Zowie brought her live show to Sydney on Friday night, warming up the crowd for Strange Talk at the Oxford Art Factory. I like what I've heard from New Zealand's next big thing so far - particularly her debut single "Broken Machine" and current release "Smash It" (below) - but I've literally only heard four of her songs and really didn't know what to expect. Would she be all hype like Annie (still the worst gig I've ever seen in my life) or a revelation like Marina & The Diamonds? From what I witnessed a couple of nights ago, I'd err towards the latter. Zowie is a gale force breath of fresh air with a tight band and a batch of quirky songs that deftly blend New Wave and indie-pop influences. I loved hearing her new material and think early singles like "Bite Back" and "Love Or Hate" sound a lot meatier live.
My only reservation about the Auckland-based diva - and, unfortunately, it's quite a substantial one - is the way she is being marketed. Zowie is more Yeah Yeah Yeahs than Robyn, so why is she being promoted as the next electro-pop sensation? I think her music would get a much better reception from the Triple J crowd and tapping into that market could be the key to a long overdue commercial breakthrough. But I guess that's up to the Kiwi singer-songwriter and Sony to sort out. In the meantime, I'll just keep listening to her four song discography on repeat and hope for the best. By the way, was I dreaming or does one of Zowie's new songs sample Linda Sundblad's iconic "2 All My Girls"? I swear I heard it!