Spring is here, the peach blossoms are starting to bloom and Aotearoa is finally free from Covid restrictions. Somehow, this is the perfect backdrop for the release of 21 year old New Zealand artist Muroki‘s second EP, Heading East. Picture yourself driving on an open road with the windows down, the sun on your face and the upbeat dub grooves of his recent hit single ‘Introducing’ cranking on the car stereo.
By the time the catchy beat of lead single ‘Simple Pleasures’ starts, you’ll want to be settled into a comfy chair on the deck of your holiday house, sharing a glass of wine or a toke of weed (if you’re that way inclined) with good friends. This uplifting chilled pop tune is sure to become a favourite Summer anthem, harking back to Muroki’s Raglan days by the sea.
The title track ‘Heading East’ takes us somewhere else, with a melancholic longing capturing a more sunset vibe. The stripped back guitar riffs pair beautifully with a soaring piano melody and give Muroki’s honey vocals a chance to shine.
‘Found In Nairobi’ continues the nostalgic sentiment of the previous couple of tracks, hinting at a turning point in the artist’s life while visiting his ancestral roots in Kenya. A clever vocal hook lifts this song to a new dimension and plays perfectly against the heartfelt roots of the track.
With ‘Up In The Air’ we are back in feel-good dance territory, perhaps my favourite place to be with this talented young artist. I can just see the hands in the air at a banging outdoor festival stage, while a sea of people bounce up and down to this fantastic, kinetic track.
This leads right into another dare-you-not-to-move song ‘Find Me’ (which I’m sure you’ve already heard on your radio), guaranteed to get the dance floor pumping. “We all feel all alone sometimes but we don’t have to be tonight.” sings Muroki, caressing us with his smooth, sultry vocals.
It’s hard to pin down a genre for this wide-reaching EP, which shows elements of dub, reggae, funk, roots and electronica. I would safely say that Muroki doesn’t choose to put himself into any one musical category, so why should we? Let’s just enjoy the latest offering from this rising star, who has delivered a sparkling, soulful, beat-driven release, just in time for his slew of Summer shows across the Tasman.
For more information and tickets to catch him at one of his electric live shows please visit: https://linktr.ee/murokimusic.