by Silke Hartung

NewTracks New Artist: Model Home

by Silke Hartung

NewTracks New Artist: Model Home

Originally meeting through all ages shows around Ōtautahi, Model Home re-emerge this year as a four-piece, with brand new single Leaky Home Simulator 2031 being the first taster to an album that’s ready to roll in the coming months. NZ On Air Music featured the song on their NewTracks compilation this June.

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

We’re all from Ōtautahi!
Rachael Norcross (she/her) – vocals/guitar
Will Roud (he/him) – vocals/guitar
Tom Roud (he/him) – bass
Sean James (he/him) – drums

Was any high school or other music training especially important?

All of us came up through a really strong tradition of Ōtautahi All Ages venues and support for young bands (Zebedees/Rapid Storm etc). Unfortunately, post-quake those same opportunities haven’t been available to young people and we hope that this changes soon!

Any other projects that people might we know you from?

Will and Tom – Coate
Will – Yon Loader
Sean – Out Cold AD/Van Houten
Rachael – Petit Poisson

What’s the background story of how Model Home came to be (built)? 

We’d all been friends (or siblings) for years and had been jamming ideas for a while – little practice room demos and such. We recorded an EP in 2019 as a three-piece, put it online and played a few shows which got a bit of traction before Covid slowed everything down. We’d written an album worth of material just in time to not be able to leave the house, but eventually made it up to Tāmaki Makaurau to record with Stephen Marr at Roundhead Studios. Once we finished the album, we realised that we needed to expand and brought in Tom on bass to fill out some of the arrangements we’d recorded.

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

Initially, we were really feeling out our sound and wrote incredibly simple songs. Simple songs are great because they give you such a solid foundation to build skills and sound. Since then we’ve branched out, adding vocals, guitar parts, and focused on letting the instruments speak for themselves when developing music. We’re really interested in energy and transition when it comes to building a set. Our focus at the moment is branching out rhythmically (now that we have a dedicated bassist!) and doing some tone crafting.

How and when did you come up with the name for the project?

We all like Arrested Development and then also a lot of the ideas we generated early on surrounded the idea of home and homemaking and the concept of the ‘ideal’ home

Aside from this release, what’s been the big highlight to date?

We’ve been so lucky to get to meet other artists up and down the country who share our love for emotive music. Recording at Roundhead was a massive highlight because of the gear and calibre of people we got to be around. Our single release in our home town was so well supported and being able to play with artists we love and respect is always going to be the best part of the project!

What makes Leaky Home Simulator 2031 stand out as a single?

A really clear message that you’re passionate about will always increase the appeal of a track. In this case, we all stayed in Ōtautahi post-quake and we all watched it change. Sometimes frustration just leaks through your fingertips and it speaks for itself.

What’s the story behind Leaky Home Simulator 2031?

Leaky Home Simulator 2031 is a eulogy to the lost opportunities following the earthquakes in Ōtautahi, and a lament that instead of transformational change within the city’s housing, it’s all just been replaced by low-quality cookie-cutter houses. We’re strongly pro-high-density housing, but the way that it’s been done here lately feels really haphazard and like it might just be a bigger problem in another 10 years.

What’s your favourite moment, musical or lyrical, of the track?

We recorded a whole lot of extra parts that we weren’t able to play live as a three-piece and I think that freedom to add and lift was massive. We’ve managed to translate a lot of those to our live set but hearing them on the album is still such a novelty

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

We recorded Leaky Home Simulator 2031 along with the rest of the album in Tāmaki Makaurau with Steven Marr at Roundhead Studios. The other nine songs had all been fully written and pre-produced but this was one that came on the plane with us very unfinished! We worked on it at night between studio sessions and managed to finish it in time to get it recorded. We had workshopped the gang vocals idea the night before recording and James Stuteley and Nicole Gaffney from Carb On Carb were able to join us at super late notice and put a couple more voices in the room – we all crammed into a tiny booth with a mic in the middle and had a bunch of fun shouting together!

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

What any emo band wants – for others to share in their disappointment! In this case, it’s that lament for what could have been and the kernel of hope that exists for more positive decision-making in the future.

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

I think we knew right off the bat with this one, there was a feeling in the room while recording that this would be the first single. It’s hard to put your finger on exactly but I think it’s a relatable theme wrapped up in a catchy tune, and that tends to resonate well with listeners.

Is there anyone else in your team?

James Stuteley/Papaiti Records (NZ)
Remy Boccalatte/False Peak Records (AU)

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

  • Carb on Carb: Grounded
  • This Dog: Sleep for Dinner
  • Welcomer: A Steely Dan Covers Band

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

Yes! Our debut album ‘…And Nobody Made A Sound’ will be out later this year on Papaiti Records/False Peak Records.

Any musical blogs, Youtube channels or podcasts you’re super into?

Tom Mullen at Washed Up Emo has a great podcast on the genre!

Any last words?

Listen to Carb on Carb, Sports Dreams, Pickle Darling, This Dog, Welcomer and all the other great music NZ has to offer!

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