8 Dec 2022
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SOJØURN - EP Review: Mystic Ways

17 Mar 2022 // A review by Harry Platt
Surf, Sun, Sojøurn. If it isn’t a catchphrase of a quintessential Kiwi summer, then it will be soon. The Mangawhai 6-piece make their claim as mainstay practitioners of the “Kiwi summer soundtrack” with their 6-track EP Mystic Ways. Essential ingredients: Thick bass, groove-infused drums, bright guitars, the air of reggae radiating from within. Extra ingredients for extra flavour: Saxophone. Yowzah.

Opening track Birdsong' is a relaxed delight. Easing you into the indie-psych-surf rock extravaganza to come. The hefty fat bass groove keeps things steady while the beautiful saxophone solo adds gravitas to what is an emotionally laden song. Track number 2, Waiting, is where the EP is turned up a gear. A proper seasonal groover that certainly won’t be afraid of inducing moves on the dancefloor. The previously released single More moves things along with its well defined reggae rhythm, before it cools down with the soul-infused Passing By. A truly fantastic song that proves the band has moody sensibilities beyond the well-trodden territory of many of their contemporaries. It’s great hearing artists being patient and letting their songs build properly. The outro to Passing By is most certainly the EP’s high point. Penultimate track, the unashamed summer anthem Chasing Sunsets returns to the boppy energy of its sibling Waiting which is followed by the title track. Mystic Ways brings the groovy moodiness to the fold, but in a way that I almost half expect Jim Morrison to croon hauntingly over the top.

Production is to the point. Nothing too clever, no whizbang modern trickery. The perfectly balanced sound stage just sounds good. Capturing the essence of what is undoubtedly a great live band. Punch it through some good cans or woofers and you’ll be treated for sure.

Sojøurn had their work cut out for them with Mystic Ways. It could’ve been easy to fall foul of the tropes of Aotearoa’s iconic obsession with reggae and dub infused indie rock, but the 6 piece have shown their craft and musicianship is full of many colours. While the EP has all you need for summer live concerts, it’s the gentle moments that prove Sojøurn are up there with the best of them. What did I say again? Surf, Sun, Sojøurn… Summer sorted.
Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About SOJØURN

SOJØURN are a 6-piece surf rock reggae band hailing from the sun & surf drenched town of Mangawhai Heads, NZ. The band have been blitzing shows across Aotearoa, bringing their surf-psych-reggae vibes since 2019. The band's first single was Follow Me is ode to good times (& good smoke)...

The highly regarded Summer Tape EP landed them in some hot hands, pricking up the ears of curators and fans alike. Still A Mess continues to be the bands #1 streaming success. The band then released Stand Up (2020) - a more dubby, fast paced number acknowledging the bands east coast roots. Stand Up was followed in quick succession by singles Saturday Sipping and How It Grows.

After a massive summer touring across NZ's North Island, including performances at Bay Dreams and shows with the likes of Mako Road, the band headed back to Mangawhai HQ (2021) and recorded the highly anticipated Mystic Ways EP. Mystic Ways marks a giant leap forward for the emerging group who have fast become an essential band on the NZ scene.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for SOJØURN

Releases

Mystic Ways
Year: 2022
Type: EP

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