For NZ Music Month, we're asking local musicians to tell us about the New Zealand songs they love the most. Today, Wellington lo-fi metal outfit Hex revisit five songs that bring back some special memories.
Anika Moa - Youthful
Kiki Van Newtown: Some time in the late 90s, Anika Moa was whipping out hits at the Rockquest final before hoofing Thinking Room at the public in 2001. That was my first year out of high school. I was saving money for my overseas experience and I bought this CD in the airport either leaving or coming back into Aotearoa. At that time, the song Youthful accompanied my growing disdain toward expectations that I should now become an at least moderately successful grown up. Also the music video was like a local version of Darlene Conner, with the voice of an angel, all wrapped up in a denim jacket. Was this when I seriously started considering lesbianism?
Anika Moa has continued to crank out excellent music for my entire adulthood, and in the last few years she’s also taken the throne as the funniest person in Aotearoa. Her recent Songs for Bubbas recordings are also top notch and totally doable on repeat during the long hauls in the seven seater. Long live Anika Moa.
The Sound Laydee - The Sound Laydee Rap
Liz Mathews: The Sound Laydee was a DIY feminist rap project by Penny Collins. She programmed drums and played keys, and wrote the most insane raps that were about everything from cold hot chips, to sexism in music (which are kind of the same thing): “Sound Laydee, bringing it on, better than Slim shady, something’s wrong with the state of music today, I don’t say hooray, all we got is Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock and Korn”. The Sound Laydee played at punk shows between doom metal and ska punk, and the whole crowd always knew ALL the lyrics.
Cortina - Slopes of Love
Kiki Van Newtown and GG Van Newtown:
“I’m in love, I’m in love with YOU YOU! YOU YOU YOU!”
We walked into our wedding through a human tunnel of love to this song, which is about how love is fucking hard as shit, but also the best thing in the world. Cortina shows were always about love, and pouring beer over your head to cool down, and being super powerful and just wailing and not even caring if it looked or sounded right, just wailing into the womb and screaming “thanks for birthing me! I made you this epic song about how love is like a mountain slope that we’re all trying to learn to ski on! Sometimes we crash and sometimes we collide but we just get back up and get on that chairlift and give it another whirl”.
We timed our wedding walk perfectly to this song, and when it stopped our dog started barking and he pretty much barked the entire way through the ceremony. This song is all synthy and slash guitary and reverby vocals and expandable beats and we highly recommend it for all your wedding ceremony needs.
Fake Purr - Bad Horsey
Liz Mathews: Fake Purr were the first real life girl rock band I ever saw. I was 16 and we were in the Grey Lynn Community Centre in Auckland. I’ve always loved Bad Horsey. It was sung by Brenda who wore glasses and skirts with tights and worked in a library and howled like a demon. The chorus is about Steph’s prominent wah pedal which was “bad bad bad! bad horsey!” This is also the song where Brenda angrily mumble-screams “solo? I’ll give you a fucking solo!” in reaction to crowd heckles from boy guitarists. Fake Purr changed EVERYTHING for Auckland in the late 1990s.
CUTSS - To the Sun
Kiki Van Newtown: We’re all long time fans of The Coolies and all the branches of their musical family tree - Pumice, Piece War, Olympus et al. I had the excellent fortune of finally seeing Sjionel’s solo project CUTSS a few months back. She played in a narrow hallway at Audio Foundation and I hadn’t even started on my herbal liquor (Jägermeister) and I was so glad I got to experience CUTSS for the first time, sober as a newborn. It was like listening to the Shangri-Las played through a stack of 15 watt Samick amps, with some delay holding it all together, which are pretty much all of my favourite things. I was actually blown away and I kept telling people “I was just blown away!!” for several weeks after, because sometimes that’s all you need to say to explain how great something is. This song has the best vocal melody over a couple of hard strummed chords. It reminds me of reckless love.