Graham Reid | | 1 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 . . .
Bailey Wiley: Still On My Mind (SOMM): This EP bursts at the seams with a hefty 8 track listing -- oddly a song or two short of a full album. Wiley’s earthy neo-soul vocals take centre stage in each track, while intricate melodies showcase her technical talents as a vocalist. However, the artist’s organic vocals often get lost in the fine line between spacious production and production so sparse it results in a sense of dissonance or disconnect.
While some tracks suffer under too much space, stand-outs such as Take It From Me and The 101 shine.
Somewhat experimental, r'n'b/hip-hop influenced and mixed with a bit of attitude for good measure, SOMM is available now on iTunes, Spotify and Bandcamp.
Valere: Blue: Returning with her second EP, Valere presents listeners with a small but mighty collection of compelling indie-pop tracks.
Opener Wayside provides a personal introduction, whilst poignant lyrics are complemented in the off-set of washy electric guitars and watery synths in Skin and Bone.
Much (F For Friendship) provides a playful, poppy and infectious addition, whilst Know Me contrasts with ethereal vulnerability and emotive lyric.
Valere’s pure and youthful vocal tone is the thread that pulls the listener along, particularly in the beautifully delicate chorus of title track Blue.
Evocative and refreshing, Blue is an EP that transports you into another emotional realm whilst simultaneously making you feel right at home.
Available on Spotify and Soundcloud.
Shani.O is a musician/songwriter/performer, currently completing a BMus in Popular Music at the University of Auckland and graduating at the end of the year.