26 May 2022
UsernamePassword

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

James Constable - Album Review: Tui

06 Jul 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Indie singer/songwriter James Constable has launched his debut album, Tui.


The 17-year-old from Rangiora showcases an incredible knack for writing mature lyrics and catchy melodies. In 2018 James won the Hook, Line and Sing Along national songwriting competition with his song The Smell of Sunscreen, which gave him the opportunity to record the track at Roundhead Studios. From performing at small open mics to larger shows such as the North Canterbury Wine and Food Festival alongside Anika Moa, James is making waves in the Christchurch music scene. As well as singing, James is a talented multi-instrumentalist, playing guitar, drums, bass and piano.

Taking inspiration from a range of artists including The Beatles, The Beach Boys and The Smiths, James writes wonderful jangly guitar hooks reminiscent of the Dunedin sound. Combined with thoughtful, mature lyrics that touch on subject matters well outside the mind of a typical teenager, James' debut is a strong introduction to this young artist.

The album is full of triumphant, jangle pop tracks. Highlights include album opener and lead single Good Morning Beautiful, uplifting, rhythmically driven Maria, Let Him Go, and my personal favourite Social Butterfly, with its catchy electric guitar riff evocative of R.E.M's guitar riff in Shiny Happy People. Slower, thoughtful tracks such as Wives At Home and Last of the Summer Skies help break up the constant more upbeat tracks, resulting in an album with plenty of variety.

Production is clean and crisp, staying true to the authenticity of the music. James' vocals are pure and clear, but really shine when he sings in his upper register. In the final chorus in Love Is Gonna Win Out and the final line of the chorus in Good Morning Beautiful, to name a couple of examples, the shift in vocal register really helps to lift the tracks. In future projects, I hope James continues to showcase his upper register even more, as the higher melodies show off his vocal abilities.

James is a wonderfully talented musician with a truly unique sound and a strong sense of artistry. The future looks bright for this budding singer-songwriter, and I look forward to seeing what else he has to offer listeners in the future.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About James Constable

James Constable is an indie singer/songwriter from New Zealand. He is that introverted nerd in the back of the room, who, by blending the music of old with the mindset of today, hopes to create songs that help give people a sense of place in the world.

James has made a bit of a splash in the local music scene over the past year and a half, having gone from playing small open mics, to playing large events such as the North Canterbury Wine And Food Festival, alongside the likes of Anika Moa. His EP Sunshine Over Britain, has gained upwards of 500 streams on Spotify, and it’s lead single Out From Under Water received almost 1000 views on YouTube alone, and many more on Facebook and Spotify. He has also received music awards on the national stage, being selected as the winner of the Hookline and Singalong songwriting competition (run by the New Zealand Music Commission) in 2018, as well as being a finalist in the Lions Songwriting Competition the year before.

James’ music is influenced by a variety of artists, ranging from the clean 60's pop of the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and the Byrds, to the grittier, but just as jangly 80's and 90's alternative rock scene, including The Chills, REM, The Mutton Birds, and, most of all, the Smiths. By walking a fine line between old-time nostalgia and modern pop sensibility, he is sure to bring something to the table for everyone to enjoy.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for James Constable

Releases

Tui
Year: 2021
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Madeleine Howard

Flying Man - Single Review: Since You've Been Gone
14 Mar 2022 // by Madeleine Howard
Dunedin based; Irish born artist Flying Man released his debut single Since You’ve Been Gone on the 28th of January. A haunting acoustic ballad about the aftermath of losing someone close to you, Since You’ve Been Gone is a reflective look at life after death, and the struggle that comes with trying to go about everyday life when you’ve lost someone special.
Read More...
Ezra Phoenix - Single Review: Storm
24 Feb 2022 // by Madeleine Howard
Wellington based R&B artist Ezra Phoenix returns with his dreamy single Storm. Released on the 18th of February, Storm follows on from Ezra’s debut self-titled album, which was released in February of 2021, as well as the November release of Diamond Dress.
Read More...
Ella Pollett - Single Review: Hold On
07 Dec 2021 // by Madeleine Howard
Hawkes Bay singer songwriter Ella Pollett released her second single Hold On on the 20th of November.The 16 year old songwriter has already celebrated success with Hold On, with the song taking out the top prize in the solo category at this year's regional Smokefree Rockquest competition.
Read More...
Jaz Paterson - EP Review: Ache
25 Nov 2021 // by Madeleine Howard
Emerging pop artist Jaz Paterson launches her debut EP Ache today, Friday 26th November. The Geraldine raised, Christchurch based artist has proved she is one to watch with previously released singles Lonely, Ache and NZ On Air funded LA.
Read More...
Ladyhawke - Album Review: Time Flies
18 Nov 2021 // by Madeleine Howard
Ladyhawke returns with her highly anticipated fourth studio album Time Flies. Her first album in four years since 2016's Wild Things, Time Flies is a shift away from Ladyhawke's more pop rock sound, and a return to her 80's synth pop roots.
Read More...
Graham Candy - EP Review: Keep On Smiling
09 Nov 2021 // by Madeleine Howard
If you’re looking for the perfect sound track to summer, Graham Candy has got you covered with his latest release, EP Keep On Smiling, released on October 22nd. After relocating to Berlin to begin his music career, New Zealand born Graham Candy has enjoyed success collaborating with popular German DJ Alle Farben on the international hit She Moves.
Read More...
SKRAM - Single Review: Freaking Me Out
10 Sep 2021 // by Madeleine Howard
Wellington based pop trio SKRAM released their debut single Freaking Me Out today, September 10th. Just in time for the warmer weather, the track is a fresh, uplifting pop tune, sure to be a crowd favourite this summer.
Read More...
Jaz Paterson - Single Review: Lonely
02 Sep 2021 // by Madeleine Howard
Alternative Singer-Songwriter Jaz Paterson released her debut single Lonely on the 13th of August. Produced by Will McGillivray (nomad, There’s A Tuesday, Bexy) and mastered by Kamandi, Lonely is the first of three singles to be released from Jaz’s anticipated debut EP Ache, set to be released in November.
Read More...
View All Articles By Madeleine Howard

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • FIRST CLASS
    Jack Harlow
  • N95
    Kendrick Lamar
  • AS IT WAS
    Harry Styles
  • ABOUT DAMN TIME
    Lizzo
  • GO (GODDARD. REMIX)
    Cat Burns
  • DIE HARD
    Kendrick Lamar feat. Blxst And Amanda Reifer
  • UNITED IN GRIEF
    Kendrick Lamar
  • FATHER TIME
    Kendrick Lamar feat. Sampha
  • COLD HEART (PNAU REMIX)
    Elton John And Dua Lipa
  • HEAT WAVES
    Glass Animals
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