7 Jul 2022
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Articles By Danica Bryant

Blake - Single Review: You Don't Decide
07 Jul 2022 // review by Danica Bryant
Hailing from Queenstown, soulful pop artist Blake’s new single You Don’t Decide is a breath of fresh air amongst today’s highly produced and often overly busy commercial material. Yet another splendid product of Covid lockdowns, it’s a whispered discovery of self-assertion, which reaches to the depths of human experience and compacts its realisations in a beautiful yet clearly comprehensible way.
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Molly Devine - Single Review: Shades of Blue
30 Jun 2022 // review by Danica Bryant
Molly Devine’s sweeping waiata Shades of Blue, created in collaboration with guitarist James Bulter, is an emotive piano-led ballad carried by her strong, deep vocal. Like previous release Because I Love You, Shades of Blue takes Devine away from her earlier dance-pop works into experimental territory.
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Josie Moon - Album Review: Paint Me How You Need Me
09 Jun 2022 // review by Danica Bryant
Independent Wellington artist Josie Moon’s debut album Paint Me How You Need Me is a highly conceptual, artistic alt-pop exploration, questioning identity, and the search to be perfect for others. With a voice full of childlike innocence and yet deepfelt cynicism, Moon establishes herself as an unmissable artist emerging on the scene.
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Ariana Tikao - Single Review: Fly You Home
27 May 2022 // review by Danica Bryant
Ariana Tikao’s Fly You Home is a beautiful track devoted to “indigenous solidarity” across the nation. Produced by Brooke Singer and Ben Lemi of French for Rabbits, the track is dreamy and gentle, offering a true sense of tranquility amongst the stress and sound of current times.
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Boy Virgo - EP Review: VILLAIN
16 May 2022 // review by Danica Bryant
Despite hyperpop’s impressive rise in pop culture over the past few years, there’s a surprising lack of Kiwi artists in the genre. Boy Virgo is here to remedy that.
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James Hunter and The Gatherers - Gig Review: James Hunter and the Gatherers @ San Fran, Wellington - 7/05/2022
08 May 2022 // review by Danica Bryant
San Fran is absolutely bustling with people on Saturday night, all buzzing to see the unique line-up. With only two weeks' notice of the event, the turnout is astounding, proving the crowd's devotion.
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InDuna - Single Review: Love and Affection
28 Apr 2022 // review by Danica Bryant
South African artist InDuna teams up with Jah Tung and Kasa on the Tiny Triumph produced track Love and Affection. It’s a thrilling Afropop release encouraging a woman to keep pursuing true feelings and relationships, demanding her not to “call murder on love and affection”.
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Brown Sugar Factory - EP Review: Halina't Sumayaw
27 Apr 2022 // review by Danica Bryant
Brown Sugar Factory’s latest EP Halina't Sumayaw is an incomparable blend of funk, house, pop and dancehall, boasting the diverse musical backgrounds of producer Reid Ulberg and singer-songwriter Roberto Jatulan.Opening to silky vocal adlibs and gentle rain, Til Next Saturday pulses under smooth guitar and incredible harmonies.
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Fin Rah Zel - Single Review: Negativity No More
21 Apr 2022 // review by Danica Bryant
If you’re looking for a quintessentially Kiwi kickstart to your day, Negativity No More is the perfect toe-tapping new release from New Plymouth surf-pop band Fin Rah Zel. It’s a barbecue jam about “having the courage to let go of the negative influences in our lives,” and a showcase of musicianship so strong, it sounds entirely effortless.
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Mousey - Gig Review: Mousey @ Meow, Wellington - 7/04/2022
08 Apr 2022 // review by Danica Bryant
It’s the first truly cold night of the year as Mousey and her band fill out Wellington’s Meow. The venue’s eclectic vibe, covered in bookshelves, clocks and colourful walls, perfectly match the energy of the two indie acts of the evening, and the room buzzes with anticipation from many devoted, excitable fans.
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Hannah May - Single Review: Written in the Sea
05 Apr 2022 // review by Danica Bryant
There is no time for “beating around the bushes” with Hannah May’s latest single Written in the Sea, a warning call to act on climate change that also introduces her debut EP, out later this year.Led almost exclusively by a jaunty acoustic guitar, every musical element of Written in the Sea sounds warm and comforting, thanks to a skillful mix by Tay Oskee, and mastering from Paul Blakey.
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Marianne Leigh - Gig Review: Marianne Leigh w/ Edera and Rose Lubransky @ Valhalla, Wellington - 30/03/2022
31 Mar 2022 // review by Danica Bryant
Behind Valhalla’s metal doors and graffitied walls, you would be surprised to find a trio of young acoustic performers playing to a sold-out student crowd this Wednesday night. Auckland’s Marianne Leigh took to the stage for the final night of her release tour for the Simple Things EP.
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Wiri Donna - Single Review: No Follow Through
24 Mar 2022 // review by Danica Bryant
Te Whanganui a-Tara's Bianca Bailey, better known as Wiri Donna, shares her enticing indie rock jam No Follow Through as an introduction to her hotly anticipated debut EP due for release later this year.Its message insists that the only person with real expectations for you is you, making No Follow Through an excellent single as it offers something of a thesis statement for the quality of music Wiri Donna plans to share.
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Mousey - Album Review: My Friends
10 Mar 2022 // review by Danica Bryant
Christchurch artist Mousey is well-recognised for her tremendous list of achievements, from Silver Scroll and Taite Music Prize Best Debut nominations, to support slots for industry giants. But the best way to prove an artist is worth listening to is simply telling you they make good music.
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Ella Minehan - Single Review: Lavender Hearts
07 Mar 2022 // review by Danica Bryant
A despondent story of lost love boldly released the week of Valentine's Day, Christchurch pop-R&B singer Ella Minehan shines on her latest single Lavender Hearts. The track is an easy yet affecting tune, which somehow sounds exactly like its titular colour, lavender, if colours could be heard.
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Boy Virgo - Single Review: Blood and Guts
17 Feb 2022 // review by Danica Bryant
Ushering in the "villain era" of Kiwi hyperpop artist Boy Virgo, Blood and Guts is a messy, brutal, and endlessly exciting new single, released in collaboration with Old Pup. It’s a defining statement for Boy Virgo’s promising upcoming EP, showing the artist in a more vulnerable light than previous releases, as he makes an effort to delve into the personal whilst maintaining his trademark sound.
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Brody Leigh - Single Review: Sad Club
04 Feb 2022 // review by Danica Bryant
Sad Club is the debut single from 19-year-old Brody Leigh, a brooding, emotional ballad mourning the loss of a first love. It presents the incredibly intimate musings of a teenage girl on the cusp of adulthood, processing the complexities of real heartbreak in an almost frighteningly honest yet still relatable way.
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SWEATR - Single Review: Every Time Feat. teens
02 Dec 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
Music producer Will Henderson, known for efforts with Janine, CHAII and Foley, launches his own artist project SWEATR with the release of single Every Time, in collaboration with teens. It's an electronic fanfare booming with bass, 808s and distinct personality.
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Abby Wolfe - EP Review: Lose Myself
10 Nov 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
Abby Wolfe’s Lose Myself collects three previously released singles alongside the all-new titular track into an empowered EP, blending sweet acoustics with vibrant pop into a distinctive debut for the Dunedin-raised pop artist.Enthralling opener Lose Myself boasts credits from heavyweights like Djeisan Suskov, Nik Brinkman, Ciaran McMeeken, and Ambian & Sleo, thanks to its creation at APRA Songhubs.
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Belladonna - Single Review: Wide Awake
21 Oct 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
Indie-pop darling Belladonna offers a blissful new musical fantasy with her latest release, Wide Awake. Musing on the great questions of life that keep her up at night, the song finds Belladonna “starting to take comfort” in her curiosities, creating a spacious, tranquil number ideal for late-night meditation.
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Jessica Leigh - EP Review: Summerland
14 Oct 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
Following her popular June release Summer Royalty, Jessica Leigh proudly offers her second EP Summerland, a sweltering collection of songs telling the story of a doomed summer romance through synth-pop and singer-songwriter stylings.Summerland opens subtly, with gentle guitar and quiet synths on Met Him At A Party, where Leigh introduces the EP’s vital romance with utmost sincerity.
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Lake South - Album Review: The Light You Throw
03 Oct 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
“Let’s talk about politics, let’s talk about feelings”, sings Lake South on his latest album The Light You Throw, an excellent thesis statement for an album which covers such a spectrum of thought. It’s an astoundingly innovative album, melding electronic synth-pop with introspective folk, and resulting in a record I cannot call anything but pure magic.
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Jason Parker - Single Review: This Is My Year
26 Sep 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
On his latest release This Is My Year, pop newcomer Jason Parker calls back to the cheerful anthems of early 2000s pop, firmly announcing 2021 as his moment to be “happy again”. After appearances with TVNZ’s Popstars and Wellington’s Peachy Keen festival, Parker now sets out to shape his own brave, colourful identity in Aotearoa’s bustling music landscape.
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Sofia Machray - Single Review: The Untold
23 Sep 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
Wellington’s “singer-songwriter gone rogue”, Sofia Machray, crafts a spacious indie ballad with her latest release, The Untold. The track is highly reminiscent of bands like Daughter and Placebo, the former of which Machray cites as an influence.
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YAHYAH - Single Review: Little Joy
23 Sep 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
Named after a beloved bar in Los Angeles, Little Joy is the latest from pop singer-songwriter YAHYAH, reminiscing on the girls’ nights of her four-year stint living overseas. After writing professionally for other artists with Genuine Music Group, YAHYAH turns her eye back to her own artistry with this track.
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VÏKÆ - Single Review: Moon City
16 Sep 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
Vikae melds pulsating commercial pop with the climatic reach of drum and bass on latest release Moon City. Produced by Will Henderson and written during the March 2020 nationwide lockdown, the song is an emotionally charged ode to the end of a relationship, mourning physical separation and filtering through feelings needing to be “put to rest”.
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EM/FM - Single Review: Close Enough
28 Aug 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
From the library of mysterious Kaitaia artist EM/FM, Close Enough is a synth-filled slow jam, introduced by its bright retro wave artwork which visually represents the track’s creative blend of machine-generated instrumentation with traditional jazz.Close Enough offers a unique song structure, with its groovy chorus not hitting until just before the two minute mark, and a lengthy final chorus section.
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Alba Rose - Single Review: Eve
26 Aug 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
The captivating hook of Alba Rose’s debut single, Eve, warns listeners of the likelihood that they will be “swept away”. It’s a truthful mission statement for a track which introduces Rose as a soloist, outside of her performances in Wellington band Corduroy.
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Louis TM - Single Review: Mercedes Car
19 Aug 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
After years backing other artists on the keys, Louis TM is out to make his own mark on the musical world as a soloist. The resulting track, Mercedes Car, is a biting track directed at wasted wealth, carefully crafted with the help of Tiny Triumph Recordings, JJ Golden and Diver Records.
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Julia Belle - Single Review: No Way I Can Sleep
31 Jul 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
No Way I Can Sleep is an indie pop dream come true. With the release of her debut single, Wellington's Julia Belle blossoms onto the music scene, exploring a hazy world of late-night loneliness in the modern age.
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Sweet Mix Kids - Album Review: Radio With Pictures
27 Jul 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
Sweet Mix Kids are just as flamboyant as the cover of their debut album, Radio With Pictures, would have you believe. Stepping off stages at Coachella, Peachy Keen and Rhythm and Vines, the DJ and production duo have created a record of sensual experience, bending genre and sound to their will.
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Louis Baker - Gig Review: Louis Baker @ The Opera House, Wellington - 17/07/2021
18 Jul 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
“It’s been a crazy day”, Louis Baker laughs, in front of a captive audience at Wellington’s Opera House. Indeed, it’s been one of the capital’s stormiest in recent memory.
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Boy Virgo - Single Review: Dirty Company
12 Jul 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
Hyperpop is a revolutionary genre, and with his latest single Dirty Company, Boy Virgo and collaborator Thayerperiod prove they understand its every element. Equally satirising, paying tribute to and experimenting with the vast array of conventions in popular music, Dirty Company is a bubbling, bright ode to gay desire, exploding with exciting electronic sounds.
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Louis Baker - EP Review: Love Levitates
06 Jul 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
Love Levitates is a triumph for Aotearoa soul star Louis Baker. Merging a diverse range of genres including funk, pop, soul and R&B, Baker's assured sense of identity grounds each song as a cohesive whole.
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Jessica Leigh - Single Review: Summer Royalty
02 Jul 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
Introducing her upcoming second EP, Summerland, Jessica Leigh's new single Summer Royalty paints a picture of a white-hot seasonal romance. The track is a road trip anthem produced by Leigh's long-time musical collaborator, Jules Evans.
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freya - EP Review: Wildest Creatures I've Dreamed
01 Jul 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
Auckland songwriter freya storms into July with her debut studio EP, the beautifully titled Wildest Creatures I’ve Dreamed. Recorded with Harry Charles and Morgan Allen at The Depot, this EP does a fantastic job at taking its listener to the poetic realm of a sleepy, nostalgia-filled seaside town like Devonport.
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Rachel Leo - Single Review: Conversation
28 Jun 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
Everything about Rachel Leo's debut single, Conversation, is picture perfect. A collaboration between Leo and some of Kiwi's pop greats, Joseph Corban-Banks, Em Basa and Simon Gooding, Conversation sees the 22-year-old stepping out with an incredibly well-thought-out release, one which will undoubtedly see her bringing audiences to their feet in hundreds of summer festivals to come.
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Molly Devine - Single Review: Because I Love You
21 Jun 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
Molly Devine estimates her latest track, Because I Love You, has seen at least seven versions prior to its release last week, having been written over five years ago. It is the second in a series of self-produced works Devine plans to share throughout 2021, setting up an incredibly emotional soundscape for her music.
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Lisa Crawley - Single Review: The Right Way
17 Jun 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
The Right Way is an absolute delicacy. Introducing her new EP due out later this year, Lisa Crawley’s latest single explores the feeling of frustration and awkwardness in the struggle to impress others.
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Kaela - Single Review: Obsessions
04 Jun 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
Kaela is not one to let herself be forgotten. Returning from a brief hiatus, her new single Obsessions delivers an otherworldly exploration of her struggle with OCD.
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Michele Ducray - Single Review: Midnight
27 May 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
As a self-professed “fan of the peculiar”, it’s somewhat surprising that Michele Ducray’s first single Midnight is such a carefully cut pop song. Midnight is an unusual but not unwelcome match to her intriguing magic and circus-themed branding.
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Rose Lubransky - Single Review: Head Over Heels
18 May 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
Wellington’s indie dream girl Rose Lubransky’s latest bedroom pop single, Head Over Heels, is another unique production with home producer and frequent collaborator BushJungle. The song is undoubtedly catchy, with a more anthemic structure and sound than their preceding work.
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Hunter Davison - EP Review: Headspins
15 May 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
Hunter Davison’s debut EP, Head Spins, explores the love, lust and mental health struggles of young people today. It is a vulnerable collection of songs with a knack for interesting rhythmic and melodic ideas.
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Reshma - Single Review: Loneliest Girl
05 May 2021 // review by Danica Bryant
Reshma’s enchanting new single Loneliest Girl takes a dark approach to the story of a collapsed romance. Having previously built a career in her birthplace of Kuala Lumpur, Loneliest Girl serves as Reshma’s debut musical endeavour into the English language, answering her ambition to release a song in New Zealand, where she grew up.
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NZ Top 10 Singles

  • GLIMPSE OF US
    Joji
  • RUNNING UP THAT HILL (A DEAL WITH GOD)
    Kate Bush
  • AS IT WAS
    Harry Styles
  • GO (GODDARD. REMIX)
    Cat Burns
  • VEGAS
    Doja Cat
  • JIMMY COOKS
    Drake feat. 21 Savage
  • BIG CITY LIFE
    Luude And Mattafix
  • I AIN'T WORRIED
    OneRepublic
  • FIRST CLASS
    Jack Harlow
  • ABOUT DAMN TIME
    Lizzo
View the Full NZ Top 40...
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