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Best New Zealand Music of the Week: April 29th-May 5th

Stay up to date with all the standout tracks released last week with Rolling Stone AU/NZ’s weekly roundup

Rita Mae

Rita Mae


For all of our comprehensive NZ Music Month coverage, head to the Rolling Stone New Zealand homepage.

NZ Music Month / Te Marama Puoro o Aotearoa is in full swing, flooding the scene with a slew of fresh releases dropping by the day. Catch up on last week’s highlights featuring Geneva AM, PARK RD, Hans., and hanbee, and don’t miss the latest tracks from Thomas Powers, Rita Mae, My Cosmic Girl, Mel Parsons, SWIDT, Louisa Nicklin, Half Hexagon, Joe Ghatt, Emma Dilemma, Averie, and Vince Harder below.

Rita Mae – “Kiss the Sky”

Mixing acoustic verses with gritty, powerhouse choruses, this punchy lead single from the Muriwai singer-songwriter sets the tone for a big year ahead. Bold and unapologetic.  

Louisa Nicklin – “Thick”

The Tāmaki Makaurau-based artist is back, announcing her second album, The Big Sulk, out on August 23rd, alongside this powerful lead single. The track exudes haunting intensity, propelled by Nicklin’s captivating vocals and Shayne P. Carter’s signature guitar flair. Be sure to check out the music video, which draws inspiration from 70’s food aesthetics and serves up an intriguingly unsettling experience. Who’s up for some jelly cake?

Thomas Powers – “empty voices (feat. Julien Baker) 

The LA-based Naked and Famous singer has collaborated with Julien Baker, one-third of US indie supergroup boygenius, for the next track off his debut solo album A Tyrant Crying in Private, which is out later this month. Their delicate track speaks to the pointless drama of online fights, riding on a wispy electronic soundscape that perfectly matches their soft, harmonious vocals.

my cosmic girl – “Help It”

Shifting gears from their mellow debut “Frenchie”, the Wellington 5-piece cranks up the energy with catchy indie rock in “Help It”. Lead singer Ella Doty wrote the song about the fear of seasonal depression, later discovering her iron deficiency as the culprit, reflected in the iron artwork. A helpful reminder year-round, really. 

Mel Parsons – “Circling the City” 

The third single from Mel Parson’s upcoming album Sabotage (out June 7th) is all about feeling stuck with no way out. With lines like “I’m always so tired I am done, I am done, please remember me yeah I used to be fun,” the Lyttelton-based artist nails that feeling. In the accompanying video, she’s fittingly stuck in a car, just thinking and driving in circles as the sun goes down. 


Onehunga hip hop icons SWIDT are unleashing a colossal agenda for NZ Music Month 2024, with anthems dropping left, right, and centre including “BEEP BEEP”, “’PROTOCOLS”, and the bouncy “LIQUID COURAGE”,  with more heat on the horizon.

Half Hexagon – “The Method” 

Tāmaki Makaurau’s dynamic trio – Yolanda Fagan (Na Noise, Echo Ohs), Julien Dyne (Circling Sun, Avantdale Bowling Club), and James Milne (Lawrence Arabia) – AKA Half Hexagon, have unveiled their first single for 2024, “The Method”. It’s accompanied by a mind-bending montage-style video featuring Carla Camilleri of cc(tv) and directed by East Abernethy.

Joe Ghatt – “Pale Blue Dot” 

More guitar-psych wizardry from Joe Ghatt with his latest single,“Pale Blue Dot”, the second release from his first new album in five years, Caper. With its upbeat funkiness, this track is the perfect antidote to all this autumnal rain. 

Emma Dilemma – ‘Ready or Not”

The new frontperson for Tadpole’s upcoming winter tour with Devilskin, Emma Dilemma’s new solo single “Ready or Not” pulls no punches, about “the struggles of breaking free from the constraints of monotony and embracing the unknown.” 

Averie – “just before you go”

Filipino-Kiwi artist Averie debuts her enchanting blend of jazzy neo-soul in this lush-loved-up track produced by fellow Wellington artist Casual Healing. Averie shares, “It’s for a sunny walk or a hopeful morning. it’s for the neo-soul enjoyers and fellow scat enthusiasts. it’s for me! it’s for you!!” 

Vince Harder & Kings – “Mamacita”

Vince Harder joins forces with fellow Aotearoa star Kings for a club-thumping track, accompanied by a music video showing off the moves of West Auckland’s Freshmans Dance Crew.