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  • Jazmine Mary - Gig Review: Jazmine Mary w/ Vera Ellen @ Wunderbar, Lyttelton - 15/07/2023

Jazmine Mary - Gig Review: Jazmine Mary w/ Vera Ellen @ Wunderbar, Lyttelton - 15/07/2023

17 Jul 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus

Lyttelton's Wunderbar was a wonderful setting for this show, my friends and I luckily there early enough to get good seats in the intimate, candle-lit warmth. I don't know if it was sold out or not, but it must have been pretty close, there was a decent crowd there to see Jazmine Mary and their band. They have been touring the country promoting their sophomore album Dog, released June 2nd. 

This tour has seen a selection of support acts, and this was one of the occasions to feature the simply magnificent Vera Ellen. One of the reasons I started reviewing was to start listening to music that I wouldn't necessarily be exposed to, and Vera Ellen is one of the many new artists (for me) that have made that decision so worthwhile. I adore NZ artists who proudly sing in their Kiwi accent, and Vera's superb vocal stylings are no exception. Thoughtful and dynamic guitar parts provided a perfect backing for the vocals. Confident in delivery, sometimes soft and plaintive, sometimes snarling with attitude, Vera brought the goods in her short set. New album Ideal Home Noise is currently providing ideal noise in my home.

After a short intermission, the sartorially splendid band of Jazmine Mary took up residence on the stage. A lush layering of keys provided an introduction to the set, building atmosphere before Jazmine strode through the audience, resplendent in a long, white dress. They have a spell-binding stage presence, subdued and thoughtful whilst also strong and commanding. Jazmine has a unique voice, ranging from low rich notes to sweet highs. For me, though, what truly sets them apart as a vocalist is their obviously deep knowledge of their own voice, combined with the boldness to use that voice as an instrument in its own right. Jazmine is an artist who seems to not just sing, but seeks to create. Their voice at times softly singing, at other times more a huge, soulful sound designed to paint a picture.

At around the halfway point of the set, they left their band jamming onstage whilst they disappeared, to return in a black bodysuit and high-heeled boots, a stark contrast to the almost puritan cut of the white dress. Another change at the end of the set saw them delivering the final songs in a loose-fitting suit. I do love a show where the artist has put thought into more than just the music, in this instance perhaps showcasing different aspects of their personality.

We were treated to a number of tracks from Dog, I'm listening to it as I write and I recognize more than half of the songs. Rodeo, on the passing of a dear friend, having a particular poignancy and power for me. Jazmine Mary is an artist of uncommon ability and unique beauty, and they create songs of deep emotion and atmosphere. It was a privilege and a pleasure to see this show.


About Jazmine Mary

Their surreal rose-tinted sounds allow listeners to be transported somewhere bold and watery. Debut album The Licking of a Tangerine was recorded in late 2021 at Auckland’s Roundhead Studios with bandmates Courtney Rodgers, Peter Ruddell (Wax Chattels, Sulfate) and Dave Kahn (Marlon Williams, Reb Fountain) The first single Dancer was widely loved. It charted in the NZ Official music charts and was announced number 10 at the Student Radio Network awards for 2021.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Jazmine Mary


Year: 2023
Type: Album
The Licking of a Tangerine
Year: 2021
Type: Album
Kissing Girls In The Temple
Year: 2018
Type: EP

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