Premiere: Ngaiire strips back her returning single Shiver in stunning live take
The live version of the track, recorded at Peggy Glanville-Hicks House, comes ahead of a national tour this February/March.
One of last year's most stunning singles came from Ngaiire, a long-time favourite from the Australian music space who, after three years of silence following the release of her remarkable 2016 record Blastoma, made a grand return with Shiver last October. It was a track that immediately grabbed your attention from the get-go; a work of art "you'd expect from a complex artist akin to Solange and Sampa The Great" as we said with its release, full of lush melodies and intricacy that highlight her Papua New Guinean roots and remind the world that Ngaiire is a musician on the cusp of artistic brilliance.
Today, a few months following the single's release and ahead of a national tour that'll span the next two months, we're proud to premiere a live take on the single, recorded at Sydney's The Peggy Glanville-Hicks Composer's House - a prestigious location that homes one artist per year, with last year's being Ngaiire. Backed by a pianist and drummer - Novak Manojlovic and Tully Ryan respectively - and a three-piece choir including close friends and collaborators in Billie McCarthy, Andrew Bruce and Michael Duchesne, the live take on the single completely strips back the track to its rawest roots, strengthening the powerful vocals of Ngaiire that envelop the track's every rise and fall.
"This really was just a normal day at my house sans cameras and pop filter. I'm always the one screaming at my friends who do play good piano, to play me a song at the end of a night of Espolon Tequila Blanco. Possibly an insight into what I'm going to be like when I'm 70 - except I'll probably have taken up smoking cigarettes in a bedazzled cigarette holder casually getting around in a silk kimono every day and speaking with zero filter," she laughs. "Who knows?"
Seriously though, the live take really emphasises the brilliance of Ngaiire and her bold, powerful vocal; undisturbed by the lush production that surrounds her vocal in the original. "I just wanted to do one last low key sing-along around the piano before my residency ended [at The Peggy Glanville-Hicks Composer's House]," she explains. "I'd played Shiver in many different ways in the PGH house, with strings, with a choir, with PNG log drums but never in this way. Thought it might be nice to do in a way that is really my favourite way to make music: Casually, with my mates while Dovey lives his best life. But this time in front of a camcorder and an iPhone.
"Huge acknowledgement to the Peggy Glanville-Hicks Trust and Bundanon Trust for thinking I had enough clout as a composer to take up residency in the house. I literally cried in my car when I first got the news," she continues. "Not many people know about Peggy but man she was a force of a woman and a composer. Daaaang the life she lived. She found notoriety mostly overseas with her Operas and lived in the house from 1976 to 1990 before gifting her beautiful Paddington abode to the future of Australian and visiting overseas composers after she died. I'm so so grateful I'm in a position in my career that allows me to take advantage of opportunities like this that aren't necessarily focused in on the contemporary world. Peggy will forever be my homegirl and I'll never ever forget her.”
Watch the clip below, and catch Ngaiire at a handful dates over the next few months - including WOMAdelaide, Perth Festival, Sydney Mardi Gras' Fair Day.
Feb 9: Perth Festival with Emma Donovan & The Putbacks @ Chevron Lighthouse, Perth
Feb 16: Sydney Mardi Gras Fair Day, Sydney
Mar 6-9: WOMADelaide, Adelaide
Mar 14: Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Mar 20: The Brightside, Brisbane
Mar 21: Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
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