"I humbly adore the acts of the Most High, Who has given to the synthesizer what is better than a soul, so that, when it plays, the men are silent. And their hands cover their veils to hide their emotions. The troubles of life were pushing me into the tomb, but thanks to the synthesizer, God has given me back my life." Music and Arts Writer / Publicist / Copywriter / Radio Host / DJ http://soundcloud.com/martynpepperell The Hard Deck - Every Second Tuesday, 9-11pm NZL time, www.radioactive.fm martyn dot pepperell at gmail dot com


Drowned in sound, The Golden Awesome's stylistically spot on shoegaze rock is the by-product of a series of friendships stretching back fifteen so years. Friendships which were formed in Dunedin through mutual loves of playing music, listening to records and going to parties, loves which remain central to The Golden Awesome to this day.

Now all based in Wellington, Justin Barr (drums), Joe Contag (guitars, recording), Matt Steindl (bass) and Stef Animal (vocal, keys) began The Golden Awesome close to a year ago. Trading laughter and stories over cups of tea in a Wellington cafe on Cuba Street, Contag explains their origins and ethos, with verbal assistance from Animal. “We’ve always had this idea to have a shoegazey style band for many years,” Contag admits. “We talked about it, mostly at parties and eventually we decided to do it.”

With the band roster having played in seminal New Zealand acts like Mestar and Cloudboy, and outside of The Golden Awesome currently working in acts like Bad Statistics and The Raskolnikovs, once the four settled on a, as Animal puts it, “a loud, epic and slightly slower [approach],” to their sound, their My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, Snapper, Bailterspace and 3Ds informed sound evolved naturally. “It’s quite easygoing when we write, there aren’t any bottlenecks to creativity,” Contag says, with Animal co-signing his statement with the thought, “The whole thing is quite light-hearted. It’s not an academic process.”

Netting a support slot before the 3Ds as their first big gig, and wowing punters at Camp A Low Hum earlier in the year, The Golden Awesome’s haze hidden melodies have seen them release a cassette tape single via Wellington tape label Rampant Runes, and in September this year, they will release their debut album on vinyl through boutique New York imprint M’Lady’s Records who discovered them while attending the aforementioned Camp A Low Hum. As a result of this connect, The Golden Awesome intend to tour America in October. Step by step they’re dragging the sound of the early 90s into the present day, one intoxicating release or show at a time. 

By Martyn Pepperell

Originally published in Rip It Up

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