On Saturday night at one of Wellington’s newest venues, Caroline, which is known for its Tetris-patterned lights, hosted a bill featuring three of New Zealand’s fastest rising artists. And none of them were the same, displaying the depth of talent in this small country of roughly four million people.
Opening the gig was Wellington’s own girlboss, project of former Wet Wings member Lucy Botting. While many of her songs released on streaming platforms have a bedroom-pop intimacy, live they are transformed into shoulder-shimmering, head-waving surf-pop-rock tunes. Think Mac DeMarco meets Best Coast to get a sense of what girlboss sounds like live. Most of the songs played were “older” numbers, such as “Mrs. Doubtfire”, but Botting did reveal a new track, the quirky and jangly “Move That Bus”.
Next up to the mic was the Amelia Murray-led quartet, Fazerdaze, a band that has witnessed a considerable rise in popularity in the past 18 months – including winning us over back in 2015. They electrified the audience with their guitar-pop, including a sweat-inducing rendition of their latest single “Lucky Girl” and turning “Jennifer” into a shimmering, late-night tune. For Murray, the gig was a return home, and the sheer joy at playing in front of family and friends shone more brightly than the crystalline notes radiating from her guitar.
Kane Strang was given the task of closing the evening. Less than two weeks, Kane announced he had signed with awesome, American indie label Dead Oceans, which is home to Strand of Oaks, Mitski, Marlon Williams, Japanese Breakfast, Julianna Barwick, Phosphorescent, legends Slowdive, and a host of others. For his performance, he revealed why we have compared him to a younger Stephen Malkmus (of Pavement), taking us on a trip through ’90s-inspired indie-rock, including his latest single, “Oh So You’re Off I See”. Strang remains an under-the-radar talent, but it won’t be for long. New Zealand and the world better prepare for his breakout, which should happen later this year.
View more photos in the slideshow below. Individual songs by the artists are provided below.
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