Friday Release Roundup Theia Rita Mae deepState AndWahn Ebb More

Chris Cudby / Image: Theia
/ Friday 27th January, 2023 6:18PM


It’s not only been pouring down with rain but also excellent musical releases on this wet ‘n’ wild Friday. I’ll be stepping away from UTR’s Tāmaki Makaurau office for the next two weeks due to my apartment being taken over by tradespeople (maybe these guys?), but readers will be in safe hands as none other than Annabel Kean (Sports Team) is returning to the site for a fortnight as Acting Editor! Check out this week’s news coverage of Roy Irwin, Leaping Tiger, DARTZ, Soft Plastics and Surf Friends, and let’s walk through even more significant selected local tunes / videos from the last seven days together — fresh releases by Theia, Rita Mae, Ebb, deepState, Andwahn, Polaroids of Polarbears, Dub Asylum and METHCHRIST

Following a breakout 2022 for her reo Māori project TE KAAHU, Theia (Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Tīpa) unveiled gloriously emotive pop ballad ‘Pray 4 Me’ with a visualiser directed and edited by Frances Carter (Wellness) — made with support from NZ On Air.

Playing this Saturday’s Small Waves Mini-Fest at Leigh Sawmill Cafe with Heavy Chest, Casual Healing (performing solo), O & The Mo and more [tickets HERE], Rita Mae dropped soul-infused new pop anthem ‘Superfeeling’.

Ōtautahi-based dance facilitators HAVEN launched their new black label series "which will be focused on the combination of UK bass flavours with the hard techno vibes we usually push" with a scorching track by Aotearoa producer Ebb — from the forthcoming Vague Weight Vol. 1 compilation launching on 24th February (vinyl orders via the Bandcamp link).

Tāmaki Makaurau electronic artist deepState unveiled a cinematic breaks-driven track from forthcoming new EP Butterfly​/​Starfield (including a remix by Ultraviolet) via Canterbury’s Echo Train Records.

Speaking of Canterbury, the garden city’s irrepressible The Big Fresh Collective kick off the year with considerable panache with four 160bpm heaters from AndWahn.

Fielding’s Polaroids of Polarbears have no right to be so consistently catchy — hit play on their new fuzz-power-pop gem ‘January 2023 – And I know ya’.

When all this wet weather goes away you can get your summer sizzling again with Dub Asylum‘s new rework of Savage’s monster hit ‘Swing’.

Munt your ears with ‘Hate Commands’ by Dunedin’s Methchrist, the punishing lead track from the "Dissonant Bestial Black Death" crew’s forthcoming debut album Pestilential Warfare of the Black Flame, launching on 23rd February (vinyl orders via the Bandcamp link).

Leaping Tiger Returns With Single Miu Miu feat Nganeko

Chris Cudby
/ Friday 27th January, 2023 11:54AM


Deservedly picking up the Tūī award for Te Kaipuoro Tāhiko Toa | Best Electronic Artist in 2022, Leaping Tiger is back making waves down under after a UK jaunt with bold new dance track ‘Miu Miu‘, plus an all-ages headline gig tonight at Tāmaki Makaurau’s Big Fan. A body-moving, booty-shaking slice of lux RnB-inflected future funk, ‘Miu Miu’ showcases the vocal stylings of Nganeko, threading infectious hooks aplenty through producer Jacob Park shimmering synthetic lattices of sound. Leaping Tiger will be bringing the party this evening with support from ABG star hanbee and presented by the Mild Mosh crew — move fast to secure your spot…

Mild Mosh Presents: Leaping Tiger + hanbee

Friday 27th January — Big Fan, Auckland (all ages)

Tickets available HERE via UTR

‘Miu Miu’ feat. Nganeko is out today on major streaming services.

Leaping Tiger Announces Auckland Headline Show w Hanbee

Chris Cudby / Photo credit: Rose Riddell
/ Thursday 12th January, 2023 9:36AM


Winner of the 2022 Tūī award for Te Kaipuoro Tāhiko Toa | Best Electronic Artist, Leaping Tiger has announced his official return to Aotearoa’s stages following an extended jaunt in the northern hemisphere. The party starting production maestro will perform at Tāmaki Makaurau’s fab new venue Big Fan on 27th January alongside rising star hanbee, whose Seashell Cassette EP (plus student radio hit ‘Weekenders’ with Hans.) was a hook-packed late ’22 local highlight. Get your new year started on the good foot and grab tix for this all ages event while you can — brought to you by Mild Mosh

Mild Mosh Presents: Leaping Tiger + hanbee

Friday 27th January — Big Fan, Auckland (all ages)

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Watch the 2022 video for Leaping Tiger’s ‘Gooey’…

Hit play on hanbee’s Seashell Cassette EP…

Press release:

Aotearoa Music Award-winning artist Leaping Tiger is back in Aotearoa for the first time in months after spending the second half of the year in the UK homing his crafts. It was only right the jack of all synths brings back his live electronic set back to the city, this time at the newest live venue in town, Big Fan. It’s hard to stay still during a Leaping Tiger set, whether he’s tearing it up on bass, getting into a groove on the keyboard or getting a workout in on his synth pad.

With support from rising indie pop star Hanbee, the songstress has been seen with the Always Be Grateful collective who have been on a roll around the country throwing live gigs and club nights. More recently Hanbee opened for Fazerdaze at Hollywood Avondale and released her debut EP ‘Seashell Casette’, capping off a big 2022 for Hanbee.

Leaping Tiger Drops Single New Psyche

Chris Cudby / Photo credit: Rose Riddell / Friday 13th May, 2022 1:19PM


Venturing further into slice of life lyrical zones following 2021’s breakout student radio hit ‘Gooey‘, Leaping Tiger is back with first official single of 2022 ‘New Psyche‘. Sounding playful and sassy on the standalone electronic jam, Tāmaki Makaurau’s Jacob Park again takes control of the mic to spin off-the dome firsthand tales of a swaggy young artist on the move over mind-morphing grooves — smash that play button below…

Leaping Tiger · New Psyche

‘New Psyche’ is out now on major streaming services via ESP.

Watch Leaping Tigers Video For Gooey

Chris Cudby / Photo credit: Ngaru Garland
/ Wednesday 27th April, 2022 9:42AM


A standout single from Leaping Tiger‘s 2021 sophomore album Soulsleep, the Tāmaki Makaurau electronic artist treats fans this morning to a slime-toned new video for ‘Gooey‘. Co-directed and edited by Leaping Tiger’s alter ego Jacob Park and Oscar Keys, filmed by Ezra Simons (Earth Tongue), and made with support from NZ On Air, ‘Gooey’ stars the producer / singer / bassist tackling emotional battles with sword in hand (and having fun) in a variety of gorgeously shot settings, while putting an inventive spin on the idea of green screen visuals. Both grittily urban and nearly new agey in its rural sunset meditations, enjoy the cinematic splendour of ‘Gooey’ below…

"This one’s for for the weirdo bipocs in Aotearoa. I am you. I love you" – Leaping Tiger

‘Soulsleep’ is out now on major streaming services via ESP Records.

Summer Thieves Unveil Is It Really Over Amamelia Remix

Chris Cudby / Amamelia photo credit: Connor Crawford
/ Friday 25th February, 2022 9:57AM


Helping prep our ears for forthcoming launch of Summer ThievesParadise Down The Road Remixed album, the LOOP team dish up a future-friendly appetiser in the form of Amamelia‘s rework of ‘Is It Really Over?‘. Frontman Jake Barton‘s soulful vocals glide atop the Tāmaki dance producer’s cyber-jacked vision of liquid metal breakbeats and shimmering synths, intertwined with vibe-enhancing outbursts of electric guitar — recalling the hazy spirit of 808 State’s ‘Pacific State’ reimagined for Aotearoa’s sun-soaked festival party-goers. The full collection drops on 4th March, featuring fresh versions of songs from 2021’s Paradise Down The Road conjured into reality by Leaping Tiger, SanoiHood Rich, Scott Tindale, Out Of Sorts, KÉDU CARLÖ and peak:shift, plus a second Amamelia track for good measure. Smash play on ‘Is It Really Over (Amamelia Remix)’ and check out Sanoi’s recently released remix of ‘Paper Tiger‘ below…

‘Is It Really Over (Amamelia Remix)’ is out now on major streaming services via LOOP.

Listen To Imugi s Dragonfruit The Remixes

Annabel Kean / Monday 13th December, 2021 10:41AM


Further expanding the Dragonfruit collaborative universe, Imugi 이무기 have invited an all-killer line up of producers and local talent to rework the seven titles on their 2020 EP, plus bonus track ‘Swimming (nate Fox, Sushi Ceej & The Kount Remix)‘. Teased with Dera Meelan‘s take on ‘Y U Always Acting Like A Fool’ late last month, we now get to enjoy the entire blissful refresh of the Tāmaki hip hop duo’s EP, featuring a percussion-packed KÉDU CARLÖ mix of ‘Portals’, an electrified rework of ‘Reflections’ courtesy of Leaping Tiger, Amamelia‘s lux version of ‘Somebody Else’, and stacks more from Borrowed cs, swrly and Alexa Casino. Like a sweet Christmas treat before they tour the country with Broods and Flamingo Pier this December / January, UTR Trash Recital stars Yery Cho and producer Carl Ruwhiu set us up with a new summer soundtrack on Dragonfruit: The Remixes

Imugi 이무기’s ‘Dragonfruit: Remixed’ is out now.

Dera Meelan Remixes Imugi s Y U Always Acting Like A Fool

Annabel Kean / Friday 26th November, 2021 11:36AM


Tāmaki hip hop sweethearts Imugi 이무기 have performed a seasonal miracle, resurrecting their fire 2020 EP Dragonfruit to soundtrack another summer, remixed and refreshed. Our first taste of Dragonfruit: The Remixes lands today thanks to producer Dera Meelan, who has taken on stand out single ‘Y U Always Acting Like A Fool?’, finding himself remixing longtime collaborators Church & AP. Once a shimmering pop-pearl, ‘Y U Always Acting Like A Fool? (Dera Meelan Remix)’ has had a club banger makeover, bulked up and rippling with filthy bass, hype drops and relentless dance beats. While Meelan leads the summer party charge, local talents Amamelia, Kédu Carlö, Borrowed cs, SWRLY, Leaping Tiger and Alexa Casino are all on the menu when Dragonfruit: The Remixes drops in full December 10th. Say goodbye to summers of yore, and hello to a zesty new Imugi 이무기 party season with Meelan’s floor-filler reimagining…

Imugi 이무기’s ‘Dragonfruit: Remixed’ is out December 10th.

Listen To UTRs November 2021 Playlist

Chris Cudby
/ Thursday 4th November, 2021 1:17PM


We’ve nearly made it to the end of whatever the heck 2021 is supposed to be, with glimmers of excitement about what 2022 might hold for Aotearoa’s live music community. The beginning of November means a brand new edition of our official UTR playlist, absolutely crammed with top tier local tunes released during the past 30 days or so — just in time to soundtrack your backyard Guy Fawkes fireworks display and / or long spring walks in the sun. Compiled and sequenced by yours truly, this month’s batch includes tracks by Kody Nielson, Julien Dyne, Hollie Smith, Leaping Tiger, Bad Taste, Samara Alofa, The Broken Heartbreakers, Adam Hattaway and the Haunters, Mild Orange, bb gurl, Sit Down In Front and many more. Hit play below and if you like what you hear, sign up for the regular stream right HERE

Leaping Tiger Shares New Album Soulsleep

Chris Cudby / Photo credit: Ngaru Garland
/ Monday 1st November, 2021 2:32PM


Leaping Tiger blew us all away with 2020’s debut long player Porcelain Orca Whales and now he’s returned, slaying any notions of sophomore slump with the sustained excellence of album number two Soulsleep. The Tāmaki producer’s love for futuristic and club-friendly electronic textures is back in abundance too, teased on earlier singles with chrome-armoured RnB anthem ‘Take Care’ featuring Maxwell Young, the shimmering soul / funk of student radio chart fave ‘Gooey’, and alluring prismatic surfaces of ‘Gems’ (which I keep reading as ‘Germs’). New standouts include mesmerically pulsing crowd-mover ‘Anti’, the fantastically dreamy ‘*Pain’ and Italo-textured spoken word soundscape ‘Soliloquy’ with Imugi 이무기, but once again there’s not a dud in the pack. Looks like your summer soundtrack’s been taken care of already with Soulsleep — hit play below and go cop some of the artist’s slick self-designed esp apparel over HERE

‘Soulsleep’ is out now via major streaming services.

Listen to Main Divide Compilation Vol05 feat Team Dynamite Imugi More

Annabel Kean / Image: Team Dynamite / Wednesday 13th October, 2021 10:05AM


A who’s who of Aotearoa pop and hip hop artists feature on the latest collaboration between Loop Recordings and Waipara’s Main Divide wines (by Pegasus Bay). The Main Divide NZ Music Compilation Vol.05 boasts a pristine collection of local talent, from Imugi 이무기 setting the bar high on track one cut ‘Portals’, to Anna Coddington and Louis Baker‘s finale ‘Beams’. For something with a sweeter flavour profile, perhaps pour yourself a drop of Merk with ‘American Parties’ from his excellent sophomore album Infinite Youth, or treat yourself to the honey-toned charms of RIIKI‘s ‘Share Your Luv’. Those after a glass of something zesty and zingy look no further than PollyHill on track three with ‘Foreward’, or the outstanding blend of Leaping Tiger, Church & AP, JY Lee and Disciple Pati on ‘Screw Face’ from Porcelain Orca Whales. The collection is available to listen as individual tracks and mixed together by Dylan C — you can hear both versions below.

The winery’s Ed Donaldson reflects on their compilation curation journey, with more info about Vol.05 and earlier editions available at the Main Divide website here

“A lot has changed in the world since our first compilation was released back in 2008; one thing that’s remained constant however is the positive effect music has on our lives and society as a whole. It brings us together, lifts our mood, and can provide a sense of euphoria and altered state at its best. As with previous volumes, we’ve chosen a selection of quality homegrown tracks we feel represent the current sound of Aotearoa, featuring a mix of established and up and coming artists. Wine and music are two of life’s great pleasures, like two old friends that never tire of each other’s company.”

Loop · Main Divide Vol​.​05 (Dylan C Mixtape)


‘Main Divide NZ Music Compilation Vol.05’ is out now via major streaming services.

Listen To UTRs October 2021 Playlist

C.C. / Tuesday 12th October, 2021 2:38PM


Holy smokes it’s October already. Marking the three quarter point of the second whackiest year for Aotearoa music this century so far (it’d take a lot to beat 2020) is the latest edition of our UTR playlist. Compiled and fussily sequenced by housebound editor Chris Cudby, this month’s selection features tunes by Bad Taste, Karl Steven, Leaping Tiger, deepState, Luke Buda, Vera Ellen, Brandn Shiraz, Hollie Smith, Connan Mockasin, Don McGlashan, Sulfate, bb gurl and lots more. Hit play below and if you like what you hear, sign up for the regular stream right HERE

Leaping Tiger Shares Single Gooey Announces New Album Soulsleep

Chris Cudby / Photo credit: Ngaru Garland
/ Friday 24th September, 2021 9:00AM


Kicking off Friday with some news to knock your socks off, Tāmaki Makaurau electronic artist Leaping Tiger has thrilled fans with the announcement his second album Soulsleep will be out on 29th October, the follow up to 2020’s all-killer debut Porcelain Orca Whales. He’s also shared the final single before that record drops, ‘Gooey‘, showcasing his own vocal skills alongside local pop talent Levyné. The shimmering soul / funk of ‘Gooey’ doesn’t shy away from unpacking the deeply yuck feelings involved when relationships drift apart, inspired by that most contemporary predicament of discovering your ex is dating someone new while casually scrolling social media. Staving off the green-eyed, radioactive sludge-like monster of jealousy can be a tough task for even the mightiest warrior, especially when it catches you unawares. Read Leaping Tiger’s own words on the song below and for even more captivating ideas and creations, head over here to check out his new art / mixes Instagram page Extra Sensory Perception LLC

“‘Gooey’ is a vocalisation of how I was feeling for a week after finding out about my ex’s new partner through social media. I was really shocked at how old feelings can come flooding back from something as simple as a photo on a phone screen. That’s something I’d never been through before.

Gooey is a term I made up to describe that gross feeling of jealousy and envy that just consumes you completely in a situation like that. It’s slimy and hard to wash off… it keeps you up at night.

I’d been sitting on the instrumental trying to get all sorts of people on it whilst I had my own idea of how the song should go in the back of my mind, so as each opportunity to have a different vocalist faded, it became more and more clear I just had to do it and speak for myself for once.”

Listen To UTRs September 2021 Playlist

C.C. / Wednesday 1st September, 2021 12:08PM


Spring has sprung and our September playlist has arrived, crammed full of fresh local tracks for you to enjoy and explore during Aotearoa’s accursed latest Level 3 & 4 lockdown phase. This month’s selection features new and recent cuts from Sulfate, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Diggy Dupé w/ SWIDT, Vera Ellen, i.e. crazy, Marlin’s Dreaming, Kendall Elise, Carb On Carb, Karl Steven, Leaping Tiger, Proteins Of Magic, Dawn Diver, Infinite Hex, DARTZ and lots more, compiled and sequenced by housebound UTR editor Chris Cudby. Smash that play button below and if you like what you hear, go on and hit follow right HERE [Bandcamp purchase links for most tracks available HERE]…

Leaping Tiger Returns With Take Care Ft Maxwell Young

Chris Cudby / Photo credit: Ngaru Garland
/ Friday 27th August, 2021 11:39AM


Tāmaki Makaurau production wiz Leaping Tiger is back with his first single in nearly a year and the wait has been worth it. What starts as a swoony balladic collab with singer Maxwell Young mutates into a futuristic new beast around the 1:30 mark — amplifying the song’s emotive core with furious breakbeat action and teeth-rattling bass in a compositional rug-pull that is to be cherished. Whether it’s pure projection on my part or active intent, I can hear hints of Scritti Politti soul-pop goodness bubbling through ‘Take Care‘ — smash that play button below and don’t miss Leaping Tiger and friends at super city hotspot East St Hall, happening on the brand new date of 7th October…

Leaping Tiger And Friends 6: Dera Meelan & Deadforest, Halfqueen + special guests

Thursday 7th October — East St. Hall, Auckland

Tickets available HERE via UTR

‘Take Care’ is out now via major streaming services.

PollyHill Unveils Single Sweepstake Feat Church

Annabel Kean / Friday 26th March, 2021 2:05PM


As we mentioned last week, the UTR office has been hankering for another PollyHill cut to groove to since her last drop ‘Mentors’, and at last we can change up the tempo with devastating new track ‘Sweepstake’, featuring Elijah Manu aka Church of Church & AP. Produced by frequent PollyHill collaborator Alexa Casino, ‘Sweepstake’ grew from Paloma Schneideman exploring her love for weird and wonderful horror (see: Nosferatu-inspired clip for ‘Spooky’), and wove in samples from obscure film noir as she mixed the beat. Also no stranger to thrillers, Church has a fondness for incorporating classic horror references into their output too, just check the Alfred Hitchcock vibes in the ‘Roulette’ video. PollyHill has an ear for what complements her sound and has assembled a wicked crew for the single release show lined up for April 10th. Find tickets below for a mind-blowing night, and take a big, juicy bite of ‘Sweepstake’…

Pollyhill’s ‘Sweepstake’ Single Release Party

Pollyhill & Pals (Alexa Casino, Olli, LB), HalfQueen, Leaping Tiger, Samara Alofa

Saturday 10th April – Whammy Backroom, Auckland

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Review Live Photos Mermgrown Tmaki Makaurau 2021

Review: Ali Nicholls / Photography: Connor Crawford
/ Monday 22nd March, 2021 4:20PM


The power of the Merm swept through Tāmaki Makaurau on Saturday night, presenting a kaleidoscopic experience of Aotearoa’s latest and greatest musicians, magicians, and monsters curated by Pōneke’s own Mermaidens. Sweat was shed, shapes were cut, and eardrums were blistered. Ali Nicholls and Connor Crawford were there soaking up the vibes. Check it out!


Opening up the night is LEAO, dishing out a selection of tracks from their debut album GHOST ROADS led by Dave Urso. The Noa Records trio delivers their fa’asamoa heart through an uptempo surf punk style, instantly turning the crowd up and kicking the festival with the pace we are thirsty for. The band is in sync and the songs seem effortlessly tight, bringing out the playful ihirangaranga that flow through us for the rest of the night.

Charlie (OPI)

In the intimacy of Wine Cellar, Charlie (OPI) sits on the floor in front of their pedals and loops, with just a guitar and a mic, generating a slow curling wave of sonic goodness. Their sound is ethereal, almost eerie, in the comfort of the room. The crowd is fixated, with a pool of people at the front sitting at their level in full emersion of the ambient swells they craft across the set. Like looking up at the sun underwater, we are suspended in the oceanic dreamscape of their sound.

Samara Alofa

Samara Alofa’s debut album Earth Punk has been reeling in many astounded ears since its release. Tonight they are tapping into the belly of the earth, drawing up power from deep inside, and presenting a breathtaking collection of tracks. Their masterful balance of organic sound and electronic creativity is one of a kind, and everyone I speak to throughout the night mentions their name. Their music is irresistible: as embodied as it is transcendent, as visceral as it is other worldly, like the sound climbs up the spine into the mind as the set unfolds.

Kane Strang

The long awaited return of Kane Strong is heavy in the thick, humid air of Mainroom. The crowd is practically a single organism by the time I wedge myself into the corner of the room, so tightly packed that there’s no choice but to move with the waving bodies. Strang’s band is incredibly tight, and the new age Dunedin sound is as well received as ever. I wish I could have seen more than Gussie Larkin’s blonde hair occasionally whip around, but I was pressed against the back of a pole the entire time. Better get in quick next time!


K M T P took the Wine Cellar stage, serving up some classic 90s dirt bag noise with a hard gaze twist. Heavy on the reverb with melodic guitar reminiscent of Airiel, the Tāmaki Makaurau local offers your classic post-punk shoegaze rock. While the instruments are tight, the strained vocals contrast with the energy they’re bringing out, but the crowd is vibes it.

Leaping Tiger

After the unintentional hard noise intro as a result of some brief sound issues, Leaping Tiger smacks the ball out of the park with yet another set soaked in effortless, sexy grooves. Their multi-instrumental set up gets me every time, playing with their mix, keys, a drum pad, and a juicy five string bass across the tracks. They love a bit of banter with the crowd, which flows naturally from the eclectic beats and failsafe musicianship. It’s cool, danceable, and charismatic. Strong vibes.

Na Noise

Na Noise hit the stage with a full band tonight, and it’s the best set of theirs I have seen. The trio is full co-ordinated, with Yolanda and Hari in matching red velvet jumpsuits. Joined by Peter Ruddell (Wax Chattels), James Milne (Lawrence Arabia), and Vincent Lum (Vincent H.L) in black suits and red velvet cummerbunds on backing vocals, who give us the dance highlight of the night with their Motown-esque synchronised dancing, there’s a cheeky flash of irony in their psychedelic roadhouse vibes. Their sound is easy on the percussion, focusing on the taut guitar, bass riffs, and the lead vocalists’ gritty vocals. It’s a little bit saucy, a little bit grizzly, and a hell of a lot of fun.

Louisa Nicklin

I couldn’t see a single set of eyes in the crowd that were not completely fixated on Louisa Nicklin, whose voice filled the room with powerful energy. It’s refreshing to see a band so seamless and aware that their frontrunner can confidently lead the set and grab the crowds attention. They remind me of Anna Calvi, with strong vocals and grounded lyrics that drive the sound through dreamy swells cut with serrated guitar breaks. Their energy is so captivating that I find it hard to pull away to catch the next act, and as I leave the room I realise I didn’t blink the whole time I was there.

Power Nap

Holy shit, did I need this dance. I hadn’t seen Power Nap live before, and to be honest I hadn’t listened to their tracks, so I went in without expectations. And I don’t remember ever having the urge to do aerobics at 11pm, but my god did I throw it down. UTR’s very own Chris Cudby absolutely let rip on the crowd with full 80s energy, merging new wave synths with drums hitting around 150bpm, Van Halen style guitar shreds, and high energy motivational vocals. I was up the front busting out some seriously hectic dance moves that hopefully were not caught on camera, and stayed until the last song. I knew I should have left to get a spot for the Merms, but the boog was simply too strong. I surrender to the Power of the Nap.


As soon as I left Backroom I knew it’d be a squeeze to see the very band that threw this festival together but I didn’t expect to literally be unable to enter the room. Mermaidens might be the pearl of Pōneke’s eye but they have an equally passionate following in the big smoke, and this crowd was on fire for their mermy sound. I saw Mermaidens at Laneway last year, and in the time since they have become astonishingly tight. This is a band that have unconscious trust in one another on stage, sharing an energy so refined that their sound could be coming from a single mind. They’ve cleaned up the grunge elements into something more resembling post-punk, and as they rip through their set the crowd is in fits of energy.

Beyond their set though, they cultivated one hell of a line up for the night, and the crowd is celebrating their mahi in doing so as much as their music.

Phoebe Rings

Lord knows I am a sucker for a bit of city pop so Phoebe Rings was always going to be my jam, but every time I see them live I fall in love all over again. Led by our local heartthrob Crystal Choi, the band’s blissful set is filled with loving energy, light progressions, and dreamy atmosphere. The drums shimmer through their performance as we walk through shades of summer in their expertly crafted tunes. Every musician in this band is phenomenal, and you can feel it in the ease of their performance. I was loitering at the fringes of Mermaidens for it, but apparently the maraca solo was gorgeous, and I can confirm that Phoebe Rings takes the award for Best Smiles of the night. This band loves each other, and we love them!

Party Dad B2B Ez Ra

The vibes in backroom were pumping with classic dance bangers as Taylor and Ez Ra joined forces behind the decks. They are clearly having a crack up time riling up the crowd with ’90s classics cut with absolutely lit house bass. We were singing along for at least half the set. Connor came it to shoot the last 20 minutes and ended up throwing out the camera to lay it down when ‘Push The Button‘ came on. Turns out he knows all the words too. You just can’t let a track like that pass you by. Massive thanks to Taylor for hosting the night and bringing the beats, and to Ez Ra for collaborating on the ecstatic tunes.

Wax Chattels

They don’t play too often these days, but Wax is guaranteed to pull a ravenous crowd whenever they take the stage. Nothing compares to their tendon-wrenching sound with Tom Leggett absolutely annihilating his sparse kit under Peter Ruddell’s contorted synths, and Amanda Cheng’s guttural, killer bass grounding the sound. Pulling tracks from across their catalogue, they crash through their set with full energy, performing at their very edge, and feeding the ever growing mosh. ‘Cede‘, my absolute favourite track, is opened with a brief and passionate push from Amanda who reminds the crowd that the legacy of ‘yellow peril’ racism is as destructive and targeted as ever, that it has no fucking place in this world, and we’re all responsible for seeing it, shaming it, and ending it. I’ve never seen a Wax Chattels performance that didn’t light a fire inside me, and they didn’t waste a single moment doing it again.


Te Whanganui-a-Tara’s electronic gem wrapped up the night with a dance til you drop set. They’re a master of crowd energy, confidently manipulating the room through the pulsing beats of the set until we’re absolutely rinsed of energy. I left Wax Chattels feeling like I had a solid ten minutes left in me until I crashed, but I was wrong. 2am rolled around and I was not about to stop, unable to resist the flow of music that blended EBM, synthwave, techno, and juicy juicy bass. A sonic masterpiece to close up an incredible night.

Click on the thumbnail images below for a gallery of Connor Crawford’s photos of Mermgrown Tāmaki Makaurau…


View all photos

PollyHill Sweepstake Single Release Party Announced

Chris Cudby
/ Wednesday 17th March, 2021 10:05AM


We’re still boogieing around the office to PollyHill‘s ice-cold latest banger ‘Mentors‘, so we’re pretty stoked to report Paloma Schneideman has a new single on the way, the lead track to the Tāmaki rapper’s forthcoming sophomore EP. Named ‘Sweepstake’ and featuring none other than Church of Church & AP fame, PollyHill is launching her anthem with a party at Whammy Backroom with pals Alexa Casino, Olli and LB, joined by local stars HalfQueen of club collective FILTH (who organised Aotearoa’s landmark first ever Boiler Room event last weekend), Leaping Tiger and Samara Alofa. PollyHill has been moving crowds during Aotearoa’s sunny season with festival appearances at Rhythm & Vines and Splore (now happening in late March), here’s the details for her ‘Sweepstake’ release show…

Pollyhill’s ‘Sweepstake’ Single Release Party

Pollyhill & Pals (Alexa Casino, Olli, LB), HalfQueen, Leaping Tiger, Samara Alofa

Saturday 10th April – Whammy Backroom, Auckland

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Here’s PollyHill’s latest student radio hit ‘Mentors’…

Watch Na Noise Play Sun Stone Air Waiting For You For 95bFM

Chris Cudby
/ Tuesday 16th March, 2021 12:31PM


The eternally cool Tāmaki team of Yolanda Fagan, Hariet Ellis and Christopher Varnham aka Na Noise touched down at 95bFM‘s studios in late January to bust out some spooky bangers on Jonny & Big Hungry’s Friday Drive show. Surrounded by stacked speakers and miscellaneous detritus of live to air performances of yore, Na Noise were clearly in the zone as they ripped through spellbinding renditions of ‘Sun Stone Air‘ and the title track to their Auckland Live Best Independent Debut nominated 2020 record Waiting For You. Na Noise are all set to kick butt as an expanded six piece for this Saturday’s Mermgrown Tāmaki Makaurau extravaganza, get amped with Paul Taylor‘s ace black and white footage of the trio version below…

Undertheradar proudly presents…

Mermgrown Festival Tāmaki Makaurau 2021

Saturday 20th March – Whammy Bar, Wine Cellar & Backroom

Featuring… Kane Strang (with band), Mermaidens, Wax Chattels, Na Noise Big Band, Leaping Tiger, Phoebe Rings, LEAO, K M T P, Louisa Nicklin, Samara Alofa, Power Nap, Charlie (OPI), Ludus, Party Dad & Ez Ra

Tickets available HERE via UTR

‘Waiting For You’ is out now digitally and on limited edition vinyl LP via 1:12 Records.

Wax Chattels Na Noise Join Lineup For Mermgrown Tmaki Makaurau

C.C. / Monday 15th March, 2021 9:42AM


Ramping up excitement to inconceivable levels for the first ever Mermgrown Tāmaki Makaurau, Mermaidens have announced hometown heroes Wax Chattels and Na Noise have joined their boutique festival’s already thrill-powered bill, set to take over Whammy Bar, The Wine Cellar and Backroom on Saturday 20th March. Must see live favourites, both groups are firing on all cylinders — Wax Chattels were announced on Friday as finalists for the prestigious Taite Music Prize 2021 for their second studio album Clot, and Na Noise are among the three breakout acts in the running for this year’s Auckland Live Best Independent Debut Award, for their ace 2020 long player Waiting For You. Na Noise will be playing as a six piece big band for the occasion, a quick bit of mental arithmetic suggests this might hint at the return of "Da Boise" (international men of mystery: James Milne, James Dansey and Vincent H.L).  Roll that enticing prospect around your noggin and clock the full lineup for "da party of da year" below…

Undertheradar proudly presents…

Mermgrown Festival Tāmaki Makaurau 2021

Saturday 20th March – Whammy Bar, Wine Cellar & Backroom

Featuring… Kane Strang (with band), Mermaidens, Wax Chattels, Na Noise Big Band, Leaping Tiger, Phoebe Rings, LEAO, K M T P, Louisa Nicklin, Samara Alofa, Power Nap, Charlie (OPI), Ludus, Party Dad & Ez Ra

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Undertheradar and 100% Good Present…

Mermaidens ‘Soft Energy’ Tour
Saturday 3rd April – Napier, Paisley Stage
Tickets on sale HERE via UTR

Experience the vid for Wax Chattels’ ‘Efficiency’ from their 2020 album Clot…

Watch the amazing clip for the title track for Na Noise’s debut album Waiting For You…

Mermgrown Auckland 2021 Second Lineup Announced Interview

Annabel Kean / Photo credit: Paige Warton / Monday 8th March, 2021 6:21PM


The Mermaidens‘ ‘Soft Energy‘ philosophy clearly gets shit done, as the Merms have wrapped up a wildly successful Mermgrown Festival Pōneke, are embarking on an Aotearoa-wide tour this week, and have just announced the second wave of acts for Mermgrown Auckland. Topping up the already dazzling lineup are locally grown talents Louisa Nicklin, Power Nap, LudusCharlie (OPI), DJs Party Dad and Ez Ra, and Pōneke creator Samara Alofa. The festival is on Saturday the 20th of March and is the only way you can say you attended the very first Tāmaki Mermgrown, and a second chance for you dummies who slept on the Wellington edition when it blew minds last month.

Mermaidens songwriter and Mermgrown co-ordinator Gussie Larkin found some time in her hectic schedule to fill us in on how the festival started, throwing shade at Homegrown, and why on earth she wanted to launch not one, but two Mermgrowns in one year. Get up to date with all the Mermaidens goings on below, and scroll down for a full run down from Larkin herself…

Undertheradar proudly presents…

Mermgrown Festival Tāmaki Makaurau 2021

Saturday 20th March – Whammy Bar, Wine Cellar & Backroom

Featuring… Kane Strang (with band), Mermaidens, Leaping Tiger, Phoebe Rings, LEAO, K M T P, Louisa Nicklin, Samara Alofa, Power Nap, Charlie (OPI), Ludus, Party Dad & Ez Ra

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Undertheradar and 100% Good Present…

Mermaidens ‘Soft Energy’ Tour

Thursday 11th March – Cassels Blue Smoke, Christchurch

Friday 12th March – Dive, Dunedin, Dive

Saturday 13th March – Settler Theatre, Oamaru

Saturday 20th March – Mermgrown Festival, Auckland*

Saturday 3rd April – Napier, Paisley Stage

Tickets on sale HERE via UTR

Annabel Kean: Tell me, how did Mermgrown come to be?

Gussie Larkin: Well, I love music festivals and have found myself working for a few of them over the past couple of years, so I guess it was the combination of wanting to go to a music festival where I got to choose everything that happened, all the bands that played, and also having the experience and confidence with working on bigger events. I was also really inspired by King Gizzard’s festival Gizzfest. Which is a kinda similar model, where they always play and they just bring together all the bands that they really like and it’s just a big one day thing.

What other festivals have you worked on?

I worked for Coastella, that was the first one. Then through the guy who put that on I had a lot of ongoing background work for events that he programmed the music for like Wine And Food Festival and Beers At The Basin, all these wholesome little Wellington festivals, and then leading up to Mermgrown last year I was the festival coordinator for Cuba Dupa. So I was working there and planning Mermgrown at the same time and then they both got cancelled. It was supposed to be one week after another, and that was very hard.

So the name’s based off Homegrown right? Is that a bit shady?

Yeah yeah yeah. Coz last year the first one was supposed to be on the same day as Homegrown, and to be honest I just got sick of Homegrown putting on the same lineup every year with less than a handful of women on the line up, so it was a little dig and I wanted to show how you put on a festival with an interesting, balanced line up with local and emerging bands.

That’s great motivation.

I know it’s a stupid name and people are very confused by it, but I kind of love that it’s awkward to say and sounds really dorky, but the story behind it is quite funny. We had so many alternative names, like Merming Man, Mermway, Big Merm Out. We had heaps of fun coming up with these stupid names.

Honestly I don’t think you need to worry about it coz think about the other festivals that exist. There’s a festival called Kiwiburn which goes OFF, and that is not a good name imo.

True! I’ve never thought about it. It’s like band names, they just become invisible. You sort of accept it as reality?

How was the Wellington Mermgrown? I’m sorry I couldn’t be there.

I’m sorry for you too because it was really good. There was a stressful lead-up to it and then the actual day was just really chill and we were organised, so it was good.

Have you always been quite an organised person?

Nah I don’t think so. But I’ve become a psycho organised person.

I think that happens to a lot of people as you get a bit older, is you just stop being able to put up with the bullshit of disorganisation.

We had an amazing team. All the people that worked on it were my first picks. My first pick for sound engineer, first pick for person doing merch. I didn’t have to explain too much to them because they were just pros.

How big was the crew?

Including the bands, volunteers, vendors and the crew, I think we had about 70. But the core crew was pretty small, it was mostly the band and Ben Jones who did an amazing job. He was amazing because he did all the jobs everyone hates like getting portaloos and dealing with all the rubbish. He’s just really happy to do it. Love him.

What was the venue like? It was at a bowls club yeah?

It’s amazing. I’d played there with Mermaidens maybe seven years ago at an Eyegum Christmas party and we played inside the club, and I think that was probably the first time I went there and I thought it would be an amazing festival spot, and it’s really close to where we practise in Newtown. I got talking to the guy Glen, who owns the place because I saw that one of the bowling greens was not for bowling and the grass was really munched up and in a bit of a state, and he let us have the stage on that green because it’s not used for bowls.

Oh yeah I was gonna ask if there’d be an issue ruining the beautiful green.

They’ve tried to get it to sprout the proper grass, but it keeps not working. So I’m really hoping they keep it shitty so we can keep using it.

Is there a reason other than the fact you’re living in Auckland now that you wanted to put on an Auckland Mermgrown? Seems like quite an undertaking, going from having the first one cancelled to doing two.

I just love planning parties and gigs and it’s just really fun. We wanted to do something different to make this tour a bit more noticeable and for it not to be completely about us.

Do you have plans to make it even bigger?

Yeah, like I’ve already got 19th of February 2022 pencilled in my diary for the Wellington one next year, and I’d really like to do an outdoor festival in Auckland but I just feel very unfamiliar with what sort of spaces you could do it. And I think you can get away with a lot of stuff in Wellington in terms of noise and sort of DIY events, I don’t know if Aucklanders would be so forgiving.

Someone will read this an go ‘Oh I know a spot!’.

I guess Wellington’s got the cool factor, like Newtown Festival is a community thing and it’s very family friendly but… it’s cool.

For people going to Mermgrown: Auckland Edition, what should they prepare for?

I think people should get really hyped and drink plenty of water. Plan who you’re going to see, I think there’s gonna be clashes. We’re gonna announce double the amount of acts that have already been announced [done today — see above].

I wrote up a Quick Fire Q&A, just to spice things up. This is kind of relevant. But barely. Alright are you ready?

Yep, ready.

Favourite mermaid?

Oh god. I don’t have one. Favourite mermaid… I immediately thought of Ariel but that’s really boring and obvious.

Favourite Spice Girl?

When I was a kid I was always Baby, cos blond, pigtails. But I think Geri’s pretty cool. She’s who I’d wanna be now. Ginger Spice.

Favourite spice?

Smoked paprika.

What is the spice of life?

Having a good sleep.

Have you ever milked a cow?

Yes. Just at Lindale Farm, which is on the Kapiti Coast. It’s a place where you go and buy delicious cheese and also go feed llamas, milk a cow and feed chickens and stuff.

Have you ever ridden a horse?

Yeah. Again, this is some childhood stuff. You have that one friend that’s really into horses and they take you horse-riding for their birthday party.

One last Quick Fire question. In a fight to the death, would you rather be facing a horse or a cow.

Umm. I think cow would be easier. Less aggressive. But still, I hope that circumstance never presents itself to me.

Fingers crossed eh, touch wood.

Cool, that was quite hard. I think that was the most stressful part of the interview.

Weekly Roundup Friday 29th January

Chris Cudby / Image: Anna Coddington
/ Friday 29th January, 2021 4:47PM


This week was marked by urgent calls from key figures in our community for significant change, following last weekend’s revelations of sexual harassment and exploitation in Aotearoa’s music industry — read Alison Mau‘s news feature here. We implore everyone to read the open letter written by Anna Coddington and signed by Bic Runga, Anika Moa, Lorde, Tami Neilson, Hollie Smith and Mel Parsons, and work together to take tangible action in ensuring safe, productive environments for artists, audiences, and those who work behind the scenes in organising the gigs and music releases we all love. If you are a music worker in Aotearoa and you need crisis or counselling support, the MusicHelps Wellbeing Service is available 24/7 online here, on the phone (toll free 0508MUSICHELPS) and in-person for free, fully funded by MusicHelps.

Auckland Anniversary weekend would usually mean rallying the UTR troops for a mega Laneway festival review, but we’re still blessed to have a bunch of amazing shows lined up across the country to head along to. Announcement highlights for the week included Mermaidens revealed their Mermgrown Festival Tāmaki Makaurau is taking over Whammy Bar, Wine Cellar & Backroom in March, starring Kane Strang (with band), Leaping Tiger, Phoebe Rings, LEAO, K M T P + more, RVCFEST 2021 will feature two nights of brain-blasting punk, hardcore and post-punk bands at Kirikiriroa’s Meteor Theatre in March, Church & AP and Vayne are hitting Pōneke for one night only at San Fran in mid-February, and Silicon and Purple Pilgrims were announced as special guests for The Veils‘ Nux Vomica concert tour of Aotearoa this autumn. That’s all from us for the week, but Marlon Williams fans are advised to inspect this weekend’s gig picks very closely…


Friday 29th January

Auckland: Ge Luz Live – Ponsonby Social Club

Auckland: Delaney Davidson And Barry Saunders – The Wine Cellar

Auckland: 48th Auckland Folk Festival – Kumeu Showgrounds

Auckland: Ripship, Chewy Gum, Ratso, Ukiah B + More – Lopdell House Theatre (Titirangi Theatre)

Wellington: Gathering Shadows – Valhalla

Wellington: DARTZ, Wiri Donna – San Fran 
Christchurch: DOONS – darkroom

Christchurch: Sea Mouse – Enbankment Tavern

Port Chalmers: Anna Coddington – Port Chalmers Town Hall

Saturday 30th January

Auckland: Hans., Tei, Swrly – Strange Haven

Auckland: Naked Whammy Fest – Whammy Bar & Backroom

Auckland: Just One Fix, Close To The Bone, Traitor’s Fate – Dead Witch

Auckland: 48th Auckland Folk Festival – Kumeu Showgrounds

New Plymouth: Paul Ubana Jones – 4th Wall Theatre

Wellington: Gathering Shadows – Valhalla

Lyttelton: Ferby, Marlon Williams, Wunner – The Loons

Dunedin: DOONS – Dive

Dunedin: Ex Partner, Grecco Romank – Dog With Two Tails

Dunedin: The Fairfield Dead Rockers Ball – Fairfield Community Hall

Dunedin: Pumice, Ghost Bells, Sewage, CJA – The Crown Hotel

Head over to our Gig Guide for more listings!!


Mermgrown Festival Tmaki Makaurau Announced Ft Kane Strang Mermaidens Leaping Tiger More

Chris Cudby / Tuesday 26th January, 2021 9:00AM


As if Mermaidens organising a fantastic summer festival of hand-picked artists to enjoy in Pōneke wasn’t enough, they’ve truly taken it to the next level, announcing Mermgrown Festival Tāmaki Makaurau is taking over Whammy Bar, Wine Cellar & Backroom in March. The ‘wow!’-inducing lineup for the boutique fest’s super city edition is a special one indeed, as it features the first live appearance from Kane Strang with band in three years. The Taite-nominated songwriter will debut fresh material from a forthcoming new album, joined by live bandmates Peter Ruddell (Wax Chattels, Sulfate), Leith Towers (Marlin’s Dreaming), Mitchell Innes and festival curator Gussie Larkin (Mermaidens, Earth Tongue). That’s by no means all to look forward to, as the all-killer bill includes local faves Leaping Tiger, Phoebe Rings, LEAO, K M T P and of course Mermaidens (who promise "new bangers"), with even more revelations to follow. We strongly recommend you secure your spot quick-smart, as tickets are sure to fly out the door for the triple venue, artist-driven event — here are the details…

Undertheradar proudly presents…

Mermgrown Festival Tāmaki Makaurau 2021
Saturday 20th March – Whammy Bar, Wine Cellar & Backroom
Featuring… Kane Strang (with band), Mermaidens, Leaping Tiger, Phoebe Rings, LEAO, K M T P + more to be announced 
Tickets available HERE via UTR

Mermgrown Festival Pōneke
Saturday 20th February – The Workingmen’s Bowling Club, Wellington (doors 1pm, all-ages)
Featuring… Womb, Emily Edrosa (solo), Mermaidens, Hans Pucket, Motte, Zero Cool, Ludus, PollyHill, Freya Daly Sadgrove, Black Spider Stomp
Tickets available HERE via UTR (kids aged 13 and under get in free)

Watch the vid for Kane Strang’s ‘My Smile Is Extinct’, from 2017’s Two Hearts and No Brain…

Be dazzled by the future visions of Mermaidens’ ‘Bastards’, from their latest album Look Me In the Eye…

Press release:

Mermgrown Festival Auckland 2021

First Lineup Announcement, Tuesday 26 Jan 2021

In the spirit of worldwide domination, Mermaidens have announced that Mermgrown Festival will be coming to Tāmaki Makaurau! On Saturday 20 March 2021 the merms and their talented pals will take over Whammy, Wine Cellar and Backroom for a steamy multi-room extravaganza.

Alongside Mermaidens, this year’s Mermgrown Auckland lineup features the long-awaited return of Kane Strang with a full band, playing songs from his upcoming album as well as happysad bangers from his back catalogue. Kane Strang’s band includes Peter Ruddell (Wax Chattels, Sulfate), Leith Towers (Marlin’s Dreaming), Mitchell Innes and Mermaidens’ own Gussie Larkin.

The first lineup announcement also includes local faves Phoebe Rings, electronic artist Leaping Tiger, 95bfm favourites K M T P, David Feauai-Afaese’s project LEAO, and many more to be announced.

Expect some new bangers from Mermaidens, who scooped up nominations at the Aotearoa Music Awards and the Silver Scrolls last year. In 2020, Mermgrown Wellington sold out within weeks of being announced, so don’t dilly dally – tickets are on sale now from Undertheradar.

Tickets on sale now from Undertheradar.

Voom Hello Are You There Vinyl LP Reissue Announced

Chris Cudby / Friday 22nd January, 2021 10:36AM


Founded by Buzz Moller and the late Andrew “Mac” MacCaskill in early ’90s Tāmaki Makaurau, and soon joined by bassist Danny Manetto, Voom have successfully stuck to the rule that it’s quality not quantity that counts. Still popular as ever, Voom released a scant two albums over a musical career spanning nearly three decades and counting, both of which are hands down classics. Lovers of such timeless indie-pop gems as ‘B Your Boy’ and ‘King Kong’ will be stoked by today’s news Voom are re-issuing their 2006 record Hello, Are You There? on vinyl for the first time ever, featuring the sixteen original tracks all remastered, plus bonus tune ‘Jimmy’s Boner’! Released back in the day by Lil’ Chief Records, their second (and latest) long player is receiving the swanky coloured vinyl treatment via the champs at Flying Nun Records, hitting stores in late March.

You can gather up your buds and sing along with all your fave Voom songs at the super stacked and somehow totally free Naked Whammy Fest — boasting a generation-transcending bill featuring Echo Ohs, Amamelia, Phoebe Rings, Alexa Casino, Leaping Tiger, Hospital Sports and Party Dad (a certified Voom fan) next Saturday…

Naked PR Presents: Naked Whammy Fest 2021

Featuring… Voom, Echo Ohs, Amamelia, Phoebe Rings, Alexa Casino, Leaping Tiger, Hospital Sports, Party Dad

Saturday 30th January – Whammy Bar & Whammy Backroom, Auckland

FREE entry

Take in the animated video for Voom’s very catchy ‘B Your Boy’…

‘Hello, Are You There?’ is available for pre-order via Flying Nun Records, releasing Friday 26th March.

Weekly Roundup Friday 15th January

Chris Cudby / Image: Na Noise / Friday 15th January, 2021 1:59PM


We’re stoked to be back in the UTR saddle after a few leisurely days of soaking up summer rays, sampling Aotearoa’s festival season, and staring aghast at the orange-faced political madness unfolding overseas. We hope you’ve had a chance to take it easy after an absolutely hectic and at times frankly quite stressful 2020 — a huge shoutout to everybody who have been working hard at day jobs over the past month.

We have a bunch of super cool projects ready to reveal for 2021 (hint: involving video pros Sports Team) that we’ll be telling you all about very soon, but in the meantime let’s have a look at what’s happening right now gigs-wise. As it’s still a tentative state of affairs regarding the global pandemic raging outside Aotearoa’s borders, we sincerely encourage you to do your bit to help our live scene keep thriving. Don’t be a ding-dong who couldn’t be arsed, it really is as easy as scanning the Covid tracer app (download it here), getting into the habit of using it every time, and masking up when appropriate.

Announcement highlights for the last few weeks (a traditionally quiet news period) included: Pōneke dream-fuzz crew Transistor announced their their biggest tour yet, kicking off this weekend in Tāmaki Makaurau and Ōtepoti, Mermaidens announced their very own Mermgrown festival will be happening in Pōneke this February, party punks DARTZ are celebrating the success of their chart-topping banger ‘High At The Beach’ with a whirlwind run of national summer tour dates, Chelsea Jade is escaping the US and touring Aotearoa in February, March and April, Pōneke bedroom-pop foursome Macho Macho are gearing up for a glistening summer tour, and Tāmaki Makaurau via Lancashire songwriter Tim Allen (no relation) and bandmates The Two are celebrating the launch of their forthcoming single ‘Love Is A Pill’ with an extensive national tour in March, April and May. That’s by no means all — Aotearoa’s premier celebration of punk rock and ska Punk It Up V revealed a refreshed lineup of all-local legends due to ongoing Covid restrictions, K M T P‘s big-hearted debut collection P.S. C U Soon receives a long-awaited celebratory launch event at Tāmaki Makaurau’s The Wine Cellar in mid-February, and the first annual Naked Whammy Fest was announced, featuring Voom, Echo Ohs, Amamelia, Phoebe Rings, Alexa Casino, Leaping Tiger, Hospital Sports and Party Dad at Whammy Bar and Whammy Backroom, absolutely free (!) on 30th January.


Friday 15th January

Auckland: Ska And Reggae Explosion – Leigh Sawmill 
Auckland: The Dark Eighties: Cult 80s Hits Party – Whammy Bar

Auckland: Tony Daunt And The Dauntless, Louis Jarlov And The Lonesome – The Wine Cellar

Auckland: Arthur Ahbez And The Flaming Ahbez – The Thirsty 
Whanganui: Depths, Organectomy, Swamp Dweller, Pull Down the Sun – Lucky Bar

New Plymouth: Summer No Slacks Single Release Party – Crowded House Bar & Eatery

Taupo: Colette Rivers – Taupo Museum
Wellington: Doons – San Fran

Wellington: PIPSY, Grawlixes, Housewitches, Murgatroyd – Moon1

Wellington: Star Control, Straylight, Polaris Radio, Bzzrkr – Valhalla
Barrytown: Julian Temple Band – Barrytown Hall 
Dunedin: Transistor, Bathysphere – The Crown Hotel
Invercargill: Ronél Hunter,  Raylee Bradfield – Southland Musicians Club

Saturday 16th January

Auckland: Transistor, Na Noise, Ripship – Whammy Bar

Auckland: Colette Rivers, Memory Lake – The Wine Cellar

Auckland: Miguel BD Performs Zeca Pagodinho – Ponsonby Social Club
Auckland: Ukiah Brown and The Lo Flying Lovers, Ratso, Munters, Elphame – Piha Bowling Club

Auckland: Come Together: Neil Young’s Live Rust – Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre
Waiheke Island: Radio Rebelde – Rangihoua Estate 
Waiheke Island: The Solomon Cole Band, Jan Hellriegel – Artworks Theatre, Waiheke Island
Hamilton: Depths, Organectomy, Swamp Dweller, Divisionary – Nivara Lounge

Tauranga: O & The Mo – Jam Factory

New Plymouth: Corduroy. – Mike’s Brewery and Bistro

Palmerston North: PIPSY, Persimmon – The Stomach
Wellington: Arthur Ahbez And The Flaming Ahbez – Parrotdog Bar

Wellington: Paul Ubana Jones Plays 1988 – Wellington Museum 
Wellington: The Devils Rejects, The Grudge, Silverfoxxx – Valhalla 
Christchurch: The Cure / Siouxsie Live Tribute – A Rolling Stone

Christchurch: Duckbrewe Skate Festival: ET, Formatics, Infectiouss, the Most Known Unknown, the SUB:BASS Crew – Two Thumb Brewing Co
Dunedin: Michael Morris and The Slow Loris – Bark @ Dog With Two Tails
Dunedin: Waterfalls, Death And The Maiden, Crone – Dive
Balclutha: Ronél Hunter,  Raylee Bradfield – NEUX / Port Molyneux School

Head over to our Gig Guide for more listings!!


Naked Whammy Fest Announced Ft Voom Phoebe Rings Leaping Tiger More

Annabel Kean / Wednesday 13th January, 2021 12:00PM


From the naturists that brought you Naked Whammy and the End Of Financial Year parties of 2019, this January 30th marks the first annual Naked Whammy Fest! The evening will have crowds ebbing and flowing between Whammy Mainroom and Backroom, enjoying every last crumb of a line-up comparable to the bougiest of grazing platters. Leaping Tiger and Alexa Casino are on the bill, providing dance-ready morsels of electronic dream-pop between the off-kilter noise and ruckus of Voom, Echo Ohs, and Hospital Sports. Absolute darlings Phoebe Rings are on the lineup too — the perfect boogie warmup before Amamelia and DJ Party Dad knock your socks off with pumpin’, jumpin’ club tunes. The best part? This is all FREE! Rock on up in your best summer fits and just cruise on through (ahem, before the venues reach capacity) thanks to everyone’s new best friends from Naked PR, an arm of big-time arts and culture supporters Naked Accounting. Pop the date in your calendar and make sure to get there early — first in, first served…

Naked PR Presents: Naked Whammy Fest 2021
Voom, Echo Ohs, Amamelia, Phoebe Rings, Alexa Casino, Leaping Tiger, Hospital Sports, Party Dad 
Saturday 30th January – Whammy Bar & Whammy Backroom, Auckland 

FREE entry

Get your slo-mo shimmy on to Alexa Casino’s ‘Blu’…

Echo Ohs: A little bit country, a little bit rock’n’roll…

Put a little Voom in your step with their hypefest track ‘King Kong’…

Press release:

Naked PR is proud to present the inaugural Naked Whammy Fest. It’s happening on Saturday January 30, at Whammy Bar and Whammy Backroom, and entry is free (until it’s full)!

Think of Naked Whammy Fest as in-person discovery tool, kind of like the middle of a Venn diagram of Tāmaki Makaurau’s diverse musical landscape. Throughout the night you’ll be enchanted by the melancholic jangle of Voom, the alternative freakbeat of Echo Ohs, the warm charm of Phoebe Rings, and devotional alt-rock of Hospital Sports.

If guitars aren’t your vibe we recommend checking out Amamelia’s sugary take on Jungle and D’n’B, the electronic-dream pop of Alexa Casino, and the future funk of electronic beatsmith Leaping Tiger. Party Dad will close the evening with a piecemeal DJ set, that harks back to the sweaty indie club nights of the early 2010’s.

From our home in St Kevin’s Arcade, Naked PR strive to help creatives connect with audiences in interactive and innovative ways. We’re big on supporting artistic communities, by offering creative discounts for creative people.
Naked PR was created as a sister to Naked Accounting. A boutique accounting firm, with the idea of assisting art and culture at its core, Naked Accounting’s business model is forward thinking and future focused. Naked PR is following in its footsteps.

Leaping Tiger Drops Double Single Gems Figure It Out Ft Lvyne

Chris Cudby
/ Friday 18th December, 2020 11:08AM


Responsible for one of our team’s fave local albums of 2020, Porcelain Orca Whales (released all the way back in January), Tāmaki electronic artist Leaping Tiger concludes a doozy of a year with the spellbinding sonics of double single drop Gems → Figure It Out. Leaping Tiger sculpts crystalline aural geometries on ‘Gems’ before leading listeners on low-key cinematic excursions into the unknown, while the latter track sees the indefatigable producer join forces with vocalist Lévyne for a gloriously swoony beat-driven ballad. Open your ears to both tunes here…

Leaping Tiger Remixes Sam Cullens 1000x

Chris Cudby
/ Monday 16th November, 2020 2:16PM


Tāmaki Makaurau electronic production wiz Leaping Tiger has put a futuristic spin on the title track to Pōneke / Invercargill songwriter Sam Cullen‘s debut collection 1000x. Deconstructing then assembling a chrome-surfaced cybernetic armour around Cullen’s original tune, Leaping Tiger’s remix of ‘1000x’ pairs tender-hearted sentiment with celestial synth arrangements and crystalline beat construction — breeding a compellingly next-gen mutation of both artists’ sonic visions in the process…

‘1000x (Leaping Tiger Remix)’ is out now via major streaming services.

Moppy Announces North Island MYOPIA Album Release Shows Shares Single

Chris Cudby
/ Tuesday 20th October, 2020 11:38AM


Multi-talented musical mastermind Thom Burton (Guardian Singles, SoccerPractise, Wilberforces) has a brand new solo album from his head-spinning electronic project Moppy out later this month named MYOPIA. He’ll be celebrating in style with must-attend parties in Tāmaki Makaurau and Pōneke, supported by a top notch bill of special guests including rapper Randa, who joined forces with Moppy for their very catchy recent student radio hit ‘Bad Jelly‘. To sweeten the deal further, Moppy has unveiled spectral new single ‘Confirmation Bias‘ to whet your sonic appetite for the main event — grip the gig details and listen below…


Thursday 29th October – Moon1, Wellington w/ Slow, First Move

Friday 30th October – Whammy Backroom, Auckland w/ Randa, Leaping Tiger

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Thom Burton · Confirmation Bias

Listen To Natures Pest Volume 01 Ft Leaping Tiger Josie Moon More

Chris Cudby / Image: Josie Moon
/ Wednesday 19th August, 2020 2:09PM


A brand spanking new collection of kiwi anthems reimagined by Aotearoa rising stars has emerged onto the online realm, courtesy of Tāmaki’s FOH Records. An ever-expanding balancing act of club-smoking remixes, bootlegs and full blown covers, highlights from Nature’s Pest Volume 01 include Leaping Tiger‘s vibe-drenched cyber-ballad take on Crowded House‘s ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’, Josie Moon x Art Heist‘s amped up rendition of Goodnight Nurse‘s ‘Loner’ (described by Moon as "what me + blink 182 + 100 gecs sounds like in a blender") and Rei‘s slick RnB cover of Dave Dobbyn and Herbs‘ ‘Slice Of Heaven’. Out now via the FOH Records Bandcamp page, the organisers state "Instead of paying for these songs we recommend donating to Music Helps" — tuck into the collection here, with more tunes yet to be revealed…