“Papua New Guinean-born NGAIIRE is the boho-R’n’B- weirdo-dilettante raised on Top 40, American big band, reggae and Cliff Richard” says the blurb below Ngaiire’s latest official video clip for the single ‘Once’ - the first track release off her much anticipated second album Blastoma. It will be the follow up to her lush 2013 debut Lamentations (available here on iTunes).
The clip for ‘Once’ is a short film written by Dan Segal. In it, Ngaiire appears to recall a vivid and strange dream which takes place in various carriages of a train. In actuality, the dream represents various significant points in Ngaiire's life: her birth in Papua New Guinea, childhood illness, discovering the sexuality of being a woman, and emerging as a young singer with the great Australian producer/musician Paul Mac in Sydney's dance club scene.
“the hypnotic track is like an upbeat dream – hazy, blushing and rich in textures. The track moves slowly, never fully breaking even when NGAIIRE‘s voice soars high above the bed of warm synths and light beats. Slowly gathering momentum, the dynamic capability of NGAIIRE even when the track remains so laid back is what really gets your attention.”
In an interview with The Northern Star, Ngaiire explained that ‘Once’ is about “walking towards things you're fearful of and taking it by the balls, regardless of your inhibitions.” She went on: “ It's a kind of 'living in the moment' song that hopefully encourages more people to feel even the lowest parts of their life, with the belief that the things obtained on the other side are worth going through it for.”
View the video clip for ‘Once’ here.
Listen to and purchase the track on iTunes here.
Find Ngairre’s previous releases here.
‘LIKE A VERSION’ OF ‘THE LESS I KNOW THE BETTER’
On September 11, Ngaiire stepped into the studio of Australia’s popular youth radio station Triple J to perform ‘Once’ and another track of her choice for the ‘Like A Version’ segment - in which artists are invited to cover a song by another artist. Ngaiire’s inspired choice was ‘The Less I Know The Better’ by band Tame Impala.
And the result is, well... stunning. “The stunned faces of the hosts pretty much sums up the performance,” wrote Andrew Handley for Rip It Up dot com. Host Matt Okine said:
“Can I say that that is like... I feel like that is the absolute essence of this segment, this ‘Like A Version’, doing an incredible cover and really switching it up... to make it almost unrecognisable if you’re not really that familiar with the song. It was really, really, really well done, and I am so glad I was in this room for it.”
Nastassia Baroni of Music Feeds dot com said: “Ngaiire’s cover starts off smooth af with soft beats and sparse keys, before raising the stakes, amping up the soul and, likely, the hairs on the back of your neck, resulting in one of the best Like A Versions to date.”
View the standout performance online here. That voice... she slays <3
And you can watch her live performance of ‘Once’ in the Triple J studio here.
During October Ngaiire headed over to the U.S. to perform on both coasts: the Culture Collide International Showcase in Los Angeles, and the CMJ Music Marathon in New York City. Next month, she will be performing at AWME in Melbourne on November 14, and at Glebe St Festival in Sydney on November 15.
Ngaiire will also be performing at the One Day Only Festival in Manning House, Sydney, on November 21. Find tickets here.
WORDS by Pauline Vetuna.
Image 1: Ngaiire website.
Image 2 - 5: Stills from video clip for ‘Once’ - view here.
Image 6-8: Stills from clip of Ngaiire's 'Like A Version' cover of Tame Impala's ‘The Less I Know The Better’.