New Zealand Music Month, May 2018

NZ Artists International News: April 2017


The accolades keep flowing for Nadia Reid this month. One of the biggest daily newspapers in Sweden, Göteborgs-Posten, had her new album Preservation as their weekly pick - or, plocka, as you'd say in Swedish - stated if all you knew about NZ music was Lorde, Keith Urban, Flight of the Conchords and Neil Finn, you should be adding Nadia to your list. Renowned NYC record store, Rough Trade, also listed it as one of their Albums of the Month. This just adds to the huge chorus of praise for Preservation from around the globe:

‘One of the year's landmark releases' - ★★★★ MOJO

‘Simply breathtaking' ★★★★★ - Record Collector

‘Pretty much off the scale' - The Line Of Best Fit 8/10

‘...Continues Reid's graceful trajectory...' - Uncut 8/10

‘The songs and the sound are superb, yet Reid's singing is something beyond that ...' - The Age, Melbourne ★★★★½

‘the 25-year-old New Zealander has delicately but decidedly upped the ante ... quietly, perfectly crafted statements from a blossoming talent.' - The Guardian (UK) ★★★★

‘... it's time we claim her as Australian' - ★★★★

A full run of UK summer festival dates will be announced in the coming weeks. Nadia is currently undertaking the New Zealand Preservation tour, with many of the shows already sold out.


In March, rising stars, Aldous Harding of Lyttleton and Kane Strang of Dunedin journeyed to Austin, Texas for the world-renowned SXSW Conference and Festival.

Having recently signed to 4AD (Flying Nun in NZ), Aldous Harding performed at their Official SXSW Showcase with label-mates including Future Islands. She played an additional five shows across the festival, including SXSW International Day and blew audiences away at each one. She even earned herself a place on NPR's Best of SXSW 2017 list, calling her "stunning and memorable".

Having been named by The Observer as one to watch at SXSW 2017 and half-way through his first US tour (and his first overseas tour ever!), Kane Strang and his band impressed the crowds at five shows including the Secretly SXSW Official Showcase and Rachel Ray Feedback House.

Berlin-based Sun and the Wolf also smashed it at the two SXSW showcases they performed at.

Overall, this year saw over 27,000 people attend to enjoy all that the festival had to offer including over 2,000 musical acts from around the world, in a multitude of venues in and around the world-famous 6th Street in downtown Austin.


There is a lot going on the world of Aldous Harding at the moment. After her performances at SXSW discussed above, Bob Boilen from the NPR show 'All Things Considered' (which has an average quater-hour audience of 1.8 million according to Wikipedia) said "On my third day at SXSW 2017, I heard such powerful music from all over the world... but my favourite artist came from New Zealand". Aldous has continued on with dates across the USA, gaining new fans and glowing reviews along the way. In fact, Steve Wozniack (as in The Woz, co-founder of Apple) was so taken with her performance in Los Angeles last week, he took the time to write her a personal letter praising her voice, presence and individual creativity!

Across the Atlantic, Aldous Harding has just been announced for a string of festivals in Europe including Latitude, Electric Fields, The Green Man and End of the Road Festival. She's also currently on the BBC6 Music Recommends playlist, and her song ‘Horizon' was the most added track to listener's playlists from Marc Riley's show in late March. BBC6 has an average weekly audience of 2.2 million (thanks again, Wikipedia).


Kane Strang has been playing shows across North America, with support slots for bands like Teenage Fanclub and Chastity Belt, as well as his own headline club and all-ages shows. In a Best New Bands SXSW preview, The Observer (New York) said: ‘The buzz is strong with this one, and from what I can tell you about the new songs of his I've heard so far, the music is, too ... This is chugging, hook-laden indie rock at its finest'.

He is soon to venture to the UK for his first shows in that part of the world. The NME had his latest song ‘Oh So You're Off I See' as Song of the Day.


Undeniably the biggest track in the world by a New Zealand artist last month was ‘Green Light', the hugely anticipated lead single from Lorde's forthcoming album Melodrama.  Lorde herself said of ‘Green Light' that it would be "different, and kinda unexpected, complex and funny and sad and joyous and it'll make you DANCE".

‘Green Light' is the sound of an artist entering adulthood and her ability as a pop auteur growing (quite spectacularly) along with her. Pop fans constantly yearn for this marriage of Big Moment and gorgeous nuance. With the first taste of sophomore album Melodrama, Lorde has entered her prime and hit her mark.' - Billboard US

‘It's the most explosive and epic thing Lorde has done, a sign that she can be just as captivating when she's aiming for the rafters as she is pursuing something quieter. It also sounds like nothing else on the radio or in your Spotify playlists. As Melodrama approaches, it looks like the coolest person in pop is changing the game from top-down instead of from out of nowhere.' - Entertainment Weekly

'Green Light' charted in the Top 40 in nineteen countries so far including

#1 in New Zealand
#4 in Australia
#8 in Latvia
#9 in Canada
#11 in Czech Republic
#19 in US
#19 in Switzerland
#20 in Belgium
#20 in Hungary
#23 in Ireland
#28 in UK
#32 in Austria
#35 in Netherlands
#38 in Germany


New Zealander artists are currently featuring all over the Apple Music worldwide playlists - no less than six of our locals are currently on the new music discovery playlist selected each week by their music editors. In the last week of March, The A-List: New Artists had tracks by BaynkTheiaMAALAFazerdazeMitch James and Kane Strang. Both Kane Strang and Aldous Harding are on playlists by Matt Wilkinson from Beats1, with Aldous also popping up on the SXSW Indies, Indie Artists and Isolation. Unsurprisingly, Lorde appears up across many of the playlists with Green Light, while ex-pat kiwis Like A Storm can be found on the Hard Rock A-List, and Mark de Clive-Lowe on the Jazz A-List.


Record Store Day 2017 is almost upon us, with hundreds of independent retailers around the world collecting re-issues, rarities and one-offs for the event on 22 April. At least three NZ artists will have specials RSD releases this year internationally - Fat Freddy's Drop have an super-limited edition 12" of their 2005 track ‘Hope', remastered with a b-side etching, on the release sheets in Germany, the UK, Netherlands, Italy and Spain - and they will be playing in almost all those countries over May and June on a 12-date tour.  The Chills have ‘Rocket Science' on the slate for release, a 7" on Fire Records limited to independent retailers only, which will be available across the UK and mainland Europe. In a super-exclusive release (which is only on the RSD list for the Netherlands at this stage), Superior Viaduct are issuing two 7"s and on 12" by early Flying Nun band The Pin Group, all on translucent coloured vinyl and limited to 1,000.


David Dallas - New single 'Fit In' was selected as an Editor's Pick on influential NY-based hip-hop blog DJBooth.

Aly Cook - Western Line, the 6th song from the album Horseshoe Rodeo Hotel, has entered the Australian Top 40 Country Track Chart in the number #2 position, whist the previous single Kimberley still sits at #26 this week, holding the longest running position on this chart at 31 weeks.

Mara TK - Announced to perform at Seoul Music Week on May 21.

Marlon Williams - Announced for Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island, Pickathon in Oregon, Best Kept Secret in the Netherlands and Maifeld Derby, a multi-genre music festival in Mannheim, Germany.

Click here to download a PDF of tour dates around the world for NZ artists.