CURRENT ISSUE

DONATE ADVERTISE

Reviewed by Matt Herrett

Nikita Tu-Bryant: (Before, And After) Joshua

Reviewed by Matt Herrett

Nikita Tu-Bryant: (Before, And After) Joshua

Recorded out of the back of a van on the Wellington coast, Nikita Tu-Bryant’s eight track release is about as DIY as it gets. The hand-numbered packaging is beautifully homemade and reflects the feel of the music. Arrangements are often primitive, but the confidence of her performance and the beauty in Tu-Bryant’s voice sharpens the delivery very nicely indeed. It’s hard these days for any artist to make a bold statement armed with little more than an acoustic guitar and a voice, so Tu-Bryant has wisely chosen to take a raw approach and, for the most part, leave these recordings as intimate, single-take snapshots. Silence is embraced frequently and the gaps between the songs are almost epic. The enigmatically named 人 is noteworthy in that it provides a short but welcome change to the tone, with auto-panned delayed acoustic guitar and soaring, echoing, wordless vocals. The decision to include the sound of the lapping tide across the entire record could be eyebrow-raising for some and the jet aircraft flying overhead at one point is definitely somewhat of a distraction. It is, however, unquestionably real, and one gets the feeling that for Tu-Bryant, music is a smaller piece of the artistic puzzle. She has an abstract, observational appreciation of the world around her, and it would seem disingenuous to leave that world out of her art. All in all, a really lovely and surprisingly successful experiment.