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Danica Bryant - Gig Review: Danica Bryant + Band @ Moon, Wellington - 10/09/2023

11 Sep 2023 // A review by Sharne Molloy-Turpin
Sunday evening was gritty and thundering despite the great weather. After pulling the front door of the Moon bar in Newtown, Wellington, I get a warm lilac smile from artist Danica Bryant and a sweet “Thank you for coming!” After reciprocating the greeting, I grabbed a seat and notice the painting of a posing lady in an astronaut suit. I immediately sensed the interstellar magic of the venue. The blue and purple lights that were hitting the stage seemed very fitting.

This has been the second time I’ve seen Danica perform, and the recognisable power she holds on stage with a blustering energy didn’t disappoint. Danica Bryant brings elements of pop, rock and a little bit of folk to her music. Under The Radar has said Danica is “Deliciously sweet yet shockingly bitter” and I agree. She has jumped her way around New Zealand for her Astrology tour in celebration of the release of her newest single Libra.

GRIM! was the spectacle opener for us. She had a gleaming high ponytail and wearing black on black. Most notably, GRIM! performed a feathery acoustic cover of Billy Jean and Crazy by Gnarls Barkley. The Wellington-based artist was so gentle and honest on stage that it was a suitable fit for the music to come. Then she passed the microphone over to Danica. Danica and her bandmates, Tyler Blythe (drums) and Nat Bennett (bass) revealed they can work together effortlessly. I remember Danica sang with earnest lyrics that had piercing messages. A key example is her song Crush, which she howled to the crowd after giving context about what the song was about. She explains it's about the truth of what it’s like being a woman in the music industry. It is a rare and important topic that should be talked about more. Maybe it was the close friends in the crowd supporting her, but Danica brought the power this song deserves once again.

Amongst Crush, additional songs were performed from Danica’s EP Ego Death, including Tunnel of Love and Hang on Over. Ego Death reflects how great it is when an artist merges genres to show their capacity to be multifaceted. In this case, it was elements of pop, rock and folk. We also got an acoustic version of the hyperpop song called Apologise which Danica collaborated with another New Zealand artist called Boy Virgo. It was enjoyable to compare the different versions of the song and see how they are vibrant in two different ways. Furthermore, Danica’s song Libra was what this tour was about. This emphatic folk-pop song is set to be released on September 15th. It not only reflected Danica's passion for performing but also her capacity to fabricate complex and honest lyrics.

What more is there to say about Danica and her band besides that you should listen to them if it interests you. It's nice to see another New Zealand female artist so eager to share her music and be surrounded by fans who care about her.

 

About Danica Bryant

“Deliciously sweet yet shockingly bitter” (Under The Radar), Danica Bryant is no ordinary songwriter. A pop-folk musician with a gritty rock edge, her songs sink their teeth into intense topics from celebrity culture and mental health, to gender dynamics and body possession. “All hard guitar and pain-filled howl” (The Hook NZ), this woman bites back.

Bryant’s career boasts national accolades from Smokefree Rockquest and Play It Strange, mentorship with Kiwi legend Bic Runga, and a support slot for Elton John on his 'Farewell Yellow Brick Road' tour. Her 2020 debut EP Cider landed her a placement in APRA’s prestigious Songhubs course, whilst follow-up singles Heart Eyes and Ready to Bite saw her introduction to the NZ Hot Singles Chart.

With her 2022 sophomore EP Ego Death, Danica Bryant delivers bombastic pop production with lyrical force and an attitude like no other. “Venomous” yet “passionate” (Ambient Light), “cynical but emotional” (NZ Musician), it is clear Danica Bryant’s inventive sound, personal lyrics, and rich vocals make her a treat for every season.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Danica Bryant

Releases

Ego Death
Year: 2022
Type: EP
Cider
Year: 2020
Type: EP

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