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Best New Zealand Music of the Week: March 11th-March 17th

Dive into fresh local releases from Reiki Ruawai, Mokotron, SACHI, MAYJUN, Neil Macleod, Kaylee Bell and more

Reiki Ruawai

Reiki Ruawai

Samantha Cheong

Dive into Rolling Stone AU/NZ‘s weekly roundup of our favourite New Zealand music from the past week. Explore the freshest tracks from local artists in Aotearoa between March 11th-March 17th below.

Reiki Ruawai – “All I Need”

Based in Raglan, Reiki Ruawai (also lead singer of band Mayasa) has already released a handful of singles showcasing his soulful vocals and pop-leaning production. His latest track, “All I Need”, rolls with a breezy groove, and layered synths, peppered with tribal sounds like a Pūtātara (conch shell) sample. Created at APRA New Zealand’s SongHubs with Jordan Rakei, it’s got that textured production style of the London artist.

Mokotron – “Decolonize Existence (Big Fat Raro remix)” 

Tāmaki-based producer Mokotron (Ngāti Hine) teams up with fellow Auckland collaborator Big Fat Raro to give their track “Decolonize Existence” a fresh spin from brooding electropunk to vibrant electronica. It’s the second single from the upcoming, The United Tribes of Bass, remix album, set to release on March 22nd via Sunreturn. Featuring Māori and Cook Island Māori electronic artists, it promises a fusion of cultural beats that’ll get you moving with layers that dig into history and colonisation.

SACHI, Set Mo, K.I.M – “My Tempo”

SACHI keeps the summer festival momentum alive with a new collab alongside Sydney’s Set Mo.”My Tempo” is an acid-fried club banger, packing a punch with its pounding beat and hypnotic chorus.

MAYJUN – “Jealous” 

Aotearoa’s got a fresh boy band on the block: Pasifika trio MAYJUN. Made up of Polynesian artists Jeremiah Fale, Tivoli Levi, & Elijah McPherson, MAYJUN channels the 2000s pop-punk vibe they grew up on (think Paramore, Green Day, Simple Plan). Their debut single, “Jealous”, is an instant delight with fiery guitar riffs and punchy power-pop vocals.

Neil MacLeod – “Fear” 

Ōtautahi artist and producer Neil MacLeod delves into the subconscious with his new single, “Fear”. Featuring MacLeod’s ethereal vocals and atmospheric synths, it creates a beautifully haunting soundscape. Accompanied by a mysterious visualiser, it fully captures the song’s dark edge.

Devilskin – “Barracuda” (Heart Cover)

Local metal heroes Devilskin unleash their fury on American rock band Heart’s hit “Barracuda” to roaring success. Lead singer Jennie Skulander’s soaring vocals and crunchy guitar riffs combine in a fiery maelstrom of sound, a true testament to Hamilton’s hellish prowess.

Valere – “Lily’s March”

The Ōtautahi artist celebrates motherhood in “Lily’s March”, reflecting on the journey of raising her daughter. With Valere’s gentle vocals, marching drums, and synths, the song hits home. The music video features friends and family, adding another personal layer to the heartfelt release. 

Kaylee Bell – Nights Like This 

The Kiwi star wraps up a stellar year, boasting a CMA Global Award and the release of her new album, Nights Like This. Recorded in Nashville, the country pop collection glistens with Bell’s powerhouse vocals and infectious hooks, solidifying her status as a country sensation. With mentors like Keith Urban (Belle’s 2019 hit “Keith” climbed the US Billboard Country Charts), tracks like the album opener “Take It to the Highway” have a sound big enough to fill a stadium.