Album Review



by Street Chant

Flying Nun Records
8 / 10
1st April 2016

Reviewed by Paul Larsen

When questioned by UTR on the ever-elusive release date of Street Chant’s second full-length record back in 2013, frontwoman Emily Littler cited a “bad combo” of laziness and perfectionist tendencies as a reason for the long gestation process. Almost three years on from that interview, the “def. not Means 2.0” follow-up is finally upon us in the form of Hauora. So what definitely does it sound like?

Pleasingly, there’s nothing lazy about Hauora at all. Rather, it’s a vital and urgent package of punk pop and fuzzy rock wrapped in wry songwriting and tongue-in-cheek production. From the three-chord buzz saw sing-a-long ‘Sink’ (originally released in 2012 and the only older song here) to the swinging power chords and dry commentary of first single ‘Insides’, there’s more than enough chutzpah and smarts within the record’s 40 minute runtime to keep both the mosh pit and café crowd happy.

While there’s obviously been a lot of attention paid to the production of Hauora, this is crucially never at the expensive of the band’s unique sense of fun. Moreover, it sounds like the Auckland trio had a brilliant time creating the record’s 11 tracks and it’s this infectious pleasure that makes the record so enjoyable. This is also a fitting vibe for the record as its title is the Maori word for the four aspects of personal health; spiritual, mental, social and physical.

As Littler herself muses on the records quiet coda, ‘Hauora Forever’: “If every day was a Sunday, I’d forget to be depressed”. Starting every Sunday with this record wouldn’t hurt either. 

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