22 Feb 2024

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

Greta O'Leary - Single Review: Outnumbered

24 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

Outnumbered is the debut single from Poneke alt-folk artist Greta O’Leary, and from the first delicate picked notes on guitar, violin and double bass, the listener is being brought into an incredibly atmospheric world. Her voice belies her age, as one can never believe that anyone as young as this could have suffered the pain this voice brings us. Over time a few more instruments are added to the mix, but it is always her voice at the heart of everything, the dark light in the cave, with everything else crushing around but not daring to get into the glimmer, no matter how dim it is. I was trying hard to think who she reminded me of, and the closest I could get to was Patti Smith, but that was still wrong, and then while reading her bio I saw a name I hadn’t thought of in years, Vashti Bunyan, and it all fell into place. For those who have never heard of Vashti, she released an album in 1970, Just Another Diamond Day, which was recorded with the assistance of Simon Nicol and Dave Swarbrick (both Fairport Convention) and Robin Williamson (The Incredible String Band). It sold so poorly that she dropped out of the music business altogether for more than 30 years, yet it is still an incredible album (I am almost ashamed to admit I only have it on CD, but the original vinyl is a collector’s item).

Vashti has since been hailed as the godmother of freak folk, and that is a great description for this single as it is acoustic, with a free-thinking aesthetic and a refusal to conform. Greta’s voice is multi-dimensional and is something of an acquired taste in that there is a great deal going on, and sometimes she can even seem to be slightly off key, however, this is part of the attraction and it combines to provide additional depth and emotion to the proceedings. I really wasn’t too sure the very first time I played this, as even though I play a great deal of folk, this does not sound like anyone else I have heard recently, and it took some time for my ears to become accustomed to the song. Consequently, I cannot imagine this getting much airplay in a time when music is disposable and only fit for the background (or at least that’s what most people seem to think). But for those prepared to actually listen, this is a truly deep emotional and atmospheric performance, and I am keen to hear the EP she is promising for later this year as I am sure that will be a real treat.
Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Greta O'Leary

Spook-folk Sweetheart Greta O’Leary is a songwriter and musician whose pervasive yet spacious sound cuts through the thickest of skins. Poignant, heartbreaking, and occasionally absurd, O’Leary seizes us with her dynamic voice, bending the folk-genre to another plane. Think Angel Olsen meets Vashti Bunyan.

Coming of age during a few nomadic years hitching the globe, Greta’s lifelong love of music was ignited through the folk scenes of Australia and beyond, a contrast to her childhood home of blues and rock and roll. O’Leary began publicly releasing in early 2022, her first single Outnumbered charted on independent radio stations such as BFM, RDU, Radio One and Radio Control, and gained 140,000 views for its self directed music video.

"Writing and feeling is truly all that has ever made sense to me”. Currently being mentored by producer/musician Tom Healy (Tiny Ruins, Marlon Williams), receiving NZ on Air development funding and previous mentorships from the inimitable Liz Stokes (The Beths), Frances Dickenson (Establish Music) and Aston Rd, it is clear this is a fact.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Greta O'Leary


Treasure Horse
Year: 2022
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

Gig Review: Crushfest @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 07/07/2023
07 Jul 2023 // by Kev Rowland
So it was down to Tuning Fork for the first night of the second Crushfest festival. Tonight was going to be Wellington and Auckland bands, and then some of the same will be playing at the second night in Wellington next month.
Rain - Single Review: Love and War
15 Jun 2023 // by Kev Rowland
It has been quite a while since I last heard from Wellington-based singer songwriter Cathy Elizabeth, and back then Rain was seen solely as a studio project with Cathy being accompanied by Thomas Te Taite, who provided all the instrumentation including digital drums. Now they are a full band who have been performing live, and it is the first time they have recorded as such, with Thomas now, just providing acoustic guitar (plus engineering and producing etc.
Lost Vessels - Single Review: All This Time
01 Jun 2023 // by Kev Rowland
I must admit I was not that impressed when I first saw Lost Vessels play at Crushfest, something they later admitted to me was the worst gig of their career, but since then they have improved in leaps and bounds. This has been noticed by others on the Auckland circuit as they are getting more opportunities with better support slots, and I was not at all surprised when they won the Ding Dong Lounge Battle Of The Bands in November last year.
Unwanted Subject - Single Review: Sons of Savages
28 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
I have caught Unwanted Subject in concert a few times over the last couple of years, and while they have been getting better each time I have seen them, I must admit that nothing prepared me for this, which right from the off is a monster. I have never heard them quite this is aggressive, nor as polished, and this multi-sectioned single sounds almost like a different band as they have pushed their metal roots to the max in this metalcore beast which sees them mixing and blending different genres to create something quite special.
Gig Review: Stray Dogs @ AUX, Auckland - 26/05/2023
28 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
So it was back to Ding Dong Lounge on a Friday night for one of their infamous Emo nights, which tonight was a three-band bill with Stray Dogs having an extended set, supported by Altaea and then up first we had Blindr, a band new to me. Blindr are a quartet featuring Bill Caldwell (vocals, guitar), Blake Woodfield (lead guitar), Jack Power (bass), and Charlie McCracken (drums).
Gig Review: Turkey The Bird @ The Ministry of Folk, Auckland - 27/05/2023
27 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Back up to Auckland Guide Centre in Mount Eden tonight for my second consecutive gig (Sol suggested it was a turkey sandwich as I am at Vader tomorrow) to see Taranaki’s finest, Turkey The Bird at The Ministry of Folk. Before that we of course had Hoop, who are Al Baxter (vocals, guitar, harmonica, banjo, mandolin), Nick Edgar (vocals, guitar, ukulele, flute, harmonica), Emily Allen (violin, viola), Glenn Coldham (bass) while tonight Gary Hunt was filling in for drummer Rusty Knox.
This Silent Divide - Single Review: Beautiful Creature
25 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from Wellington-based melodic hard rock quartet This Silent Divide, entitled Beautiful Creature. I really enjoyed their Tall Stories EP, and they played a great gig at Dead Witch towards the end of last year, and this would have been recorded at about the same time.
Gig Review: Emily Rice @ Your Local Coffee Roasters, Pukekohe - 24/05/2023
24 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Earlier this week I had a message from Emily Rice asking me if I lived in South Auckland. When I responded I did, she asked if I would be interested in coming along to an event she was putting on in a coffee shop in Pukekohe to celebrate the release of her new single, Warenoa.
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

NZ Top 10 Singles

    YG Marley
    Benson Boone
    Noah Kahan
    Jack Harlow
    Teddy Swims
    Tate McRae
    Taylor Swift
    Kanye West And Ty Dolla $ign
    Sophie Ellis-Bextor
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