10 Apr 2021
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Aro - Single Review: Baby Beat

08 Mar 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

Any parent will say that the feeling of hearing their baby’s heartbeat for the very first time is an overwhelming experience, but there cannot be many who turn that sound into the basis for a song. Less than three weeks after their appearances at Auckland Folk Festival, Charles and Emily Looker celebrated the birth of Olive Koanui Terangioteata Looker, who took the words of the chorus, "kaua e aukumea" (don't take too long) to heart and appeared three weeks before due date. To celebrate that momentous event Aro are releasing this single on what was supposed to be the birth date, March 11th, but it appears that Olive just did not want to wait.

Aro were one of the highlights of that festival for me, with their wonderfully intertwined vocals combining with acoustic guitar and Emily creating some live vocal loops and harmonies. Baby Beat starts life with just that, the ultrasound of Olive’s heartbeat, something both strangely organic and restful, yet also hypnotic and almost synth based. This sets the tempo and style for the accompaniment which is more electronic than what I generally expect from them, with their wonderful voices cutting through and providing incredible contrast between the different styles. They sing about their love for their child, and what they want to say to her when she is born, and it is all incredibly personal. We are being allowed into the inner sanctum of soon-to-be parents and they have poured all their love for Olive into this song, and it is there in every note.

The verse is sung in English, with the chorus in Te Reo, but no matter the language, this song is all about emotion and love, wrapped up in a song that is incredibly effective as they push their folk stylings far more into the pop arena. It is an absolute delight which makes me smile each time I listen to it, and it reminds me of what was going on in my life at the time of the birth of my own daughters and how that made me feel. I am sure each parent will be taken on the same journey, and for that we should all be very grateful indeed.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Aro

Aro consists of husband and wife Charles (Ngapuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngati Te Ata, Te Ati Awa) and Emily Looker (nee Rice). The pair share a passion for the power of language and music to tell stories and remind us of our cultural identity. The duo were finalists for the Maioha Award at the Silver Scrolls (2019) and the APRA Best Children’s Song Award for their song Korimako (2020).




Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Aro

Releases

He Manu Ano
Year: 2020
Type: EP
Manu
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Van Jams
Year: 2018
Type: EP
Aro
Year: 2017
Type: EP

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