Other Pop Riches Doing Us Proud in the US
While Lorde is New Zealand’s biggest success story at the moment, she’s far from all we have to offer in terms of pop riches. Billboard’s Andrew Unterberger looks at New Zealanders impressing stateside in recent years, including Kimbra, Willy Moon (both pictured), The Naked and Famous and The Phoenix Foundation.
Technically, Lorde isn’t the first New Zealand artist to top the Hot 100 in the United States, since musical eccentric Kimbra did so as a guest artist one year before on Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know.” Kimbra’s contributions to the “she-said” part of Gotye’s breakup classic remain easily her best-known work in the States, but her entire 2011 debut LP Vows is exceptional.
Probably the act besides Lorde to find the most success in America this decade would be the five-piece pop/rock outfit the Naked and Famous, who scored a pair of US alt-rock hits off debut LP Passive Me, Aggressive You in 2011 with “Young Blood” and “Punching in a Dream.”
And while The Phoenix Foundation aren’t exactly Top 40 megastars in New Zealand, they’re a rightfully acclaimed album artist, with their most recent, 2013’s Fandango. It’s well worth delving into the double album’s deeper cuts for some of the most atmospheric, immaculately produced and subtly alluring music of its kind from any country this decade.
Kids of 88, Broods, Ginny Blackmore, David Dallas, Mt Eden and Titanium are also mentioned.
Original article by Andrew Unterberger, Billboard, February 6, 2014.
Photo by Getty Images.