19 Jun 2021
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Emily Rice - EP Review: Auhua

06 May 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

Over the last few months Emily Rice has been building up to the release of this EP, and of the six songs included on Auaha (which means to shape, create, form, fashion), four have already been released as singles, and I have reviewed three of them myself, so the EP feels already very much like an old friend, but for anyone yet to come across Emily and her work then this is a wonderful place to start. I first came across Emily and her husband in the wonderful folk duo Aro, but here her music is far more dance oriented as she brings in lots of different styles such as soft jazz, RnB, dub, and even a little touch of folk, but always with her wonderful vocals front and centre. Emily has a beautiful clean style that is never forced, always pure and clean, so no matter what is happening with the instrumentation it is always grounded.

For someone like myself who tends to avoid many of the musical styles she is utilising, as to be honest I am simply not a fan of those genres, the result is quite a revelation. It is the way she combines these elements with her voice that makes them so compelling, so that the worn-out piano on Playing Darts becomes a thing of beauty, with delicate horns assisting in making it special, while she harmonises with herself, layering her clear and emotional vocals on top. This is slow and comforting, wrapping the listener in a blanket that is quite removed from the more overtly dance-driven Careless.

It is the last two songs on the EP which for me are the standout numbers. Red and Blue contains the  multi-layered vocals I have come to expect with Emily, but here there is also a complex arrangement with real instruments, plus finger clicks. This all makes it feel less electronic than the others, and although it is still firmly in the soft jazz/RnB style, as always it is her wonderful vocals that takes this through. I can imagine this being sung by her and Charles, just with an acoustic guitar for accompaniment, but here it has been made much richer with some delicate basslines and some gentle chords from the electric guitar. Kanohi ki te Kanohi is the last song, and can be translated as “face to face, or in person”. Here she brings together all the different elements of the EP, plus Te Reo, and with her multi-layered harmonies it is almost as if she is taking the style of Aro as a basis and moving it in a very different direction indeed.

The six songs are all worth discovering individually, but as an EP this set should be in the collection of every lover of wonderful vocals and songs, whatever the style.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Emily Rice

Emily Rice is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter from Tamaki Makaurau. Twice finalist of songwriter of the year while studying at pop music school, Emily has gone on to release three EP’s of music since 2012, live and perform across Europe, collaborate with countless fellow musicians and is one half of a two time Silver Scrolls finalist bilingual duo Aro.

Emily’s songs have evolved with each new project, moving through different styles and always integrating vocal looping, sprinkles of jazz and a touch of saxophone.

Her new sound is best described as chill DnB/RnB-pop and she’s releasing her new EP Auaha; a compilation of songs she wrote during Aotearoa’s level 4 lockdown in April 2020 in early 2021.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Emily Rice

Releases

Auaha
Year: 2021
Type: EP
Dusk
Year: 2019
Type: EP
A Little Salt
Year: 2016
Type: EP
Find Me Here
Year: 2015
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

LearningToDive - Single Review: You Said It Best
17 Jun 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Learningtodive is one of a series of projects from Bravo Bonez, a musician and producer currently based in Wellington, New Zealand. He released his first single under this name back in November last year, since when he has followed it up with more singles and his debut album Norwegian Pop, which came out in April.
Read More...
Gig Review: Blitz Metal Fest @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 12/06/2021
13 Jun 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Well, today was a first for me, coming to Ding Dong in the daylight! This was because it was time for Metal Blitz, a 13-band event being held which was planned to run for 10 hours but we all thought was probably going to take longer.
Read More...
Gatekeepers - Single Review: Always a Rebel, Never a Rogue
09 Jun 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Gatekeepers may be a new name to most of you, but this New Plymouth quartet have managed to secure the opening slot in Hamilton for the Devilskin and Kora show, so they have already started to gain some attention and based on this single one can hear why. The band was only formed earlier this year by guitarist/singer Jeremy Donoghue, rhythm guitarist Sean Phillips and bassist Mat Pipe, since when they have been writing and recording tracks before sending them to the UK to be mixed by Adam Wain.
Read More...
Investigator - Single Review: Lake of Eyes
09 Jun 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Adrian Drew and his band of merry men are back with the third single from their forthcoming album and given what I have heard to date I am really looking forward to that when it comes out. While Adrian provides guitar and vocals, the band is now firmly settled with David Crowhen (bass) Undercut, Craig van Kan (drums), The Couch, and lead guitarist Adam Morton-Mason, These Fine Galleons.
Read More...
Mudbelly - Single Review: Baby U No Good
07 Jun 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Last weekend I was fortunate enough to both survive the ravages of Canterbury’s wild weather and experience the force of nature which is Mudbelly, with the latter more than making up for going out in the driving rain to get to the gig. This means I am in the somewhat unusual position of having heard this song played in concert prior to coming across the recorded version, and it is interesting to hear just how different it is in this setting.
Read More...
DRXNES - Single Review: Junkie
07 Jun 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Prior to hearing this single I had heard only positive things about Whanganui band DRXNES and having now played this I can see exactly why. This is a highly polished, highly produced number which sounds as if it has come out of a top American band and studio as opposed to little old Aotearoa.
Read More...
Gig Review: Dead Favours @ Darkroom, Christchurch - 04/06/2021
07 Jun 2021 // by Kev Rowland
For the second time in less than a week it was back into the centre of Christchurch and St. Asaph Street, but whereas last time it was to the 12 Bar, this week it was next door, to Darkroom.
Read More...
Gig Review: Mudbelly @ 12 Bar, Christchurch - 29/05/2021
30 May 2021 // by Kev Rowland
In the middle of a red alert weather warning, I trekked from Oxford into Christchurch to attend Mudbelly’s album launch. It has been a while since I last went to a gig down here, but I have been to some real killers in the past (Sepultura, Death Angel and Blindfolded And Led To The Woods at Canterbury University’s The Foundry will long stick in my mind), so was looking forward to this.
Read More...
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • GOOD 4 U
    Olivia Rodrigo
  • KISS ME MORE
    Doja Cat feat. SZA
  • DEJA VU
    Olivia Rodrigo
  • BODY (REMIX)
    Russ Millions x Tion Wayne
  • TRAITOR
    Olivia Rodrigo
  • FAVORITE CRIME
    Olivia Rodrigo
  • PEACHES
    Justin Bieber feat. Daniel Caesar And Giveon
  • LEVITATING
    Dua Lipa feat. DaBaby
  • SAVE YOUR TEARS (REMIX)
    The Weeknd And Ariana Grande
  • MONTERO (CALL ME BY YOUR NAME)
    Lil Nas X
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem