24 May 2024

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

James Constable - Album Review: Interesting Times

20 Jul 2023 // A review by madeleinehoward
Otautahi indie singer-songwriter James Constable released his second album Interesting Times on the 16th of June.

This ten track album follows on from the 19 years old’s debut Tui, which I had the pleasure of reviewing when it was released in 2021. I was eager to see how James' follow up album compared to his debut.

Interesting Times is a collection of upbeat tunes, paired with darker, moodier tones. James stays true to his jangle pop roots, but there is a definite edge and strong Kiwi music influence to this collection of songs compared with Tui. His vocals have notably improved too, having grown in strength since 2021, with James showing off his range more so that he did on Tui. Looking back at my previous comments in my last review, I mentioned how it would be great to hear more of James' higher register, and that he’s at his best when he belts. While I still felt that Interesting Times could’ve had more of those moments, the album is still just as impressive as its predecessor.

Highlights of the album are, naturally, when James shows us what he can do vocally. Lead single and second track I Want To Save Someone has a triumphant end to it with James belting out the final notes in the outro. Asylum Kitty has hints of this too, as does album closer You’ve Flown Too Close To The Sun, which is the perfect conclusion to the album. Camera features a catchy guitar riff and use of an EBow, as well as melodic repetition that ensures the track stays with you long after the first listen. Other standouts include uplifting album opener Our Song and the darker Keep An Eye On Cadence, which features a beautiful string instrumental.

Overall, it’s great to see how James has grown as an artist in the last couple of years. While still young, James has a long career in music in front of him. I do hope he continues to lean into his higher register, as his voice really shines when he showcases it. I look forward to hearing many more albums from James.


About James Constable

James Constable is an indie singer/songwriter from New Zealand. He is that introverted nerd in the back of the room, who, by blending the music of old with the mindset of today, hopes to create songs that help give people a sense of place in the world.

James has made a bit of a splash in the local music scene over the past year and a half, having gone from playing small open mics, to playing large events such as the North Canterbury Wine And Food Festival, alongside the likes of Anika Moa. His EP Sunshine Over Britain, has gained upwards of 500 streams on Spotify, and it’s lead single Out From Under Water received almost 1000 views on YouTube alone, and many more on Facebook and Spotify. He has also received music awards on the national stage, being selected as the winner of the Hookline and Singalong songwriting competition (run by the New Zealand Music Commission) in 2018, as well as being a finalist in the Lions Songwriting Competition the year before.

James’ music is influenced by a variety of artists, ranging from the clean 60's pop of the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and the Byrds, to the grittier, but just as jangly 80's and 90's alternative rock scene, including The Chills, REM, The Mutton Birds, and, most of all, the Smiths. By walking a fine line between old-time nostalgia and modern pop sensibility, he is sure to bring something to the table for everyone to enjoy.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for James Constable


Interesting Times
Year: 2023
Type: Album
Year: 2021
Type: Album
Sunshine Over Britain
Year: 2019
Type: EP
The World Is Not Enough
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Danielle's Giraffe
Year: 2018
Type: EP
Someone's Out There
Year: 2018
Type: Album

Other Reviews By madeleinehoward

Steffany Beck - EP Review: Pillars
11 Apr 2024 // by madeleinehoward
Otautahi based country pop singer-songwriter Steffany Beck is back with her EP Pillars, out today, 12th April, 2024. Her latest body of work since 2019’s Blue Eyed Girl, Beck has spent the last few years working hard, honing her craft and making waves in the Christchurch music scene.
Speech Act Theory - EP Review: Speech Act Theory
18 Oct 2023 // by madeleinehoward
Auckland based alt-electronica project Speech Act Theory released their debut self-titled EP on the 29th of September. Founded in 2019, Speech Act Theory is the brain child of multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Pete Hickman.
Citris iNK - Single Review: Last Night Replay
27 Jun 2023 // by madeleinehoward
RnB, Neo-soul duo Citris iNK released their second single Last Night Replay on the 9th of June.The duo comprises of Auckland born multi-instrumentalist Nick Taylor and South African singer-songwriter Kristin Paulse.
The Flow Collective - Single Review: Final Whistle
25 May 2023 // by madeleinehoward
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.
Phoebe Vic - EP Review: Strange Rituals
05 May 2023 // by madeleinehoward
Otautahi pop artist Phoebe Vic launches her EP Strange Rituals today, 5th May. The follow up project to her 2015 EP Hunter, Strange Rituals sees Phoebe Vic come into her own with a quartet of highly polished electro pop tunes.
tei. - Single Review: Primal
02 May 2023 // by madeleinehoward
Tamaki Makaurau alternative RnB artist tei. released her new single Primal on the 21st of April.
Valere - Single/Video Review: Stuck In My Head
29 Mar 2023 // by madeleinehoward
Otautahi bedroom pop artist Valere released her latest single Stuck in My Head on the 16th of March.An International Songwriting Competition semi-finalist and APRA Songhubs Sphere alum, Valere's debut album Colours, released in 2020, gained her air play on ZM, Base FM and Spotify playlists such as The Local List NZ.
Eve Kelly - Single Review: Mr Big Shot
10 Mar 2023 // by madeleinehoward
Whakatane based singer-songwriter (Eve Kelly) released her single Mr Big Shot on February 24th.Following on from her previous singles Gotta Let Go and Dance With Me, both released in the final months of 2022, Mr Big Shot adds another layer to this up and coming artist's repertoire, proving that Eve has a talent for writing songs that are a blend of genres, including funk, RnB, gospel, and adult contemporary.
View All Articles By madeleinehoward

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Tommy Richman
    Kendrick Lamar
    Billie Eilish
    Post Malone feat. Morgan Wallen
    Billie Eilish
    Sabrina Carpenter
    Billie Eilish
    Billie Eilish
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem