Erny Belle / Photo credit: Babiche Martins
Erny Belle first took the spotlight in October of 2021, with the successful release of her debut single and video for ‘Burning Heaven’. The singer-songwriter (Aimee Renata) seemingly appeared out of nowhere, onto our shores – leather clad, red wine in hand – stoking the flames of New Zealand’s music scene.
binds us together and brings us home. With love, Erny Belle.”
Venus Is Home was self-produced and independently released in February 2022, following her second single ‘Hell Hole’. Since the release of her debut, Belle has received rave reviews and glowing profiles – the album being widely praised as one of Aotearoa’s standout releases of 2022.
Flying Nun Records currently have a repress of Venus Is Home in production, with the vinyl LP estimated to be back on shelves from 18th November, 2022.
keep your eye on”. — Matthew Crawley, Viva
“These are songs that are traditional in the best sense, but the quirks are
what tip them over from ‘very good’ to ‘great’. — Tony Stamp, RNZ
On Venus Is Home, the lyrics shift steadfastly from sweet and earnest, to dark and satirical; toying between the artist’s ruggedness and vulnerability, “Drinking on a broken heart was a bad move”, Belle confesses on ‘Sorry Not Sorry’. She has sparked heavy contemplation with the brutal opening line in ‘Nuclear Bombs’; “I’m gonna go and smoke some P and put my baby in a washing machine”, striking a finger at New Zealand’s meth crisis.
Venus Is Home captures a sound shaped by the landscape, with references that are distinct to Aotearoa. The album ends with the title track ‘Venus Is Home’, where Belle is re-centered and grounded by words of wisdom, a “glass of lukewarm cask wine”, and “a feed of watercress”, with her grandmother Venus. The arc of the album gravitates towards her connection to home.
Her first sold out album release show with a full band, proved Erny Belle’s assertion as a performer. Waltzing through the audience to sing her finale, singing bowl in hand, face veiled in black lace; channeling a performance that feels like an earnest surrender to her audience. Rarely performing since, Belle has opened for Andy Shauf and Orville Peck for their international tours, and has been hand-picked for the 2023 incarnation of St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, as well as the fifth annual Nest Fest in Hawke’s Bay.
Erny Belle’s next headline show is at The Hollywood Theatre in Avondale, 4th of November — with support from alternative-country newcomer, D.C Maxwell.