2 Nov 2017

The Singles Life: A guide to all the acts Lorde handpicked for her NZ tour

10:22 am on 2 November 2017

Welcome to weekly series The Singles Life, where known experts Katie Parker and Hussein Moses peruse, ponder and pontificate on the latest and (maybe) greatest in New Zealand music

No caption

Photo: AFP

Lorde makes her prodigal return to the New Zealand stage next week as part of her Melodrama world tour, and in true Lorde artisanal style she handpicked her own lineup of support acts for each of her seven shows.

So who are the lucky few? And are they up to the very big, important task ahead of them? Hussein and Katie take a look to decide who will best serve the onion ring queen herself.



Katie: As we discussed back in June, Mermaidens are dope. The Wellington three-piece, made up of Gussie Larkin, Lily Paris West and Abe Hollingsworth, released their excellent second album Perfect Body in August and are known to be amazing live. Eerie, creepy, witchy and very cinematic, I lowkey think Mermaidens actually do a lot of the things Lorde is known for better than Lorde herself.

Rating: 5/5 onion rings

Where you can see them: 7 November, Dunedin



Hussein: As well as confusing everyone about whether he was actually signed to Kanye West imprint G.O.O.D Music, Tapz has spent the past year or so releasing a string of pretty decent singles, including 'Murder Murder' and 'Didn't Know' - both of which land somewhere between the hedonism of Travis Scott and the warbling melodies of Kid Cudi. He'll open for Lorde ahead of a quick Australian tour in support of his debut EP, Beautiful Nightmare, which - to be totally honest - is a title that only makes me think of one thing (Beyonce, duh).

Rating: 3/5 onion rings

When you can see him: 11 November, Wellington


French For Rabbits

Katie: Also a bit witchy are French for Rabbits whose second album of ethereal, dreamy folky-pop The Weight of Melted Snow came out in March. Led by musician Brooke Singer, the band hail from Waikuku Beach in Northern Canterbury and have just come off a month-long tour in Europe. French for Rabbits don’t go super hard, but as a precursor to the queen of dramatic introspection they will probably be a perfect fit.

Rating: 4/5 onion rings

Where you can see them: 9 November, Christchurch


Drax Project

Hussein: Drax Project began as a drum and sax duo (hence, “Drax”) and made a name for themselves playing cover songs in the Wellington busking scene. (Even writing that sentence sent a shiver down my spine.) Since making the move from “the streets to the stage”, as both NZ Herald and Newshub have put it, they've spun their BBQ reggae through two EPs and somehow managed to establish themselves as a kind of Six60 lite. Like Lorde, they're also signed to Universal, which probably means this is just the beginning. Sorry!

Rating: 1/5 onion rings

When you can see them: 12 November, Auckland.


Yumi Zouma

Katie: Having already accompanied Lorde on the New Zealand leg of her 2014 tour, dream-poppers Yumi Zouma are clearly still in her good graces with having been selected to open in their hometown of Christchurch. With their second album Willowbank released this month via New York indie label Cascine Records, the synth-pop four piece have achieved the mysterious accomplishment of being possibly more well-known overseas than they are here in New Zealand. The band members are spread all over the world most of the time, so they might not be as cohesive a live act as ones that live in the same city, but Lorde obviously likes them which means her minions probably will too.

Rating: 3/5 onion rings

Where you can see them: 8 November, Christchurch


David Dallas

Hussein: David Dallas is up against Lorde at this year's NZ Music Awards, both for Album of the Year and Single of the Year; he's also no stranger to packing out his own Powerstation shows, so I'm going to consider this one as more of a double-headliner. But is this just the beginning of the Lorde/David Dallas crossover? Will Lorde bring her, uh, dance moves to Shenanigan next? Does she even know it's SHENANIGAN and not SHENANIGANS?? We can only hope!

Rating: 5/5 onion rings

Where you can see them: 14 November, Auckland


Matthew Young

Katie: Last but not least, another one of our recent faves Matthew Young is set to appear at the last of Lorde’s NZ shows. Having forged his career on similarly mysterious grounds as Lorde - both managed to avoid the usual cringey promotional campaigns most young musicians are subject to - Young will surely have many fun backstage convos with the songstress about the benefits of not releasing headshots. Having quietly built up a small but solid body of work, Young is also the poppiest artist here and tbqh probably the most fun.

Rating: 5/5 onion rings

Where you can see them: 15 November, Auckland 

Follow Katie and Hussein on Twitter.