Your spring playlist is missing songs from these Welly musicians


By Callum Turnbull

Callum’s phone is always on standby to add what you’re listening to to his library. Don’t ever ask him about Stevie Wonder’s discography or the biblical magnitude of Kendrick Lamar’s Damn. Trust us, you don’t have the time.

A disciple of the modern playlist, getting the mood just right is an eternal struggle for Callum.

Get the lowdown from him on some local musicians that capture every element spring in Wellington has to offer, and are worthy of a spot in the coveted soundtrack of your life.

O & The Mo

In the last year, O & the Mo have toured enough backyards, chocolate factories, and divebars to fine-tune their enchanting soundscape. The confidence gained on these tours is clearest on their latest single, Pistachio Moon. Crystal production, dreamy guitars, and harmonies sway alongside woozy drums. If there’s a song to get stuck in your head this spring, this is it.

Listen to it: Out the back of your Aro Valley flat. The garden is flourishing, the sun is out – a G&T appears in your hand. Bliss.

Dawn Diver

On Dawn Diver’s latest single Rosemary, frontman Ben Lemi laments the loss of his late mum; arranging a glimmering, albeit stoic tapestry of her memory. It’s a beautiful, shifting record, and rewards close listening. I’m not crying, I swear.

Listen to it: When you need a reminder that your mum is an icon. Go call her now.


Dartz’ single One Outs Captain Cook is a moshpit for your ears. The filthy, driving bass barely gets through a full measure before all hell breaks loose. Just as you’ve found your footing Dartz has delivered their thrashing thesis and you’re overwhelmed with a desire to read some books on decolonisation.

Listen to it: When your day has provided inconvenience, frustration, or a particularly bleak news cycle. Get your rage on.


Estère makes music that blends quasi-dystopian lyrics with vibrant romantic melodies. On her latest single, Calculated Risk, those same aesthetics swirl inside this self-assured record devoted to moving past the fear of failure “so that love and curiosity can guide the way”.

Listen to it: When you’ve just opened up a can of emotional vulnerability with your partner, and are dealing with the potential emotional fallout.


H4LF CĀST  frontman Nikau Te Huki has a certain way of mixing his cruising vocal chops with the band’s twisting, head-bobbing sonic imagery. The moment the horns arrive on the band’s latest single Rusty Fan, you’ll be teleported to a sun-drenched field, far, far away from the year that’s been.

The addition of some truly oozy chords to this latest track has surely landed them on “Sunday laxxxing” playlists throughout the region.

Listen to it: On your Sunday wander when the markets are bustling and the scent of food trucks whispers to you from the distance.


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