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Louis Baker



LB_EP_Cover_2000X2000pxOver the last couple of years young Wel­ling­ton soul sing­er and gui­tar­ist Louis Baker has been mak­ing a genu­ine name for him­self, both here and abroad. A sens­it­ive singer/songwriter situ­ated with­in the same loc­al con­tinuum as Dal­las Tamaira, War­ren Max­well and, more recently Mara TK, with his self-titled debut EP he adequately upholds the torch and in the pro­cess lights the way for those to follow.

Recor­ded and pro­duced between New York and Lon­don under the watch­ful ear of Breaks Co-Op mem­ber Andy Love­grove, the EP’s five-song run­ning time sees Louis pla­cing the intric­a­cies of life, love and human inter­ac­tion under the micro­scope. Flesh­ing his lyr­ic­al obser­va­tions out with sea shanty-inflec­ted soul melod­ies and har­mon­ies under­pinned by del­ic­ately plucked and strummed gui­tar notes, he trans­forms the writ­ten word into warm-hearted sing-along numbers.

Speak­ing dir­ectly to the magic of New Zealand’s sum­mer, the beauty of our nat­ur­al land­scape and the old school ‘good as gold’ Kiwi men­tal­ity, Louis’s songs are the per­fect com­ple­ment to sum­mer-turned-autumn. And as the winter months grow cold, I sus­pect they’ll only grow in res­on­ance, much like a warm open fire in the midst of June. Stand-out cuts include ‘Birds’, ‘Love’ and ‘Back on My Feet’.


Liam Finn

The Nihil­ist

(Lib­er­a­tion Music)

LF The Nihilist-cover LGELast year, singer/songwriter, multi-instru­ment­al­ist and record pro­du­cer Liam Finn (son of Neil Finn) holed up in a stu­dio space near his new home in Brook­lyn, New York, to write and record The Nihil­ist, his third full-length album. Mak­ing use of 67 instru­ments and the assist­ance of his band­mates, he devoted the hours between sun­set and sun­rise to the cre­ation of new music. The res­ult was a suite of psy­che­del­ic folk-rock-rooted songs, equal parts clas­sic pop and lo-fi four-track recor­ded fuzz. Tra­vers­ing the hin­ter­land between exper­i­ment­al and access­ible, The Nihil­ist is a cru­cial work for this deserving music­al talent.


Yumi Zouma



Tinariwen - EmmaarThe self-titled EP from Yumi Zouma is the work of young New Zea­l­and musi­cians Kim Pflaum, Josh Bur­gess and Charlie Ryder, presently divided between Christ­ch­urch, New York and Par­is, respect­ively. Trad­ing in the sun-kissed whimsy of clas­sic and mod­ern dream-pop, the four songs on their EP use simple gui­tar notes, pro­grammed drums and lush vocals from Pflaum to cre­ate an effort­less and styl­ish sound. This is the sort of record where your first listen soon becomes your fourth. Regard­less of the weath­er out­side, it’s hard to not feel like you’re in the midst of a per­fect sum­mer as the smooth songs play out.




(Pop Noire)

Yumi Zouma - Self-TitledFor the record­ing of Emmaar, Tuareg desert blues col­lect­ive Tin­ari­wen decamped from the Saha­ra Desert in north­ern Mali. Relo­cat­ing to Joshua Tree in Cali­for­nia, they spent three weeks cre­at­ing a series of hyp­not­ic and elec­tri­fy­ing gui­tar rock songs, which as per usu­al fuse tra­di­tion­al Tuareg folk music with ele­ments drawn from west­ern rock and roll and psy­che­del­ica. In terms of con­tent, Emmaar became a vehicle for them to sing poet­ic­ally in the Tamasheq langauge about the nature of con­tem­por­ary Tuareg life in an era of fast change. As power­ful as their past records, Emmaar reas­serts Tinariwen’s import­ance as world-class pur­vey­ors of non-west­ern gui­tar music.

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