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Alternative-electro music scene

  

The Naked and Famous music bands in NZ

New Zealand has a very rich music scene with artists in every genre trying to become popular, and with such a small population, it is considerably easier to be noticed than in larger countries. While there is music to satisfy every ear, there seems to be a large amount of electronic music coming from New Zealand of excellent standards, and from a few artists who are becoming fairly well established worldwide.
Focusing more on the alternative side of the electronic scene which tends to take it's structures and instrumentation from rock, pop and indie music, emerging out of Auckland is a two-piece called She's So Rad. This group has a strong local following but are largely unheard of overseas. 2015's album Tango see's the group at the top of their game, with dreamy synth pop vibes and strong vocal lines, drowning in reverb creating very a very atmospheric vibe. Highlights from the album include “Confetti” with it's driving drum beat, and “Cool It” with it's emotional lyrics and piercing guitar solo.
Perhaps one of the most interesting groups to follow from New Zealand is Nelson's brother and sister duo Broods from Nelson. Often seen supporting larger artists such as Tove Lo, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding and Haim, their electro-pop has been heard all over the world. Their first single, “Bridges” reached number 8 in the New Zealand Single Chart which appears on their first album Evergreen. Their stripped back style is comparable to Lorde's first album “Pure Heroine”, perhaps due to producer Joel Little who worked on both the albums, making a minimalist electronic pop sound which really enhances and boosts the focus on the strong vocal lines. Their second album “Conscious” has a similar vibe, but in much darker and more developed tones, with more live instrumentation and a slightly more industrial feel. Notable singles from the band are “Free” and “L.A.F”, and something a little more experimental is the title track of their second album “Conscious” with it's massive chorus and well developed ending.
Formed in 2007, The Naked and Famous from Auckland have become a very big name for the New Zealand music scene. Born out of a musical collaboration between Thom Powers and Alisa Xayalith, this group became especially popular after their single “Young Blood” debuted on the New Zealand Single Charts at number 1, and became popular worldwide, seeing a lot of airtime on advertisements in the UK and used in several Hollywood movies such as the 2013 adaptation of Steven King's “Carrie” and the American Comedy film “21&Over”. Their first album, “Passive Me, Aggressive You” picked up multiple awards in New Zealand. The band have since released two more studio albums, “In Rolling Waves” and “Simple Forms” which showcase a mixture of deep, electronic sounds, driving guitar, and their iconic vocal sounds. Aside from “Young Blood”, notable singles include “Hearts like Ours”, “Girls like you” and “Higher”, although those who like something a little different a more developed might prefer the energetic “Backslide” or the atmospheric “We Are Leaving” which has one of the most amazing drum lines once the beat kicks in.
The biggest name in New Zealand music is probably Lorde from Devonport, Auckland, also known as Ella Maria Lani Yelich O'Connor. In 2013, at the age of only 17, her debut single “Royals” gained international recognition and reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, and later went on to receive two Grammy Awards for “Best Pop Solo Performance” and also “Song of the Year”. Her first studio album Pure Heroine topped the charts in New Zealand and Australia and reached number three in America. Her music has featured on “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1”, and she has become an extremely popular artist worldwide. “Pure Heroine” has a raw, stripped back sound, largely composed of synthesiser and electronic drums, whereas her second album, “Melodrama”, sees some more musical development and live instrumentation. Her lyrics are very deep and emotional and tackle a lot of the issues we face when we are growing up. Notable singles include “Team” and “Perfect Places”, and more electronic pieces include the disquieting “Biting Down” and the slightly industrial feeling “Glory and Gore”. In 2017, her album “Melodrama” became the first album from a New Zealand artist to top the US chart.

 

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