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The Flow Collective - Single Review: Final Whistle

25 May 2023 // A review by Madeleine Howard

Whanganui based band The Flow Collective launch their latest single Final Whistle today, Friday 26th May.

The group released their debut album Flow last year, a collection of compositions by lead vocalist and pianist Elizabeth de Vegt, with lyrics taken from the poems of Airini Beautrais' collection Flow: Whanganui River Poems. Final Whistle was recorded for the album but didn't quite make the cut. Regardless, it is a stand out track that is dramatic, exciting, and haunting all in one.

The track begins with a twinkling piano melody that is almost like something you'd hear from a wind up music box. Nostalgic, yet with a sense of eeriness. Elizabeth's vocals come in and immediately I find myself listening intently. Her voice is commanding and clear, with the emotion in her words prominent throughout the track.

The song gains momentum when drums come into the picture, and as more instrumentation comes in things start to get exciting. The feature of taonga puoro (traditional Maori musical instruments) adds a haunting element as well as a sense of familiarity in the unmistakeable Kiwi sound, while electric guitar adds a dramatic effect, adding to the spectacle of the song. This mix of old and new instrumentation (taonga puoro and electric instruments) make for an interesting combination, but somehow it works.

It's clear that Final Whistle may not have quite fit with the overall sound of the groups album, with those tracks having more of a singer-songwriter style to them. This track, however, is like something written for a film score, bursting with emotion. It may be five and a half minutes long but the track doesn't drag, and had me hooked from start to finish. Strong musicianship and songwriting is on display here, and I imagine hearing the song live would be an incredible experience, hopefully one I get to witness someday.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About The Flow Collective

Flow: Beautrais x de Vegt is an album and show that celebrates the Whanganui River and the stories of its people. It is made up of fifteen original compositions by Elizabeth de Vegt using poems from Airini Beautrais’ collection Flow: Whanganui River Poems (VUP2017) as lyrical inspiration. The compositions celebrate traditional and contemporary musical forms, including jazz, working songs, sea shanties, folk, country and pop. More importantly, this unique creative collaboration, elevates the stories at its core ensuring they continue to be shared and remembered.

Flow was recorded live, in the historic Royal Whanganui Opera House in early January 2022 with accompanists Andrew Wetherall, Hamish Jellyman, Brad McMillan and Elise Goodge.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Flow Collective


Year: 2022
Type: Album

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