The condensation shimmers on the leaves outside the basement rehearsal space. It’s a cool spring night. A roller door reveals a compact space packed with cables, amps and speakers. In the centre of this cave-like atmosphere a beautiful red-haired girl directs the players as they assemble. The guitarist conjures up a purring, rolling note from his vintage amp that immediately wins a smile of approval from the diva.
Kirsten Morrell is knocking her live band into shape in a Vermont St rehearsal space in Ponsonby. The boys have been pouring over the tracks from her new album that she has spent the last two years producing. 12 tracks have been recorded, half in London, half here in New Zealand. Kirsten walks the band through her arrangement of Cherry (Warner Music). The bass player has retooled the bass line to rise and fall in a new and soulful way. Kirsten listens intently as they perform the verse. They check and critique each note. It’s a fun way to spend a Monday night.
After 10 years writing and recording with multi-platinum band Goldenhorse Kirsten Morrell is going solo. ULTRAVIOLET is the name of the new album. All the tracks are still top secret. The mercurial Jol Mulholland has co-produced the record with Kirsten. Geoff Maddock, her Goldenhorse collaborator, is heard on a range of instruments throughout the recording. These three musicians have created something very special. The 12 songs range from synth-heavy elctro-pop to brooding, chugging laments with Kirsten’s singular voice tying the whole project together.
Back in Ponsonby the band starts to thrum, the roller-door begins to rattle. Neighbours peak through curtains trying to catch a lyric. A passer by hears “Cherry Coloured Dreams / I’ll be wearing smoke hot jeans…” and walks a little slower.