Texan tattoo the way to kickstart a musical dream

Last updated 14:42 03/08/2012
Rhiain McGrath

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A spur-of-the-moment decision to get a tattoo in Texas was the catalyst for singer-songwriter Rhiain McGrath's decision to release her first EP.

The Palmerston North-born artist was visiting friends in the Lone Star state when she decided on getting the tattoo to help her follow her musical dream.

“I needed to give it a try . . . I got the tattoo ‘heartplusmelody' as a symbol to do it.”

The EP, also called heartplusmelody, is released on August 24.

McGrath, 27, says the process of recording the EP began a year ago, when she sent a few demos to an old school friend, Olli Wilson.

Years earlier, while at Palmerston North's Freyberg High School, the pair had won the national prize for best lyrics in Rockquest.

“We decided, ‘Let's make an EP, let's do this',” McGrath said.

She flew to Dunedin to make the recording with what she called a “star-studded cast”.

Her band, Rhiain and the Utter Strangers, play anti-folk, which McGrath describes as a combination of pop, cabaret and musical theatre.

“It's coming across as a very well-produced, unique sound.”

Music has always been part of McGrath's life. As a child she sang in church, learnt the flute and performed in shows.

“Musical theatre is definitely an element that has rubbed off on my music,” she says.

McGrath will be back in Palmerston North on August 25 for an EP release gig at OE Cafe in Square Edge, at 8pm. Entry is by koha.

The opening band, Our Wild Lies, was formed by her old school friend Emily Smith.

“It's quite fun to see so much time has passed but we are still both in music,” McGrath says.

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- © Fairfax NZ News


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