To celebrate the final week of NZ Music Month, Rolling Stone AU/NZ asked a selection of musicians to name their favourite Aotearoa artists and explain what makes them so unique.
Earlier this month, three new exciting and emerging local Aotearoa artists were chosen to take part in the global discovery platform Ones To Watch.
One of the chosen artists was melancholic indie rock trio Soft Plastics, who recently released Saturn Return, one of the best albums to come out of New Zealand this year.
Soft Plastics’ unhurried style, though, won’t be to everyone’s taste, particularly in these hyper-digital times, and it actually took the band a little time to come around to one of this country’s most successful musical exports of recent years: Aldous Harding.
Below, Soft Plastics’ lead singer Sophie Scott-Maunder details how the singer-songwriter eventually hooks listeners with her “timeless” charm:
Aldous Harding is one of Aotearoa’s best musical exports but my appreciation for her music took a while to come to fruition. As a classically trained singer, obsessed with the “pure and natural voice,” I initially found her unusual vocal inflection extremely jarring for my immature and unripe ears.
After I heard Imagining My Man for the first time, I was convinced of the genius.
I’d say it’s pretty rare to create multiple standout albums, one after the other, but Aldous Harding has managed just that.
There is something so timeless, idiosyncratic, fun, intimidating, primitive but also complex about her music. Initially it can take a while to get into it but after a few spins on the record player I’m hooked.