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

Staff Benda Bilili: Bouger le Monde (Crammed Discs/Southbound)

Staff Benda Bilili: Bouger le Monde (Crammed Discs/Southbound)

Recently while looking out music for a DJ night of African music I played dozens of tracks at home back-to-back searching for the best sounds . . . and one thing became very clear. Most of this... > Read more

Tinariwen: Amassakoul (Wrasse/Shock): BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2006

Tinariwen: Amassakoul (Wrasse/Shock): BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2006

Tinariwen were from a group of stateless wanderers who lived at the whim of weather and changing political climates in the greater Sahara, and were educated in the language of armed struggle. In... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

PAUL McCARTNEY INTERVIEWED (2010): Band on the Run remastered

PAUL McCARTNEY INTERVIEWED (2010): Band on the Run remastered

While Elsewhere always does its own interviews, this one provided to coincide with the remastered version of Band on the Run -- which launches a whole McCartney remaster/reissue series -- is... > Read more

DON McGLASHAN INTERVIEWED (2015): This time it's personal

DON McGLASHAN INTERVIEWED (2015): This time it's personal

In late January I was approached to write a brief biography for Don McGlashan to accompany the release of his new album Lucky Stars album. At the time I wasn't available but was sent an advance... > Read more