Local musicians on the verge of vinyl

Nestled away in a studio in Oakura, O Juliet created an album called Unlash the Boats. Local arts interviewer Ria Simmons sat down with lead singer Juliet McLean to find out more.

The band O Juliet is made up of local musicians Juliet McLean, Rob Ju and Hamish Cameron.

You may’ve been lucky enough to see them performing at the Festival of Lights collaborating with a mesmerising string quartet. Orchestral Manoeuvres in The Park was a stunning evening of music and now O Juliet have been working towards their latest treat, an album, Unlash the Boats

Unlash the Boats has been recorded out at Rhythm Ace Studios in Oakura. It is here where owner and sound engineer Sam Johnson has been singing O Juliet’s praises, “They were around the microphone singing these beautiful harmonies and it was chilling. It was incredible.

“There were a few tears in the eyes. It was just a reminder that there’s nothing more thrilling than humans being excellent and in the moment.”

Ria: With every artistic project comes the desire to do something new or slightly different to last time. What is exciting or new about your latest project?
Juliet: With music nowadays mostly just online, we wanted to take listeners back to the good old days of vinyl.

As a band we think there is something quite special and nostalgic about putting a record on. It’s more of a conscious experience, choosing the album from your collection, admiring the cover, opening it up, feeling the weight and texture of it, placing it on the player and graciously aligning the needle.

It’s all these moments of process that help set you up for being present in the listening experience. As otherwise, so much of our experiences with music nowadays are just as background sound.

I love this idea of encouraging the listening experience as an event on its own. So what is involved with producing your music on vinyl to provoke this experience?
Well, pressing vinyl is a specialist skill, fortunately for us, Holiday Records in Auckland has brought vinyl record pressing back to New Zealand for the first time since the 1980s!

However, being a niche product, there comes an expense. There’s a minimum run of vinyls we will have to print.

That’s awesome there is a NZ Company doing this and able to assist New Zealand musicians like yourselves. How can we get behind this project? Can we pre-order a record for ourselves?
A hundred per cent, yes you can! To help us on this dream to vinyl, we’ve teamed up with Kickstarter to sell pre-sales of the album.

If you’d like to support us, head over to our Kickstarter and pre-order your own copy of the record. You can also order a download code of our album, or there are some nifty tote bags and rewards to encourage your support.

Sounds awesome! I understand one of the rewards includes an intimate show out at the recording studio? Can you tell me more about this?
Yes, the amazing Sam Johnson out at Rhythm Ace Studio, Oakura, has generously agreed to an exclusive evening and showing in his studio.

This will be a really magical encounter, but there are only 10 seats for sale for this event so if you want to join this, you’ll need to book fast through the Kickstarter page.

  • You can support these local muscians, NZ music and a NZ record company by visiting their Kickstarter here.

Words by Ria Simmons, photos by Katie O’Neill