Category Archives: Australia

Miiesha Gambles Her Faith Away In Price I Paid

Australian singer Miiesha gives us another beautiful track in Price I Paid. The original version is a little upbeat, but I fancy the live version a bit more. The softer tones and slower pace really fits the feels of the song. And even then, during the second run through of the chorus, Miiesha speeds it up just a little. The acoustic guitar in the live version was played very well. Noticeable enough, but not so much where it wants to take over in the song. 

Miiesha talks about how she views her body as a temple, but the one she wants to be with and breaks up with stops coming by to pray. And in the track there are two different metaphors that she uses interchangeably. The religious aspect of her body and the betting/gambling of her faith in her (now) ex. Faith, in this context, works for both because it’s the currency she has from herself then bets it all away on a losing game. Hearing her sing it doesn’t seem like a word salad. For some people, it’s hard enough to get one coherent theme for any particular track, but Miiesha was able to weave in two. She is truly one of the better writers from Australia. 

The Third Time Is Ngaiire’s Charm

We have gotten to the third album released from Ngaiire which is aptly named ‘3’. The type of sounds we are accustomed to from her debut Lamentations from 2013 and The Blastoma in 2016 comes out in her latest album. I noticed that the piano plays a key part in the production in some of the songs presented. As you can hear in some of the tracks, a lot more technical production is being woven into the track, producing a future soul kind of sound. 

Photo by Daniel Segal

I am full to the brim of stories that many don’t have the privilege to hold within themselves; some I know quite well and some live deep in my DNA that I won’t have enough lifetimes to unpack. But the ones I know, I will tell how I want to because I can. So here is a collection of love letters to 3 entities – myself, my country and those I love both here and now departed.

Ngaiire on the album ‘3’

The third track Showstring is a perfect example of the sound I hear from Ngaiire, both from her voice and the production. The fast paced production combined with that piano playing in the background is evident. Her vocals are strong and using her harmonized voice in the background just lifts her up during the various parts of the song. Something about combining that pop theme that just puts a smile on your face

Closer is a peach of a track and my favorite on the album. It feels soft to the ears, however, that underlying baseline really gets your body moving. Ngaiire’s strong voice comes out again in this song. So clear and crisp for long runs that it really touches your soul. That message of ‘not coming closer unless you love me’ is a powerful one. Another line that I liked from her was “love is like a mountain, take me to the peak”. How I saw it was love was hard work and you have to stay committed to reach the highest of highs. At least in the context of this song. A beautiful music video was made for this song. The choreography and costumes were spot on. I wish it didn’t have to end, but I will say the love story was cute how it was portrayed on screen.

Moonshine has a more pop sound to go along with the nice beat in the background. Ngaiire is using Moonshine for two meanings, the drink, and the actual moonshine in the track. I thought that was a nice way to incorporate the title in her lyrics. I mentioned earlier in the post that she has this particular sound that involves the piano in a lot of her tracks, but you do have tracks like this where she leans into the modern and future sounds. And she still has that calming soulful voice that oozes through.

I wrote this while I was high on Opioids. I just desperately wanted to feel like a whole human again. Most days I’d be writhing in pain on the floor screaming, or throwing whatever I could find near me at the walls because I was just so frustrated at how I felt … I was popping about 8 top shelf opioids a day just to take the edge off but I was feeling increasingly out of control of my life, my career, my pregnancy and the life of my baby. I was in and out of hospital with no answers, hanging on the words of the revolving door of doctors that were sent to my bedside. The more questions went unanswered the more I felt trapped and so far away from what I knew of as my normal life.

Ngaiire on Moonshine

It just makes you realize from a music perspective, you don’t know how one releases themselves on a song from such trauma. I can’t even imagine how Ngaiire was able to get through the other side from all of this. Knowing this, I do wonder if this experience relates to her other song ‘Him‘ that is on the album.

Overall, I enjoyed this album. It’s not a typical R&B album if you just listen to the production choices, but that’s okay. If you seen some of the music videos or even the the album art, she’s a little out of the box. It makes for more compelling sounds from the artists, for good or bad. I haven’t heard of Ngaiire before the beginning of this summer and now she’s on my radar.

More About The Artist

Sydney-based, Papau New Guinea-born future-soul artist NGAIIRE shares her emotionally charged new album, ‘3’ via Majestic CasualNGAIIRE has released two previous albums; neo-soul ‘Lamentations’ and pop-soul ‘Blastoma’. Her third album began as an experiment in 2017 to go back to her home country with a small creative team in the hopes of extracting unique visual aspects of PNG culture to present in a contemporary context and alongside music that would be composed throughout and after the research period.

Having built a musical identity that effortlessly crosses genre and art form, her renowned vocals, tight beats and big pop sounds have seen NGAIIRE acquire countless accolades, as well as gracing the stages of Glastonbury through to Splendour In The Grass, and touring alongside artists from Sufjan Stevens to Flume to Alicia Keys and John Legend.

The Emotional Moment Of When Ngaiire Left ‘Him’

Australian artist Ngaiire released her latest single to date, Him, back in mid July. This track is a part of her upcoming album ‘3’ that is releasing on August 27. As it just so happens, she was also a part of the July 23 New Music Playlist and was one of the standout songs for me. The two things that stood out for me was the vocal arrangement and the keys used throughout the song. I mentioned to other people as I was listening that the voice is unique. If not for anything else, I would forever now be able to hear her within a crowd. 

via Dan Segal

The way Ngaiire drags out her syllables in this song is something I’ve never heard before. Going through the lyrics as she sings, you need to be on your ‘p’s and ‘q’s as you read along. I wonder who she is talking to as she cries out that this was never his fault that she left him. Who does she want to be there until their dying day? You can feel the hurt in her words and it really comes out in the chorus. Oh that chorus really really tugs at your heart strings. To be honest, it feels more like a wailing if anything.

via Dan Segal

The music video, even as simple as it was, was beautiful to see. I mentioned before the wailing she is doing in the chorus, you can see it in her delivery. Ngaiire gave me chills as I listened to her sing. I saw the agony in her mannerism and her face. The struggle to give every note because of the heaviness of the lyrics. I don’t know where the inspiration came from, but I felt it. I love the filters that were interchanged from the two settings. One other thing I liked was using the two voice tracks together and how you saw it during the video. Look at the 2:30 mark and you see both versions of Ngaiire singing in harmony just as the track is laid. This was a great music video and an amazing song. You will hear more from me when the entire album is available later this year. I can’t wait.

More About The Artist

NGAIIRE is a Papua New Guinean/Australian artist who has released two previous albums; neo-soul ‘Lamentations’ and pop-soul ‘Blastoma’. The latest single, ‘Him’, is the reality of the darkness traversed to get this album finished. It’s a letter that would have been left if it hadn’t been complete. It’s about a deeply personal conversation that no one dreams of having with the people they love. It’s about the legacy of love.

Having built a musical identity that effortlessly crosses genre and art form, her renowned vocals, tight beats and big pop sounds have seen NGAIIRE acquire countless accolades including four National Live Music Awards, an FBi Radio SMAC Award for best live act, Australian Music Prize and AIR Award nominations for her 2016 release ‘Blastoma’ and the inaugural Australian Women in Music Award for Artistic Excellence. Not to mention gracing the stages of Glastonbury through to Splendour In The Grass, and touring alongside artists from Sufjan Stevens to Flume to Alicia Keys and John Legend.

Akosia Puts People On Quest To Reach Her On ISO

The Melbourne artist Akosia releases her single ISO with a very involved music video. I fell in love with her voice which is backed up with the smooth production on the track. At first listen, the vibe really took me away. I was also digging the flip after the second run through of the chorus. It acts as the closure of the song and getting to the goal of the pursuit by adding and removing a few words. It got really intimate and you felt it on Akosia’s delivery. You could also tell from the facial expressions and scenes in the music video right at this mark as well.

That was one of the high points in the video, just seeing how well Akosia working the camera at various spots. You really believe in the guy who is trying his best to get to where she is and she’s just enticing him from afar. I guess the ISO aspect is seeing them by themselves, but she wants him to close that gap. And when you get to end of the song, you can see that excitement in her face. A more intimate way of showing. As she says in the song, she’s not the begging type, but when he came into the picture towards the end, she’s willing and ready. I loved the settings and the different shots. The wall of candles was a stand out for me. Put this track on any neo-soul playlist and it’ll fit right in.

New Music Friday 5/14 – 5/21 Featuring Miiesha

There has been so much praise for upcoming Australian artist Miiesha that she was nominated for two APRA awards: Breakthrough Writer of the Year and Most Performed R&B/Soul Work. So when her new song Damaged came out, I got excited because I got to hear good music and great writing. Initially, I thought this was a song about a relationship between two people (read: intimate relationship or long-term relationship) and Miiesha got tired and decided to break it off. After seeing the music video, I understand that their lyrical abilities are off the charts. 

So this wasn’t about that type of relationship, but about a father and son. So certain words and lines start to pop off having new context. So this line for example:

The way you demand it; Turned me into a savage; Nothing left for me to do; When I cannot break your habits

This isn’t about one love to another trying to get them to break bad habits, but a son to a father losing his mind trying to get him to break his habits. I mean the way he was going off on the woman on her phone was over the line and the son had to go check him. Then there was the second pre-chorus where Miiesha sings:

Drown in the sound of a heart crying; Tryina bleed out a blood line; Still tryin to prove; There’s always more

That line about bleeding out a blood line was so loaded when you have a music video about a father and son. I think that whole segment is about the son trying to not pass on the paternal legacy to his family. But as he continues, there is always something else he realizes or discovers about his father and you get to the line “There’s always more”. The one part of the video towards the end has the father reading a book called Deepest Regrets. The producers for the music video were extremely detailed and I appreciate them for that. 

I can understand why the hype behind Miiesha is so high. I see her on par with Gallant in terms of song writing and readers of the blog know I place him in the highest of regards in terms of songwriting. It’s not as prevalent as it was decades ago, but people like Miiesha give me hope.

Spend Some Time In The Red Room With Hiatus Kaiyote

It feels like a good while since the last Hiatus Kaiyote project, but Red Room instantly puts me back in the mood. The second the vocalist Nai Palm comes on the track it’s like getting that audio high that you are used to getting. This song has a lot of repeats in its verses so I guess you can take this like a mantra of sorts. You can feel the intensity of the track increasingly get stronger as it goes on. The music video has this old station wagon just going around in circles promoting the new album’s name Mood Variant. And as you watch the car and Nai, you tend to get sucked in and before you know it, the track is over. It has a very calming impact on your ears. I’m so excited for their new album.

A.Girl Sobered Up From Being Luv Drunk

Sydney’s very own, A.Girl, has released her first solo single of the year with Luv Drunk. We last heard from her as a feature to True Vibenation’s More Than You’ll Ever Know. This song talks about being deep in love with someone and then realizing that the love was only one way. And now you gotta cut it off and, as she says, run away and as fast as you can.

“I wrote Luv Drunk for my future self when I was 17 and in a relationship. Now that I’m 21 and single it’s like watching an old re-run of the Simpsons that relates to me now more than ever.”

A.Girl – Luv Drunk (Volkanik Music)

I wonder if A.Girl was speaking of one episode in particular or just the idea of watching re-runs in general.

I love the production from Taka Perry as he brings a lot of heavy bass and when it hits, it really sticks to you. A topic that people today can relate and music that is bumping. When you put on your “I just became single!!” songs, this is the type of sound you need. You can’t just can’t meekly walk away, you gotta make a scene. Playing this track at max should get that desired effect.

True Vibenation and A.Girl Gets Together In More Than You’ll Ever Know

True Vibenation and A.GIRL plays the parts of two people with their perspectives of one night after dinner in More Than You’ll Ever Know. A.GIRL just wants the love, but not the show and Vibe is bringing up the fact that they are aware she wants more than the flash they present. Well now they know the problem, they have to work to get beyond this. The electric guitar and the horns and organ are standouts in the productions. It gives that southern soul appeal to the overall project. This is a great song.

You’ll Fall For MADAM3EMPRESS Just By Locking Eyes

The Sydney-born, by way of South Africa, MADAM3EMPRESS is giving us the late night adult contemporary vibes in Locking Eyes. MADAM is so confident in herself that she knows she can get you just by looking deep in your eyes. And you know how we know this? Because of all the pretense before the “meetup”. You ain’t gotta front. If they look good and there’s an invite to pursue, just go for it. The strings and congos have that latin feel that I am really digging.

So Long, Farewell, Goodbye Goes CVIRO and GXNXVS

I find it ironic that Goodbye is the last track in CVIRO and GXNXVS’ EP The Sequel. This really feels like a finality of both the EP and whatever this relationship is. I admit, I haven’t heard the EP yet, but this is on my radar. The track has led me to the bigger project so I am ready for what it has in store for me. There seems to be some maturity in their demeanor when you get lyrics like

Girl, this not gon’ take much time

Yeah, ain’t nobody tell me what to do (Ooh)

CVIRO and GXNXVS – Goodbye

Some people will fight and hope to take them back. They let things go with a shred of dignity. That’s a plus for me.