By ERICA MCQUEEN

Wonderwhat? Wondergarden – The latest addition to Auckland’s lineup of Summer Music Festivals.  We welcome them back to Silo park for their second year. And it’s gonna be good!

As a lover of Kiwi music, I look at this lineup and think, how could you not want to go!? Our biggest and best artists (forgetting Lorde for a moment), come together for one night that’s set to see in the new year with a bang.

Here’s the low down on who’s gracing the stage!

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

I’m ashamed to say I’m not actually too familiar with UMO. I’m listening to multi-love for the first time as I write this. So I went to the biggest UMO fan I know and asked for his take. 

“One of New Zealand’s greatest exports, Unknown Mortal Orchestra are well known for putting on stellar live performances, especially on home turf. They manage to mix 80s funk and soul with psychedelic guitar pop, culminating in a very fun dance party.” – Kevin Tay

Leisure

The hottest boy band to come from Kiwi shores. It’s pretty much just like someone hand picked five of NZ’s top Kiwi musicians and producers and threw them together and out came magic.  Every song is a banger, I’m a huge fan. They released their debut album last year – be sure to check that out. This year they’ve dropped a few singles accompanied by beautiful cover art by Fraser Chatham. I saw these guys perform recently at a private party, and with the addition of Paul Roper (The Mint Chicks, Blouse) on drums, they are sounding tight.

Chelsea Jade

Chelsea has had a great year, being nominated for the Silver Scroll for her track Life of the Party. Set to release her debut album in 2018, this will be a chance to see what she’s been working on. She’s been living and working from LA, a fresh start for creating music under her own name, having previously released music as Watercolours. She’s worked with Leroy Clampitt, a fav Kiwi producer of mine who’s also based in LA. There’s a beautiful juxtaposition in Chealsea’s songs of being beautifully dream pop in sound, but not necessarily happy when it comes to the lyrics.

Swidt

I’ve a soft spot for SWIDT as we all went to the same highschool. Their music videos are filmed at my teenage haunts and their lyrics reference the neighbourhood I grew up in and called home until only a few weeks ago. They’ve had a great year, releasing Stoneyhunga back in July and took out a number of awards at the VNZMAs. For a taste of the ‘The Most Electrifying Rap Group in Entertainment’ check out their tracks Little Did She Know, Player of the Day and 312.

Maala

I first saw Evan Sinton (Maala) perform back in 2012 as part of a duo, before his debut on national television. I was struck by his haunting vocals and have eagerly watched him develop his sound over the years. He’s had a big year, playing shows in India, doing a MTV Unplugged session, released a couple of great singles as well as playing at a number of festivals and headlining gigs.

Nadia Reid

I first saw Nadia perform at the Auckland Folk Festival when she was nominated for the Folk Album of the Year Tui. Nothing compares to her live performance. It’s raw, authentic, and often tear-inducing. Her song Richard was was a finalist for the Silver Scroll this year, and my fav of the lot. I can’t wait to see Nadia perform, it’s been like a month since I saw her play and NYE can’t come soon enough!

The Ruby Suns

The Ruby Suns are the only artists on the Wondergarden lineup I wasn’t familiar with. By the looks of things (thanks google) they’ve been making music since back in 2004. They’ve released 5 albums and 6/7 of my friends that ‘like’ them on facebook are musicians themselves, which I take to be a good sign! I’m looking forward to hearing their take on indie-pop and expanding my horizons when it comes to great Kiwi bands.

Bailey Wiley

Bailey Wiley’s voice is pure, silky and a job to listen to. She blends neo-soul classicism with modern production to create a beautiful, unique sound. I’ve head she comes alive on stage and quite frankly, I can’t wait. Hailing from Christchurch, Bailey Wiley now writes from her Grey Lynn bedroom. She released her first album back in 2014 and has played sountless festivals across New Zealand and Europe since.  She opened up about mental health with Redbull, and the interview is well worth your time. A breath of fresh air in the NZ music scene, Bailey Wiley is one to watch.  

BoyBoy

BoyBoy is another Kiwi based in LA. I’m starting to think there’s quite the community of expat creatives over there. He’s coming home for Wondergarden and is sure to impress. Boyboy creates a unique brand of self-aware, fearless pop. Be sure to hit up his soundcloud and acquaint yourself with these stellar tunes. BoyBoy is going to be the one to dance to!

See you there?

No plans for NYE? Want better plans for NYE? There’s still time to grab yourself a ticket! Jump over to www.wondergarden.co.nz and we’ll see you there!

Wondergarden have kindly prepared a playlist so you can familiarize yourself with the lineup and be singing along all night!

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