Oamaru musicians Emma-Kate Newlove and Jonte Kydd-Law have merged their acoustic and digital sounds into an album released on Spotify and Apple Music last week.
Melancholy is a hybrid of the diverse styles of the friends who met at St Kevin’s College several years ago. They were in the same house and shared drama classes.
Kydd-Law (17) is now completing year 13 and Newlove (20) is an intern youth worker at the House of Breakthrough church and part-time staff member at Scotts Brewing Co.
He uses a computer to make most of his music. She is a songwriter who plays acoustic guitar.
Newlove took up the instrument at the age of 11 and had lessons for a while from a variety of the music teachers who “come and go from Oamaru”.
“I learned a lot by myself.”
Kydd-Law has been experimenting with making music for the past three years.
“We always wanted to make a song together,” he said. “Emma recorded a song and sent it to me. I recorded my voice on it.”
The composition used Newlove’s melody, then Kydd-Law added pop-tech elements, including digital saxophone, over the top.
“When we work together, we’re both out of our comfort zones.”
Kydd-Law said the New Zealand music scene was “rather dry right now” but both he and Newlove believed big things would emerge from Oamaru.
“There are no rules for inspiration,” Newlove said. “It might be a conversation or something on the news .. It’s like art in sound.”
Kydd-Law said it was important to keep making art and both wanted to encourage young people to be creative.
However, they admit the creative impulse “always comes at an annoying time”.
“I use music as procrastination,” Newlove said.
“You can’t spend too much time doing it or it sounds terrible,” Kydd-Law said.
“This album is more chilled. It’s very easy to listen to.”
“It tells a nice story, but I don’t know what that story is,” Newlove said.