Rising rock stars


It’s not every day Rolling Stone magazine picks a Kiwi tune as its ‘song of the summer’, but the title’s just one accolade among many for rising stars The Beths.

The Auckland indie rockers are playing Queenstown for the first time on Saturday.

While they’ve never played the resort, they have recently returned from making waves overseas during their tour of Europe and the United States.

It was in the US that lead singer Elizabeth Stokes found out about the Rolling Stone honour.

The iconic pop culture bible described The Beths’ track Happy Unhappy as a “blissy, pissy breakup jam” that sees the band “fire off perfect guitar and vocal hooks like they’ve been hoarding them in their basement all winter”.

“It was surreal,” Stokes says.

“It was pretty alarming. In the US and UK we’ve got help with publicity, but that one kind of came out of the blue.

“We played the last show of the tour in LA, and I woke up in the morning and I had all these messages.”

The four-piece band, comprised of Stokes, guitarist Jonathon Pearce, bassist Ben Sinclair and drummer Ivan Luketina, has come a long way since its humble beginnings at Auckland University.

“We all went to jazz school at uni and it started there, we wanted to start a side project and play rock music.”

An EP was released in 2016, followed by their debut album, Future Me Hates Me, a couple of months ago.

They spent a few months touring overseas this year, adding to a list of Kiwi musos hitting the big time in the States.

“Last year with Aldous Harding and Tiny Ruins … it’s pretty inspiring,” Stokes says.

“It helps to know that it’s not impossible.”

Adding to their list of achievements during their stellar 2018 is a nomination for the prestigious NZ Silver Scroll awards.

The awards, which recognise the best of Kiwi songwriting, named the title track from The Beths’ album on its shortlist, alongside songs by Marlon Williams (Nobody Gets What They Want Anymore), Chelsea Jade (Laugh If Off), Troy Kingi (Aztecknowledgey) and Unknown Mortal Orchestra (Hunnybee).

Queenstowners heading along on Saturday can expect a bouncy” show, according to Stokes.

“It’s just a smiley gig.”

To catch The Beths, head to Sherwood, Saturday, 8pm, $15