Happy New Zealand Music Month!
The purpose of NZ Music Month is to celebrate all the incredible music from New Zealand, and the talented people who make it.
For the 31 days across May that is exactly what is happening. Originally launching back in 2000, because, as they aptly put it, “there was plenty of great music being made but not enough people got to hear it, see it, or have it on their shelves,” the event has grown to a nationwide celebration across radio, tv, media, and every other facet that music reaches.
What better way to dive into NZ Music Month than with a topnotch playlist, chock full to the brim of hits from Aotearoa’s best – from choice up and comers to absolute classics, they are all here.
Even better, why not lock in a show while you’re at it?
Let’s dive in and celebrate everything that makes New Zealand’s music industry great. Happy NZ Music Month.
Aldous Harding burst onto the scene and into our hearts with her goth-folk, self-titled debut album back in 2014, but it was her follow-up Party that saw Harding reach international ears, landing on many a Best of List at the end of 2017 and flying into 2018 by scoring New Zealand’s prestigious Taite Music Prize. Then, in early 2019, she came soaring back in with her third album Designer before Warm Chris made it four out of four for her introspective, endearing folk-pop. Curious, beautiful, warm, captivating, and completely Aldous – she will have her army of interpreters wrapped up in her cryptic notions for a long time to come.
Aldous Harding will perform at Outerfields2021 at Western Springs on Saturday 3 December. Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster.co.nz.
Drawn from experiences that took place between New Zealand and Europe, Adolescence, the debut album from New Zealand born, London-based electronic artist and producer BAYNK features the artist’s ethereal tone clashing with avant-garde production and collaborative verses – making for one heck of a sonic exploration.
Baynk will perform at Auckland’s The Powerstation on Friday 12 August and Wellington’s San Francisco Bath House on Saturday 13 August. Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster.co.nz.
We were first introduced to Benee with the quiet release of her debut single ‘Tough Guy’ (back when she was known as Bene) towards the end of 2017, but it wasn’t until its follow up – the brilliantly magical balance of R&B groove and alt-pop hooks that is ‘Soaked’ – that she truly burst onto the scene. And since then, she hasn’t looked back. From New Zealand’s biggest breakout act of 2019 to a favourite among fans right around the globe, Benee is a live performer you don’t want to miss.
Benee will perform two shows at Auckland Town Hall on Friday 21 October and Saturday 22 October. Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster.co.nz. She will also perform at Outerfields2021 at Western Springs on Saturday 3 December. Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster.co.nz.
Bret McKenzie –whom you know from such modern musical treasures as comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, the Muppets movie reboots and other ace family friendly soundtracks, Lord of the Rings fan blogs, guest songs for The Simpsons, cycling around the streets of Wellington, and more – is hitting the road with his latest solo record, Songs Without Jokes.
Bret McKenzie will perform in Nelson, Dunedin, Wellington, and Auckland throughout September. Tickets are on sale now.
Church & AP
Church & AP arrived in 2018 with single ‘Ready or Not’ hitting the airwaves all over and announcing the Auckland teens as a fiery new entrant in the local hip-hop scene. The duo, who met at high school, have continued to unleashed a string of tightly coiled bangers marking them out as real contenders and one of the most exciting act to emerge from Aotearoa.
Church & AP will perform at Outerfields2021 at Western Springs on Saturday 3 December. Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster.co.nz.
We are big fans of Auckland four-piece Daffodils. A handful of brilliant singles led to sold-out shows which led to their marvellous EP Boys and the string of catchy singles that has followed. If the world of ’80s New Wave is your vibe, think The Cure or The Smiths, then you’re going to want to dive right in this NZ Music Month.
Auckland indie-psych band Daily J are here to serve up the positive vibes we all definitely need right now. The up and coming rockers have been winning over hearts and ears (ours especially) across the last few years with their infectious, sunshine-bright tunes, especially those on their 2020 debut album Venus Ate Mars.
Diggy Dupé has come a long way from the teenage days of making music using the most basic of tools that included a Motorola phone and sing star microphone. Since announcing arriving on the scene with his debut EP K.O.T.I.C (Kids Of The Inner City) in 2017, he’s become a core member of the Auckland hip hop community. The 2019 Vodafone NZ Music Awards finalist for ‘Best Hip Hop Act’, Dupé’s inspiration and stories are always about being a Central Auckland Polynesian – family, his Niuean heritage, gentrification and identity are recurring themes in his music.
Diggy Dupe will perform at Auckland Town Hall as part of Elemental Nights on Thursday 28 July. Tickets are on sale now.
Fat Freddy’s Drop
Eight band members and a mountain of smooth smooth sounds. A little bit spicy, so darn groovy, and more soul and funk than we deserve. They’ve been delivering the good times for two decades and still, we want more.
Fat Freddy’s Drop will perform at Outerfields2021 at Western Springs on Saturday 3 December. Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster.co.nz.
An angel. A jazz-infused rock making angel. Fierce, sassy, and endlessly electrifying, we could still listen to her 2018 album ‘Ivory’ on repeat for days and we’d be happy.
Harper Finn has grown up around live music – not just seeing his father Tim and uncle Neil, but working nights at Auckland venues and watching closely to see the combustible collision of music and youth culture on stage night after night. Soaking up influences from all over, his thoughtful tracks combine observations on modern love, youth and young adulthood. A steady diet of releases over the past year has seen his sound evolve from late night electronic pop to his latest string of bangers including his most recent ‘Different Skies’.
Harper Finn will perform at Outerfields2021 at Western Springs on Saturday 3 December. Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster.co.nz.
Razor-sharp, confident, and empowering, JessB has gone from strength to strength over the last few years. Recently, she’s been busy collaborating with a stack of artists and releasing fire singles of her own, and we are more than ready for some more new music to land.
Jon Stevens is recognised as one of the most talented rock musicians to emerge from New Zealand in recent memory. He has had phenomenal success as a solo artist, and was also the lead singer of major rock acts Noiseworks, INXS and Dead Daisies. He’ll perform songs from his phenomenal collection of music when he tours New Zealand this year.
Jon Stevens will perform at Auckland’s The Powerstation and San Francisco Bath House, Wellington this June. Tickets are on sale now.
Endlessly talented and with a mantle chock full of accolades, she’s been the queen of New Zealand art-pop for a decade now.
The L.A.B. sound is one which has seen them quickly become a fan favourite on the New Zealand live circuit – trademark Kora grooves combining with Adams-Tamatea’s reggae/dub experience, and Shadbolt’s blues roots to create a sound entirely their own. Each member brings their own individual styles to the table, and the result is an eclectic mix of reggae, electronic, blues, and funk, even heading into country at points. Since their inception L.A.B. have performed at almost every major festival across New Zealand.
L.A.B will headline Wellington’s TSB Arena on Friday 24 June. Tickets are on sale now.
Ladyhawke began her musical journey in Wellington bands before moving to Australia and exploding onto the international stage with her solo debut album featuring the massive hit ‘My Delirium’. Three more albums have followed – including 2021’s gorgeous Time Flies – continuing to mine the energetic ’80s-influenced new wave pop sound that has made her a live favourite around the world for a decade now.
Ladyhawke will perform at Outerfields2021 at Western Springs on Saturday 3 December. Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster.co.nz.
Global powerhouse Lorde dropped her first slice of new music in four years when she broke the internet with single ‘Solar Power’ last year, now she will take over venues in New Zealand February and March 2023.
Alongside the long-awaited release of her new album, also titled Solar Power – penned with long-time collaborator and producer Jack Antonoff – it’s going to be a very big few years for Lorde. At just 16 years old, she released her debut album Pure Heroine, going on to win two Grammy Awards including the coveted Album of the Year, and she’s been slinging pop gems our way ever since
Lorde will perform across New Zealand throughout February and March 2023. Tickets are on sale now.
Voice like honey, moves like Jagger, we will never get enough of Marlon Williams and his heartachingly catchy crooning. It’s been four years since he released his gorgeous second album Make Way For Love, but still it sounds timeless. Since then, he’s been making onscreen cameos in Hollywood blockbusters, filling his mantle with countless accolades, teaming up with Saskatoon duo Kacy & Clayton – and now he has new music on its way.
Whether he is drawing on the American folk and country traditions of Leonard Cohen and Roy Orbison, crooning in te reo Māori about a tiny, yellow-eyed penguin, or making you dance along to his latest single ‘My Boy’– his music keeps pulling us back.
New Zealand’s live music scene is in good hands thanks to the next generation of powerhouses, and Miss June are right up there as some of our most promising exports. Their consistently explosive live show has seen them quickly become an act to watch, and much-talked-about shows around the world, a kick-arse debut album, and accolades from everyone including the BBC and New York back up that reputation.
Nine Powerful Voices, Nine Unique Perspectives, Nine Wahine Toa in celebration of Matariki and Te Ao Maori. Hosted by Miriama Kamo, the performance will feature Anika Moa, Stacey Morrison, Lisa Reihana, Chelsea Winstanley, Kiri Nathan, Dr Hinemoa Elder, Qiane Matata- Sipu, Maru Nihoniho and Mīria Flavell.
M9 takes over The Civic, Auckland on Friday 17 June. Tickets are on sale now.
Mako Road have fast become the most exciting independent act in New Zealand and the release of their long-awaited debut album Stranger Days is the beginning of much, much more. Lifting moods with their unique brand of infectious reggae-infused indie-rock, the Christchurch four-piece are dripping in psychedelic surf rock gold, and the best part is, they’re only still getting started.
Mako Road will celebrate their new album with shows at Auckland’s The Powerstation and Wellington’s Shed 6 in June. Tickets are on sale now.
Nadia Reid has claimed her place as one of New Zealand’s most evocative and profound young songwriters. The powerhouse Kiwi vocalist released her third album Out of My Province in 2020, and now she is preparing to delight New Zealand audiences with beautiful songs from her impressive catalogue with some incredible musicians in tow.
Nadia Reid will perform at Dunedin’s Glenroy Auditorium with NZTrio on Thursday 14 July and at Auckland Town Hall with the APO on Sunday 24 July. Tickets are on sale now.
Paige has taken initial love shown for her heartfelt soul-pop from global superstars Lizzo and Billie Eilish, who both discovered and called out her songs. The kind of trajectory out of the bedroom was inevitable, appearing on stage alongside Ruel, George Ezra, Six 60, Drax Project and nothing it seems will stop her. Full of moments of self-reflection, her second EP Always Growing is a testament to acknowledging flaws and processing through her music.
Paige will perform at Outerfields2021 at Western Springs on Saturday 3 December. Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster.co.nz.
Reb Fountain and band have been astounding audiences around the country since the release of her criticality acclaimed, award-winning 2020 eponymous album. Renowned for her spellbinding live performances, this upcoming tour is no different. With touring plans cancelled in 2021, Reb is ready to bring her new album Iris to life on stage with her band this year.
Reb Fountain will perform in Auckland, Dunedin, and Wellington this July and August. Tickets are on sale now.
With more than two decades under their belts, Shapeshifter have made a name for themselves on some of the biggest festival stages in the world. Across seven studio albums, their stadium-sized sound – which adds layers of drum & bass, jazz, funk, rock and electronica to solid bass culture foundations – has seen them win fans the world over.
They can put their name to some of the biggest shows performed by a domestic artist in New Zealand, Six60 are popstars in the truest sense and the biggest band in the country by far. To say we’re pretty big fans is an understatement.
Six60 will perform in Rotorua and Auckland this November, before heading to Dunedin in March 2023. Tickets are on sale now.
The new season SYNTHONY No.3 brings you a brand-new show celebrating even more of the best dance tracks of all time performed with an epic mix of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, vocals, guest musicians and DJs.
Featuring performances from Chaii, Ella Monnery, Nate Dousand, Chuck Roberts and Bella Kalolo, with music from Wilkinson, Flume, Calvin Harris, Dizzee Rascal, Disclosure, and The Killers plus plenty more.
Synthony No.3 takes over Spark Arena on Saturday 21 May. Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster.co.nz.
Northland-hailing singer-songwriter Teeks grew up surrounded by music and performance. After arriving on the New Zealand music scene in 2018, he has gone one to cement himself as one of New Zealand’s most compelling voices of modern soul. Now he is set to perform with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for the first time.
This special collaboration between the extraordinary singer and Aotearoa New Zealand’s national orchestra will be staged over the Matariki holiday weekend – from Thursday 23 June until Saturday 25 June – at Wellington’s St James Theatre. Tickets are on sale now.
Troy Kingi is an actor and an multi-award-winning, multi-genre musician who rose to fame after the release of his first two multi-award-winning albums ‘Guitar Party at Uncles Bach’ and ‘Shake That Skinny Ass All the Way to Zygertron’. His latest album, Black Sea, Golden Ladder is a collaboration with award-winning singer/songwriter and producer Delaney Davidson, and is a folk/songwriter music compilation of free-form compositions set to ten original poems documenting the life cycle of humankind.
Troy Kingi and Delaney Davidson will take the album to stages in Dunedin, Auckland, and Wellington this August. Tickets are on sale now.
The future of New Zealand’s indie-rock scene is in safe hands with Auckland trio The Beths. Following the bright pop hooks, pop-punk grit, and indie-rock charm of their debut album Future Me Hates Me – which they gifted us in 2018 – the four-piece have been winning over fans in every corner of the globe, their second album, 2020’s Jump Rope Gazers only furthering their ascension to international domination. And with international tours and more new music piling up, they are unstoppable.
The Beths will perform at Outerfields2021 at Western Springs on Saturday 3 December. Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster.co.nz.
NZ Music Month takes place right throughout May as a way to celebrate our incredible industry. Discover the best in live music with Ticketmaster.co.nz.