Haere mai to Rolling Stone NZ‘s new weekly roundup of the best New Zealand music from the past seven days. Dive into the freshest Aotearoa releases by Aotearoa artists between November 6th-12th below.
Brandn Shiraz – “junior”
Up-and-coming star of the Tāmaki Makaurau hip hop scene, the smooth-flowing rapper Brandn Shiraz, once lauded by Melodownz who said, “If I could bet all my money on anyone, it’s Shiraz,” has released an epic tribute to his Cook Island heritage on the LSJ-produced banger “Junior”. The cinematic video, capturing the everyday essence of island life, was filmed during a trip back home to Rarotonga, directed by Bryce Selu Tobin and shot by Devan Narsai.
Goodwill – “Kind Hands”
Releasing his first new music since his debut 2022 EP, Incontrol, Goodwill, the solo project of Ōtautahi musician and producer Will McGillivray, has dropped a sweet new song, “Kind Hands”. McGillivray wrote, performed, and produced the song in his home studio, blending acoustic guitar, gorgeously grainy production, and his gentle vocals. The video, beautifully paired with the song title, includes NZ Sign Language, conveying the message “kind hands are the ones you have.”
Erny Belle – Not Your Cupid
Music fans in Tāmaki Makaurau flocked to Flying Nun’s new Karangahape Road flagship on Friday night to celebrate the eagerly anticipated new album from Ngāpuhi singer-songwriter Erny Belle, aka Aimee Renata. Finalist for both the 2023 Taite Music Prize and Auckland Live Best Independent Debut Award, Renata’s sophomore album, Not Your Cupid, blends her unique Pacific-pop style with exceptional songcraft. Plus, there’s a thrilling new video for latest single “Inertia”.
Kaylee Bell – “Good Things”
Kiwi country sensation Kaylee Bell won big at the Country Music Awards (CMA) in Tennessee last week, scoring the ‘Jeff Walker Global Country Artist’ award for her tribute song “Keith” to Keith Urban. Now, she’s spreading good vibes with her latest track, “Good Things”, just in time for sunny days. With Bell’s powerful vocals and effervescent lyrics, it’s a feel-good tune about positive things heading your way.
Rita Mae – “Nightmare”
Spotlighted by Rolling Stone AU/NZ as “one of eight Kiwis artists tipped to take over”, Rita Mae has shared the dark, and dreamy bonus track “Nightmare” from her deluxe version of her SUPERFEELING EP, out in full on November 24th. “It’s about when the process of getting over a heartbreak causes actual physical pain. The process is written about as a physical place that you go to ‘get better’ – the nightmare!.. It continued to haunt me. I felt like it had to come out as a bonus track because it simply wouldn’t leave me alone,” says Mae about the song.
Georgia Lines – “Romeo”
Continuing to shine, AMA Breakthrough Artist of the Year 2022 Georgia Lines builds on her chart-topping EP Human with her latest pop hit, “Romeo”, as she kicks off her first US tour. Co-crafted with Joseph Faris, the Tauranga-based artist’s synth-pop anthem features glimmering 80s production, hitting climactic bridges and catchy choruses. Lyrically, the track delves into relationship twists and turns, desiring a straightforward “Romeo” fantasy.
Sam Cullen – “The Cold Midwinter”
Invercargill’s very own Sam Cullen drops the raw and raucous “The Cold Midwinter”, a pop-infused rock and roll journey through teenage pub culture and the path to adulthood. The video, crafted by Dave Thomson of Imaginary Friends, packs a punch, unfolding at Invercargill’s Rugby Park Stadium, where Cullen’s grandfather maintained the grounds for over a decade.
Robinson – “It’s All Over You”
Finally, London-based New Zealander Robinson unveils her shimmering second EP, Chasing Nirvana, featuring the ever-delicate and stand out ballad “It’s All Over You”. Robinson relfects, “I feel the sound has grown right alongside me, helping to show the tenderness, angst, grit, confusion, and joy that comes along with living life. As people, we are a multitude of many things rather than just one thing, and I really wanted to showcase all of these facets in the sonic of this EP, so it would make it a true journey.”