29 Jun 2022
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Mousey - Gig Review: Mousey @ Meow, Wellington - 7/04/2022

08 Apr 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant

It’s the first truly cold night of the year as Mousey and her band fill out Wellington’s Meow. The venue’s eclectic vibe, covered in bookshelves, clocks and colourful walls, perfectly match the energy of the two indie acts of the evening, and the room buzzes with anticipation from many devoted, excitable fans. It's clear they're in for a treat.

Mitch Zachry opens the evening with a selection of songs from his 2021 EP, Heartflower, accompanied by a three-piece band. Although he initially seems nervous, Zachry and his band quickly get into a solid groove. They work tightly together on their flowing setlist, weaving numbers together through switching beats and glossy instrumentals. Introducing a saxophone mid-set adds a soulful, buttery extra element to the sound. Zachry’s lyrical taste for nature imagery, like flowers, butterflies and sunshine, makes his performance remarkably cohesive. An impressive acoustic guitar solo sends off a chrysalis is a give and take, alongside a moody, deep vocal outro, reminiscent of King Krule with a jazzier sensibility. Zachry finishes his set solo with love leans closer. It’s a performance that leaves the audience open-mouthed in wonder, showcasing his incredible, impassioned musicianship above all else. 

As soon as Otautahi’s Mousey takes the stage, the audience falls completely silent, for the captivating introductory number My Friends. What’s immediately striking about Mousey is her vocal dexterity and purposefulness. Every choice she makes is deliberate, toying with dynamics and emotion, drawing every set of eyes to her. Although she puts on a show of losing herself to the music in this first song, she quickly breaks character into a smile so big, it’s abundantly clear how much she loves being on stage. Performances of her singles The Bench and One Dollar Wednesdays buzz with excitement. Each song feels lived in, an element which makes all the more sense when Mousey explains the band performing tonight also played on the album My Friends' recording. 

A laidback, slower version of Mousey’s self-proclaimed “one hit wonder” Extreme Highs highlights strong interplay between the band’s acoustic and electric guitars. Dynamic masterwork Pudding and Pie starts gentle and moving, then becomes explosive in the song’s middle, with an intense guitar solo made all the more astounding thanks to fantastic lighting aligned exactly to each song. It’s clear that every player in tonight's performance, both on and off stage, deeply feels their work. Emotional ballads My Hands are Made of Glass and If You Really Loved Me emphasise whining guitars, steady bass, pulsing drums and an astoundingly controlled vocal from Mousey, which leaves the audience pausing at the song’s end for what seems like an age. These are songs so engaging that they require some real processing. When Mousey loses herself in their emotion, appearing on the verge of tears, the raw emotion sends chills down your spine.

Lightening the mood with full-band closer Wait for Me, Mousey returns for an encore alone, an unreleased track by the name I Don’t Know How You Sleep At Night. Whilst the song’s title sounds like an angry relationship kiss-off, certain lyrics indicate an even rawer meaning, leaving the night on the haunting repeated line “you were so far from right”. 

There is an immeasurable weight that comes with going to a Mousey show. Her writing already cuts to the bone in its studio versions, but in a live setting, you walk away somehow heavier and lighter at the same time. Undoubtedly, she is one of Aotearoa’s best current performers, who will leave you deep in thought long after stepping off the stage.


Photos of Mousey's Auckland shows were taken at Tuning Fork on 8 April 2022.
Photo Credit: Chris Zwaagdyk / Zed Pics.

 

About Mousey

Mousey is a NZ based musician and songwriter. She was nominated for the APRA Silver Scroll award in 2019 for her first ever single Extreme Highs.




Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Mousey

Releases

My Friends
Year: 2022
Type: Album

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