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The music that got Kiwi artist Deryk through the last year

“I wanted to listen to artists being honest.”

Despite it being an unbelievably terrible year (or perhaps because of it?), 2020 was packed with excellent music. So much of it, in fact, that I’m sure there are albums, singles and music videos that have entirely passed you by.

I know there have been for me, which is why I’ve asked some of Australia’s most innovative and talented artists to tell me about the music they couldn’t stop listening to this year. Because who better to ask than people who literally make music for a living?

Next in the series is pop-artist Deryk, real name Madeline Bradley. Like many of her fellow Kiwi artists, Deryk seems to have the genre under wraps already, despite only having released her debut EP Womb a few months ago. Her music is emotive, atmospheric, tense and at times, angsty. It’s safe to say she’s a talent worth watching.

As for her favourite music of the last year, she notes that 2020 left her craving believable vocals and real lyrics layered over textured sounds. “I wanted to listen to artists being honest so I could actually relate to what they were saying and hopefully find some comfort in that,” she explains. “I also noticed being drawn to music that transported me away from quarantine and the globe’s coronavirus buzz. Nostalgic tracks were comforting, also tracks that literally sounded extra-terrestrial.

“You’ll know what I mean when you read my list below.”

070 Shake – Modus Vivendi album

The atmosphere in 070 Shake’s work is insane. It immediately transports you into an exclusive orb. Listen to ‘Don’t Break the Silence’ first and you’ll know what I mean. It’s a short track but it has everything you need, then venture out to the rest of the album. It’s exactly the audio world I want to live in most days. Shivers down your spine, trust me

Sega Bodega – Reestablishing Connection EP

Sega Bodega released a six-track EP of covers on his Bandcamp this year called Reestablishing Connection. First of all, the title of the EP is so so good, I love when the name of the EP or album is as good as the music on it. Each cover is a duet with his friends and fellow British artists. He includes songs I’d totally forgotten about like ‘Cool’ by Gwen Stefani and ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ by Wheatus, and it was exactly what I needed to hear mid-lockdown. Definitely worth a listen if you enjoy hearing throwbacks

PJ Harvey – Dry Demos album

I only very recently discovered that Polly Harvey released the acoustic demos of her first album Dry in July 2020?! It’s absolutely unreal listening to a raw recording from 1992 – such an insight into 22-year-old Polly Harvey, before she was ‘PJ’. I’m so happy she’s decided to share that. It’s quite special hearing what an artist wrote and created before it became ‘the song’, if you know what I mean. Ahh, very special. You must listen.

Sevdaliza – Shabrang album

This may be an obvious artist to include because she’s so prolific but Sevdaliza’s new album Shabrang is another album that transports you into an underworld of sorts where she’s the Goddess. Captivating.

Baby Rose – To Myself album

The tone of Baby Rose’s voice is so pure, you believe every word she sings because her tone must be exactly how she speaks too. So honest. So much soul. The arrangement and production in this album perfectly move with her melodies and vibe. She’s worth checking out if you haven’t already.

Fiona Apple – Fetch The Bolt Cutters album

Fiona Apple is unconventional, it makes her addictive in a way. Her music sounds so intuitive; I love that you can hear she just did whatever the fuck she wanted. The sprinkles of jazz baselines and tone, her kind of unapologetic brashness – literally all of her is so refreshing. She makes me so pumped to be female. I feel proud of her and I don’t even know her.

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