Te Vaka: Olatia (Warm Earth/Ode)

 |   |  <1 min read

Te Vaka: Olatia (Warm Earth/Ode)

This formerly Auckland-based and socially-conscious group have now relocated to Australia, but Te Vaka rarely played in New Zealand anyway. Theirs was always a bigger calling and they spend much time at world music festivals or in the Pacific where their emotional heart remains.

Singer-songwriter Opetaia Foa'i has a real gift in bringing together traditional songs and contemporary pop styles (the man writes what should be hit after hit, but radio doesn't play them) and while there is considerable Pacific warmth in the music there is also a sadness is many songs for what is being lost in this region.

He writes mainly in the language of Tokelau, where his father is from, and sometimes in Tuvaluan and Samoan, and his subjects are about environmental issues such as global warming, or the the need to take care of culture in the face of political and social pressures.

On this, their fifth album, Te Vaka confirm they are the most important voice out of the broader Pacific region and that multi-instrumentalist Foa'i remains a potent songwriting force.

I don't much like the spoken bit by the child in Ki Te Fakaolatia/To The Rescue, but that seems a minor complaint in the face of this typically excellent album.

 

Te Vaka won best group and best album for Olatia at the 2008 Pacific Music Awards held in Auckland. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

WOMAD ARTIST 2015: Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino

WOMAD ARTIST 2015: Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino

Mauro Durante of the southern Italian band of the Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino laughs about the problem the group has, but also how they rise above it. “Many of our songs are written... > Read more

Etran Finatawa: Introducing Etran Finatawa (World Music Network) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2006

Etran Finatawa: Introducing Etran Finatawa (World Music Network) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2006

From the same emotional source and geographical location -- the sub-Sahara around Niger -- as the thrilling and now well-known Tinariwen comes this equally extraordinary band. Their mesmerising... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

LaVern Baker: Voodoo Voodoo (1961)

LaVern Baker: Voodoo Voodoo (1961)

The sudden revival of Wanda Jackson's career - courtesy of Jack White and the album The Party Ain't Over in early 2011 -- has singled her out as a great female rock'n'roller at a time (the... > Read more

JOHN LENNON INTERVIEWED (1995): I hear you knocking

JOHN LENNON INTERVIEWED (1995): I hear you knocking

Former mop-topped pop singer and dead megastar John Lennon has given a “thumbs up” to the latest Beatle single Free as a Bird which his former chums in the band have released.... > Read more