I Was With Him is the definition of New Zealand music. It has the highly melodic (but more importantly) deep notes that perfectly illustrate the New Zealand accent we are famous for, and a simple musical structure that transcends genres from pop to rock, but focuses on vocals and lyrical content over musical technicality. It is a sound that is the epitome of radio friendly. You can hear the musical influences of established artists, such as Stellar* front woman Boh Runga (you can hear parallels in the songwriting style and harmonies to that of All It Takes), and Tadpole’s Renée Brennan, but most notably Fur Patrol’s Julia Deans (the verses have strikingly similar vocal characteristics to the lead track Andrew from Fur Patrol’s debut album).
The track was a grower for me personally; unsure of the slow start initially, but eventually loving the swell towards the grungier second half of the track. The style would easily fit in with Courtney Love’s Mono album, though it has a much cleaner, classier tone to it. The song progresses from a typical formulaic Kiwi song, to a definite Decades track, with vocalist Emma Cameron’s beautifully raw, and energetic rock voice.
Each chorus builds tension further, increasing and expanding the vocal range and intensity until the breakdown, where we are delighted by that punky, abrasive, in-your-face tenacity, with the finest volume and strength since Decade’s first debuted with Terrified. At full volume, the emotion portrayed through the vocals at the climax is enough to give the listeners physical shivers of gratification. If trends continue, Emma Cameron’s vocal confidence and power will soon deliver a manifestation that will rival (or even surpass) the likes of Lzzy Hale of Halestorm.
Formerly known as Ashei, there are a myriad of ways to describe NZ rock outfit, Decades, but one word that really summarises their so-far 5 year journey in sharing their music is simply: determination. Bursting on to the scene in 2009 led by a unique female voice that reaches both the gritty angst and delicate reservedness of the vocal spectrum, Decades have shown they are an independent Kiwi rock band to really watch with their shared passion for intense live performance and honest song writing.
Members Emma Cameron (vox/guitar), Liam Muir (guitar), Daniel Perry (drums) and Curtis Booth (bass) have spent the last several years focussing on honing in on their unique sound, independently releasing a scattering of singles and music videos to varying levels of local success, playing as many local shows as they could muster around their full-time day jobs, and supporting larger national and international acts such as Midnight Youth (NZ), Villainy (NZ), The Ataris (US), and Scary Kids Scaring Kids (US).
In 2013, Decades knew they were at a point of ‘go big or go home’, and so they began to envision what the next couple of years should look like, and how they were going to reach these milestones. Early 2013 saw Decades lock in with producer Matt Bartlem of Loose Stones Studios in QLD to create their debut record. Faced with the many obstacles of an independent band, the band launched - and achieved - a $10,000USD indiegogo crowd funding campaign in mid-2013, to head over to the studio in Australia to complete a 5-track EP.