24 May 2022

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SOJØURN - Single Review: How It Grows

28 Oct 2020 // A review by Steve Shyu
Based in Mangawhai, SOJØURN is a six-piece surf-pop unit bringing some organic sounds to the aural landscape of Aotearoa. SOJØURN pride themselves with being able to carve out reggae-infused summertime music with ease, having brought indie-rock sensibilities on songs like Still a Mess, and Sons of Zion-esque reggae tones on Follow Me. With half a dozen singles under their belts, the group have tenaciously worked on a new release, entitled How It Grows. Muzic.net.nz’s Steve S. took a wee sojourn himself to experience this new number.

How It Grows begins with a light-hearted chord progression on an acoustic guitar, which is then joined by a light shuffling 4/4 hi-hat-and-snare rhythm. Lead vocalist and songwriter Isaac Hunter breezes from verses to choruses, carefree and dulcet, evoking a deeply positive attitude and a 'surfer dude' feel-good vibe. The choice of key-changes are deliciously pleasant, and there are hints of soul and pop peppered throughout the singing and guitar playing.

When laid over the bright disposition of the instrumentation, however, the lyrics become overbearingly 'positivity only'. The sort a middle-aged motivational speaker might declare at a mid-year corporate work-do. “You could do anything in this life if you want it, you just gotta give it some space”. Maybe, on occasion, it’s best to just let the atmosphere of the song speak for itself.

In any case, coming back to the instrumentation, the big highlight of the tune lies in the solo. Where traditionally a guitar would occupy the breakdown spotlight, a synth excursion shows up seemingly out of nowhere. One would be forgiven for giving a double-take upon hearing the pitch-shifted keyboard notes, mistaking it for a shrill, distorted six-string outing. Extra applause must go to the superb synth sounds!

In all, where many of Aotearoa’s established acts like The Black Keys have tread, this tune by SOJØURN ultimately follows. There isn’t much that hasn’t already been done, from the semi-unplugged instrumentation to the folk-like songwriting. But hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Plenty of cider-sipping attendees of live music in the summertime will very happily boogie to this tune, and it really doesn’t stretch one’s imagination hearing and seeing this on a public park stage one hot afternoon.

Be sure to check on SOJØURN’s Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on releases, as well as upcoming live shows in your area!

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )


SOJØURN are an energetic 7-piece psychedelic surf rock reggae band hailing from Mangawhai. The band have been taking the NZ Music scene by storm performing over 30 shows across the North Island in the last 12 months with some of NZ's heavy hitters. The band play a mixture of upbeat reggae and funk blended with salty surf rock. Summer vibes sorted with this lot.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for SOJØURN


Mystic Ways
Year: 2022
Type: EP

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