Songstress Phoebe Hurst hits town

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RELEASING her debut EP has been a labour of love for emerging songstress Phoebe Hurst.

The Christchurch performer brings her synth-heavy electro pop tunes to Queenstown’s The Find tomorrow.

Hurst’s on a nationwide tour of six-track album Lessons – written, recorded and produced on “the smell of an oily rag” in Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch and Wanganui.

And a late change in style from loop-pedal layering to a being backed by a full band only added to the creative carnage.

Hurst’s proud of the resulting tracks – progressive electro that showcase her powerhouse voice, lyrical wit and the production skills of keyboardist and producer Micah Livesay.

“It was quite a challenge because I’ve never made a body of work like that before and it’s different from what I’ve been doing,” Hurst says.

“A lot of the songs are reworked loop songs, so it’s been a process over four or five months of reworking the songs, to performing, to getting them to a state where they’re ready to record, getting the vocal down.

“So it’s been rewarding but scary – and I’ve had a lot of help, especially from Micah and community connections for equipment.

“We’ve made it on the smell of an oily rag.”

The EP ranges from up-tempo tracks such as Better of Me to more brooding offerings like title track Lessons.

“It’s electronic pop basically, that’s it in its simplest form, but we all draw on influences from a whole range of different things, soul, jazz, progressive music, The Mars Volta [American experimental rockers], that sort of thing – I wouldn’t say we’re as crazy as them though.

“It’s very poppy – people have said it kind of sounds a bit eighties-ish but I think that’s just because they hear the vintage synths.

“There’s a real beats culture in New Zealand and it’s not as laid back as that. It’s more aggressive and up-tempo, more in-your-face kind of music.”

The Find gig will be the fourth of the tour.

“It’s gone well. We’re pretty high-energy people,” Hurst says.

“We want people to dance, have a good time and enjoy themselves, so we’ve worked really hard to make sure it’s tight and slick.”

Catch Phoebe Hurst at The Find tomorrow from 10pm. R18. Free.