Shani.O | | 2 min read
With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Shani.O.
She will scoop up some of those many EP releases by New Zealand artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column picks up albums by New Zealand artists, and IN BRIEF does for international artists.
Shani.O's profile appears at the end of these brief but pointed reviews . . .
The Boombox Eulogy: Crates and Collabs: Old school hip-hop flavour makes a sophisticated comeback in the impressively produced EP from the production collective The Boombox Eulogy. Simba Dialo’s rhymes are strikingly youthful and emphatic over slick and thoughtful arrangements, particularly in the nostalgic track Back To The Streets. Although at least three tracks share the lyrical theme of Dialo's determination to make himself known as a rapper, one can easily appreciate this as the artist’s honest feeling at the time and a common theme in up-and-coming rap artists. Refreshingly musical tracks make this EP a smooth and enjoyable listen, definitely worth checking out even for those who wouldn’t generally class themselves as fans of the genre.
For more go here.
Drax Project; T/W/OO: Off the tail of a successful first EP, Drax Project’s second installment features an undeniably Six60-esque set of indie-rock /electronic fusion tracks. An understated chorus and strong lead vocals in Cold grab the listener from the outset, however the energy seems to drag towards the end of the second verse. Just a few songwriting and arrangement elements such as this leave one skipping to the next track halfway through as they lose momentum (exception: Seemed Like Trouble with infectious and great energy). A shame considering these songs are impressively musical and showcase some undeniable raw talent. A promising EP with some big ideas, raw potential, and room for growth. Available on iTunes, see Facebook etc
Miloux; Miloux: Brought forth from a melting pot of genre influences ranging from electronica to R&B with jazz influence and beyond, here is an ethereal debut from indie-pop newcomer Miloux. Her silky vocals impressively traverse challenging melodies among other vocal intricacies, drawing on both her jazz background (she completed a degree in jazz vocals at Auckland uni) as well as R&B influences. The track These Rules brings out the alternative edge with daring chordal movements - a tad jarring at first considering the pop sensibility of stand-out tracks Pocket and Beaches. Hypnotic beats and haunting synth/vocal layers make for an intriguing debut from an exciting songwriter and vocalist. An artist to watch. Available on iTunes, bandcamp etc.
Shani.O is currently completing a BMus in Popular Music at the University of Auckland, graduating at the end of the year. She is a musician/songwriter/performer, has always had an interest in writing about music and was “a bit of a gypsy child in that my parents were constantly moving. So my childhood was spent between New Zealand, South Africa and Australia where I think I picked up a real variety of musical influences.”