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NO CIGAR Consider Fine Line Between Love and Fear on ‘Make It Better’

NO CIGAR are one of the nominees for Best New Artist at the 2023 Panhead Rolling Stone Aotearoa Awards

NO CIGAR best New Zealand gigs



Recently named as one of the nominees at the 2023 Panhead Rolling Stone Aotearoa Awards, NO CIGAR have celebrated with the release of their first single of the year.

“Make It Better” is a resolutely mellow slice of indie rock, swaying gently with spacious guitars and laidback vocals. It may be an easygoing song on its surface, but the lyrics hold a deeper meaning for the band, considering the connection between love and fear.

“The song is about entering into a relationship with the fear you’re not going to be good for them, and describes the balance between the love and that fear,” they explain. “Sometimes we think we’re doing the right thing for the right reasons, only to find we’re doing more harm than good.”

Recorded at Auckland’s Roundhead Studios, “Make It Better” initially came together during a songwriting trip to their “spiritual home” in Mangawhai.

“As a band, we thrive off the energy in the room, and this song came together very quickly as the energy seemed to be right where it needed to be,” they add. “We were spoiled with a lot of songs shortlisted for this new album. However, we almost ignored this song until we revisited the first demo.

“After we played it back the next day, we all had a bit of a moment and realised we had to make this into something more. In hindsight, we’re very happy that we did.”

Last month, NO CIGAR were revealed as one of the nominees for Best New Artist at the upcoming 2023 Panhead Rolling Stone Aotearoa Awards.

The invite-only event, which has Panhead returning as the headline sponsor, will be a night of live music, celebrating the best in Kiwi music, taking place at St Matthew-in-the-City in Auckland on ​​September 20th.

NO CIGAR will face strong competition from singer-songwriter Georgia Lines, rising pop star Luca George and more in the Best New Artist category.

Following the Awards, NO CIGAR will head to the Northern Hemisphere for a huge London show. The band will play at Oslo Hackney on November 11th (more information here).

NO CIGAR’s “Make It Better” is out now.