Artist: Samara Alofa
Title: Earth Punk!
Keywords: alternative earthpunk Auckland WITCHFORK
“Samara Alofa is an Inter-disciplinary artist based in Aotearoa. Enchanting and a bit surreal they trade stories of past, future and present vibrations. Here to help release this tension, anoint these festering wounds of the collective ancient pain and trauma. Call upon water, remind us of your softness in acceptance and appreciation of this misunderstood rage. Listen, and let ur sacred waters flow”
Yeah, wow, this sounds like precisely the kind of journey that we at YIKIS love to go on, right? The sky has been crying for days in this neck of the woods and we are already wet from weeding & planting, hacking & cutting, so it must be time to let the other 40% of our bodies turn into H2O… let’s turn on the sound!
“Knowtice” has us lying back on the floor and moving our hands like we are paddling gently in circles, our muscles fluid and sinewy. We move so that our heads are all touching, our faces forming the centre of a gently swaying sea anemone, the hypnotic beat and soaring vocals vibrate within us and we surrender.
The rain continues to pour down outside and though we are inside a dry house we feel drenched in the tones of “111” and stare up at the ceiling, unable to move. Samara Alofa’s vocals shimmer like sunlight on the surface of the sea seen from below and the bass throbs through the water, blurry and amplified.
“Kōkako” starts with a beautiful jazz bass line and we start to move again, a chime shivers in the wind and we are drawn to the windows to watch and listen – we hear birds & branches & leaves, see wild cherries & tī kōuka & karo – all the while Samara Alofa sings to us with a crystal clearness.
We would like this haunting moment to last eternally but then we are jerked out of our trance by the next track, “Good Man??” which somehow knew that we were watching out of a house, though it is a front door mentioned instead of a window! Still, it is drilled through to us that we have no control here, not of our minds nor our bodies. We are simply liquid under the control of the music. The track tapers off into an underwater echo and we push away panic, open our mouths and let it in.
Now we must learn to “Breathe” again, luckily we have Samara Alofa to take us through this process of letting go so that we can embrace the total centredness of this song. Yes, now we feel ready for anything!
“Fght 4 ur Rights” has a backmasked beat and a distorted chant peppered with picked strings – we draw the strength and determination of the song into ourselves, and when we look outside again we see that the rain has stopped – all of the water is in the house with us, lending us it’s power.
Now comes “WWW.POCO” with a deep voice reaching up from a subterranean river, some words filtering through, others blurred by the distance they have traveled. A woodwind plays and the wind chime tingles outside. We hear what sounds like “the space between” “frequencies” “know how to respect” “there is consequence for everything” “globalisation” “consume” “solutions” and we know that we will be revisiting this track later in order to swallow the message whole.
Suddenly there is a “LIAR” standing outside and staring at us through the glass – mouthing words that we’ve all heard before, then knocking and trying to get in. We are hesitant, do we want to have them sharing this space, and if we open the door will all the H2O flow out and be lost to us? But perhaps that is exactly what we need to do – to let it all go.
The water pressure holds the door fast, so we all join together to pull at it, a crack opens and a dribble escapes. Soon enough it becomes a creek, now a river, heading out so sea and taking that LIAR with it. Yes!!!!!
The album comes to an end with “Dnt Care” which brings back the sounds of fresh air into the house, and there are voices flitting up from the departing river, snippets of a sentence or two broken up into a looped but fading choir. When the track ends there is an infinitesimal pause and the absence is almost terrifying – until we hear the birds & the wind & the branches & the leaves pick up the silence and turn it into joy.
Read all about the artist and this release here: