News of New Zealanders via Global Media

UMO’s Third Effort Has Added Whoa Factor

UMO’s Third Effort Has Added Whoa Factor

“Oregon-based New Zealander Ruban Nielson is already known for being an offbeat operator, providing psychedelic takes on 70s soul and deeply fried 60s pop on two previous albums,” Guardian reviewer Kitty Empire writes. “For UMO’s…

Have Faith in Lorde She Knows What’s She’s Doing

Have Faith in Lorde She Knows What’s She’s Doing

Lorde’s “gender and her age – coupled with her self-assuredness – are both reasons” the 18-year-old singer “attracts perhaps more than her fair share of scrutiny, including from ‘truthers’ who maintain she’s at least…

Nielson Family Reunion Perfect Subtext for New UMO Album

Nielson Family Reunion Perfect Subtext for New UMO Album

“Visionary” New Zealander Ruban Nielson, frontman of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, has tightened up his songwriting, “with the added bonus of synths” on the band’s latest album Multi-Love. “Nielson’s favourite new toy is apparent from the…

Thomston Challenging Pop Conventions

Thomston Challenging Pop Conventions

Aucklander Thomas Stoneman, aka Thomston, who recently made his British debut at the Great Escape festival in Brighton, “is most certainly a talent to watch out for,” according to Clash magazine. The 19-year-old singer’s debut…

Lorde Immortalised in Wax at Madame Tussauds

Lorde Immortalised in Wax at Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds in Hollywood has unveiled a wax figure of 18-year-old New Zealand singer Lorde. Human Lorde was quite excited when the wax museum’s Hollywood location revealed her figure. She tweeted out a photo of…

Billboard Gets a Rush on Gin Wigmore’s New Video

Billboard Gets a Rush on Gin Wigmore’s New Video

New Zealand singer-songwriter Gin Wigmore, 28, is preparing for the release of her third studio album Blood to Bone with the “intense and uninhibited” video, “New Rush,” Billboard reports. “ Wigmore is giving her…

Jess Cornelius Releases New Track Ahead of Courtney Barnett Tour

Jess Cornelius Releases New Track Ahead of Courtney Barnett Tour

“New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Jess Cornelius is the tour de force behind Teeth & Tongue, and returns with a rollicking new track ‘Cupcake’,” Monica Tan writes for the Guardian’s weekly “Mixtape” column. “Although recorded in…

Country Star Marlon Williams Takes to the Road

Country Star Marlon Williams Takes to the Road

New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Marlon Williams will tour Australia and his home country in support of his just-released, critically acclaimed self-titled debut album. “A free-ranging complement to the assured country weirdness of last year’s Sad…

Louis Baker Takes Flight with New EP Birds

Louis Baker Takes Flight with New EP Birds

The “impressive” New Zealand-born songwriter Louis Baker’s new EP Birds will be released in the United Kingdom on 29 June. Clash magazine premieres the title track. Continually observing the world around him, Baker…

Kimbra Plays at California’s Coachella

Kimbra Plays at California’s Coachella

Singer Kimbra was a headline act at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California, included alongside big names like Florence and the Machine, Caribou, FKA Twigs and Father John Misty. For the…

Stan Walker’s New Album Marks Becoming of Age

Stan Walker’s New Album Marks Becoming of Age

New Zealand soul singer Stan Walker, 24, is about to release his new album Truth & Soul, a collection of songs from icons like Stevie Wonder and Otis Redding. The Australian Idol winner says,…

Kody Nielson Is Another Exciting NZ Music Offering

Kody Nielson Is Another Exciting NZ Music Offering

New Zealand’s “most exciting offerings” of late, according to the Guardian, “have been the warped psychedelia of Connan Mockasin and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Completing this trio of peculiarity is Silicon – also known as…

Kimbra to Headline Palm Springs Music Festival

Kimbra to Headline Palm Springs Music Festival

Grammy-winning artist New Zealander Kimbra will headline the US music festival, Tachevah: A Palm Springs Block Party, on 15 April outside of the Spa Resort Casino. The Desert Sun reports: “Kimbra, now living…

Golden Boy of Psych-Pop Connan Mockasin Talks to i-D

Golden Boy of Psych-Pop Connan Mockasin Talks to i-D

Following a residency at Marfa Myths – a festival in Texas curated by record label Mexican Summer and Ballroom Marfa, which Mockasin spent recording with British singer Dev Hynes – he found himself in…

Broods’ Georgia Nott Can’t Deny Her Pop Roots

Broods’ Georgia Nott Can’t Deny Her Pop Roots

When New Zealander Georgia Nott was young, her parents took her to wedding and church concerts where they performed with her aunt and uncle as an ABBA tribute band. “I couldn’t walk at the…

Lorde and Joel Little Back into the Recording Studio

Lorde and Joel Little Back into the Recording Studio

Teenage global “phenom” Lorde will hit the studio in a matter of weeks to begin work on a follow-up to her acclaimed debut album, Pure Heroine, according to Billboard. The big news didn’t come via…

Composer Annea Lockwood Celebrates Waterway Sounds

Composer Annea Lockwood Celebrates Waterway Sounds

Christchurch-born composer Annea Lockwood was one of nine artists represented at a recent audio and visual art exhibition in Manhattan, New York called “Foot Notes: On the Sensations of Tone,” an exhibition which celebrated…

Geoff Sewell’s Guerilla Opera Singers Hit Exclusive Parties

Geoff Sewell’s Guerilla Opera Singers Hit Exclusive Parties

Former Amici Forever tenor New Zealander Geoff Sewell and his wife Simone Lanham run London-based Incognito Artists, a group of performers who specialise in “guerrilla opera” – available for hire as “chefs,”…

With Bombastic New Single UMO Channel Stately Soulful Music

With Bombastic New Single UMO Channel Stately Soulful Music

New Zealand-born Ruban Nielson’s Portland-based three-piece Unknown Mortal Orchestra makes the Guardian’s daily playlist, with their “bombastic” new single Multi-Love. “Such was the oddball beauty of Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s introverted second album II that Multi-Love…

Singer Brooke Fraser Sheds Her Pop Folk Skin

Singer Brooke Fraser Sheds Her Pop Folk Skin

Following a trio of successful folk-pop albums, Wellington-born singer Brooke Fraser, 31, re-emerged in 2014 with Brutal Romantic, a collection of dark, nervy electronica that doesn’t easily invite reductive descriptors like “organic” or “rootsy.” A…

Meet the New Zealand Opera Trio That Outsold Lorde

Meet the New Zealand Opera Trio That Outsold Lorde

Lorde may be the greatest New Zealand musical export of 2013, but back home, she’s got competition. The members of the improbably popular operatic trio Sol3 Mio, buck all the current trends in the…

At Last Martin Phillipps Is Back

At Last Martin Phillipps Is Back

At last, The Chills are back and its something of a miracle to meet Martin Phillipps preparing for his first London show with the band for 18 years, Michael Hann reports in the Guardian. The…

Jesse Will Gets Taylor Swift’s Approval for Shake It off Cover

Jesse Will Gets Taylor Swift’s Approval for Shake It off Cover

New Zealand musician Jesse Will, 24, has became an overnight sensation with megastar Taylor Swift tweeting a glowing endorsement of his Shake It Off cover, calling it the best rendition by another artist. “My…

Kapiti Musician Stefan Wolf Wins International Video Award

Kapiti Musician Stefan Wolf Wins International Video Award

Kapiti Coast musician Stefan Wolf has won the Best International Video – Pacific award at this year’s Australian Independent Music Video Awards for his lament about lost friendships, On Your Side. The video was filmed…

Lorde Finds Sisterhood with Katniss in Mockingjay Songs

Lorde Finds Sisterhood with Katniss in Mockingjay Songs

Lorde’s low hum that begins her new single, Yellow Flicker Beat takes the viewer from the final shot of the transformed heroine Katniss Everdeen to the closing credits of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay –…

Tami Neilson’s Dynamite Deserves to Explode in US

Tami Neilson’s Dynamite Deserves to Explode in US

Virtually unknown in the US, New Zealand-based singer Tami Neilson has accrued awards aplenty in recent years, but with her 2014 album Dynamite she has crafted something truly special that deserves to explode with…

Who’s-Who of NZ Sidemen Join Guy Pierce on Debut

Who’s-Who of NZ Sidemen Join Guy Pierce on Debut

An assured, confident debut album draws from Australian actor Guy Pearce’s genuinely appealing voice and a who’s-who of New Zealand sidemen, including Liam Finn regular Jon Mulholland and Tim Finn/Gin Wigmore guitarist Brett Adams. “[The…

Kimbra Takes A Visit To Sesame Street

Kimbra Takes A Visit To Sesame Street

New Zealand singer-songwriter Kimbra has been spotted on one of the world’s most well-known streets and has been seen with some of its most famous residents – Elmo and the Cookie Monster. The effervescent star…

Golden Globe Nomination for Lorde’s Hunger Games Single

Golden Globe Nomination for Lorde’s Hunger Games Single

Lorde is “blown away” by a Golden Globe nomination for her hit single Yellow Flicker Beat included on the soundtrack to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which the eighteen-year-old herself curated. “I am…

It’s Official, Kimbra Is the Coolest

It’s Official, Kimbra Is the Coolest

New Zealander Kimbra is officially the “coolest” according to Nylon magazine, telling their readers that if they’re not already familiar with the singer then, “it’s time to get acclimated.” “Her music has the power to…

Crowded House the ARIAs’ First Superstars

Crowded House the ARIAs’ First Superstars

At the inaugural Australian Record Industry Association awards (ARIAs) in 1987, New Zealand judge (and now Australianised) Jenny Morris was joined by a countryman whose second band was named best new talent and went…

Lorde’s NYC A&R Man’s Lucky Day

Lorde’s NYC A&R Man’s Lucky Day

How does a teenager from Devonport, Auckland get plucked from relative obscurity to become a worldwide chart-topping phenomenon? Once-in-a-generation talent helps, but those gifts need to be paired with music execs who have the…

Estère – the New Face of Soul Music

Estère – the New Face of Soul Music

An example of soul music’s possible future is 22-year-old New Zealander Estère, who recently played at the annual Australian World Music Expo (AWME) in Melbourne. The Wellington-based bedroom artist – she literally writes and records…

Noosa Gets Its Rhythm on with Drummer Nathaniel Combs

Noosa Gets Its Rhythm on with Drummer Nathaniel Combs

Waikiri-born percussionist Nathaniel Combs, 31, has played with world-famous ensembles such as Les Percussion de Guinea, Les Visage de Guinee, and the prestigious Kaloum Lole during time spent in Guinea, West Africa in 2004. Now,…

Indie Stars Dean Wareham and Luna Announce Reunion

Indie Stars Dean Wareham and Luna Announce Reunion

After a decade apart, indie rockers Luna, fronted by New Zealand-born Dean Wareham, have “insouciantly” announced their reunion with a string of dates in Spain and vague hints at US dates, planned for next…

Hayden Tee One of Melbourne’s Hottest Musical Stars

Hayden Tee One of Melbourne’s Hottest Musical Stars

New Zealander Hayden Tee is one of Melbourne’s East End Theatre district’s hottest stars, playing Javert in Les Misérables, which then tours Australia over the next 20 months. Tee, who is based in New York,…

Chelsea Jade Making New Music Offshore in NY and Tokyo

Chelsea Jade Making New Music Offshore in NY and Tokyo

Singer Chelsea Jade Metcalf has created considerable buzz in her home of New Zealand, and she’s finally ready to take her art elsewhere; she’s been in New York recently for the CMJ Music Marathon,…

Lorde Expressing Existential Emotions Beyond Her Years

Lorde Expressing Existential Emotions Beyond Her Years

Lorde “comes from a land of pioneering women with sometimes perverse perspectives, from the writers Katherine Mansfield and Keri Hulme to the filmmaker Jane Campion,” Los Angeles Magazine contributor Evelyn McDonnell writes in a…

Zane Lowe, Lorde Help Launch Star-Studded BBC Music Initiative

Zane Lowe, Lorde Help Launch Star-Studded BBC Music Initiative

Some of the biggest names in music, including New Zealanders DJ Zane Lowe and singer Lorde, have united to record a cover of the Beach Boys track God Only Knows for the…

Dragon’s Leading Light Todd Hunter Keeping It Current

Dragon’s Leading Light Todd Hunter Keeping It Current

One of the founding members of iconic Australian band, New Zealander Todd Hunter (pictured second from right), talks to Digital Journal about the band’s new album and their very modern way of working. Forty one…

Mumbai Composer Mikey McCleary Reinterpreting Bollywood

Mumbai Composer Mikey McCleary Reinterpreting Bollywood

Mumbai-based New Zealander, songwriter and composer Mikey McCleary, 45, is a musical jack-of-all-trades making it in the Indian advertising world reinterpreting Bollywood songs and writing music requiring an “international-esque” sound. One of McCleary’s most famous…

Electric Wire Hustle Release Second Album Love Can Prevail

Electric Wire Hustle Release Second Album Love Can Prevail

The second album of New Zealand duo Electric Wire Hustle Love Can Prevail was released worldwide last month, and features on Jon Pareles’ Playlist in The New York Times. Pareles describes the R&B, soul and…

Billboard Names Lorde Hottest Star under 21

Billboard Names Lorde Hottest Star under 21

Billboard has put New Zealander Lorde, 17, at the top of its 2014 edition of 21 Under 21, the magazine’s annual ranking of music’s most powerful minors, “and perhaps the most impressive crop of…

Gemma New to Conduct for LA Philharmonic

Gemma New to Conduct for LA Philharmonic

University of Canterbury graduate Gemma New has been selected by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association as one of two conductors to participate in the 2014/15 Dudamel Fellowship Program. New will be conducting ‘Peter and the…

Singer Jackie Bristow Itching to Finish Fourth Album

Singer Jackie Bristow Itching to Finish Fourth Album

New Zealand folk singer Jackie Bristow hasn’t released a new album in four years. But she has a really good excuse: Bristow has been touring non-stop, and consistently appearing on some lofty play bills,…

Lorde Trumps the Big Guns to Take MTV Best Rock Video

Lorde Trumps the Big Guns to Take MTV Best Rock Video

Lorde has become the first female artist to win in the category Best Rock Video at the MTV Video Music Awards, beating Arctic Monkeys, Linkin Park, The Black Keys and Imagine Dragons. The 17-year-old scooped…

Laurence Larson Blends Language Wooing Millions of Chinese Fans

Laurence Larson Blends Language Wooing Millions of Chinese Fans

Auckland University student Laurence Larson, 20, is generating a big following on social media where his music videos sung in the unusual blend of Mandarin and English have been viewed millions of times. With dreams…

Guardian Declares Kimbra’s Latest a Masterclass in Sheer Pop Joy

Guardian Declares Kimbra’s Latest a Masterclass in Sheer Pop Joy

“The Golden Echo is less of a sophomoric follow-up and more of a bona fide pop classic from singer Kimbra …”, in fact declares the Guardian, it’s “a straight-up masterclass in sheer…

Bluegrass Singer Marlon Williams Touring Australia

Bluegrass Singer Marlon Williams Touring Australia

Christchurch-born bluegrass singer-songwriter Marlon Williams, 24, made a good impression when he played Mullum Music Festival in New South Wales last year, claiming the title as one of the most talked about acts on…

Kimbra’s Princely Potential Lands Her Major Label Resources

Kimbra’s Princely Potential Lands Her Major Label Resources

Kimbra only intended to stay in Los Angeles for a month, but after she saw an online listing for an urban farm in Silverlake – “20 chickens, eight sheep, three sheepdogs, an outdoor kitchen…

Growing up in NZ Public, Broods Now Hitting the Big Time

Growing up in NZ Public, Broods Now Hitting the Big Time

Broods only started writing music together last year, but the Nelson brother-sister duo, Caleb and Georgia Nott, aged 21 and 19, are being tipped as New Zealand’s next big musical exports. They speak to…

Lorde Adds to Already High-Profile Catalogue with Hunger Games Deal

Lorde Adds to Already High-Profile Catalogue with Hunger Games Deal

Lorde will pen a new lead single for the latest installment of the popular film franchise, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, also overseeing the selections for the soundtrack album, where her single…

Broods Setting Hearts Alight – Make Hype Machine’s One to Watch List

Broods Setting Hearts Alight – Make Hype Machine’s One to Watch List

Broods make Hype Machine’s Ones To Watch feature for the second half of 2014, selected under the qualifiers, that it’s their first time on the most-blogged list, and they’ve yet to release a full-length…

Kiwi Directs New Katy Perry Video

Kiwi Directs New Katy Perry Video

Joel Kefali has directed music videos for Lorde, The Naked and Famous and David Dallas – but he’s just released his biggest one yet. The Kiwi director is the man behind Katy Perry’s latest video, This…

Weird Al Yankovic Rethinks Lorde’s Royals

Weird Al Yankovic Rethinks Lorde’s Royals

Lorde should feel honoured, according to Billboard magazine, because on Weird Al Yankovic’s new album Mandatory Fun, Royals is the only song the professional parodist reimagines as a song about food, called Foil. “Fortunately, he…

Kimbra Challenging Musical Genres

Kimbra Challenging Musical Genres

Over the course of The Vine’s 20 minute telephone interview with Grammy winner New Zealand singer Kimbra, 24, her “voice changes shape, tone, and accent, like an opalescent sheen shifting in the light.” “Like her…