19 Aug 2022
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Articles By Callum Wagstaff

Nick Burson Band - Single Review: Should Have Let You Know
08 Aug 2022 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Nick Burson spent a decade cutting his teeth on the covers scene of Christchurch city. The lockdown of 2020 allowed him to finally focus on releasing his own music to the world.
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NEEKOH - Single Review: Breathe
08 Jul 2022 // review by Callum Wagstaff
NEEKOH is a Finland based fashionista, interior designer and former Pop Idol finalist. He took a break from celebrity status in Finland, traveling the world and has found himself in New Zealand.
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Anamnesis - Single Review: Coms
26 Jun 2022 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Coms sounds like a clown rubbing wet crocks against a saxophone. After a few seconds it also sounds like somebody close is tracing their finger around a half empty wine glass and somebody far away is buffing a bird cage with an angle grinder.
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Konarucchi - Single Review: Tongue-Tied
29 May 2022 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Konarucchi is a multi-genre solo artist from a small town in New Zealand called Wainuiomata. He likes to experiment with many styles of music, without focusing on how they will fit together, because he believes that cohesion in music comes from the artist, rather than the genre.
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Elliott Dawson - Single Review: CEO
18 May 2022 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Elliott Dawson plays angry art rock inspired both by British post-rock and South London jazz. CEO is the first single from his album Hang Low which will be released independently in September 2022 and was recorded at Surgery Studios in Te-Whanganui-a-Tara with engineer James Goldsmith (Avant-Glass, Recitals, Wiri Donna, Mermaidens, Earth Tongue).
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WLF - EP Review: Kook
26 Apr 2022 // review by Callum Wagstaff
WLF (Wolf) is the solo project of Otautahi Christchurch, NZ musician Aaron Hogg. With over 25 years as a vocalist, guitarist & bassist for bands such as Pumpkinhead, Slim & Thunderwülf, Aaron has amassed a wealth of experience both live & in the studio.
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Birdfeeder - EP Review: The Vile Isle
24 Mar 2022 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Led by keyboard player and songwriter Stephanie Cairns, Birdfeeder makes music for time travellers, tea leaf readers and full moon gazers. Their south seas art-pop is characterised by unearthly melodies, surprising shifts and vintage timbres.
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Daniel Hayles - Album Review: Other Futures
03 Mar 2022 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Daniel Hayles is a piano and keyboard player, performing regularly in a variety of styles and settings. He also writes and arranges music for local and international artists, bands and shows.
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Motel Midnight - Single Review: Save Me
28 Jan 2022 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Motel Midnight are Reuben Keeling (vocals, bass guitar), Bruce Ferguson (vocals, guitar) and Ben Stanley (synths, beats, production). Emerging from the smoky neon haze, Motel Midnight have arrived with their new single Save Me.
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The Treasury - EP Review: It's Warm Now
30 Nov 2021 // review by Callum Wagstaff
The Treasury had exactly the genre of sound I expected from the bio, but with a presence and rich darkness to the tone thatI wasn't anticipating. Not dark like the musings of a goth rock icon destined to die at 23 but dark like a sexy old vampire.
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Bediquette - EP Review: Not Now
04 Nov 2021 // review by Callum Wagstaff
If somebody decided to make an EP out of samples they ripped from a pirate alien distress beacon it might sound like Not Now. It feels like somebody's beaming a scrambled signal from a haunted bunker.
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Comf - EP Review: Water
20 Oct 2021 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Comf is the solo project of sonic artist and electronic music lover Jazz Kane. With an appreciation and fascination for a diversity of genre, Comf connects their own personal experiences with manipulated samples of anything and everything, to tell a story that is a constant state of re-evaluation.
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Dark Water - Single Review: While the World is Bleeding
30 Sep 2021 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Dark Water are a New Plymouth based alternative rock band formed in 2009. While the World is Bleeding is their new single, mixed and mastered by Crazy Daisy Productions, USA.
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Henika - Single/Video Review: The Future of the Species
23 Aug 2021 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Henika is the moniker of Slovak born multi-instrumentalist Henrieta Tornyai. Her self-titled EP won Best Independent Debut at the Taite Music Awards in 2017.
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Rain - Single Review: Pretty
19 Jul 2021 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Rain is the music making moniker of Wellington artist Cathy Elizabeth. She has been active since 2018, collaborating with producer Thomas Te Taite to create songs that are genre fluid, but all wrapped around the singer songwriter heart.
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James Hunter and The Gatherers - Single Review: Suburban Dystopia
24 Jun 2021 // review by Callum Wagstaff
James Hunter is an alt folk musician from Poneke. He writes, records, and produces records that are minimal in scope, but intimate through his vocal delivery.
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Oh Sweet Nothings - Album Review: The Math
31 May 2021 // review by Callum Wagstaff
"Completely DIY and 8 years in the making, “a tribute to the pipe dreams of the struggling indie artist”.The tagline for The Math by Wellington based indie post-everything band Oh Sweet Nothings is a likeable description.
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Personal Igloo - Single Review: Shades of Blue
19 Apr 2021 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Personal Igloo is the solo project of Auckland based song writer/producer, Hamish Nixon. Following the release of the début EP Phone-in Serotonin, Shades of Blue takes on a new-found energy on top of Nixon's signature laid-back delivery.
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Merk - Album Review: Infinite Youth
13 Apr 2021 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Merk has been up and running since 2016, collecting a few accolades and getting some attention in that time. He is a Red Bull Music Academy alumni and winner of the Auckland Live Best Independent Debut award in 2017.
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Tim Allen - Single Review: Love is a Pill
20 Mar 2021 // review by Callum Wagstaff
UK born New Zealand artist Tim Allen has been a mainstay in the NZ music scene for the last decade. You might have seen one of his songs with Stormporter on New Zealand music TV or caught one of his shows on tour with Hangar 18.
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Lasair - Single Review: Running
27 Feb 2021 // review by Callum Wagstaff
After years making music constrained by labels and opinions, Lasair's musical approach is "genre fluid" and built from the inspiration he finds around him wherever it happens to come from. Rather than talk about his persona, Lasair prefers to let his music speak for him.
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Magnalith - Single Review: Intimacy's End
27 Jan 2021 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Magnalith is the brain child of Mathew Bosher (Decortica, Domes). Intimacy's End is a two-and-a-half minute monster mixed by Dave Holmes (Jakob, Saint Agnes, Maisha).
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Pale Lady - Single Review: Lost and Found
19 Jan 2021 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Pale Lady formed in 2016 when a bunch of guys with a love for rock and roll found themselves in the same music degree. By 2017 they had won that years Battle of the Bands competition.
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Eli Moore - EP Review: Home Skillet
29 Jul 2020 // review by Callum Wagstaff
In 2017 Eli Moore released his first full length album. Ship Life revolved around his experience as a cruise ship musician and referenced his appreciation of the harmonies and forms of jazz music within a classic pop context.
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Internet Death - Album Review: Not Your Dog!
09 Jul 2020 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Mild mannered billionaire journalist (citation needed) 17-year-old Christchurch musician by day, Finlay Anderson dons the Internet Death undies by night to slap us in the ass-face with the cyber hardcore anti-hero anarchist justice of Not Your Dog!Christchurch in 2020 is a Petri dish of physical isolation and the chaos of the entire world being beamed directly into the brains of the population potentially 24/7.
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Screw Jack - EP Review: Back in the Saddle
02 Jul 2020 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Screw-Jack is a musical duo separated by the cook straight and brought together by the wonders of modern technology. The inciting incident that brought Matt Schobs and Mark Tupuhi together happened back in 2007 and somewhere along the way the post-pop electro freakbeat sounds of Screw-Jack were conceived.
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Something Zesty - Single Review: Mad About It
24 Jun 2020 // review by Callum Wagstaff
'All Zest, No Stress' is the catchphrase for Whanganui-based one-man cartoon band Something Zesty. If it were on a cereal box it would be the bit written in a big spiked speech balloon.
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Marshmellow - Album Review: Secrets of the Universe
04 Jun 2020 // review by Callum Wagstaff
From a world of bottomless resilience and optimism comes Marshmellow's Secrets of the Universe. A Eurovision wet dream forged in environmental hope and poverty-stricken despair with a solid gold, true-love center.
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Big Scout - Single Review: Flung
30 May 2020 // review by Callum Wagstaff
At times dizzying and sometimes catastrophically frenetic, Flung descends into chaos.Flung is the first of four singles set for release over the coming months from Blenheim's guitar bashing wastrels Big Scout.
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Known Associates - Album Review: Ride the Wave
26 May 2020 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Known Associates have had a successful 2019 opening for big acts like Living Colour, The Feelers and The Jordan Luck Band. Ride the Wave is their second full length outing, following Penny Love and the Rebound EP.
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Goodspace - Album Review: Under the Loquat Tree
14 May 2020 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Goodspace started life in 2017 as a more grunge influenced band called Restless Electric before refining their line-up and reconvening their efforts in a more lo-fi indie Britpop capacity. In 2019 they emerged as Goodspace, dedicated to helping listeners feel present and providing a more connected experience; "from our goodspace to yours".
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Repairs - Single Review: Last Chances
13 May 2020 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Repairs are kind of like the band next door. I get the same bro-hang vibes from their mission statement as I did watching Sex Bob-omb rehearse in the movie Scott Pilgrim vs the World.
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Swallow the Rat - Album Review: Leaving Room
28 Apr 2020 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Swallow the Rat sound like if a tornado became sentient and could communicate that it just wants to shoot the shit and have a chat.Swallow the Rat formed in Auckland in 2017 when Texan guitarist Brian Purington moved to New Zealand and started jamming with Sam Vercoe.
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Desbot - EP Review: Occult Tapes
20 Apr 2020 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Desbot: One who sits at his computer all night trolling political forums for politically incorrect posts and spamming those posts with left-wing idiocy. - Urban Dictionary.
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Iveta & Simone - Single Review: Psycho Baby
20 Apr 2020 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Iveta and Simone are a duo that cut their teeth singing covers all over the world. They describe their original material as new age, contemporary alternative rock.
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Investigator - Single Review: Lovers & Loners Feat. Barker
11 Apr 2020 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Adrian Drew left his commercial radio career to make music as Investigator. Johnny Barker left New Zealand to get away from his reputation as Shortland Street's Ferndale Strangler.
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Social Shun - Album Review: What Is Music
04 Apr 2020 // review by Callum Wagstaff
What is music? It's kind of a rhetorical question.
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The Grand Bazaar - Single Review: The Gunslinger
25 Mar 2020 // review by Callum Wagstaff
The Gunslinger is the debut single by brand new band The Grand Bazaar. Formed in November 30th of 2019, very littleinformation is yet known about this mysterious entity other than two of its members: Mama Hollywood and Hound McFox.
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Amos/Anon - Album Review: VHMET
24 Mar 2020 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Amos/Anon have been around in the margins of music society for over a decade now, occupying space around buzz words like Gothic, Acoustic, Industrial, Doom and Progressive. People used to find Amos/Anon CD's and USB's hidden in university libraries.
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Lexytron - Album Review: Something Blue
12 Mar 2020 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Something Blue is an Album by half Greek, half Persian, half English Lexytron. It's the debut album from Lexy, mixed and mastered in London by Marco Meloni.
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Alae - Single Review: Summer Thing
02 Mar 2020 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Alae have been working solidly since 2016, going from strength to strength, garnering radio play both in NZ and abroad and making Spotify playlists internationally. Summer Thing is the second single from an upcoming EP due out in June and it's the perfect song to have playing in the lounge while you hang your body half outside onto the deck and half inside because it's so nice and sunny but so hot; your beer sitting just out of reach of your lazily extended, slightly burned arm.
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VÏKÆ - Single Review: Liar
27 Feb 2020 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Liar is the third in a trio of narratively linked singles by Ukrainian born artist VïKÆ. Like the two songs preceding it, last September's Truth and November's Rumours, Liar deals with the issue of integrity within the context of relationships.
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Holloway - Single Review: Please Hold (An Operator Will Be With You Indefinitely)
27 Feb 2020 // review by Callum Wagstaff
A fire siren boots up as a clap-along snare cracks its way across a crushed up vocal telling some barely indecipherable story about talking to an operator who's either gonna get murdered or is coming to murder you or something but then it all cuts out leaving a whispered "already dead."The song launches back into the chorus with the slanted scribbly voice half chanting half crooning the catch phrase lyrics over the naked crunch of punk riffing chords: "It's the way you've got me wrapped around your little finger.
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Konarucchi - Single Review: Her Glow
20 Feb 2020 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Her Glow is the very first single on the very first EP from Konarucchi; whose moniker is a nickname given to him during his high school exchange in Japan. Though he has his hands in many different pots such as production, game music, and his band Pale Lady; the Stuck in Daydreams EP is a chance for him to explore his philosophy that the cohesion in a musical work comes from the artist and not from staying close to one musical genre.
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Impostor Syndrome - Single Review: The Hole in Your Head
08 Feb 2020 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Shannon Coulomb, Scott Nicolson and Ryan Culleton form the components of Imposter Syndrome. Coulomb chose the name as a kind of pact that nothing will get in the way of releasing music.
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Frannkkey - EP Review: Frannkkey
20 Dec 2019 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Sinister and sexy,  Frannkkey contains bass vibes so deep they massage the very marrow in your sternum until it shakes out of your pores.Frank Eggleton is a prolific fixture within the Wellington music scene, being involved in bands and projects like Solo Ono and Tidal Rave.
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Rumour City - EP Review: Bury All The Lies
11 Dec 2019 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Auckland based band Rumour City are a fairly new occurrence. As of 2019 they have a handful of gigs under their belt and a debut EP.
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Andrew Masseurs - Single/Video Review: Days They Come, Days They Go
01 Dec 2019 // review by Callum Wagstaff
In a world where keeping busy and treating lack of sleep like a badge of honour is a step away from being a religion, watching somebody spend a day lazing in the summer sun might fill a viewer with a sense of discomfort. Perhaps even abject dread.
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Makeshift Parachutes - Album Review: The Daily Absurd
14 Nov 2019 // review by Callum Wagstaff
What started as a jam session in a wine cellar in Houston Texas around 2012 would eventually emerge in Auckland, New Zealand under the name Makeshift Parachutes. Seven years later Makeshift Parachutes are releasing their debut full length album: The Daily Absurd.
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2 a.m. Orchestra - Single Review: Free
07 Nov 2019 // review by Callum Wagstaff
2 a.m.
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Lucifer Gunne - EP Review: One Day You'll Be The Best Thing That's Ever Happened To Someone
30 Oct 2019 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Lucifer Gunne come out with an EP of acoustic sessions showcasing the dark and pensive songwriting of lead man Rory McDonald. McDonald's unusual voice is an amalgam of influences including Marilyn Manson, Kurt Cobain and Mike Patton.
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Repairs - Split EP Review: Repairs & Flogging a Dead One Horse Town
10 Oct 2019 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Auckland pop-punk trio Repairs have released a split EP with Tauranga purveyors of grunty minimalism Flogging a Dead One Horse Town (or FADOHT for practicality's sake.) The two bands find common ground in the bedrock of noise.
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Tom Ashman - Album Review: Degenerate
24 Sep 2019 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Tom Ashman is a guitarist, singer-songwriter and music producer from the Orkney Islands in the far north of Scotland. Now based in New Zealand, he has created new material infusing elements of grunge and punk into a folk rock foundation.
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Villainy - Album Review: Raised in the Dark
21 Jul 2019 // review by Callum Wagstaff
Villainy have been winning awards for their albums since their debut, so you don't need my review to convince you that you're gonna have a good time with Raised In The Dark. Their riffs are as saucy as ever and their crafting has reached a new level: they picked the 10 tracks on this album from a staggering pool of 107.
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NZ Top 10 Singles

  • I AIN'T WORRIED
    OneRepublic
  • BAD HABIT
    Steve Lacy
  • BIG CITY LIFE
    Luude And Mattafix
  • DOJA
    Central Cee
  • GLIMPSE OF US
    Joji
  • VEGAS
    Doja Cat
  • GO (GODDARD. REMIX)
    Cat Burns
  • AS IT WAS
    Harry Styles
  • RUNNING UP THAT HILL (A DEAL WITH GOD)
    Kate Bush
  • I LIKE YOU (A HAPPIER SONG)
    Post Malone And Doja Cat
View the Full NZ Top 40...
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