Home Music Music Features

Up-And-Coming Aotearoa Artists: Ringlets

In this Rolling Stone AU/NZ series, we get to know Ringlets, a post-punk band looking to impress in 2023 and beyond


Léa Taillefer

This November, Interpol and Bloc Party will embark on a sensational co-headline tour of Australia.

The tour isn’t coming to New Zealand – the nerve – but if it had, Ringlets would have been the ideal supporting band.

The Auckland four-piece make artful and purposeful post-punk that recalls the sounds of the genre’s revival in the early 00s, Interpol and Bloc Party’s generation.

While much popular post-punk two decades later – often erroneously labelled as post-punk, such as in the case of Black Midi – can veer towards complex musicianship and affected lyricism, Ringlets keep things sharp and simple; their music is “uncluttered and lean”, as lead guitarist László Reynolds described their sound to Rolling Stone AU/NZ.

On their new self-titled debut album, Ringlets make good on the promise they showed on the New Zealand live circuit. Over ten sprightly songs, the band often recall the playful nature of fellow post-punks Omni, and the frequent sprinkles of theatricality and humour help their music stand out in an increasingly crowded field.

As a foursome, Ringlets are impressive, the good guitar work of Reynolds ably assisted by bassist Arabella Poulsen and drummer Arlo Grey, and in Leith Towers, they have a commanding leading presence.

Ringlets have two shows left on their New Zealand album tour: tonight in Dunedin (more on that below) and next Friday, August 4th, at Auckland’s Whammy Bar (tickets available here).

Read our encapsulating interview with Reynolds below, which includes discussion of Roald Dahl and his illustrator, career highlights, and the importance of good handwriting.

Ringlets’ self-titled debut album is out now. 

Rolling Stone AU/NZ: How did music influence you all in your early life?

Ringlets: At a young age, music proved to me that life was fundamentally good and fun.

What artists influenced you all growing up?

For me, the alternative ‘80s was playing in the house every day, so The Cure, The Smiths, Wire etc.. That and Roald Dahl (and the bloke who did all his illustrations). 

How was the reaction to your debut album?

It’s been great – we’ve gotten some glowing feedback from places far as the US, UK, and France. 

What themes did you try to explore on the album?

We were trying to make songs that were as catchy as they were unsettling.

What are some other career highlights so far?

We were lucky to support The Damned in June at the Powerstation in Auckland, and San Fran in Wellington.

Are you looking forward to your national tour? Any cities/venues in particular you’re keen to perform in?

We’re excited to play at Dive in Dunedin because it’ll be on a Friday night and I love Dunedin.

Post-punk is such a crowded field these days. What makes Ringlets stand out from similar bands?

We are very disciplined and strive to keep our songs uncluttered and lean.

What kind of personality traits and values do you all believe it takes to succeed in the music industry?

Good handwriting is very important (in order to produce immaculate forgeries)

How would you describe your music to a potential fan?

Our music is made up of eight equal parts: fun, friendly, sad, scary, dumb, sexy, mad, and hairy.

What are your goals for 2023 and beyond?

Make another (better) album and play more shows.