Lift off . . . Pickle Darling is bringing their Cosmonaut Tour to Oamaru's Grainstore Gallery next week. PHOTO: KATIE BLOWS

Pickle Darling has launched into space with their new album Cosmonaut, and is stopping off in Oamaru to pick up some passengers.

Lukas Mayo, the artist behind Pickle Darling, has been making music since secondary school, but said they were never really “the singer”.

Being part of many different bands, Mayo filtered their lyrics and creativity through other people, removing elements of themself in the process.

It was not until a university semester break, that Pickle Darling was born.

“I thought myself and finally do my own thing. I’m fine just being a bad singer’.”

But Mayo was anything but.

Their voice offered an intimate, conversational tone – emphasised by a Kiwi twang.

Before making music of their own, Mayo was very conscious of singers’ accents.

“You don’t hear many New Zealand artists keep their accent.

“Now I can’t not do that … I don’t know how to sing without it.”

Breaking away from their usual “bedroom pop”, Pickle Darling’s new album, Cosmonaut, was an experimental response to the first year of a long-distance relationship.

They wanted it to feel like the listener was floating through space, much like Mayo felt during that first year.

Mayo’s music had a childlike element to it, and a sense of dreamy fun.

“When I was really young, I wanted to be a writer. And when I was even younger than that I wanted to be a clown,” they said.

“I guess the music combines the two.”

Mayo was already in the process of making their next album.

The Cosmonaut Tour is on at the Grainstore Gallery on July 1. Tickets are available from

Mayo uses they/them pronouns.