Reflections in the fountain
Asked by the New Zealand Herald who she would choose for her dream music festival, singer-songwriter Reb Fountain included Velvet Underground, Los Lobos, Marlon Williams and The Yarra Benders, Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass, The Cars, Randy Newman and The Kinks in her line-up.
And who would she choose to record an album of Reb Fountain covers?
Indie-folk-noir punk-alt-pop-country — the Reb Fountain sound has been tagged with multiple genres. The creation of her most recent album, Reb Fountain, felt like a line in the sand moment, she says.
“Every time you create new artwork you want it to be different and to reflect your growth as a musician and artist. This was an opportunity to focus and change gear in my music. As artists we’re all struggling with the human condition, particularly your own. Perhaps there’s a particularly New Zealand slant to that.
“There’s a reflectiveness and we have this beautiful landscape imbued with tragedy and promise that does bring out something new and a sense of partnership with Maori and that creates a unique dynamic.
“I’m a product of these things, including being a migrant in this country.”
A passenger on the Oriana, Fountain sailed into Lyttleton Harbour in the late 1970s and grew up in Christchurch. Having left her homeland she has always carried a sense of longing and love, she says.
“Both sides of my family are migrants and musicians. I’ve done a lot of travelling; I’m a bit of a gypsy.
“It’s been challenging but music helps with that. Home and family are in so many places. There’s a sense you need to keep moving.”
Fountain wrote most songs for the album on piano. The song Don’t You Know Who I Am (number one on Spotify’s most popular tracks from the album) was originally written on guitar but Fountain switched to piano to record it. Don’t You Know Who I Am, and Lighthouse (one of Fountain’s favourites) were recorded in one take.
Along with making music (which makes the invisible, visible, she says) Fountain spearheaded the crowdfunding initiative to save as many of the country’s venues as possible when lockdown and subsequent alert levels left so many on the brink of closure.
The campaign was intended initially to help out two venues. But the response changed all that.
“Within eight hours it raised so much we were blown away. We realised there’s a lot of community spirit out there and that this was a nationwide problem, not just Auckland’s.”
The Boosted Live, save our venues campaign helped out Gisborne venues Smash Palace, and The Dome Bar and in about 10 days time The Dome Bar will host Fountain as part of her 10-date tour in celebration of her new album and her debut for Flying Nun Records.
One Guide reader is up for a double pass to the show. Just answer this question and write your answer in the comment bar to this story on the Guide’s Facebook page, or write down your answer and contact details and leave them at the front desk.
What single off Reb Fountain’s self-titled album has been nominated for a silver scroll?
■ Reb Fountain. Dome Room, October 25, 7pm. Tickets $34.90+bf from BanishedMusic.com or $35 cash from The Aviary.