As this country's most promising musical talent, Treble & Reverb serves as a reminder of the gaping hole she left when she took a break from the industry not long after releasing her sophomore album, Sweet Soul Music in 2008.
The product of this time away is a piece of work set to go down in history as one of the nations best ever releases.
Her first single ‘Wake Up’ - a plea to herself - was penned around the time she realised life was passing her by and that she was ready to get back in the game.
“At the time I was listening to Amy Winehouse,” says Aaradhna. “I used to go to her Back to Black album; I’d repeat it all day because I connected with all her music. The thing I liked about it was that she didn’t care about what other people said, and she really spoke her mind…that’s what I wanted to do, I wanted to make music that I could really say what I wanted to say.”
It was in Romania, where she’d moved to be with her professional basketball- playing partner, that to counter her boredom, she discovered artists like Ruth Brown and LaVern Baker, and soaked in old favourites like Otis Redding, Millie Small, Calvin Richardson, Monica, Sam Cooke, Richie Valens, The Capris, Rosie & the Originals & Little Anthony and the Imperials.
As a result her writing has elevated and her knack for hypnotizing harmonies is amplified - a writing style Aaradhna says has come naturally as she’s gotten older.
While the late 50’s/60’s doo-wop style was present in Aaradhna’s first album with songs like ‘Downtime’ and ‘I Love You’, Treble & Reverb goes all the way with it.
She’s also favouring sass over sweetness in this new record; her beautiful voice belying the ugly things she’s threatening on the cheeky and hilarious ‘Lorena Bobbit’. Or there’s the way she tells a girl she’ll kick her ass, in the nicest way possible, on ‘Miss Lovely.’
“I remember recording the first version of ‘Miss Lovely’ in the States, a few of the guys were like…you’re saying it real nicely, but you’re telling her you’re gonna smash her up. I just clicked that I always seem to do that. I say it politely, but I’m saying ‘I’ll kill you.’”
Aaradhna also snaps back at the haters on ‘Sit With A Slouch’ and has a dig at the “too cool” crowd with ‘Cool Shoes’, but love, and losing it, remains the strongest inspiration.
While Chris Sholar, who worked on Jay-Z and Kanye’s Watch the Throne album produced the witty ‘Bobs Your Uncle’, it was Hip Hop producer P-Money and engineer Evan Short who took Aaradhna’s ideas and created the vintage sound she was after.
It’s the sound she’s been able to express herself with most, taking her cue from the late great Ms. Winehouse in how to be more honest with her song writing, and life in general.
“I just never spoke my mind, if I didn’t like something, I still said ‘yes’, even when I should have said something else. Now I say what I want and make sure that I have it that way. I had to grow up, go through all that drama, all the crappy moments to know what I wanted.”
Sep 02 FridayHamilton, New Zealand The Local Tavern
Sep 03 SaturdayPapakura, New Zealand Stampede Bar and Grill