2 Oct 2022

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Arjuna Oakes - EP Review: First Nights

07 Oct 2021 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo

Arjuna Oakes & Serebii have just released their collaborative EP, First Nights. Arjuna Oakes is a singer-songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist. The artist is also an award-winner of The Arts Foundation Springboard, and received a lot of recommendation and praise from his journey with this team of people. Co-producing partner Serebii, AKA Callum Mower, have teamed up to create this deluxe EP; full of intricate sound work, and heated soft tempos. It’s a perfect choice for a bit of housework, study or focused me-time; an album you can really cater to any setting and enjoy. Arjuna Oakes has an array of musical talent, and he brings to us a new form of “sonic language.” The album brings many elements of meditative and energy, while still being jazzy, worldly, soulful and intriguing. 

Holding Cell (feat. Mo Etc.) is the first track of the EP. It’s an unwind into a blissful, spacey hip hop groove, with a head-bopping beat. Glittery layers wrap the song in smooth production, while the vocals soothe the listener. 

The second track, Reset, opens with a ticking groove, luscious keys and layers of chimes and shakes that enliven the groove. Every instrument has its own place in the track, flooding the sound with very calculated movements. The skill of piecing it all together in this track is quite profound. You can hear waves and soundscapes that encapsulate the beat, and really send you off in a drift. 

The third track, Satellites, has a bit more funk and bass that sets your shoulders in sway. The vocals here are impressively captivating and raspy. They complement the band really well, and bring movement.

The fourth track, Tangello, is a short track at 0:55. The song fills space and time beautifully with some crafty production, looped well around a sinking beat. The band knows how to create an auditory illusion very well, mimicking very natural sounds you’d soon find in a forest or desert. 

The fifth track, Even When You’re Gone, has a very talented live session music video that has been released; viewable here! Delicate droplets and a pacifying beat open this track with beautiful, oscillating woodwind instruments. The voice of Arjuna Oakes is soft yet profound, it conditions the song impressively well, and keeps the earthly feel of his music. String instruments and vocal layers build up and descend with precision, met by a wave-like and ricocheting groove. You can hear scores of genres in this song with great production, not to mention a team of dexterous musicians. 

The last track, First Nights, opens with soft keys and the delicate voice of Arjuna. It sends the album into a gentle sway, with loving lyricism. He hits some impressively high notes, while proclaiming his adoration for a human he’s lucky to hold. It's a definite song of tenderness and encapsulates the album brilliantly!

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Arjuna Oakes

Arjuna Oakes is a 20-year-old singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer from Auckland, New Zealand. Currently based in Wellington, despite his young age, Arjuna has already been performing for over 14 years.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Arjuna Oakes


First Nights
Year: 2021
Type: EP
Recovery Pt. 1
Year: 2020
Type: EP
The Watcher
Year: 2019
Type: EP
Turn The Tide
Year: 2017
Type: EP

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