Thursday, December 20, 2012

Aaradhna live

Aaradhna live instore at Real Groovy

I went into town at lunch yesterday, to catch Aaradhna singing live instore at Real Groovy. It was just her and a guitarist, which is the perfect way to highlight her fantastic vocals. Her latest album Treble and Reverb is easily one of the best local albums of the year. It's assured, soulful, and genuine as heck.

I last saw Aaradhna sing at David Dalla's fantastic popup store at Conch for the cd release of his Rose Tint album in November 2011, that was a fun night.

I remember running into P-Money on the street last year, and asking what he was working on and he let slip a little about the Aaradhna album, and how they were going for a 60s soul sound. I was intrigued to hear it, cos, if anyone could pull off that sound, it was P-Money, He is seriously under-rated as a music producer in this country, rather than just as that hiphop guy making beats. Dude KNOWS sound.

Treble and Reverb dropped early November, and it didn't disappoint. Sure, there's the obvious contemporary references like Amy Winehouse or Sharon Jones, but Aaradhna goes deeper than that.

At the instore at Real Groovy, Aaradhna introduced one of the songs by saying "how do I talk about this?" and then explained to the assembled crowd that she had been thru depression a few years back, and was living at her Mum's house, sleeping and eating all day, "being a real life couch potato", as she put it. That's when she wrote Wake Up, as a song to herself, saying "get out of bed, stop wasting time..."

Hearing Aaradhna talk about this was very moving - she's the real deal. She's not faking soul, she's not pretending, this is her singing about her life.

Watch the video below for a taste of Aaradhna's live sound. There's a moment at 2.45 in the video when she looks away from the mic for a moment, then turns back and belts out the next line 'I've been trying to get to you, I've been trying to get through to you..." the soul and emotion in her voice at that moment send chills down my spine every time I watch it. She is an incredible singer.

A few weeks after the album release, her label rep was in New York (as mentioned in Martyn Pepperell's interview with her in NZ Musician), with American record deals on offer from three labels (Epic, Universal Motown, E1/Koch), a possible management contract with William Morris Agency, and sync opportunities from tv and film. Things are looking up for Aaradhna.

Catch her playing live in February on the summer winery tour, with Che Fu, Opshop, and Missy Higgins. Dates here

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