21 May 2024
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Articles By Cathy Elizabeth

Ha the Unclear - Album Review: A Kingdom In A Cul-De-Sac
25 Apr 2024 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
If I could choose one word to sum up Ha The Unclear’s recent album release I would have to go with the word “inspiring”. And if I could throw a few more together in a kind of haphazard stream-of-consciousness way, I would add that A Kingdom In A Cul-De-Sac is oozing with creativity, quirky humour, plumbing the depths of musical understanding, and coming back up to the surface with a gift - permission to be one’s authentic self.
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SNRXG - EP Review: True Story
06 Nov 2023 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
Huntly born and raised artist SNRXG keeps the quality tracks coming with this 6-track EP True Story. Collaborating with top-notch local talent, the production on all of these tracks is mint.
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Phorrest - EP Review: On My Way
19 Sep 2023 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
Tuning into the new EP from Auckland hip hop artist Phorrest, the intro track does well to set the scene for the rest of the EP. But wait, why is the title track of the EP in brackets and labeled Intro (On My Way!
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day13n - Single Review: PA1N x SAG3
11 Jul 2023 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
Listening to Day13n’s new single PA1N x SAG3 is the stuff of nightmares, with a dark and edgy musicality underpinning the intensely whisper-screamed lyrics. The song is divided into two halves, which nicely illustrates the forces of duality that are at play in the mind of the artist.
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Will McClean - Single Review: Seem Alright
21 Jun 2023 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
This week Will McClean releases Seem Alright, the second track from his upcoming album Don’t Forget To Breathe, alongside an accompanying video clip. Seem Alright is a punchy upbeat jazz-funk hip-hop track that has been nicely arranged, with a dash of clarinet, strings, and a sampled jazz vocal for the chorus.
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Jaqualyn Taimana Williams - EP Review: Guns of Dialogue
20 Jun 2023 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
Successful children’s music creator Jaqualyn Taimana Williams has recently released a 5-track EP called Guns of Dialogue to follow up her 2019 multi-genre album Statues of Liberty. Guns of Dialogue has a great rock vibe overall, with a fusion of various other elements woven throughout its tracks.
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Mel Parsons - Gig Review: Mel Parsons @ Meow, Wellington - 28/05/2023
30 May 2023 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
It’s been a good while since I’ve been to a gig at Meow, Wellington, so the first thing I do is weave my way through the growing crowd to get a good look at the size and layout of the stage. It’s nicely raised and fairly spacious, more spacious than I remembered actually!
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Dillastrate - Single Review: I'm Crazy
22 May 2023 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
Dillastrate, the powerhouse duo from down Christchurch ways, have released another fantastic single that is sure to get you moving and grooving. I’m Crazy dropped at the start of May Music Month and is already making waves and amassing plays, demonstrating that it's been well-received by their fans.
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Loveta - Single Review: Take It Slow
08 May 2023 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
Christchurch artist Loveta releases her first single for 2023 with the heart-wrenching rock ballad Take It Slow. The opening bars allow the listener to really immerse in the fullness of Loveta’s beautiful voice, with just the guitar for accompaniment, producing what I find to be a really quite distinctly kiwi sound.
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Splendid - Single Review: Perspective
05 Apr 2023 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
Brodie MacDonald of Splendid perfectly nails the indie vocal sound on her new single Perspective. The production is sweet, spacious, and snappy, and there is a real maturity to the track.
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Richter City Rebels - Album Review: Big Fresh
23 Feb 2023 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
Bustling like a street carnival parade comes the Richter City Rebel’s third studio album Big Fresh. With an impressive list of featured local artists and wall-to-wall brass and percussion, this exuberant collection of colourful tracks would certainly have any crowd pumping at a live show.
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Revulva - Single Review: This Town
17 Feb 2023 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
A flute and muted trumpet herald in what sounds to be the start of a jewel-heist movie, then a cool but suspicious voice speaks out from behind the brim of a tilted hat, leaning in the doorway; “There’s tumbleweeds on the ground, recently I’ve found, this town, is like the wild west”. Sassy, sophisticated, and street-smart are words that spring to mind upon giving Revulva’s latest single This Town a spin.
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Macho Macho - Single Review: Blink
01 Feb 2023 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
Wow, I have to say the new single Blink from Macho Macho is extremely impressive! I was hooked right from the very first listen.
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Rachel Leo - Single Review: Last Call
09 Dec 2022 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
Building on her initial successes; bursting onto the 2021 pop music scene with her well-received single Conversation, followed by her stonking 2022 collaboration Dice with Lee Mvtthews, Rachel Leo keeps the ball rolling in the right direction with her latest single release Last Call.Opening with a romantic vintage-feel EQ sweep, Last Call is a bop with attitude.
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Eden Iris - Single Review: Young Guest Feat. Lucie Hill
17 Nov 2022 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
I have followed Eden Iris since her (albeit brief) appearance on NZ X Factor in 2013, and I admire the way she has carved out her own path musically since then and created herself a life with music and songwriting well and truly at the heart of it. Proving she never really needed that glorified karaoke contest anyway!
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Fur Patrol - Gig Review: Fur Patrol @ San Fran, Wellington - 27/08/2022
29 Aug 2022 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
I finally arrived at San Fran just on 8pm, a little grumpy after spending 30+ minutes driving around trying to find a park in Wellington city, where, like many other cities around New Zealand, the councils have decided to eliminate as many parking spaces as possible with bollards, flower pots, bus stops, loading zones, road works, or just by erecting scaffolding barriers for no apparent reason!! The venue was wall-to-wall full, and I marveled that all these people had managed to find parking spaces also.
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Heavy Chest - Heavy Chest x BENEE - Single Review: Sunday926
19 Jul 2022 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
I must say, I am thoroughly enjoying the new offering from Heavy Chest; a dreamy collab with BENEE, how exciting is that!? And a very new and different sound altogether for this band, led by the talented Andre Smith.
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Riqi Harawira - Single/Video Review: Walk of Freedom
26 May 2022 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
Musician, Support Worker, Maori Customs Teacher, Non-violence Facilitator, and basically all-round amazing human being Riqi Harawira (aka ‘Creative Native’) presents his new single Walk of Freedom with accompanying music video on 24th June 2022. This will coincide with the release of the full-length feature film Whina – ‘A biopic of the trailblazing Maori leader, Dame Whina Cooper, whose extraordinary life saw her break gender boundaries, champion the rights of Maori, and fight for the land - all the while staying true to her heart and her beliefs.
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Skank Bandit - Single Review: Suck On That
25 May 2022 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
Taranaki band Skank Bandit are excited to be releasing new music once again, in the wake of all the Covid lockdowns, hold-ups, and disruption to the music scene. As soon as they were able to jam together in person, this track was the first song they wrote.
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Taiotims - Single Review: All For You
28 Apr 2022 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
This charming track from Mataio Timaloa AKA Taiotims really put a smile on the dial today. With simple uncluttered beats and a nostalgic feel, backing close, intimate vocals that have been recorded in such a way as to capture that up-close-and-personal vibe, and the subject matter “A love letter to my significant other half” is so lovely to hear in Hip-Hop, or any style of music really, what’s not to love about it?
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Michèle Ducray - Single/Video Review: Manifesto
06 Apr 2022 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
Christchurch-based pop artist Michele Ducray releases her sophomore single Manifesto, complete with slick video clip produced by Shae Sterling, courtesy of NZ On Air. This dark and intriguing track opens in a foreboding room, filled with polaroid pictures hung on strings, and a somewhat disturbed-seeming character sitting on a step, alone.
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Imugi - EP Review: It's OK To Be A Lil Alien
05 Apr 2022 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
Auckland-based Imugi is comprised of beatmaker/producer Carl Ruwhiu and songwriter/vocalist Yery Cho. With regular releases since 2017 and some big shows and festivals under their belt, Carl and Yery have carved out a space for themselves in the New Zealand music scene, and don’t look to be going anywhere anytime soon.
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TUi MAMAKi - EP Review: A L'Aube
11 Feb 2022 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
What an absolute pleasure to dip my toes into the cool water beneath the pier with TUi MAMAKi, and listen to her beautifully immersive EP A L’Aube. The title track is described by TUi MAMAKi as “inspired by a dream in which I met my animus : we sat together on a pier and, feeling no need to speak, played music til dawn.
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Wubchaser - EP Review: Signal to Noise
29 Dec 2021 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
Wubchaser is the electronic music project of Auckland-based sound engineer and producer Luke Finlay of Primal Mastering. Hailing from the alternative music scene and having previously played in metal bands, Finlay has more recently been doing live sound at big events such as RnV, Shipwrecked, Aum, and Splore.
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Fragile Colours - Album Review: Dancing With The Shadows (In Plato's Cave)
14 Dec 2021 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
Studio project Fragile Colours released their second album Dancing With The Shadows (In Plato’s Cave) in June 2021, this time featuring Kamaea Harry on vocals. Nine out of the 10 tracks on the album were penned by Tim Julian specifically with Kamaea’s voice in mind after she sang most of the backing vocals on the previous album Southern Utopia.
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Fathom - Single Review: Mother Star
26 Nov 2021 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
Mother Star is the debut single that introduces Fathom, solo project of Auckland-based Nancy Howie, to the world, with an extravagant and emphatic throwing back of the curtains, and a celebratory sense of letting the sun shine in. I suspect the incredibly creative and resourceful Howie has single-handedly ushered in the Age of Aquarius with this wholesome and uplifting alt-folk anthem.
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Cloudy - Single Review: Worth It
25 Nov 2021 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
Kiwi-Austrian artist Cloudy’s new single Worth It ushers in a new sound and a new era for the Auckland-based singer/songwriter. Now accompanied by a full band, the vibe and the energy of the material has been lifted, and this has opened up exciting new songwriting territory for Claudia Paine and her upcoming EP.
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NOVA - EP Review: NOVA
11 Nov 2021 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
A pleasure to review this debut self-titled EP from NOVA; the new musical project of Wellington locals Bryn van Vliet and Eliza Pickard, joined by Jeremy Richardson and Phoebe Johnson. The vibe is soothing, relaxed, and calming, and is a very nice listen indeed.
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Khailana - Single Review: The Gnome King
20 Oct 2021 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
The delicate ringing of a single piano chord, like the rhythmic tolling of a funeral bell, seems fitting for a song about the potential ending of a relationship … stark in its simplicity, yet beautiful in its tragedy. An ethereal choir of voices are the only other accompaniment for Khailana’s poignant and resolute opening lines, concluding with the single strum of a tremolo-heavy electric guitar.
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Danica Bryant - Single Review: Ready To Bite
16 Oct 2021 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
I'm loving this dynamic pop explosion from Danica Bryant! The rock edge is really working for you, girl!
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NahBo - Album Review: Ruptured
14 Sep 2021 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
NahBo (Taranaki Ah Young-Grace) is breaking down creative barriers with their new album Ruptured. The intro track Download is a futuristic video game-esque prelude which sets the scene for what can only be described as the creation of a new genre (perhaps?
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The Human Kind - Single Review: Ready To Live
27 Aug 2021 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
Ready To Live is a beautiful inspirational track from The Human Kind; a collective with a focus on health and wellbeing. The song features a diverse array of instrumentation including strings, flute, synths, and something that sounds to me like maybe a Gudok or similar?
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Arjuna Oakes - Single Review: Satellites w/ Serebii
19 Aug 2021 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
Satellites launches with a bump and instantly draws you into its gravitational pull by way of smooth lo-fi synth tones and spacey beat. Percussion floats in, further enticing us into its dreamy orbit, while deep fuzzy bass and envelope-filtered guitar play in parallel, setting up melody lines which become the anchor of the song.
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Mako Road - Album Review: Stranger Days
12 Aug 2021 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
4-piece indie rock band Mako Road are back once again, this time with their first full-length album. Their sound is an interesting blend of indie and funk, layered with reverb and delay-heavy guitars, creating that classic kiwi “dub” feel, but with a live-jammed garage-band twist.
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Dillastrate - EP Review: Narrative
12 Aug 2021 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
I was excited to review Dillastrate after I saw them play live in Wellington recently and absolutely loved their energy and musicianship. I must admit I was playing catch-up from there, and after having had a quick listen to their previous album, I have to say that Narrative is definitely a step up; both in production value and over-all song crafting.
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Lauren Gin - Single Review: Say No
12 Aug 2021 // review by Cathy Elizabeth
25 year old Lauren Gin has been DJing for some 5 years now, playing popular shows and festivals in and around New Zealand, as well as internationally. 2021 marks the third year of making her own music, releasing her first single in 2019, and debut EP Supernova in 2020, effectively establishing herself as an electronic music producer in her own right.
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NZ Top 10 Singles

  • MILLION DOLLAR BABY
    Tommy Richman
  • I HAD SOME HELP
    Post Malone feat. Morgan Wallen
  • NOT LIKE US
    Kendrick Lamar
  • A BAR SONG (TIPSY)
    Shaboozey
  • TOO SWEET
    Hozier
  • ESPRESSO
    Sabrina Carpenter
  • BEAUTIFUL THINGS
    Benson Boone
  • FORTNIGHT
    Taylor Swift feat. Post Malone
  • LOSE CONTROL
    Teddy Swims
  • I LIKE THE WAY YOU KISS ME
    Artemas
View the Full NZ Top 40...
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