her bedroom. 

Towards the end of last year, Solomon, Oscar, and a crew of Wellington creatives filmed the song’s stunning official video, as well as a live session, at Masterton’s Church of Transfiguration.

May 11 A.C. Freazy - ‘Margo’

A.C. Freazy is the nom de plume of drummer-come-singer Alex Freer. He plays drums for a raft of New Zealand acts including Tiny Ruins, Merk, Ladyhawke, and Lontalius, and recently supported The Beths on their homecoming tour with his own four-piece band.

Alex’s solo music is built on woozy synths and blissed out vocals, and is driven by his agile rhythm section work. 

‘Margo’ is his first new release in a while and features sublime guitar contributions from Leonard Charles aka Jeremy Toy.

Alex conceived, shot (on a cellphone), and edited the ‘Margo’ video during the level four lockdown while staying at his parents' place in Mount Eden.

"I was fortunate enough to have all of my studio gear at home at the beginning of the lockdown period, so it's been a fruitful period of finishing things that have been sitting around for a while, and writing some new stuff too.

“I emailed Jeremy the track, and with little briefing he returned guitar stems that fit so perfectly with the rest of the vibe.”

Follow A.C. Freazy on Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp | Spotify

May 10: PRINS - ‘Magnetic’

Kiwi dance-pop musician PRINS has done a special acoustic version of her dance floor banger ‘Magnetic’, the first single from her upcoming EP.

Born in Auckland and now based in Christchurch, PRINS - aka Alannah Prins - is a dancer, actor and model. She’s spent the past few years establishing herself as a performer, and steadily releasing new music.

After being in lockdown and living alone, Alannah was overjoyed to be able to make this live video with her guitarist Tim Heeringa once New Zealand moved into Level Three.

“As a near full-time live performer, it’s important to me to show a raw, unplugged version of what’s usually an energetic dance track,” Alannah says, “To show a different side of myself as an artist.”

PRINS is gearing up for the release of her debut EP Magnetic - follow her on social for release dates and to stay in the loop with what’s coming up, including an exciting collaboration with a big New Zealand artist!

Follow PRINS on Facebook | Instagram | Spotify

May 9: Heavy Chest - ‘Just You’

Wellington trio Heavy Chest have just released their new single ‘Just You’, the first from their upcoming EP Zoom & Enhance.

The group began as the solo project of singer and guitarist Andre Smith who was joined in 2017 by Josh Brown (drums) and Joseph Shepheard (bass). That same year they released their debut album Pre Heat, followed by 2018 EP Home Turf.

The group took their dreamy live show to Europe in 2019, as well as touring Aotearoa extensively over summer. It was during this summer tour that they wrote ‘Just You’.

Follow Heavy Chest on Facebook | Instagram | Spotify

May 8: Thomas Oliver - 'You Shine On Me’

Thomas Oliver is a Wellington-based singer songwriter, who’s recently released his second album The Brightest Light, from which ‘You Shine On Me’ is taken.

Thomas recorded a special live version of of the track before lockdown started, at the Wellington Chocolate Factory. It features singer Bella Florence on backing vocals and L.A.B.’s Miharo Gregory on backing vocals and keys.

Thomas won the Silver Scroll songwriting award back in 2016 for his song ‘If I Move To Mars’, and is also recognised as one of the world's leading players of the Weissenborn lap-slide guitar (a rare type of lap-slide guitar). 

May 7: Foley - ‘Midnight’

Foley is Auckland-based pop act Ash Wallace and Gabriel Everett. After years of fronting separate indie bands, the pair joined forces in 2017. The Silver Scroll-nominated duo write, perform and produce everything completely collaboratively.

Foley recorded this special acoustic version of their song ‘Midnight’ from their new EP On My Conscience.

Because the pair are in isolation separately, recording this version of 'Midnight' was a fun challenge: "As much as we love performing to a live audience, it's been really awesome for us to put time into working out acoustic versions that really highlight our vocal and melodic writing, which usually gets wrapped up in all the production and instrumentation.

"We went back and forth a few times and came up with this version of guitar, bass and vocals; really sparse and a little cruisier than the original, which has given it a new life!

"Excuse Ash's outdoor shed.... not the most glam of backdrops, but Gabe makes up for it with his Prince posters!"

Follow Foley on Facebook | Instagram | Spotify | Twitter

May 6: Mazbou Q - ‘Bad Energy’

Auckland-based Mazbou Q is a UK-born Nigerian rapper and producer. He put together this isolation edition of his track ‘Band Energy’ from his new EP AFROTERNITY.

It includes an appearance from his baby daughter ‘Mazbou Q T’, filling in for Oklahoma rapper Kevin Posey who features in the track.

Mazbou Q - formerly known as Unchained XL - started his music career as the frontman of a metal band, but switched to hip hop in 2016. His music is inspired by artists such as Fela Kuti, The Roots and Jurassic 5.

He's unapologetically political too, with songs about anti-racism and black empowerment. 

‘Bad Energy’ is about not letting negativity into you life, and “focusing on the positive in any given situation,” Mazbou says.

May 5: Ryan Fisherman - ‘How Cool?’

Ryan Fisherman is Christchurch indie-folk musician Ryan Chin. He's releasing his debut album Vibe later this year, and ‘How Cool?’ is the record’s fifth single.

Ryan's musical career began in 2013 as the drummer for Christchurch dance act Doprah. Since then he’s played drums, guitar, bass and vocals for artists such as Ben Woods, Emily Fairlight, Adam Hattaway, and more.

Ryan also works as a session musician and engineer at Ben Edward’s famed Sitting Room studios in Lyttleton.

Every track on his forthcoming album Vibe features local musicians, past band mates and friends including Marlon Williams, Candice Milner, Adam Hattaway, Indi, Motte, plus members of The Eastern.

Ryan’s core band is made up of some of his favourite musicians and good friends; Joseph McCallum (Tami Neilson, Nadia Reid) on drums, Anita Clark (Motte, Nadia Reid) on violin, Simon Gregory (Devilish Mary, Hannah Harding) on guitar, Symon Palmer (Doprah, Zero Cool) on bass, and Rata Holtslag on backing vocals.

He originally wrote ‘How Cool?’ as a Doprah song, and this version features former Doprah frontwoman Indira Force on vocals & piano.

The song’s music video was directed by Christchurch filmmaker Martin Sagadin, who’s created videos for Aldous Harding, Marlon Willians, Nadia Reid and more. It was shot in one day which began in the port hills and ended at Ryan’s flat. It features Ryan getting cutting off all his long, long hair.

Follow Ryan Fisherman on Facebook | Spotify | Instagram

May 4: Georgia Lines - ‘Same Things’

Georgia Lines is a Mt Maunganui-based singer-songwriter who creates R&B-tinged pop. ‘Same Things’ is from her recently-released self-titled EP.

Georgia recorded this beautiful live version of the track especially for NZ Music Month.

Georgia got her first big break when she won the Women's Musicianship Award at the 2014 Smokefree Rockquest. Since then she’s been travelling, making music in her Mt Maunganui studio and collaborating with other local artists.

Follow Georgia Lines: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube 

May 3: ASHY - ‘Ego’

ASHY is a 21-year-old pop musician from Christchurch. She's released a string of six singles over the last couple of years, amassing more than 1 million streams, and has worked with a bunch of high-profile producers including Josh Fountain (LEISURE).

‘Ego’ began as a lyric ASHY saved on her phone: “20/20 vision on his ego”. "It’s about your friends giving you the heads up that the person you’re with is being unfaithful," ASHY says. She worked with Australian producer Liam Quinn to write and record the song in just one day.

ASHY asked graphic designer Bea Madeleine to create a lyric video for ‘Ego’ after working with her on the vid for ‘All Eyes Are On Me’.

May 2: Mild Orange - ‘Making Things’

Mild Orange formed in Dunedin in 2017 when members Josh Mehrtens, Josh Reid, Tom Kelk and Jack Ferguson were students at Otago University. The band is now spread out across New Zealand.

‘Making Things’ is the second single from their self-titled sophomore album, due out on May 29. The album was recorded between Reid's family bach at Riversdale Beach in the Wairarapa and Mehrtens’ family home in Arrowtown.

The song's video was directed by LA-based designer and animator Garett Gioia

Pre-Order Mild Orange’s self-titled album on their website

May 1: Jed Parsons - 'Playstation & Porn'

With New Zealand in the midst of lockdown fever, Christchurch indie-pop artist Jed Parsons has today released the aptly-titled PlayStation & Porn’.

The light-hearted, jangly indie-rock song is the first single from his second album, due out later this year. It follows Jed’s critically acclaimed debut album Midnight Feast, which earned him a nomination for Best Independent Debut at the 2019 Taite Music Prize.

To mark the song’s release – and to celebrate New Zealand Music Month – Jed did a low-key bedroom recording of ‘PlayStation & Porn’ and created this DIY video.

Stay tuned for the official video – coming soon!

Follow Jed on Facebook | Instagram | Spotify | Apple | YouTube