Tag Archives: New Zealand

Check ‘Em Out: BENE – “Soaked”

Hailing from the suburbs of Auckland, 19-year-old Bene has emerged as New Zealand’s up and coming indie pop artist of 2019 with a Gold-Certified chart-topping hit that’s already garnered millions of streams and support from Zane Lowe, Lily Allen and more. Newly signed to Republic Records, Bene is re-releasing her breakout single “Soaked” as she sets her sights on the U.S.

After posting GarageBand demos on SoundCloud when she was just a senior in high school, Bene caught the ear of producer, Josh Fountain, and began writing and recording at his Golden Age Studio. “Soaked” quickly climbed Spotify’s Viral Charts, streaming over 14 million times, charting on Australia’s Triple J radio Hottest 100 of 2018 and holding the number one spot on New Zealand’s Shazam Top 100 for two months, not to mention achieving Gold Certification in New Zealand and Australia. With endorsements like Zane Lowe and Apple’s Beats1 radio, Bene went from playing her first small club gig to her first arena show—opening for longtime role model Lily Allen—in a matter of months.

Of “Soaked,” Bene says, “To see my song catch on with so many people already has been amazing. And now signing with Republic to bring my music out into the world is just bloody crazy.”

“Soaked” sets the stage for further music to be released from Bene this spring.

 

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Video: Gin Wigmore – “Willing To Die” ft. Suffa, Logic

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“Sounds like heaven”  – Stereogum
“Retro-soul that feels totally refreshing.” – NYLON
“Shades of blues, jazz and even electronic music without missing a beat.”  – Noisey
“Makes you want to channel all of your frustrations into dancing the night away.”  – Teen Vogue
“Intense and uninhibited” – Billboard

Following the release of her critically acclaimed album Blood To Bone, New Zealand-born/Los Angeles-based Gin Wigmore is set to kick off her largest North American tour yet next week in D.C. on March 27th. A unique breed of soul infused rock ‘n’ roll with a fierce attitude to match, Gin’s latest work was an international success that saw Top-40 airplay in both Australia and New Zealand + over 23 million streams across platforms worldwide.

Gin’s latest single “Willing To Die” featuring Suffa and Hilltop Hoods’ Logic is accompanied by a captivating and empowering video in which the artist lays bare her own vulnerabilities. Gin explains:

“‘Willing To Die’ warranted a strong, bare-all (literally!) approach. I wanted to have a go at breaking down the false sense of security, acceptance, and short-lived happiness we, as humans, feel will come from indulging in materialism. It’s not the things we buy, the big house we dream of or the expense of the clothes we wear. It is about taking that scary first step in figuring out who we truly are.  Figuring out our insecurities and downfalls to accept and change or just to own and be aware of. It is about finding what you love about yourself so you can be a positive footprint in this world for you and others. By no means have I mastered this yet, but I guess that’s why we get a lifetime to try figure ourselves out. 🙂 Be brave, be you, and take a look at the video – you just might like it.”

Blood To Bone follows 2013’s Gravel & Wine, which spawned hit singles including “Man Like That”, synced to a Skyfall-themed Heineken advertisement, in which Gin appeared alongside Daniel Craig’s James Bond and Wigmore’s 2009 debut album Holy Smoke. Both albums reached #1 and multi-platinum status back home in New Zealand.  Revered for her spellbinding and strikingly raw live performance, be sure to catch Gin Wigmore in a city near you!

Gin Wigmore Tour Dates
3/27: Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
3/29: New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom – SOLD OUT
4/1: Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
4/2: Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
4/5: South Burlington, VT @ Showcase Lounge
4/8: Toronto, ON @ Velvet Underground
4/9: Buffalo, NY @ Studio at Waiting Room
4/12: Ferndale, MI @ The Magic Bag
4/13: Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s Rock Club
4/16: Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge
4/19: Austin, TX @ The Parish
4/20: Dallas, TX @ Trees
4/23: Denver, CO @ Marquis Theatre
4/26: Vancouver, BC @ Venue
4/27: Seattle, WA @ Neumos
4/29: Portland, OR @ Star Theater
5/1: San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
5/3: San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
5/5: Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre

Tickets Available Here: http://www.ginwigmorelive.com/

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Check ‘Em Out: Streets of Laredo

streets of laredo

Brooklyn-based, New Zealanders’ Streets of Laredo have announced their first full-length album, Volume I & II on Dine Alone Records, out October 7th.  Destined to be a soundtrack for all things Fall, this album is a sing-a-long collision of jangling harmonies, stomping percussion, horns and guitars.  Take a listen to their debut track “Slow Train” below. The band also premiered a teaser trailer documenting life on the road; check it out here.

Founded by close-knit family members Daniel, Dave and Sarah Jane Gibson and inspired by the fervor and madness of the 70’s folk-rock circuit, Streets of Laredo was born out of trying to escape the mundane everyday working life. Older brother Dave tells the story, “Both Dan and I had done the hard yards in bands in New Zealand but we were worn out and a little lost by it all. And broke. I was running this t-shirt company and Dan walks in one day to tell me that he’s finished with music and he’s gonna go get a real job. All of a sudden my ‘big brother’ instinct kicks in and rather than see this young songwriter throw it all away, I gave him a job doing t-shirt orders, and we started working on demos and writing songs together, pretty much day and night from then on in.”

Refining their sound and songs one holiday weekend at a beach house on the New Zealand coast, the Gibsons started to fashion a sound that was equal parts folk storytelling and psychedelic madness.  With just one home-town show under their belt, a handful of demos and a whole lot of hope, they took the plunge and decided to move halfway around the world. Fast forward to the summer of 2012 and Streets of Laredo in a rehearsal space in Brooklyn NY with a guitar, a drum-machine and no money, trying to figure out what comes next.

Quickly adding fellow countryman Thom Darlow and local Brooklynites Sean McMahon and Andrew McGovern to the mix, this now rambling, multi-instrumental, seven-piece started to craft a dance-inducing mix of vocal hooks, beats and wild sounds that saw the New York music scene embrace them as their own – building a firm reputation in the music halls of Brooklyn and the Lower East Side for playing danceable, crazy songs that kept fans coming back for more – not to mention seeing the band feted as a must-see act at both CMJ and SXSW.

A quick trip back to New Zealand saw the band record the bones of ‘Volume I & II’ – ten songs inspired by their old life in NZ and their new life in NYC – in an old converted Auckland theatre where, courtesy of friendships and favors, they locked down that distinctive Streets of Laredo sound.

Like Bob Dylan running late to a Ramones concert or Paul Simon getting blind drunk with Grizzly Bear, however you describe them the resulting songs and sound have had an instant effect on fans and critics alike.  Stay tuned for an upcoming US tour announcement!

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Listen: Streets of Laredo – “Slow Train”

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Newest Love: The Rubens

therubens

Warner Bros. Records is pleased to announce that it has signed Australian rock sensations The Rubens to its roster. The band – which is brothers Sam Margin (vocals/guitar), Elliott Margin (keyboards), and Zaac Margin (guitar), plus their longtime friend Scott Baldwin (drums) – hail from the tiny rural town of Menangle in New South Wales (population 327) and have been on a whirlwind journey since forming in 2011. They have gone from being total unknowns to enjoying strong support from Australia’s influential radio station Triple J and playing the main stage at one of Australia’s biggest music festivals, Splendour in the Grass, alongside Jack White and Bloc Party. The Rubens also opened for The Black Keys in New Zealand and have been selected to support Bruce Springsteen during his tour of Australia this March.

The Rubens’ self-titled debut album, which was recorded in New York City with producer David Kahne (Paul McCartney, The Strokes, Regina Spektor), has already won over a legion of fans with its rich, soulful take on blues rock. The album debuted at No. 3 on the ARIA chart and sold more than 10K its first week, shooting to No. 1 on iTunes Australia. The album’s first single, “My Gun,” as well as the album itself, has been certified gold in Australia and has spent multiple weeks at No. 1 on Triple J.

The Rubens will make their U.S. debut performing at SXSW and touring here in March. Prior to that, the band will tour the UK and Europe with Walk The Moon beginning February 20th. The band are pleased to announce their first-ever headlining shows outside of Australia as follows:

  • Feb 19        Sebright Arms London, England
  • Mar 11       Mercury Lounge New York, NY
  • Mar 20      TBC San Francisco, CA
  • Mar 21       The Hotel Cafe Los Angeles, CA

Warner Bros. Records will release The Rubens’ album on June 11th.

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Newest Love: Ghost Wave

Ghost Wave are one of those rare new bands that already knows exactly what they want. The last time we heard this much rookie talent from Auckland, New Zealand, it came in the form of The Naked & Famous, and we all know how that turned out (well. Very well.). On debut single “Sunsetter,” The Wave set their sights high and aim straight for anthem status, constructing two and half minutes of sunkissed 70’s bliss around a massive Dandy Warhols Lick that hides in the crosshairs of Deerhunter and Tame Impala.
– Neon Gold Records

Ghost Wave is a rock ‘n roll band from Auckland, New Zealand. Inspired by skate vids, persian rugs and the music of Little Richard. 2012 will see the release of new Ghost Wave material including the release of an eponymous EP on August 21st, via +1 Records. A debut full-length is slated for release in 2013.

Stream and/or download: Ghost Wave – “Hippy”

Stream and/or download: Ghost Wave – “Sunsetter”

Ghost Wave will be coming to the United States for their first ever US shows at this year’s CMJ festival.

Oct. 19 || Flowerbooking Showcase – CMJ || New York, NY

Oct. 20 || FUZZ Showcase – CMJ || New York, NY

Ghost Wave EP Track Listing:
1. Sounds
2. On A Breeze
3. Gold
4. Sunsetter
5. Mood Ring
6. Shade
7. Hippy

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Newest Love (+ free download): Pikachunes

The recording of New Zealander Miles McDougall’s debut Pikachunes album came about after he fractured his ulna while skateboarding, an injury that required reconstructive surgery. At the time, McDougall was majoring in Jazz performance on drums and the injury left him unable to play. Instead, he created Pikachunes, a first person account of the turmoil of moving to a new city to build a name as a musician. “All you have to do is write a bass line and then everybody wants to know your name,” McDougall sings in the single “Nervous,” sounding like he may know plenty about the US music scene already.

Producing and performing pulsing electro beats that are both groovy and awash with heavy club thuggery, Pikachunes makes a splash with songs that make you move, think and laugh with their stinging social commentary.

The self-titled debut album is available today from Lil’ Chief Records. Click here to preview and buy Pikachunes.

Listen/download: Pikachunes – “Nervous”

Track Listing:

01. Holiday

02. Just A Boy

03. Disco Baby

04. New Fiend

05. Nervous

06. Tonight

07. Metronome

08. You’re Alright

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Newest Love: The Naked and Famous

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE. If you enjoy Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, Fenech Soler and Bag Raiders, then you’ll likely LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE The Naked and Famous, too.

Their debut album, Passive Me Aggressive You, isn’t available here in the States until next month…but you can get the above two singles on iTunes now, or pre-order the album on Amazon by clicking here.

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