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NewTracks New Artist: Janie And Tim Shaw

NewTracks New Artist: Janie And Tim Shaw

Siblings Janie and Tim Shaw have grown up surrounded by the spectacular isolation of Central Otago. Incredibly they still talk with each other. Nah, that’s a poor and misleading joke, actually, they make music together, a slightly edgy brand of folk/pop that, in the shape of single Another Day, proved good enough for NZ On Air to include them on their NewTracks compilation this September.

What are your names, where are you from and what instruments do you play?

We are Janie and Tim Shaw, a sibling duo from Cambrian, central Otago. We have been singing and performing together since we were children and began making music together in our mid-teens. We both sing and play guitar.

Was any high school or other music training especially important to you?

We both trained classically, from roughly the age of seven until the end of primary school. During these years we took part in competitions in Alexandra, Green Island and Oamaru, and performed in many concerts and town musicals. This was a brilliant foundation for our stage presence and future music endeavours.

During high school we both took guitar lessons with Matt Lahood, which allowed us to start working in other genres, and begin writing our own music. This also inspired us to teach guitar to younger students in the local area.

Any other projects might we know you from?

We have been flying low on the radar and have begun to push ourselves out there more recently. We are in the process of releasing our EP of six songs, recorded and produced over the past year.

What’s the background story of how you became a band? 

We are siblings. Growing up on a farm in Central Otago meant we were isolated and due to our social isolation we had no choice but to be best friends.

We both felt comfortable performing and working together on stage. We also found our voices harmonised well. While it all sounds very sweet, and we do generally get along pretty well, trying to get your younger brother to practise with you before a gig can be hard work, and sometimes pretty impossible, haha.

How has your music evolved from your beginnings in songwriting to now?

When I (Janie) moved to University in Dunedin, Tim and I would send each other voice memos and combine these to create the base of songs. We wrote a lot of our album ‘Ellipsis’ via long distance. If anything we have evolved because now we write in a variety of ways – sometimes each writing a whole song alone, but performing it together, sometimes writing snippets each, and sometimes writing together in the same room.

What’s been the big highlight to date?

Our favourite gig would have to be opening for one of our favourite New Zealand bands Mako Road. It was really exciting to be asked to perform by them. It was a great crowd, and they’re great guys. We had a lot of fun.

What makes Another Day stand out for you as a single?

Tim’s vocals are really unique. He has a very distinctive sound. The guitar is also really groovy and captivating.

What is the story behind Another Day?

Tim is very secretive so I really can’t tell you what the song is about. The question really is, who is the mystery girl from the song? Maybe one day he’ll let us in on that secret.

What’s your favourite moment of the single?

Probably the dreamy guitar solo before the bridge. It’s a nice wee teaser for the main solo.

Who did you record/produce the single with and where? 

We recorded with Ryan Chin (also known by his stage name Ryan Fisherman) and Elmore Jones in Christchurch. Both Ryan and Elmore played session drum and bass for our songs on the entire album, and we just loved working with them. They really helped us bring our music to life.

What would you like listeners to take away from this song?

Good things take time…

How do you generally work out what song would make a good single?

Something that shows our diversity. We both bring different elements to the table and we are influenced by such a wide range of genres. It’s great to combine these into something we are both proud of and establish our own unique sound.

Who else is in your team?

At the moment we are a two-person team, but we are looking at finding a promoter and manager for the album release.

Are there any other musical endeavours you’re working on that we should keep an eye out for? 

Our album ‘Ellipsis’ is coming out in October and we can’t wait to share the full project which has been in the works for quite a while. We’ve both put a lot of time and effort into this album and these songs, so we are very excited.

Can you name three other local tunes that would fit well on a playlist alongside your song.

Mako RoadHappiness and Misery

Mild Orange Fools Love

The ButlersCats on the Cliff

Are there any musical blogs, Youtube channels or podcasts you’re super into?

The ‘Mahogany Sessions’ and ‘Like a Version’ are both channels we are into.

Any last words?

Just have a good time 🤙🏻


New Tracks is a compilation of new music from New Zealand artists which is distributed to broadcast and online platforms on the first of each month. Previously the Kiwi Hit Disc, New Tracks is one of the ways that New Zealand on Air promotes kiwi music to the industry, radio, streaming services, and media. To apply for New Tracks you must have a completed, airplay-ready song and a promotional plan.