Home Music Music Features

Best New Zealand Music of the Week: May 13th-May 19th

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

Carb on Carb

Carb on Carb

Ezra Simons

In week three of NZ Music Month / Te Marama Puoro o Aotearoa, the music scene keeps buzzing with fresh releases from across Aotearoa. Explore our previous coverage on Vera Ellen, Earth Tongue, and Thomas Powers, and check out new highlights from Carb on Carb, Ny Oh and Finn Johansson, Sam Bambery, Dera Meelan, The Advocators, beet-wix, Swidt, Valere, Tess Liautaud, below.

Carb on Carb – Take Time 

After a six-year hiatus since their last album, For Ages, Aotearoa emo-punk duo Carb on Carb return with a fresh release. Now based in Whanganui, Nicole Gaffney and James Stutely have unveiled their long-awaited third album, Take Time, ahead of their ten-date tour across Australia and New Zealand. The title reflects the at-home recording process and the COVID-induced delays on the album.

Stutely explains,“It’s many things at once, a joke: it took a long time; an exhortation: we could both do better at taking our time with things; and a proclamation of the theme of the album – time.”

Ny Oh and Finn Johansson – “We Still Got It” 

When ageing feels heavy, Ny Oh (regular keyboardist for Harry Styles) and Finn Johansson have a simple solution: make music together. Their latest track, “We Still Got It”, dives into the chaos of today’s work-life balance-strained youth – think late Zoom meetings and skipped brunches. The accompanying video offers a refreshing break, set in the tranquil backyard pools of West Auckland.

Sam Bambery – Rubricator 

Ōtautahi artist Sam Bambery shares his indie-rock album, Rubricator, recorded in DIY fashion across houses, old photography studios, and lounge rooms, showcasing experimental sounds and spontaneous creativity.

According to Bambery, “this album felt like an ecstatic jigsaw, pieces coming together in spontaneous takes whilst also holding songs and feelings tightly to our chest. It felt like present music at the time, dominated by process, nothing to do with the past or the future. It was a therapeutic escape at a time where I felt a bit lost as to what direction I should take my songs.”

Dera Meelan – “Nayfin” (ft. AP)

Church & AP producer Dera Meelan teams up with AP for a fresh collaboration titled “Nayfin”. It’s AP’s first solo release since his debut EP, Castle on Da Sand, all produced by Dera. With heavy breakbeats providing the backdrop, AP delivers his signature fiery flows: “I got my music on the rotation, I got my hits up on the rotation.”

The Advocators – Songs from an Endless Night 

The Advocators have made their debut album entrance with a mix of bluegrass ballads and soul-stirring gospel rock. The Maungaturoto-based duo of Leroy Brown (guitar, banjo, and lead vocals) and Mark Bruce (guitar, backing vocals, and melodica) today shared Songs from an Endless Night, a 13-track collection that’s a collaborative effort. Joined by William Jackson and Anita Clark (Motte), the album was expertly mastered by Chris Chetland (Kog Studio).

The album features tracks such as “Dreams”, “Bad Girls”, “Elijah”, and a searing cover of the Townes Van Zandt song “Waitin’ Round to Die”. The Advocators also hinted at upcoming tour dates across New Zealand’s “hillbilly hotspots.”

beet-wix – “mindblock” 

Ōtepoti’s beet-wix keeps the synth-punk energy alive with their new single “mindblock”, while still holding the number one spot on the SRN Top 10 with their debut track, “slug level standards.”

Swidt – “Money Bags” (ft. Jevon)/”For Medicinal Use Only”

In the midst of NZ Music Month, Swidt shows no signs of slowing down. The Aotearoa hip hop icon drops two hot tracks: the fiery “Money Bag”, featuring Jevon, and the laid-back smoke anthem “For Medicinal Use Only.”

Valere – Gold Dust 

Ōtautahi songwriter Valere shares a delicate blend of ballads and indie pop in her 6-track EP, Gold Dust, exploring themes of marriage, motherhood, and loss.

Tess Liautaud – “Here Go the Lovers”

Currently on a nationwide tour, the Ōtautahi-based Franco-American singer-songwriter has shared a new single “Here Go The Lovers” and announced her sophomore album, Blue Mind. The track draws inspiration from musical legends like Jackson Browne and Bruce Springsteen, blending heart-rending country/folk sounds with a timely autumnal video.