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New Zealand Music Features


This week, Tāmaki Makaurau label Sunreturn announced the inaugural Festival Of Sunreturn. We wanted to know more, so we provided Label Manager Zac Arnold with the Q's and he delivered the A's

Long Distance Runner (Photo: Dunedin Sound)

First off, tell us about Sunreturn and the Festival. Why did you start it, what's the idea behind the label/festival?

Sunreturn is an independent record label based in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa. Established in late 2019, the label strives to amplify the work of artists who find freedom in imagining new and unique sounds. 

The Festival Of Sunreturn is intended to be an annual celebration of the musicians who call Sunreturn home, as well as a fundraising event for the label.

Tell us about some of the artists on the label/playing at the festival. What excites you about them?

I'm really excited to catch the three new signings! That's Dbldbl, deepState, Long Distance Runner.

Dbldbl is the project of producer and songwriter Liam Dargaville. I've been a fan of Liam's ever since seeing them perform at a Chronophonium as one half of the duo Heavy. deepState, the musical project of Jessica Morgan who makes house and down tempo electronica. She decided to dive into producing during lockdown, with incredible results. I remember hearing Sunshine, and being hooked. Post-hardcore outfit Long Distance Runner, have members living in Tāmaki Makaurau and Ōtepoti. I love to see them live, and what's even better is that they're able to capture that furore on record too.

All of these musicians are forging their own paths, and have incredible releases on the way. 


You started Sunreturn in late-2019. What has your experience been with it so far? Best moments? Challenges? Things you've learnt?

There isn't one big moment that stands out as a highlight. I try to enjoy the day to day interactions, the problem solving and goal setting. There is that saying It's not the garden, it's the gardening that counts.

For me, the biggest challenge is working out how to grow the label in a sustainable way!

Now that Sunreturn is a couple of years in I'm constantly reminded of the power of collective action. Nothing happens in a vacuum, and I'm grateful for the communities that have engaged with Sunreturn and the musicians we work with. 

Kia Ora Zac. The Festival Of Sunreturn takes place June 12th at Whammy Bar and Wine Cellar in Auckland. Tickets are available here from Under The Radar.

Festival Of Sunreturn



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