Kirsten Morrell found fame as the voice of Goldenhorse. Now she's setting out on her own with the release of a solo album.
It's been nearly three years since New Zealand pop band Goldenhorse released their last album Reporter and in case fans were wondering, the group is taking a break.
"Goldenhorse is on hiatus," Morrell confirmed to Stuff.co.nz. "The guys are all doing their own thing and I was really lucky to get the opportunity to do this album."
Ultraviolet, Morrell's first solo album, was recorded in London and Auckland and features Goldenhorse collaborator Geoff Maddock on a range of instruments.
The British singer-songwriter, who calls Auckland home, says the album takes her back to her roots.
"I started off playing solo stuff, in the days of The Temple Bar when Bic Runga was doing her thing."
Her debut album is filled with catchy, radio-friendly tunes like Friday Boy and Cherry Coloured Dreams.
"It's a real summery album but there's more rock and roll songs on it, like He Walked In and Marianne." Morrell explains.
"The vocals are much more upfront with this album. With Goldenhorse I was always battling to compete with the main other instruments. That was the beauty of Riverhead and Out of the Moon to a certain extent. This is a solo album and lyrically oriented."
The flame-haired songstress, who cites Dusty Springfield, Kate Bush and Nina Simone as her musical role-models, says that many of the songs were influenced by her time on the road.
"Travel, being on tour with Goldenhorse, meeting incredible people, having fantastic opportunities: all of those have influenced the last few years of my life."
Morrell has just started touring around the country with the album and says the response so far has been good.
"Possibly people are expecting Goldenhorse songs but it's a real relief for me to play these songs live," she says.
Morrell has been invited over to Europe to play at the Isle Of Wight Festival in June this year.
"It's a foot in the door but I'm very nervous! It's going to be exciting and fun to play over there."
She plays at The Copper Room in Takapuna on May 26 as part of New Zealand Music Month.
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