Here follows a playlist to which you can listen whilst pretending that you are in the sheep-infested land of the south. I’ve included songs that are played often on radio stations, created by Kiwi artists, and/or simply – in my mind – seem to embody some facet of New Zealand.
The Kiwis appreciate their oldies and classics….
- “Wild Horses” by The Rolling Stones
- “Africa” by Toto
- “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” by Paul Simon
- “Don’t Bring Me Down” by Electric Light Orchestra
They’ve also produced some talented artists of their own….
- “Only To Be” by Six60 – Story behind the band’s name: they lived in flat 660 Castle Street. This flat, in fact.
A flat that happens to be right around the corner from my own house. Another brush with fame! Check out their music video for “Don’t Forget Your Roots” and see the streets that I walk past during every trip to the grocery store.
- “Love Love Love” by Avalanche City – One of my favorite wee folk bands; I didn’t even realize they were from New Zealand until I got here…. (If this beautiful and upbeat song is the kind of thing that interests you, check out some of their other songs: “Sunset” and “You and I”)
- “Come On Home” by Titanium – A catchy little number performed by New Zealand’s favorite boy band which is, as far as I can tell, sort of a Kiwi and more racially-diverse One Direction.
- “Travelling Shoes” by Lawrence Arabia
- “Man Like That” by Gin Wigmore
- And, of course, who could forget Flight of the Conchords?! My presence in New Zealand and LOTR obsession necessitates the addition of “Frodo Don’t Wear The Ring” to this list. But I also have to add “Albi the Racist Dragon.”
And now for a few last songs that I’ve had playing on repeat….
- “On Top of the World” by Imagine Dragons – Although Americans might say I, in this land that treads even farther south than the Land Down Under, am closer to the bottom of the world down, I feel – as the song title so aptly states – as though I’m on top of the world. (Also, I’ll make a shameless plug for Imagine Dragons anytime. I’m sure their music could perfectly encapsulate the feelings of anyone in any country…. I mean, their work is so diverse…. And now to assert my indie music, I-knew-about-that-band-before-they-were-popular coolness: I’ve loved Imagine Dragons since before they released their first album. My slightly hipster/ahead-of-the-music-curve friend introduced them to me, so I like to get music from him and then pretend that I’m a hipster. I guess I just want to be a hipster. Does that make me a whipster (as in wannabe hipster, not one who uses many whips)? Or is a whipster species even possible? Wouldn’t the desire to conform to the non-conformist hipster stereotype defy the hipster definition and so create a circular paradox that results in galactic destruction and ow my brain hurts.
- “Weightless” by Marconi Union – This song is what happens when a band teams up with sound scientists. I sometimes find it difficult to fall asleep amongst the wildness of a foreign college city (plus I’m part insomniac), but whenever I listen to this song it sends me right off. The song has been proven to lower heart rate, breathing rate, etc. and rumors suggest that it has been banned from certain radio stations because drivers were falling asleep at the wheel. If you ever have trouble falling asleep, listen to this meditative song as you lie in bed. Drift away into sweet oblivion and prepare for a new day of adventures.