9 Jun 2023

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Ariana Tikao - Single Review: Fly You Home

27 May 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant

Ariana Tikao’s Fly You Home is a beautiful track devoted to “indigenous solidarity” across the nation. Produced by Brooke Singer and Ben Lemi of French for Rabbits, the track is dreamy and gentle, offering a true sense of tranquility amongst the stress and sound of current times.

Fly You Home opens subtly and restrained, with soft, delicate keys, soothing bass and relaxed drums. Tikao’s smooth vocal welcomes in a lyrical search for community, particularly relating to the Covid-19 pandemic as the world finds itself “out of control”, and Tikao seeks for her friend and the song’s muse, Dovie Thomason. The chorus presents a striking image of a bird “lying prone”, awaiting its chance to fly home once more. Fragile backing vocals craft this sense of family strongly. Excitingly, the song mixes English and Te Reo, giving it a stunning flair and intense expressiveness which one language could not achieve alone.

Tikao’s friendship to Dovie shimmers with a stunning intensity on Fly You Home, a peaceful, ethereal ode to friends and whanau in difficult times. If Tikao is right and “we become the tales we’re told”, Fly You Home is a beautiful Waiata to find one’s identity within.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Ariana Tikao

Ariana Tikao is a singer, composer, leading player of taonga puoro (Maori instruments) and New Zealand Arts Laureate. She writes waiata exploring themes relating to her Kai Tahu identity and mana wahine, often drawing upon historical korero from her ancestors. She has three critically acclaimed solo albums, performs with the art music quartet Tararua, and runs the independent label Oro Records NZ with Alistair Fraser and Ruby Solly. She also collaborates regularly with other artists such as Louise Potiki Bryant and Paddy Free and their current work Te Taki o Te Ua is scheduled for a Maori Moving Image exhibition at The Christchurch Art Gallery, Te Puna o Waiwhetu in June 2022.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Ariana Tikao


Bird Like Men (Tararua)
Year: 2021
Type: Album
From Dust To Light
Year: 2012
Type: Album

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