NZOA newmusic single november 18

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Reviewed by Kat Waswo

False Heights: No? Who…? EP

Reviewed by Kat Waswo

False Heights: No? Who…? EP

This debut EP from Taupo alt-indie duo False Heights shot to the #1 spot on the NZ Heatseekers chart in the first week after its April release. 

With a pastel-coloured illustration of elephants being carried away by hot air balloons, the cover artwork certainly spells ‘dream pop’.

The first 30 seconds of intro track In My Memory, are warmed by quick-paced drumming and piano chords, and then the sweetest voice from singer/keyboardist April Nisbet. A song about a previous relationship, it sets a bittersweet tone as the overall theme behind the six-track collection.

Released in November 2017, their debut single Cascades similarly talks about the souring of a seven-year relationship, fusing a gentle lullaby with an industrial groove in which guitarist/drummer Ashley Pirie builds up the emotion and power into an incredibly catchy tune. Combined and layered vocals add a slightly more mature atmosphere to ‘No? Who…?’, lifting their sound just outside of the teenage-dream-boat zone.

Performing live the multi-instrumentalist duo eschew samples and pre-programme nothing, relying on live looping. ‘No? Who…?’ was recorded and mixed by Nick Poortman, with mastering done at Kog. Highlights include the trickly-clean riff loop from slightly heavier six-minute track Rhythm, the powerfully impacting chorus from The Fear, and complementary acoustic guitar and vocals from Ashley in finale track A Little Bit More (Acoustic Version). 

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