SINGLE REVIEW: Ngaiire — 'House On A Rock'

Monday, June 6, 2016

Ngaiire is without question, one of Australia’s most interesting vocalists working today. Chet Faker, Kilter, Australian Idol, the Pacific Games; these are all musical outings the soul-singer has featured with, or on  always; lending a sense of meditative grace to whatever she touches. The second cut from her soon to be released, sophomore album – Blastoma, echoes the sentiment. The track; House On A Rock, is an allegorical trip glitchy soundscapes and multilayered synths, topped with that classic Ngaiire croon that’s come to be a a signature for the Sydney based artist. 

At its heart, the song is almost fable-like in its structure and style. This comes after the release of Blastoma’s lead single I Can’t Hear God Anymore, which was more of a slow build Gospel track that  but, unlike the electro-infused House On A Rock, tells a story in similar vain. One of Ngaiire’s strongest musical techniques is the way she uses allegory to paint a much larger portrait than the devilishly simple stanzas that are sung. 

Out there, the weather don’t care / Pushing and pulling till you break and tear

This kind phrasing continues through the song — a thin layer of simple poetry on first listen, followed by a glimpse of the cerebral heft hiding just underneath each time after. 

What differentiates this track to the other cut from Blastoma is the production. If anything, it’s complex industrial elements and discordant melodies betray the general simplicity that has come to characterise some of the other songs in Ngaiire’s body of work. But this is a welcome change; a change that pulls you in like a strong current — there’s no use fighting it; all you can do is follow the soul singers tide till the tracks end. 

With a slew of show’s coming up for the Blastoma tour, (which can be found over at — plenty of alt. radio play and a new set of stories bound to come with the album's impending release; Ngaiire’s a name you need to remember. 

Written by Liam Lowth