Today’s post is a short album review and run-down of one of my favourite bands for the last couple of years, Six60. If you’ve been here for the longest time, you may remember I did one of my first ever blog posts about the New Zealand band which you can read HERE, and they’ve only continued to get bigger and bigger. I even got to see their set at the Byron Bay BluesFest last year in April, and it was easily one of my favourite sets from the entire festival.
They released their third self-titled album in November last year, and while I’ve heard a few songs from the album here and there, I never sat down to listen to the entire record completely.
Social distancing and isolation has meant that a lot of us have plenty of spare time to do what we want to do, and for me that’s meant listening to so much more music and exploring artists in depth, both old and new. While I was doing a super deep clean of my Spotify account, I came across the album, just sitting there, waiting for me to dive in. And dive in I did.
The entire album sonically, is such a trip. It just goes to places that I personally never felt through the last two albums, as much as I love them. One of my favourite things about Six60 is how effortlessly they blend pop, rock, reggae and funk, and then sprinkle a bunch of Maori and Kiwi influences and instrumentation to make a super unique sound.
The opening track Never Enough is super pop-rock centric, but there are a few elements of reggae in the bass line, and I feel like you add a vocal performance like Matiu Walters into the mix there’s always an element of soul involved too.
Please Don’t Go had my jaw on the floor just because of how different it is?? But in the best possible way. If there’s a song on the album that just kicks down the door and really gets in your face musically, I think it’s this one, and it’s not super over the top about it. It’s all in the bass and drums for me.
It feels like I’ll be mentioning practically every song on the album but I also vibe heavy with Long Gone, just because it’s such a gentle but firm ‘stuff you’ kinda song. It picks up so beautifully in the bridge and towards the end of the song the vocal arrangement genuinely gives me chills, regardless of how subtle it may be.
Tomorrow is another one of my favourites purely because of how beautiful it is. Matiu’s voice nearly made me cry the first time I listened to it. It’s got such a deep-rooted message, with a bunch of island elements added into the mix, and it makes me super nostalgic for some of the music I used to listen to when I was younger with my family. There’s a very low-key Bob Marley aesthetic to it, but it’s done so tastefully, and all the extra sounds they’ve added into the song just bring everything together so sweetly.
Raining shows up a bit closer to the end of the album, but it’s definitely one of my top three songs hands down. Melodically, this one is one of those tracks that just sits so comfortably in it’s reggae/island pocket, and it really gets the head bob going, which is why I think I love it so much. Such a chiller to listen to around the house or on a drive. The bass is also super prominent in this one, and the chorus is perfect for a sing-a-long. It’s just a super warm song.
Then there’s Sundown which is genuinely one of the funkiest songs on the album for me. It starts off with a super gentle ukulele which made me grin the first second I ever listened to the song, but then there’s these added little nuances and sounds that start kicking in to steer it more towards a bit of a funk/pop type of style. There’s a reggae element that mixes into it as well, but it’s a super unique sounding song, especially in regards to the rest of the album.
I think Bitter End may be my favourite track on the record. Again, they hit you with a super crisp ukulele which always warms me to the core. One of my favourite things about Six60 is their lyrics, and this song is an amazing example. They have a way of forming each line in a way that conveys what they’re trying to say so simply and without having to make anything complicated, but each lyric still hits you with the same power and intent. I love it. Big fan. 10 out of 10.