In the new episode of Final Mix, music journalist Yadana Saw takes Anna Coddington out to road test songs from her new album Beams. Along the way the kōrero moves from te reo journeys to sexism in the music industry.
Anna Coddington’s song ‘Night Class’ describes a uniquely Māori experience – taking night classes in order to learn te reo Māori as a second language. “It’s my story, but it’s so many people’s story,” the singer-songwriter explains in Final Mix. “That’s why I wanted to write this song. It’s about the intergenerational language trauma that has led us to this moment.”
“It’s heartbreaking sometimes, but seeing Māori learn their language and reclaim that part of their identity is also very empowering – certainly it has been for me.”
‘Night Class’ is representative of the personal, honest songwriting to be found on Coddington’s fourth album, Beams. As well as Māoritanga, one of the other recurring themes on the album is motherhood. Released late last year, the album was mostly recorded within the childcare-friendly time slot of 10am-2:30pm with producers and fellow parents LIPS (Steph Brown and Fen Ikner).
“They completely got the material and were able to contribute in a really kind of meaningful way,” Coddington says. And working in short, concentrated bursts seemed to bring out the best in her songs. “There was no fucking about. It was just like, OK, drums. Put a microphone in front of the drums, play some drums. Does it sound good? Yep.”
That positive energy and enthusiasm comes across on the record, particularly on songs like the anthemic ‘Do I Exist?’ “That’s exactly how we felt,” says Coddington. “Like making music with friends is the best thing in the world.”
Anna Coddington’s Beams album release tour kicks off in Raglan on March 12. Check here for dates and ticket info.
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