JAZMINE MARY — PHOTO BY JIM TANNOCK / WORDS & CURATION BY CARLA CAMILLERI / LOGO BY ZOE HANNAY
JAZMINE MARY — 'SEAGULL'
Tāmaki Makaurau-based songbird Jazmine Mary, winner of the Best Independent Debut Award at 2022's Taite Music Awards for their fantastic album Licking Of A Tangerine, has returned with what feels like one of their most salient songs to date. 'Seagull', accompanied by an equally-as-striking visual accompaniment bathed in monochromatic silhouettes, is directed by Jazmine themselves alongside Annabel Kean and movement director Kyah Dove, and explores poses and flair set poignantly against the song's very front-lipped lyricism. "To hate the seagull is to hate what you created", knocking human hypocrisy on the head whilst staring down the barrel of the camera with command. We love new music from Jazmine. And guess what? There's an album on the way, and it's called Dog — coming June 2.
More good news? Jazmine Mary has also just announced their album release tour of Aotearoa, visiting towns and cities all across the motu this July. Find your tickets HERE.
You can listen to Jazmine Mary's new song via their Bandcamp HERE.
VIOLET HIRST — 'DESCENDING SONG'
Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland, by way of Tāhuna/Queenstown musician and songwriter Violet Hirst (who you may recognise as the champ writer behind our In Conversation interview series here at Flying Nun), has just announced her debut album Donegal, named after the street it was recorded within in Cromwell, alongside De Stevens and Reuben Scott. Our first glimpse into its sound world is 'Descending World'; a bewitching song, that meanders along a spiralling guitar passage, littered with plucks of strings and sparse cymbals. Violet's crystalline voice kneads along its curves, each phrase squeezing juice out of a piece of fruit with absolute control.
You can buy Violet Hirst's new track via Bandcamp HERE — Donegal is due to be out in early June.
RINGLETS — 'MADE OF MIST'
Ringlets released their debut, self-titled album last week via Mutual Skies. The project spins a spiderweb of sound layers, with a surprising turn of timbre at the arrival of track 8 — 'Made of Mist', which features bassist Arabella Poulsen on lead vocal duties. Shadowed in a dusky hue, her voice provides a comforting guide along the song's slightly unsettling, daring notion, supported so well by the rest of the band's brilliant angles.
In case you missed it, read Violet Hirst's interview with Ringlets HERE, as part of our In Conversation series.
OP LILYPAD — 'HAY'
OP Lilypad, the project of Tāmaki Makaurau musician Jonathan Glenday (Long Distance Runner, Fly Nights) has released his debut album OPLP, out now via Sunreturn. Welcoming the project is the first track, 'hay', which gently folds layers of soft pads, chimes and field recordings like a hushed wave, inviting quietude and space to stop and bathe in its lush frequencies. I'm excited to hear more from this artist, who so far is feeding us ambient music lovers dishes and dishes of delicious music.
OP Lilypad's debut album OPLP is out now via Sunreturn. Buy it on Bandcamp HERE.
MAXINE FUNKE — 'CALL ON YOU'
Otago's Maxine Funke has announced a new album River Said, due to be released in late April via Disciples. Although to many she may seem enigmatic, Maxine Funke has a rare way of drawing us in close to her whispered sketches, allowing the ambience of her surroundings to seep into her songs so that we can hear every shade of her dusky timbres. 'Call On you' floats along with a delicate breeze; deceivingly simple, yet entirely unique to Funke's talent and the mark of one of Aotearoa's finest songwriters.
You can preorder Maxine Funke's upcoming album River Said (out 28 April via Disciples) via Flying Nun HERE.
PICKLE DARLING — 'HEAD TERRARIUM'
Following on from their February 10 single 'King Of Pop' that came alongside a signing to US label Father/Daughter, Ōtautahi indie pop star Pickle Darling (AKA Lukas Mayo) announces a brand new album Laundromat, arriving in June. It's second single 'Head Terrarium', spins bedroom pop into a cowboy galactic realm, tinkering along its delicate melodies before plunging into a heartbreakingly beautiful second half. Despite its unconventional structures, here the song feels as though it has come into itself; Pickle Darling is making music for themselves, and casting their own spell on sound to create something utterly unique. The song is accompanied by a music video directed by Martin Sagadin, and echos the song's shift which Sagadin comments on; "I wanted the video to also transform, to look beyond the boundaries of our world to reveal some sort of cosmic absurdity."
Pickle Darling's upcoming album Laundromat (out June 16 via Father/Daughter Records) is available to preorder via Bandcamp HERE.
THE FORBIN PROJECT — 'CODEX WORLD'
Conjuring sounds inspired by 90's video games and teetering between hyper digital and analogue sounds, The Forbin Project (moniker of Tāmaki Makaurau-now-Melbourne producer Amelia Berry) has dropped a 4-track EP — Futureworld! — "put together in moments between trying to find a new job in Naarm". Much like her other output, Amamelia's latest album Bananamelia! (my favourite album last year), Futureworld! taps into a nostalgia that seems to be deeply embedded; the samples, the video game soundtrack influences, the chords, all seem to scratch that itch all whilst sounding entirely fresh, making her music irresistible to listen to.
The Forbin Project's new EP Futureworld! is out now — buy it on Bandcamp HERE.
SOFT PLASTICS — 'SOMEONE ELSE'
Ah, this song. I think this might be my favourite song by Soft Plastics — I really love it when they lean into their dreamy, shoegaze sound bank. The song spirals around cyclic motifs, incorporating strings, warm distorted guitars and far-away drum patterns to weave an song that worms its way into the most nostalgic corner of my ear. And my goodness, Sophie Scott-Maunder's voice sounds so good here — her melodies hold her voice's tone so well. She shines on the rest of Saturn Return, but 'Someone Else' is where she glistens.
Soft Plastics' new album Saturn Return is out now. You can buy it via the Flying Nun Record Shop HERE.
TOM LARK — 'RADIO BLASTER'
After making his name writing some of NZ's catchiest pop songs of the 2010's, Tom Lark has stepped back on the scene after a small hiatus, not only releasing a new song 'Radio Blaster', but also announcing his debut album BRAVE STAR — out June 9 via Ōtautahi's Winegum Records. It's not as if Shannon Fowler, the musician behind the alias, has been sitting still during that time — he has been busy releasing songs under the moniker Shannon Matthew Vanya and producing a lot of songs behind the scenes via his studio outlet Okie Dokie Studios. Well, seven years later, Tom Lark is back with his tender, indie pop sensibilities, and Tom Lark feels like Fowler is coming home.
You can preorder Tom Lark's upcoming album BRAVE STAR (out June 9 via Winegum Records) via Bandcamp HERE. You can also catch him live this Saturday the 15th of April at The Wine Cellar (with support from Belladonna) — tickets HERE.