New Music / New For 19

New Music: Marlin’s Dreaming

We're shining a spotlight on the best up and coming New Zealand artists set to dominate 2019. Meet Dunedin shoegaze rockers Marlin's Dreaming.

Ticketmaster New Music is your one-stop destination to discover the best emerging live acts before they explode. These are the artists we’re expecting to make waves in the live music scene, and we want you to know about them first.


Their music is equal parts sparkling and laid-back, somehow perfectly balancing the line between gritty and calming – Dunedin four-piece Marlin’s Dreaming make music that’s as perfect for your lazy Sunday evening chill out as it is for your rowdy Saturday night. 

After meeting at a local surf shop that frontman Semisi Maiai worked at, the band’s founding members immediately got to work on their debut album Lizard Tears – a dreamy, floating record that showcased a cleaner, more blissful sounding band than you might meet now. They’d only been together a couple of months, but it was the perfect introduction into what the band could do, and their knack for storytelling and blending elements of indie, psychedelic and surf rock started catching on.

Barely a year on, they’ve released another record, the grittier Talk on/Commic EP, rolled through three sold-out New Zealand tours, and are promising more music and more shows to come. Marlin’s Dreaming have set themselves up for a huge 2019, and we’re certain they’ll be turning heads around the world – so why don’t we get introduced?

marlin's dreaming

The Story

From the beginning

Vocalist and guitarist Semisi Maiai: “I first started making my own material a year out from finishing high school. I started basically messing around with GarageBand and interfaces and realised that I could somehow plug in an electric guitar and record sounds into my computer and have it sound like it had gone through an amp. That’s mainly where the froth for recording and writing came from. I guess since then I’ve been slowly chipping away at half-written songs.”

What you’ll hear

“I think it’s probably best for everyone else to make their own mind up about a sound. Everyone reacts to music in different ways. It was a bit of an unconscious decision arriving at the Marlin’s Dreaming sound. It’s usually always derived from musical taste and experience – it’s largely a sound that has been inspired by artist’s that the band have been frothed on.”

Influences & inspiration

“Mum and dad <3”

For the love of music

“It’s a good way to hang out with your friends. For me, it’s a way to channel a side of my creativity, where I can use my poems and also think of new sounds to create. It’s just like painting or taking photos, it’s all open to interpretation.”

Kicking goals

“Releasing Talk On/Commic, our relatively new EP. It was a real band effort finishing the EP in a week at a studio in Dunedin, so finally releasing that was an amazing feeling.”

The year ahead

“More touring, More writing, more band praccys, and getting to see some new scenery.”

Essential Listening

Marlin’s Dreaming – Does That Even

The closing track of their latest EP, it’s a woozy, dreamy, hazy floater.

Marlin’s Dreaming – Mellow

Marlin’s Dreaming have described this one as a poetic and sparkly ode to the ’80s. The play between Semisi’s vocal and the bright guitar melodies is perfect.

Marlin’s Dreaming – I’ll Stick By You

The first song released off Marlin’s Dreaming’s EP, it introduced a new sound for the band – a grittier, harder, more post-punk leaning edge that fans hadn’t heard before.

Check out the rest of our New For ’19 feature artists here.

Keep up to date with everything Ticketmaster New Music right here.

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