Ōtautahi funk beast Somebody Do Something provide the goods with their debut album ‘As Rome Burns’. The band, made up of Grace Stainthorpe, Ash Perry, Marlee Rosoff, Austyn Mills, Wilson Reveley and Callum Margetts, followed up on their 2021 self-titled EP in a similar vein of danceable groove, soul, funk and rock fusion that works well on stages of any size. NZM asked the band to compile a digital mixtape of tried and true favourites and influences, accompanied by thoughts on a few local tunes that particularly captured their hearts.
I’ve been following this crew for a few years and was always stunned by how much they could pull off as a simple three-piece. Well now they seem to be a five-piece band much to my delight, and their colour, wit, and neurotic sense of humour seem to be reaching new levels. I don’t want to spoil any tricks, but Hans Pucket really puts on a hell of an entertaining live show. You’ll laugh, you’ll head-bang, and you’ll feel seen for the strange little human that you are.
I was lucky enough to stumble across Dr Reknaw at the intimate little Mix Festival in the hills behind Motueka before lockdown. Surrounded by steep bush-clad hills, I was immediately entranced by hypnotic blood harmony, deep grooves, and luscious horns. Honestly, heaven! Dr Reknaw sneaks the perfect amount of jazz into a swirling pot of roots, reggae, and RnB. This crew could probably turn a catholic priest pagan or ferment the next great love revolution.
This song has moved me countless times over the years and because of this Hollie has become perhaps my favourite vocalist. Well, maybe tied with our singer Marlee. Hollie’s voice could raise me from the dead if she so desired, and I wouldn’t resist.
I never did quite understand how this song came out of Don McGlashan‘s head (I’m an ardent fan of The Front Lawn, but let’s be real, it’s not gospel!), but a couple of year ago I heard Don play Anchor Me alone at the end of a show with just a keyboard and his voice, and well let’s just say the spirit did move!
We (Grace, Callum and I) most recently saw Deva at WOMAD, and I was completely swept up in her entire performance. There were tears flowing from my eyes within moments of the music starting, which eventually turned into raucous dancing and laughter. The whole band was delightfully together, with slow and syncopated movement, but the thing that captured my heart was the layers of intertwined vocals and the soulful delivery from all of the singers. Choosing one Deva Mahal song was hard but in this case, my favourite to listen to on a day-to-day basis is currently Goddamn.
I love a lot of Ladi6’s music! I have a special connection to Like Water because it is the first song I ever spun fire to, but I also have had many long drives that have strong Ladi6 song associations. Her voice is powerful and smooth and has been an inspiration in my own approach to singing. I hope to have the joy of seeing her perform in the future, as I can only imagine how lovely it’d be to hear her sing in real time!
I’m a somewhat recent convert of Tom Scott after seeing ABC perform. His lyrics paired with a raw yet immaculately crafted performance had me ecstatic. He gets deep under the surface with his words and his expression and it aches to witness and yet you can’t look away because it’s strikingly beautiful. I was already a fan of Julian Dyne of the Julian Dyne Band, who I saw at Flux in Christchurch a few years ago. His drumming is pristine and was a motivator for me to see ABC, and I couldn’t be more stoked that I did. The whole band was incredibly in step with each other and made a perfect container for Tom Scott to do his thing. Home is my current favourite track as it resonates with me personally as well.
Fat Freddy’s are of course a staple of Kiwi music, but I actually first saw them play in Perth in 2014 and I was entranced with their dynamism and soul. Vocals and melodic instrumentation often draw me in first and foremost, which Freddy’s have in bucketloads. Since then I have followed them with zeal. It would be impossible to pick a favourite track of theirs, but one that has resonated with me at so many crossroads in my own life is Del Fuego. To me, Del Fuego is a song that encourages softness and self-compassion, and acts as a reminder to keep letting go, time and time again.
I saw an intimate performance of [long distance lovers] by There’s A Tuesday at a songwriting comp showcase in Christchurch at UC. I was deeply moved by the lyrics and melody, and particularly the rich vocal harmonies in a style I adore, that Julia Jacklin and Angie MacMahon style rawness and depth of emotion being portrayed openly to an audience.
Saint Peter’s Thursday are an Ōtautahi band. Their track Caroline is an epic blend of melody and angst that I have enjoyed listening to at full volume many times since its release. I love the feelings it paints in me and I notice I tend to put it on during late-night drives I look forward to hearing it live again, hopefully soon.