Music Archive

Rip It Up memories: An oral history of our greatest music mag

The first 101 issues of Rip It Up have been added to the freely-accessible online archive, Papers Past. Gareth Shute tracked down some of the people behind this legendary publication to get a sense of how it started and why it was so essential to the local music scene.

None more black: The vibrancy of Wellington’s hard rock and metal scene

It's one of the most tight-knit, well-established and supportive music environments in New Zealand. Ben Lynch pays tribute to the capital's hard rock and metal scene.

Poet, musician, teacher: Jamila Woods on her sophomore album Legacy Legacy

Saraid Cameron interviews poet-musician Jamila Woods upon the release of her sophomore album, the forward-thinking, backward-facing Legacy Legacy!

I’ve got questions in my mind: Smashproof’s ‘Brother’, 10 years on

Ten years ago, Smashproof released 'Brother', the song that swiftly became the longest running number one by a New Zealand act. Jogai Bhatt talks to the band about the impact of the song then, and what it means to them today.

Openside and the apex of New Zealand pop fandom

How a singer's revelation about their identity gave Openside their purpose – and New Zealand's most intense pop fans.

The New York collective coming to NZ to celebrate women and gender-diverse DJs

Moments presents Discwoman is a series of shows, panel discussions and workshops aimed at encouraging more women and gender minorities to get involved with electronic music.

Who is she: A quest to find the women behind our most famous song titles

Many of the great New Zealand songs have one thing in common: a woman’s first name as their title. Alex Casey went on a mission to find the real women who inspired them.

The Spinoff Music’s songs of the month: April

A little bit of K-Pop, some local artists, and the return of pop music's best twins: it's The Spinoff Music's best songs of April 2019.

Review: Aldous Harding’s Designer mixes a lush surface with compelling depth

Sam Brooks reviews Aldous Harding's mysterious and enthralling third album, Designer.

‘I never thought I would ever make anything’: Aldous Harding on her new album Designer

Aldous Harding speaks Kirsten Johnstone about her new album Designer, for RNZ.

What we think of the new Taylor Swift song ‘Me’

The much anticipated new Taylor Swift song dropped today, along with a confectionary-tinged music video. Here's a few hastily put together thoughts from The Spinoff staff.

Review: Billie Eilish successfully kicks off her world tour at Spark Arena

Last night, Billie Eilish kicked off her world tour at Spark Arena. Tamsyn Merchant reviews the show (alongside her nine year old daughter, Ruby).

Lawrence Arabia on songwriting: ‘The more you do it, the less you know’

Throughout 2018, James Milne (aka Lawrence Arabia) released a song a month to fans who’d supported him via a Kickstarter campaign. He took time out from his tour supporting the resulting album, Singles Club, to speak with Gareth Shute about the ups and downs of producing songs to a monthly schedule.

MARINA is back – minus her Diamonds

MARINA's new album drops in its entirety on April 26 – but where has she been, and where are the Diamonds? Sam Brooks chronicles the journey of popstar MARINA from Diamonds to caps lock.

How Bob Marley’s 1979 Western Springs concert changed NZ music

Bob Marley played his first and only New Zealand concert on Monday, 16 April 1979, at Auckland’s Western Springs. Gareth Shute looks back on that visit and the seismic effect it had on this country’s relationship with reggae music.

‘Fuck. I’ve lost this thing four times already’: Tom Scott wins the Taite Music Prize

Last night Tom Scott won the 2019 Taite Music Prize for best album in New Zealand for Avantdale Bowling Club. This is his speech.

The game-changer: Nathan Haines’ Shift Left on its 25th birthday

Twenty-five years ago, Nathan Haines released Shift Left, New Zealand's biggest selling jazz album of all time. On the eve of its anniversary reissue, Graham Reid takes a look at the album's genesis and impact.

Not your pop princess: Theia on her excellent new EP

Christchurch-born Theia's second EP Not Your Princess drops today. Sam Brooks chats with the singer about her new music and her video for International Women's Day.

‘So pop that it becomes experimental’: An oral history of Mint Chicks’ Screens

Ten years ago, Mint Chicks shredded the high-gloss sound that saw their sophomore LP go overground. The band tells Sam Wicks how they ripped up the rulebook on Screens.

‘Old Town Road’ and the blurred lines of country music

'Old Town Road' has gained fame not just for its country-hook goodness, but also for the controversy raging around it. Sam Brooks explores what the song's success says about country music's purity problem.

The music quota debate has finally arrived on Spotify

There's been a decades-long campaign to get a quota of New Zealand music on radio, but radio is no longer where a lot of us hear new music. Should the same pressure be applied to streaming playlists?

The NZSO’s Classical Journey was worth the trip

'There’s something incredible about watching otherwise ordinary people do something extraordinary.' A recent NZSO performance prompts Anna Knox to reflect on what makes live classical music so special.

Tayla Parx is a pop superstar-in-waiting whose music you’ve already heard

She's written some of the biggest hits across the world the past few years, and now she's stepping into the limelight. Here's what you need to know about pop music's next superstar.

The Spinoff Music’s Songs of the Month: March

The queen of 2019 combining with the queen of a generation, a New Zealand band with the new teen-dance classic, a local artist breaking the floor with a new banger. These are the songs of the month.