Band of Brothers
Hollie Smith and Mara TK, Band Of Brothers Vol. 1
Released on August 1, 2011, through Soundsmith Records, Band Of Brothers, Vol:1 is the first in a series of musical projects spearheaded by Hollie Smith with the intent to experiment with different artists and aspects of production and collaboration.
In Volume 1 she joins acclaimed beat maker, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Mara TK (Electric Wire Hustle) as the two journey through soul, psychedelia and electronica.
We immediately hear a different side of Smith’s songwriting ability upon her collaboration with Mara TK. More effected, more experimental and at times her commanding vocal removes itself to a mere ghostly voice in the distance. Switching from a live band aesthetic to a project which is predominantly electronic shows a bold contrast and departure from her solo releases Long Player and Humour and the Misfortune of Others.
"Mara is the first 'volume' in this project which kind of happened by accident – I have always been a huge fan of Electric Wire Hustle and after talking to Mara about helping me co-produce another idea, it developed and made more sense for us to establish a whole new project – which is what we did. We both wanted to do this before we both made our way offshore and made a 6 week deadline to write, record and finish it… we did it."
While her voice is unmistakeable, the injection of Mara TK’s future soul and modern beats drives these songs on a wilder tangent than we are used to with Smith’s previous releases. The two musicians styles weave around each other to create a psychedelic soul amalgamation which sooths and sweeps through filters, effects and futuristic synths and sounds.
"It is completely different for me… From coming from a full live background where I write & arrange the music and songs then record with bands live this was a completely different structure, format and process."
After receiving the completed tracks from Mara TK (incl. one from Portuguese producer Camplaix, two from up-and-coming Auckland producer Truent), Smith then collaborated again with TK on lyrics, melodies and arrangement. The two musicians worked very closely within this process under the 6 week time constraint with long hours and 'forced' creativity. It meant finding a new discipline within the bounds of writing music, however the results and depth of the album suggests their extreme productivity as a duo.
Mara TK is the son of Maori psychedelic rock legend Billy TK. In recent years, working alongside acclaimed Kiwi future soul trio Electric Wire Hustle and a bevy of globally towering musical talents, he has proven himself to be a singular force for modern music. Fluent in voice, guitar, bass and beat machines, outside of his aforementioned band, Mara TK has both worked in the studio with and performed next to Eru Dangerpsiel, Wild Bill Ricketts, Ommas Keith, Muhsinah, Jake One, Julien Dyne and many others.
Hollie Smith made her first real inroads and impression with the New Zealand audience after the release of her soulful self-titled EP in 2005, and captured us further with her heart wrenching lead vocal on the Don McGlashan – penned 2006 chart hit ‘Bathe In The River’ . The anticipation had built dramatically by the time Hollie's full length album, Long Player was released in May 2007 and its success showed how much of a fan base wanted more with the album selling double platinum.
March 15th 2010 saw the release of Hollie Smith's eagerly awaited second album: Humour And The Misfortune Of Others. A twelve song journey into the realms of soul, funk, blues, psychedelia and even country and one that showed her grow as a composer and an artist since the release of her critically acclaimed debut album Long Player.