By CASS MARRETT
It’s been five years since Hollie Smith released an album, but fans’ appetites are soon to be satiated when the Kiwi soul singer releases Coming In From The Dark today.
She’s already announced an accompanying tour which will bring her to Yonder in Queenstown in late November — Covid allowing.
Between performing ‘‘a lot’’ off the back of her 2016 album, Water or Gold, relocating from Tauranga to Auckland, teaching at Wintec and some other ‘‘life things’’, Smith says the new album has been on the burn that entire time.
‘‘I procrastinate a lot and I’m reasonably lazy so that, plus Covid, took up a good five years apparently,’’ she jokes.
Smith is one of New Zealand’s more iconic singers, shooting to popularity with hit single Bathe in the River, penned by Don McGlashan, which spent 37 weeks in the Top 40.
She then went on to produce three no.1-debuting solo albums and win several accolades at the NZ music awards, including best female solo artist, breakthrough artist of the year and best Aotearoa roots album.
Coming In From The Dark is Smith’s fourth solo album.
She says it doesn’t have one theme but is a mix of social commentary and ‘‘relationship stuff’’.
‘‘I wouldn’t normally be so direct about [relationship stuff] but … most of these songs, like always, are reasonably cathartic.’’
It’s almost like a peek inside the singer’s diary, where she writes not just about herself, but documents how turbulent the world has been.
‘‘YOU, which is the final track on the album, was written around Trump running for presidency — that long ago — and the Syrian refugee crisis.
‘‘That song was very much about being overwhelmed with events that were taking place and really needing to switch it off for a minute, because it was all just about feeling a bit helpless.’’
She’s also pulled together some noteworthy Kiwi collaborators including operatic trio Sol3 Mio, soul singer TEEKS and rapper Raiza Biza.
Three songs feature the NZ Symphony Orchestra, which is a brilliant accent to Smith’s powerhouse vocals — unfortunately she’s ruled out carting them down to Queenstown as part of the tour.
‘‘I don’t think they’d fit in Yonder’’.
Regardless, she assures the show will not disappoint.
‘‘I can’t wait to get down [to Queenstown] as always, and I’ve just barely performed all year and obviously had very little going on last year.
‘‘I think it’s gonna be a pretty high energy, because I’ve got a lot of pent-up performance to let out.’’
Hollie Smith, Coming In From The Dark, Yonder, November 26, 8pm. Tickets $59 from holliesmith.co.nz