Songbird Smith’s summer sounds


Hollie Smith has one of those voices that should be heard in a smoky jazz club or an American Baptist church. 

It has that natural depth and a timbre that has seen her dubbed the ‘Kiwi soul sister’. 

The platinum-selling artist will be in the less familiar surrounds of Gibbston’s The Winehouse this Sunday. 

But the acoustic, stripped-down set should allow the audience to hear that voice in its purest form. 

Smith says: “The first few gigs like this I was definitely feeling a bit naked. 

“It is just me and my guitarist [Tyson Smith]. 

“So yeah it’s definitely more focused. They’re the gigs where I go into my own head a little bit and I sing differently because there is so much more space to consume vocally. 

“Tyson’s background is jazz so while we’re doing my songs, the arrangements are slightly different. We both go into that improvisation scenario, just feed off each other and go into little realms.” 

The 29-year-old singer, songwriter, arranger and producer has topped the Kiwi charts with both her solo albums – Long Player and Humour and the Misfortune of Others. 

They have seen her land numerous industry awards, tour internationally and open for the likes of Bob Dylan and Cold Play. 

Recently, she has taken her music in a more experimental direction, collaborating with acclaimed beat maker and multi-instrumentalist Mara TK, of future soul trio Electric Wire Hustle, on Band of Brothers. 

Released last August through Smith’s own Soundsmith Records, the project sees the two journey through soul, psychedelia and electronica. 

“I’ll try to include some of the newer stuff I did with Mara TK,” Smith says. 

“But that’s quite difficult to achieve just with the guitar so we’ll see. It will mostly be Long Player and Humour and the Misfortune of Others material. 

“We’re still planning the set list – we’ll basically just have a bit of a play”. 

The gig is part of the Summer Playground Series at the venue. 

“We have a few little acoustic tours – North Island and Australia – and some interesting projects on the go later in the year. 

“Hopefully it will all come together and it will be a good year.”

Catch Hollie Smith at The Winehouse this Sunday, 6pm. The doors open at 5pm. Tickets are $45