Waikato Times

A Reckoning with Kimbra

Undoubtedl­y Hamilton’s most successful entertainm­ent export, the avant-garde musician will showcase her new album A Reckoning at a hometown show.

- Mike Mather mike.mather@stuff.co.nz

There’s going to be a Reckoning for Hamilton music lovers when Kimbra returns next week.

The experiment­al pop star and Grammy Award-winning musician will use her special homecoming show at live music venue The Factory to showcase her new album – titled A Reckoning.

The just-released studio album, which features the singles Save Me and Replay, is Kimbra’s fourth – but her first in five years. Coproduced with Ryan Lott from the avant-garde American band Son Lux, it has evoked comparison­s to landmark recordings such as Radiohead’s Kid A and Bjork’s Homogenic.

Known as Kimbra Lee Johnson to her parents, the former Hillcrest High School student used to regularly perform in and around Hamilton before her career suddenly took off in the early 2010s.

Now based in New York, she said she was thrilled at the opportunit­y to perform her latest music for some familiar faces on Friday, March 31.

‘‘I’m so looking forward to playing Hamilton because it’s the place I grew up, went to school, played my first gigs and wrote my first songs.

‘‘It means a lot to be able to share my music all these years later with the community that shaped the earliest years of my life.’’

The Hamilton show was one of just two she was staging while back in the country – the second being an appearance at the Synthony in the Domain festival in Auckland on April 1, amid a line-up that also includes Sir Dave Dobbyn, Shapeshift­er and Sneaky Sound System.

She would be playing music off A Reckoning at both shows, she said.

‘‘These songs have so much impact live, and we’ve put together a really dynamic show that highlights the wide spectrum of emotions and soundscape­s.

‘‘My favourite thing about the show is the way we move from very stripped, quiet spaces to more cathartic, explosive moments. It’s a real journey.’’

The new album, which follows Vows (2011), The Golden Echo (2014) and Primal Heart (2018), had been well received by critics and audiences alike.

‘‘It’s been amazing to watch people singing along to the lyrics across Europe and the US, and seeing how the songs are touching them on deep levels.

I feel like there is a real support for the ways I am growing as an artist and exploring new ideas and sound worlds.

‘‘I’ve made a lot of new music over the pandemic – so my next plan is to complete these other bodies of work plus upcoming shows in Australia and Mexico later this year.’’

A Reckoning is the latest chapter in what is proving an extremely successful career.

The experiment­al pop performer’s 2011 debut, Vows, reached number 14 on the Billboard Top 200 and was certified platinum in Australia and New Zealand.

She received the Best Female Artist award two years in a row at the ARIA Music Awards and took home five New Zealand Tui Awards, including Album of The Year, in 2012.

That same year, she achieved global fame with Somebody That I Used To Know, a duet with Gotye that earned her two Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performanc­e, as well as reaching number one on internatio­nal charts across 18 countries, and selling more than 13 million copies.

Tickets for the Hamilton show, which will feature support from R&B/pop artist Georgia Lines, are available through theticketf­airy.com. Doors open at 7pm.

The Hamilton show is in some ways a warm-up for the Synthony festival, which will be held at the Auckland Domain.

‘‘I will be playing a 40-minute set [at the festival] with my band. I have new musicians that I haven’t brought out before, so I’m excited for my audience to experience their musiciansh­ip and see how the songs are brought to new life on stage.’’

There is much more on her internatio­nal touring schedule, including a date at the Sydney Opera House in May, as part of the Vivid festival.

The Kimbra concert isn’t the only big event on the horizon for Waikato music lovers.

On Thursday night singersong­writer Gin Wigmore – who like Kimbra is now based in the United States – will perform at The Raglan Club in Raglan.

On Saturday, April 1 the Yot Club in Raglan will host the double bill of New Zealand hard rock band The D4 – marking the 21st anniversar­y of the release of the group’s debut album 6Twenty – and acclaimed Japanese punk/ metal band Guitar Wolf.

Playing support to those bands is West Auckland group Cindy, who according to their publicity material are ‘‘widely considered to be one the finest live experience­s currently accessible to humankind’’.

 ?? ?? Experiment­al pop artist Kimbra is performing at her hometown venue The Factory on March 31.
Experiment­al pop artist Kimbra is performing at her hometown venue The Factory on March 31.
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