ON the beat: Wanaka winter music roundup

JIve on

Jive man Jiffy ON the decks.


Our local musos have been awfully busy this year, not only gigging like Trojans, but racking up studio time too. No less than three new recordings by Wanaka artists have landed in our office this month; we had a listen, and it’s all good.

Anna Van Riel – Whistle & Hum

Cover anna van riel

Anna’s third album, Whistle & Hum, is the sort of thing that immediately makes you want to put on denim shorts and cowboy boots and get in touch with your inner Daisy Duke. The album was made with the help of contra-trading (trading skills and time instead of cash), and the result is 10 tracks of sweet country, folk and bluegrass twang, covering everything from pick-up trucks to baby brain to “putting your fuse in someone else’s socket. ”

Civilian Sol – When Tomorrow Comes

Cover Civilian Sol_Artwork_Record Company (2) copy

Danny Fairley, aka Civilian Sol, is not only one of Wanaka’s most versatile musicians, he must be the busiest, performing and recording as himself, with his duo Arma Del Amor and as Civilian Sol. His new EP, When Tomorrow Comes, is dropping just in time for winter and I can feel multiple iPod-on-chairlift sessions coming on. Danny eases you in with the dreamy soul-tinged ‘Blinded These Days’, busts out the horns, big bass and hip hop on ‘Dreamers and Schemers’ and gets a little Philip Glass-meets-glitch with ‘We Must Be’. It’s all life-soundtrack stuff. Downright Sol-ful in fact.

Te Hight – A Roxperience

Cover te hight

Rock and roll will never die, and if anyone’s proving it in Wanaka, it’s TeHight. His debut EP is a reminder that the guitar solo and the occasional windshield-rattling chord are art forms worth preserving. This is especially evident on his ode to Edmund Hillary, ‘Everesting Keeper of a Beehives Mana’–what would have happened if Alice in Chains had fallen in love with Aotearoa roots music. It’s not all loud, though. ‘Late Again’ is a bluesy-groovy trip, as is ‘GPS Me Home’, my current road song of choice. A Roxperience comes in a cool die-cut sleeve with a free sticker, the sort of packaging we need more of in a world ruled by the MP3.


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