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Luke Thompson: Here on the Ground (Pure)

Luke Thompson: Here on the Ground (Pure)

This young singer-songwriter from Tauranga came to my attention a few weeks ago when I was asked if I would write a bio to accompany the release of this, his debut album. I get a few such requests but only ever take on someone whose music impresses me (Miriam Clancy was another) and a quick check at Thompson's MySpace page told me all I...

Jill Scott: The Real Thing, Words and Sounds Vol 3 (Inertia)

Jill Scott: The Real Thing, Words and Sounds Vol 3 (Inertia)

To be honest, this one might take a few goes: initially it seems fragmented, opening with a taut and percussive two minute track, kicks into something soulful driven by a distant rock riff, moves into a blast of tough r'n'b, then a mellow and intimate mood enters . . . But it was nominated for best r'n'b album at the Grammys and Scott for...

Iva Lamkum: Iva Lamkum (Base/Rhythmethod)

Iva Lamkum: Iva Lamkum (Base/Rhythmethod)

The first thought that may occur to you on hearing this classy EP by 22-year old Wellington singer-songwriter Lamkum is just when a major international label will scoop her up. I'm picking sooner rather than later. With a mature and sophisticated meltdown of soul, jazz phrasing, funk and slippery reggae, Lamkum places herself right on the...

Gin: Extended Play (Island/Universal)

Gin: Extended Play (Island/Universal)

The other night we were flicking across the music channels and did that rare thing, paused for more than five seconds because there was a remarkable voice about which I said, "Wow, I'd like to hear more from that one". "That one" -- as it turned out two days later when a copy of this EP was pressed into my hand -- was this...

SANDY EDMONDS: New Zealand's disappearing pop star

SANDY EDMONDS: New Zealand's disappearing pop star

New Zealand pop culture harbours few mysteries, but the disappearance of Sandy Edmonds on the cusp of the 70s is certainly one. Before she vanished the striking, lens-engaging singer -- long honey-blonde hair, sensuous teen-sullen pout and wide-eyed dolly-bird expression -- had been dominant in the music scene since the mid-60s. In 67...

MIRIAM CLANCY INTERVIEWED (2006): Career opportunities

MIRIAM CLANCY INTERVIEWED (2006): Career opportunities

“You know, I’d left school and had gone straight into playing in pubs,” laughs Auckland singer-songwriter Miriam Clancy. “I had no other training behind me. So it was either work in a café, or go and live at mum’s.” Clancy laughs again as she remembers that difficult period a few years ago when she...

Simon Comber: Endearance (CNZ)

Simon Comber: Endearance (CNZ)

Halfway through this slowly engrossing New Zealand singer-songwriter's album is the gently penetrating song Please Elvis, which opens with the singer asking the King not to make his mother cry as she again plays one of his dusty old 45s, but then the song unfurls into a darker and more deep story of family life: "she's twirling a brandy...

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