Aro: He Rākau, He Ngārara (digital outlets)

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Tōtara
Aro: He Rākau, He Ngārara (digital outlets)

The Aro duo of husband and wife Charles and Emily Looker here present an immediately and immensely likable album which celebrates native plants and insects in te reo Māori and English language songs which sometimes sound like classic tunes from the Fifties (the lovely Tōtara with sweeping strings and Kaikōmako), beautiful folk (Pukatea) and contemporary pop (Namupoto, Wētā).

Elsewhere,as Pounui with taonga puoro, the sound more akin to a haka with percussive effects conjuring up the forest.

This is an album of songs which succeed through understatement or by bringing haka into the contemporary context (Tātarakihi), and although there is a roster of well known others credited (among them Laughton Kora and Warren Maxwell) it never feels burdened by guests.

Just half an hour long but at the end you'll want to flick back to the start again.

Lovely.

.

You can hear and but this album at bandcamp here



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