20 Essential NZ Releases
RIA HALL 'Ria Hall'
RIA HALL ‘Ria Hall’
Ria Hall EP review published 06 November 2011 via www.music.net.nz
A REVIEW BY DILEMMA
Ria Hall has had an interesting journey leading up to the release of her debut EP. She has wowed crowds touring with some of NZ’s musical elite, backing up Hollie Smith, holding her own beside Anna Coddington in Eru Dangerspiel and singing with TrinityRoots. She has a background performing with one of New Zealand’s top kapahaka groups, and her recent performance at the RWC opening ceremony was a breath taking start to her solo career.
On her debut self-titled EP, Ria Hall drapes a series of musings on unity, culture and is laced with the beauty of the Maori language. The 5 tracks are laid out as a journey on a well constructed E.P. ‘It’s Alright’ begins the procession with a mystical sounding Maori introduction and leads into a solid digital sound. ‘Ko Au Ko La,‘ ‘One’ and ‘I am a Child’ tell a story that become a somewhat more political and cultural sound while still keeping a constant beat, harmonies and staying true to the natural talent of Ria Hall. Ending with ‘Best of Me’ quickens the tempo and makes you want to listen to more, but with the promise of more to come this little taster will make you appreciate the wait.
Produced by Riki Gooch (Eru Dangerspiel), their goal was to create an EP that intertwines and celebrates Maori culture and progressive future music. The result is an EP showcasing a diverse range of musical content, influences and styles. Now the door has been flung wide open, there is no telling where the music might take things next.