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Best New Zealand Music of the Week: July 1st-July 7th

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




Every week, Rolling Stone AU/NZ highlights our favourite New Zealand music from the past seven days, and July kicks off with something for every mood.

Catch up on JessB, Leisure, and Arahi, plus check out fresh tracks from Mousey, SKILAA, Tess Liautaud, Nathain Haines, Caru & DylanBiscuit, T.G. Shand, Ingrid and the Ministers, and Arli Liberman below. 

Mousey – “Dog Park” 

Mousey, aka Ōtautahi’s Sarena Close, returns with her first new music in two years, “Dog Park”. The single follows her superb 2022 album My Friends, praised by Rolling Stone AU/NZ for its “excellent lyricism and songwriting, bolstered by phenomenal production.”

“Dog Park” features dark, brooding instrumentation, Close’s transfixing vocals, and stream-of-consciousness lyrics. It releases as a double-single with the equally moody digital B-side “Opener” via Winegum Records.

“Sometimes the most harmful thing someone has said to me has been quite forgettable for the person who said it. The axe forgets, but the tree remembers. I wrote this song (Dog Park) in about 10 minutes—it just fell out, without even a thought of references. I felt it and went from there. It’s quite simple, there’s not much to it,” Mousey says. 

SKILAA – Tiger in the River

Announced as top 20 finalists for the prestigious 2024 Silver Scroll Award for “Jenny Greenteeth”, SKILAA have dropped their highly anticipated debut album, Tiger in the River.

The Tāmaki Makaurau group – Chelsea Prastiti, Michael Howell, Tom Dennison, Adam Tobeck, and Helen Pahulu – describe their genre-blending music as “psychedelic R&B.”

Produced by Jeremy Toy (Open Souls, She’s So Rad) and mastered by Grammy nominee Nate Wood, their album features a dizzying mash-up of groove-heavy percussion, woozy R&B, and sharp, sassy songwriting. Highlights include the student radio hit “I Never Knew” featuring Detroit rapper Guilty Simpson, the scathing “Money”, the dark horror track “Southern Gothic,” and, of course, the lauded “Jenny Greenteeth.”

Even better, SKILAA have just announced a pair of launch parties this August in Auckland and Wellington.

Tess Liautaud – “The Way It’s Meant to Rain”

Ōtautahi-based Franco-American songwriter Tess Liautaud teams up with fellow local Adam Hattaway on their tender and heartfelt track “The Way It’s Meant to Rain”. It’s the next teaser from her upcoming album Blue Mind, slated for full release on October 25th.

Nathan Haines – “Belo Dia” 

Local jazz legend Nathan Haines announced his upcoming album, Notes, with this warm, smooth, Brazilian-inspired track, bringing sunny vibes to Aotearoa’s cold snap. 

Caru & DylanBiscuit – “Boys a Liar” 

Speaking of winter warmers, Caru & DylanBiscuit, Tāmaki Makaurau’s production and DJ heavyweights, released the first single from their upcoming CaruBiscuit Vol. 1 – a warm house cut and certified hit. 

T.G. Shand – “Scene” 

Annemarie Duff, previously of Melbourne band Miniatures, has been making lush, guitar-driven shoegaze as T.G. Shand since 2018. Her latest release, “Scene”, moves towards dreamy pop, paired with a sweet animation that uses real-time Lyttelton weather data to highlight her focus on climate change.

Ingrid and the Ministers – “Earthquake” 

Extra large on the guitar riffs, Ingrid and the Ministers‘ new song is an outright banger about inevitably getting into trouble. 

Arli Liberman – Portal

Arli Liberman shared his new nine-track album titled Portal, exploring quiet, subtle sounds that exist between the notes in music.

Portal has been a slow-cooking project. Initially, it manifested as a breakup album, but it turned out to be a much more pure and personal undertaking. It morphed into a process of creating shifting frequencies, transitioning the listener between spaces – somewhat akin to passing through sonic portals,” the acclaimed composer says.