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Strangely Arousing Shout Truth To Power In New Track Airplanes

Following hot on the heels of their last single Rain, Strangely Arousing are proud to unleash their new track Airplanes into the world, ahead of their upcoming EP ‘Don’t Panic’.

A bouncing, synth-laden and bass-driven song, flourished with intricate dubs and powerful spoken-word style lyrics, Airplanes picks up the same anti-capitalist messaging of the previous single with a repeating refrain of ‘Money don’t own me’. Examining the societal factors that push people to the edge to betray their own moral standing, the track follows the narrative of a homeless man constantly asking for help from others, and receiving none, leading him to grow bitter and realise that he can take what he needs by force. The song endeavours to develop empathy in the individual, and reinforce the values of manaakitanga and kaitiakitanga.

Written, recorded, and produced by the 5-piece from Rotorua, who tracked the drums at Mt Eden’s The Lab, Airplanes is testament to a collective of young men engaged in the world around them, and using music to speak their truth. Utilising their unique fusion sound, a modern take on familiar hippie-era sounds with elements borrowed from Hip-hop, Reggae and Dub, Airplanes is the confident sound of the Kiwi collective hitting their stride.

Airplanes is available for streaming and download on all platforms from Thursday 27 August, with the EP Don’t Panic to be released on November 20.

Available now wherever you listen to good music

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Strangely Arousing are a five-piece progressive reggae/ska band, effortlessly blending other genres and styles of music to create their unique sound, laced with brass, synth, dub, and guitar. Strangely straddles the line between the bizarre you know you love and the weird you don’t know you love yet, like old pros. Whether you come to marinate in dubs and bass, or simply to melt into a puddle on the floor, Strangely Arousing offers a new wave of music inspired by New Zealand’s legendary hip-hop and reggae dub forefathers.

Formed in 2012 and hailing from Rotorua, this talented bunch made a statement with their first foray into the New Zealand music scene by winning the SmokeFree Pacifica Beats in 2013, and went on to win Battle of the Bands in 2014. They have since played at sell-out shows on multiple tours around NZ, and appearances on the mainstages of festivals such as Raggamuffin and Rhythm and Vines, alongside their musical heroes such as Damien Marley, Fat Freddy’s Drop and Sticky Fingers. The band has performed internationally in the Middle East, China and South Korea, including headlining the Kiwi ExPats ball in Dubai in November 2018.

Their first EP Extended Play was released in 2014 followed by their studio album Strangely Arousing in 2017. Recorded at Roundhead Studios and debuting at number 3 on the NZ Music Charts, the album was also a finalist for the coveted Taite Music Prize ‘Best Independent Debut’ Award in 2018. The music video for single Groove Shooter made headlines, as it featured the members trying to win over Nazanin ‘Naz’ Khanjani from The Bachelor in a multi-million dollar house. Proudly weaving their Māori heritage into their music with lyrics in Te Reo, Strangely deliver revelation by vibration.

The band consists of former Western Heights High School students Lukas Wharekura (vocals/lead guitar; Ngati Kahungunu Ki Horohoro), Shaun Loper (bass; Ngai Tahu and Ngati Mutanga), Oliver Prendergast (Drums/Cymbals), Forrest Thorp (trumpet/keys,) and Liam Rolfe (trombone/backing vocals). Originally childhood and highschool friends, the five-piece formed for an NCEA project, and after graduating, three of the members attended the New Zealand School of Music - Liam on trombone, Lukas on guitar, and Forrest on trumpet. Strangely Arousing moved to Auckland as a collective to keep making musical magic.

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