So I’ve had this one track ingrained in my inner-ear iPod for the past two weeks. A lush, smoldering track that rolls and rolls and kicks up during the chorus into an almighty swelling torrent of harmonies, all underpinned by this desolate sense of longing. Pure. Real. The song is called Wall Poster Star and it’s by Kiwi duo, The Brunettes. We spoke recently to Jonathan Bree, one half of the group: Growing up in New Zealand, were you into the South Island Flying Nun sound or the more polished North Island bands and recordings? ‘I was introduced to and loved a lot of early Flying Nun when I was growing up but also liked a lot of the more commercially successful ones too. Never really saw the division between North and South Island bands being a kid. I just liked them and knew they were from my country, and were therefore better than Australian bands’. There seems to be a real sense of overextending for many New Zealanders in general – pushing themselves well beyond the confines of their isolated surrounds. Do you notice a drive amongst Kiwis that might not be as apparent in other nationalities? ‘I think the geographical isolation helps in a way because we feel more removed from the international market. Bands are less likely to be tempted to follow trends because they are less likely to be noticed on a large scale anyway. So maybe that helps to create a breeding ground for more unique bands that are passionate about the music that they make for the right reasons. I don’t think New Zealanders have more drive than other nationalities though’. What’s the ultimate pop song? Surely something by Neil Finn right? Or perhaps (80s New Zealand electro-pop group) The Mockers? ‘Hmmm. Off the top of my head, because you’ve made me think about it, Cleopatra by The Mockers. It is pretty catchy. Otherwise I’d probably say something like Can’t get you out of my head by Kylie’. Do brunettes have more fun? ‘Especially if there’s a ginge around to make us feel better’.
Listen to The Brunettes track, Small Town Crew.