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1 Drop Nation - Album Review: Moment In Time

12 Oct 2023 // A review by Sharne Molloy-Turpin

The sophomore album Moment In Time is wrapped in a groovy haze as one of Aotearoa’s stellar talents, 1 Drop Nation, went further with their latest album which is electrically robust. This album arrived just after the band's self-titled debut album came out at the end of 2022. 1 Drop Nation was created in Otautahi (Christchurch) and is a fusion of funk, roots, reggae, pop, rock, R&B and groove. The band has a lot to show for themselves including being placed in the Hot 20 NZ Singles chart this year having a sold-out home show and performing at Electric Avenue and Otautahi 4 Aotearoa. The stand-out single Play It Loud is the first track and is followed by an astonishing 12 other songs.

There is an impressive number of members behind 1 Drop Nation who are Derin Thompson, who is on keyboard and backing vocals, Paerau Hemopo on guitar, Burke Goffe who is also on guitar, Marc Hansen on drums, Dru Sione on bass and backing vocals, and Kanei Johnson is their lead vocalist. There's a substantial amount of time and effort spent at Surgery Studios with Dr Lee Prebble to curate this album. I believe each song has a true heartbeat to them.

Play It Loud is the single that starts the album off which draws us in with Hansen’s fierce drums. These drums emphasize this song's minimal yet meticulously curated lyrics. Each drumbeat is prominent to work in coordination with each word. There becomes something literal when we hear the lyrics “Play it Loud”. Following the first single is Anything With You. This track surprised me with a tempo change in a great way. I imagine it being a good song to play while a slow-dancing song in a kitchen as It talks about romance as a pure emotion of being special. Also, it speaks about when you jump into a new love again, it is truly frightening. The lyrics are gentle and say with earnestness what this emotion feels like with refined words.

Further, a lot of the songs are like a spoken word story or a trail of thought. For example, VIP sounds like a poem declaring affection and only thinking about one person. I noticed the base guitar is utilized the most and Johnson holds a fantastic high note towards the end of the song which shows aptitude from him. 1 Drop Nation seemed to be inspired by Daft Punk with a similar electronic rock sound. This is evident as you can hear the low-pitch-toned guitar and classic rock cords. Most notably with the song Moment In Time which gave the album its name.

Further, the song Demons is interesting as it gradually builds a hypnotic electronic sound at the beginning and slides into a reggae-style sound. While with optimistic lyrics, in a way it’s validating some form of self-worth. I’m Home was the most comforting and relatable song to me because as someone who was born and raised in Aotearoa, it sounds like an anthem. I did feel that there was an opportunity for the lyrics to go further with visual details, but it does creatively make you feel solace with the narrator as he sings about Aotearoa as his homeland. The strength in Johnson’s vocals fit perfectly for the song. Then Big Sima’s rapping in Hold On provides the bridge between rap and reggae and unifies styles in the song. A lot of the songs like Ready To Go (Which features Loveta) have narrative-heavy lyrics. This shows a flair that 1 Drop Nation as a band enjoys pursuing and successfully does so. I would further describe Ready To Go as sounding like the champagne bubbles at a jazz club.

I was particularly surprised that Just Out of Reach was chosen to be the finishing song for the album however it shows emotional depth and a relaxing guitar riff to let the album come to an end. Moment In Time by 1 Drop Nation shows how Aotearoa’s musicians and bands can grow to be multifaceted in styles and go beyond just the set conventions of genres. The band itself have earned a respectable place in Aotearoa’s music scene and therefore worth keeping up with.

 

About 1 Drop Nation

Hailing from the shaky city of Christchurch, 1 Drop Nation are back and ready to take on the scene after some time away. Their unique blend of Roots/Rock/Funk & Reggae will have you feeling all sorts of good.

1 Drop Nation offers a mix of sound that brings a Fresh vibe to the music scene in Aotearoa. They have played some amazing festivals, completed a national tour, and supported some of NZ's finest acts.

The boys have been hard at it in the Studio working the amazing Dr Lee Prebble and have a new album planned for later in 2023.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for 1 Drop Nation

Releases

1 Drop Nation
Year: 2022
Type: Album

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