Matariki Playlist

We’ve scoured the soundwaves to curate this must-listen Matariki music playlist – just for you.

It’s hard to find time to search for the latest music releases. We wanted to make life easier for you, so our team, Hayden Eastmond-Mein, Sherry Zhang, Lana Lopesi, Ana McAllister and Ataria Sharman put together this Matariki playlist of tunes that excite us. Have a listen under the feels of this auspicious star cluster to our new Spotify playlist.


Spissky by Phoebe Rings

This dreamy synth-pop earworm is the second release from Tāmaki Makaurau-based Phoebe Rings. The band is led by vocalist and virtuosic jazz pianist Crystal Choi, whose restrained pop instincts and ridiculous talent have led her to be an integral member of a number of live bands including Princess Chelsea, Jonathan Bree and AC Freazy. ‘Spissky’'s haunting melody will play around in your head for weeks. The song somehow manages to be both soaring and tightly contained, with its more expansive moments owing a lot to producer Tom Healy's mix. – HE

Like Hayden, I’ve also been obsessed with ‘Spissky’ by Phoebe Rings. It’s so sweet, and it feels like a nostalgic music-box tune from my childhood. I swoon for Crystal Choi’s voice. Can’t wait for their EP! SZ


Tararua by Bird Like Men, Oro Records

Want something to listen to while you walk along the beach with an old, checkered woollen blanket wrapped around you? Do you brood in damp forests alongside a bubbling awa? Do you give off main character of a Witi Ihimaera book vibes? Then Oro Records’ new album is for you! Tararua is made up of four established musicians: Al Fraser, Ariana Tikao, Ruby Solly and Phil Boniface. Their album Bird Like Men is a mixture of “taonga pūoro, waiata, karakia and pūrākau (story) with a strong southern Māori influence, with the western instrumental elements of the cello and double bass”. This album really fulfils all my witchy-aunty needs. I think that’s because it feels so, so powerful. Look out for my two favourite songs, ‘Tūtūmaiao’ and ‘Puaka’. ‘Puaka’ holds in your chest and shoulders, whereas ‘Tūtūmaiao’ comes straight from the turned-down corners of the pūkana of a wahine. – AM


The Secret’s Out by Rita May

Rita May’s voice cuts through the rain, her soft hums contrasting with her haunting and powerful upper register. She’s an emerging 22-year-old singer–songwriter, and her tender poetry makes me feel understood. No, really, I found myself alone and in my feels in Ōtepoti a few months ago, so I embodied my best main-character energy, and put this song on repeat while I watched the sand turn to black on the beach. It was the perfect soundtrack. – SZ

Ghost Roads by Leao

Look, I have to admit, I don’t know shit about music. That is a department of my life I faithfully outsource to my partner, and at the moment he’s jamming the DJ651 Moonlight Vol2 mix, which went down mean at an unexpected garage drink-up last Friday – a sucker for an Island mix, what can I say. But when I came across the Ghost Roads EP by Leao, the feelings in my puku made up for my lack of musical prowess. Leao, or David Feauai-Afaese,is an artist from Noa Records, a record label and creative family that “aims to transport transformative potentials carried through the artistic practices of our people for purposes of self/collective healing and encouragement.” Ghost Roads is a kind of luscious lo-fi Sāmoan synth-pop with hefty crooner vibes in the best way possible. – LL


Soon It Will Be Fire (feat. Moses Sumney) by Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

This nine-and-a-half-minute track is an experience. Every time I listen to it, I feel like I need to stop whatever task I’m doing. And just feel the sun on my skin and be present. Often I’ve found myself sitting in my bedroom and people-watching nearby. I live next to a kindergarten and Sāmoan church, so it’s always lively af. Moses Sumney’s soaring vocals, and the simplicity in the looping lyrics is meditative. I also think it’s impossible not to feel your heart-strings pulled when it comes to an eight-piece brass ensemble. The harmonies are just kind of delicious. Fitting for matariki, a reminder to take a pause, and breathe SZ


Discography by KAMAUU

Brooklyn-based singer and rapper KAMAUU is a relatively new musician to my headphones. His soulful voice accompanied by his cinematic videos is something that I can really get into. The first song of his I fell in love with was ‘clover’, which depicts the comfort and warmth of a good, kind love. During the craziness of the year coming to an end, and looking back on what I have or haven’t achieved since Matariki last rose, I need some calm and warm waiata to settle my mauri. And remind myself that as long as I am trying my best, and doing things with love, I’m doing things right. ‘Mango’ feat. Adeline does that for me. The beat is a bit faster, something to dance/sing to whilst doing the housework. The lyrics describe the complexities of love and heartbreak in the modern world. This song helped me articulate a lot of the emotions I had after my break-up last Matariki, which is always a great one to find. One you can sing with your puku. – AM


The Juicebox by Emotional Oranges

This mysterious LA duo are back with another RnB album (The Juice: Vol 1 is still on high rotation for me). But this time with a stellar lineup of collaborators – ‘Body & Soul’feat. Biig Pigg is a personal favourite. While you’re at it, check out Biig Pigg’s solo stuff, her Spanish/English mix lyrics include excellent post-breakup-fuck-you and introspection. The Juicebox also collabs with synth-soul band Chiiild, andpop icons Kiana Lede and Becky G. (Remember the absolute bop, ‘Shower’,by Becky G?) Finally it rounds out with a slick, laid-back collab with Vince Staples in ‘Back & Forth’. – SZ

Sour by Olivia Rodrigo

The Māori New Year is a good time to bring back the mantra ‘new year, new you’ (if you messed it up at the Pākehā New Year you get a second chance). This of course includes ditching that no-good hottie and getting over a messy break-up. The setting to 18-year-old Olivia Rodrigo’s debut pop album Sour is another real-life High School Musical co-star relationship gone wrong. (Yes, it didn’t work out with Zac and Vanessa, and now it hasn’t worked out with Olivia and Joshua.) He’s now dating another Disney star, and she's released this album full of chaotic break-up tunes. The pop-punk song ‘good 4 u’ is, at the time of writing, sitting at Number 2 on the Spotify Global Top 50. But that’s not why you should listen to it. You should listen to Sour because Olivia supposedly wrote all of the songs herself, which lends to its unapologetic rawness, and brave and unaltered lyrics (they probably were edited somewhat, but let’s imagine) of a young BIPOC woman, scorned in love. – AS

Dreams (cover by Japanese Breakfast)

It’s hard to cover such a classic by The Cranberries, you can tell by YouTube comments from critical boomers. But Michelle Zauner’s vocals pull me straight into the closing credits of a coming-of-age film. It’s hopeful, it’s sweet, it’s unafraid. Urgh, and there’s no way I can’t mention their new album Jubilee. ‘Be Sweet’is my fav! Also! I can’t wait to get my hands on Zauner’s book Crying in H Mart: A Memoir. It’s an expansion of an article she wrote for The New Yorker, on the disconnect in her Asian-American experience. I remember reading it when it was first published in 2018, and needing to call my mother straight after. SZ

Feature image: Ataria Sharman. Star icon by alvianwijaya from the Noun Project.


Read by Category

The Pantograph Punch publishes urgent and vital cultural commentary by the most exciting new voices in Aotearoa.

The Pantograph Punch publishes urgent and vital cultural commentary by the most exciting new voices in Aotearoa.

Your Order (0)

Your Cart is empty