FROM DUST TO LIGHT
New Zealand is currently blessed with a host of female artists who can claim Maori heritage and who are using their cultural background to change the face of popular music in this country.
Whirimako Black, Moana Maniapoto and Hinewehi Mohi (Oceania) paved the way but a dragnet approach would also catch the likes of Maisey Rika, Ngatapa Black, Toni Huata and Ariana Tikao.
The latter's third solo album takes a largely unadorned approach to the path less travelled with 11 songs, highlighted by the other-worldly (in a musical and lyrical sense Ka Roimata that are warm and engaging and show an affinity not only for her te reo roots but those of the folk tradition.
In saying that, the closer Purveyor Of Light is a lovely meditation on life, loss and love with a lazy bassline and repetitive guitar melody, while Something To Give introduces the resonant tones of the dulcimer in a song that was inspired by a "tui feeding off the nectar of kowhai tree in full blossom".
Don't let the dust settle on Tikao.
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