Throughout NZ Music Month we’ll be hearing stories from young musicians about the local songs they love the most. Today, Tiny Ruins tells us about songs from Chris Knox, The Phoenix Foundation, King Kapisi, The Clean and Bic Runga.
Formed as a solo project by Bristol-born musician Hollie Fullbrook, Tiny Ruins recently expanded to a full-time three-piece act, nabbing the Best Alternative Album award and a Taite Music Prize nomination for their recent album Brightly Painted One.
Hollie also just announced that she'll be heading on the road with Bic Runga for a series of tour dates across the country, which will see the pair play on each other’s songs and debut new material.
She took a moment to reminisce on her top five favourite New Zealand songs.
Chris Knox – ‘Not Given Lightly’
I remember seeing Chris Knox playing in the quad at Victoria University when I was a student, maybe 10 years ago. No one was really listening, he was just standing in this vacuous horrible place with this little amp and a guitar and he was on a political rant. I stood and watched and decided he was somebody amazing. I knew this song but never put the two things together until later. This particular performance is incredible, given the circumstances. What a wonderful song. What a treasure.
The Phoenix Foundation – ‘Sally’
The Phoenix Foundation were my favourite band when I moved to Wellington in late 2004. This song was perhaps one of the more melancholy songs on the album and I have always been a sucker for those. My flatmate Maurice somehow acquired an enormous floor-to-ceiling poster of the Pegasus album cover - possibly from the outside of Real Groovy - and it took pride of place in our flat for years. I have lots of fond memories of their live shows. I met Sam Flynn Scott a while back but was too shy to say how much I admired his songwriting.
King Kapisi – ‘Screems From Da Old Plantation’
I don't know when I first heard this. Sometime back in high school, possibly on Channel Z. I guess it's only in retrospect that I understand what it's about more. I wouldn't have been very aware back then. I think this song is really amazing, both lyrically and musically. I do like songs that say something, that are strong - and this is really strong.
The Clean – ‘Beatnik’
The Clean remind me of running, maybe because I listen to them sometimes when doing so, and it is music to be listened to loudly. This video I find especially sweet and funny. It has been a real honour to be able to work with Robert Scott and Hamish Kilgour on a couple of things over the past two or three years, and listening to their music gives me a feeling of wild abandon.
Bic Runga – ‘Sway’
My folks moved us to New Zealand from Bristol, UK when I was 10. It was things like music that made it all make more sense. I remember this song from when I was 12. My parents bought several copies of Drive and posted them back to my family in the UK. It holds a lot of memories of that time for me, of feeling homesick but also increasingly like New Zealand was home.