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New Music Monday: The Best New Zealand Music for October 23rd to 29th

Dive into the latest Aotearoa releases from Romi Wrights, AP, Casual Healing, Half Hexagon, Muroki, Thomston, and more

Romi Wrights

Romi Wrights


Haere mai to Rolling Stone NZ‘s new weekly roundup of the best New Zealand music from the past seven days. Dive into our favourite new releases by Aotearoa artists between October 23rd-29th below.

Romi Wrights – “Bring It Back”

Tāmaki Makaurau’s Mānuka Recordings, an independent label founded by Dylan Biscuit and Kenny Sterling, continues to bring us sensational homegrown releases. Adding to this collection is the debut single from Te Whanganui-a-Tara-based singer-songwriter Romi Wrights, the artist project of Lisa Wright. With its swirling late 60s orchestral soul influence and her lustrous vocals, it’s truly stunning.

With more music in the pipeline and an upcoming performance opening for US soul legend Lee Fields at Hollywood Avondale on December 10th on the way, Wright is a bright talent worth watching closely.

AP – Castle on Da Sand

It’s a real treat to see rap duo Church and AP venture into solo work, and Castle on Da Sand present AP’s talents in full force. Expect AP’s vibrant Polynesian rap style with snappy flows and a range of engaging beats, from hard-hitting to chill vibes. The 8-track release also boasts an all-star lineup of local MCs, with contributions from Diggy Dupé, deadforest, spyde, Church, and in-house producer Dera Meelan.

Casual Healing – “Mauri Tau”

Casual Healing’s upcoming album, DRIFTWOOD, has us intrigued with its unique release plan, where new tracks drop with every full moon, leading to the full album release in February 2024. The first song, “Mauri Tau”, is inspired by the Māori concept of “peaceful energy” and reflects a deep connection to nature, all about going with the flow of life. “Mauri Tau” starts with gentle birdsong, soothing harmonies, and a lively Motown-style beat, making it a standout piece from the Wellington artist.

Thomston – “Faithfully” 

“I’ve got a photographic memory of your brighter side,” croons Thomston on his latest single. This lovestruck song soars with a grand pop sound and wholesome lyrics. A warm and welcome return from Thomston following his 2022 album Crushed.  

Half Hexagon- “Buy the Farm”

Tāmaki Makaurau’s Half Hexagon, the trio of Yolanda Fagan (Na Noise, Echo Ohs), Julien Dyne (Avantdale Bowling Club), and James Milne (Lawrence Arabia), return with a buzzy new release, “Buy the Farm.” The track dives into a mind-bending rock rhythm lathered in reverb and Fagan’s echoing vocals, creating a hypnotic listening experience. Following their captivating Silver Scroll Awards performance covering a Tiny Ruins song, go catch them live performing in Auckland and Wellington in early November. 

Muroki – “Middle Ground”

Raglan-born musician Muroki explores the intricacies of a long-distance relationship through a beautiful groove in “Middle Ground.” This track is both lush and introspective, brought to life by Muroki’s husky and warm vocal tones.

Rhys Rich – Sleeve Test

Opening for Cali hip hop legends Souls of Mischief in Wellington at the end next month, Rhys Rich has dropped this short EP, made with in-house producer and DJ Benny Balance. The five-track collection showcases the Pōneke heavyweight’s versatility as he shifts between fiery bars and smooth R&B cadence, all set to bouncy, old-school-inspired production.

And$um- “High Beam feat. Vallé”

Straight from Ōtautahi/Christchurch, local MCs And$um and Vallé bring us a fresh dose of hip hop with their reunion on “High Beams”. Their smooth flow, reflective lyrics, and saxophone-infused beat make it an obvious choice for a cruisy weekend drive.