Fimo and Amamelia
Queer synth-pop duo from Auckland makes me feel all soft and in love. It’s the 90s, shimmery and golden hour 24/7. Personal favourite is Sugar Soap. Amelia Berry’s solo project Amamelia is a fun dance sensation with inspiration from house, breakbeat and downtempo. So good is really so good.
Mataura Paper Mill by Anthonie Tonnon
I like to plug my earphones in, and listen to this track on repeat while walking around at dusk. It’s just so dramatic and sad. But environmental disasters are: The Paper mill at Gore, and the leaking ‘toxic ammonia cloud.’ It’s just a lot, and given the current mood of the nation, it’s fitting.
Hungry Planet by The Shambles
I crack this album out every summer. It never disappoints. Funky, fun, and full of energy, Hungry Planet’s unusual blend of Dunedin surf rock and 80s soul music is guaranteed to get your booty wigglin’. Age, race, religion, sexuality – Hungry Planet doesn’t discriminate. Put those headphones on, and that ass’ll start a-shaking.
Make Way for Love by Marlon Williams
I hate almost all country music. I say almost because there are exactly three extremely special exceptions to this rule. Exception #1: Wagon Wheel is acceptable so long as it’s played at the end of a big night of drinking. Exception #2: Take Me Home Country Road is allowed to be played so long as we’re driving somewhere far away and/or drunk. Lastly, Exception #3: any Marlon Williams, any time of day, is 100% on. What makes these exceptions so special, you ask? Simple: they’re all sing-a-long bangers.
Any of Phum Viphurit’s Singles
Imma say it: there’s only two reasons Phum isn’t a household name in New Zealand. Firstly, his bio page doesn’t start with the words “Dunedin-based” (which seems to be a legal requirement), and secondly – this is probably the more important part – he’s not a skinny white boy with a dumb moustache, a shit fashion sense, and a monosyllabic name. Despite having more listens on Spotify than Six60, Mako Road, and Dave Dobbyn combined, Phum gets nowhere near the same level of attention. It’s a shame, because his music is top notch. Give it a listen!
Tiny Moons: A year of eating in shanghai by Nina Minya Powles
Nina is a Malaysian/Chinese-Pakeha poet from Wellington, currently in London. Tiny Moons is a collection of food essays written when she was a student living in shanghai. She uses food as a means to explore mix-race identity in a new and confusing place. Her descriptions about street food also make you salivate. Nina is also the editor of Bitter Melon Poetry, and is currently compiling diary entries during self-isolation from asian writers (If anyone would like to get involved: email@example.com).