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Voom Honour a New Zealand Music Great on New Single

The Auckland indie rock band’s single celebrating The Chills’ Martin Phillipps has received the approval of the man himself


Dave Simpson

Auckland indie rock band Voom have released a new single honouring The Chills legend Martin Phillipps.

The song, simply titled after the man himself, is dedicated to one of the finest musicians to ever emerge from New Zealand, and it turns out Voom’s Buzz Moller had been working on the song for a long time.

“I wrote ‘Martin Phillipps’ about 25 years ago, after having heard him talk about his travels round the world in search of his music idols of the past; The Beatles and Beach Boys,” he reveals. “My cousin used to be in The Chills until he got kicked out, and having been a huge fan, I was like, “How dare you kick out my cousin!?”

“The whole song is a stream of improvised consciousness that I layered some instruments over. It sounds like I’m taking the piss a bit — which I probably was — but I also think he’s a magic songwriter and was a big inspiration to me.

Despite any wry undertones, Phillipps approved the celebratory song himself. “Buzz Moller has written an excellent (and weird) song about me and my journeys. It is great fun and I feel honoured!” he says.

That came as some relief to Moller. “After about 20 years of it sitting in my computer, I sent the song to him thinking he might take offence, but he said he loved it and wanted to put it in the movie that was being made about him. Good vibrations going out to you Martin, wherever you are,” he adds.

“Martin Phillipps” is Voom’s first single of the year, following last year’s “We Don’t Care”. Before that, they impressed on 2022’s “Magic”, a collaboration with Fazerdaze.

It’s set to be a busy couple of months for Voom as they tour around New Zealand with Reb Fountain and Vera Ellen (talk about dream gig bills). The trio will perform in Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington, and Auckland through May and June (see full details here).

Voom’s “Martin Phillipps” is out now via Flying Nun Records.