Dirty Hercules is the fierce new single from Sydney based future-folk/soul artist Ngaiire (pron. Nighree). The lead offering from her highly anticipated debut album Lamentations (due out June 2013) — an album partly written in an obscure little drinking bar in the suburban outskirts of Tokyo, Japan.
Dirty Hercules is a commanding entry into the music world; Ngaiire’s peculiar vocal arrangements and rare sense of soul, reminiscent of vocal greats gone by, setting her well apart from other singers. The song speaks of the vast aberrations of the darkness, the sex, the lies, the money, the drugs that detract from the reality of our own core conditions. It sheds light on the towering ugliness of our ailing covetous nature, the misinterpretations of strength and the journey of acceptance that no two people can have the same story. Featuring friend and future-soul darling Nai Palm of Melbourne band Hiatus Kaiyote, ‘Dirty Hercules’ sees Nai add an additional depth that charters bottomless profundities exclusively championed by Questlove, Erykah Badu and Gilles Peterson. Nai’s husky vocals lay further assault to the hard-hitting dub step-esque bridge before rolling into a harmony-thick outro — a Ngaiire trademark and one that constantly challenged even a 48 channel Pro-Tool session come mixing time.
Co-produced by Ngaiire, Sydney bassist Tim Curnick and Japan based beat maker and pianist, Aaron Choulai, Dirty Hercules exemplifies what is to be expected from Lamentations. Showcasing Ngaiire’s great attention to vocal detail and layering as well as her love for musical aesthetics, and Aaron’s distinctive, Japanese-influenced electronic glitch and piano work, Tim’s pop sensibilities and production mastery are at the fore as Curnick balances perfectly the live and electronic components of Ngaiire’s music. Together the three along with Ngaiire’s drummer Ross Ferraro tracked Dirty Hercules in Tim’s parent’s beach house in Jervis Bay, mixing it (and the rest of the album) in a Tasmanian mountain studio shack with mixing virtuoso Chris Townend (Portishead, Silverchair, Violent Femmes).
Standing on the triple j’s 2010 Next Crop list alongside Kimbra, Lanie Lane, and The Jezabels, Ngaiire was born in one of the last great frontiers of the world, Papua New Guinea, migrating to Australia at just 16. Since then she has been building a reputation for herself as one of the country’s most recognisable and dynamic vocalists and performers combined with her love for uniquely flamboyant stage attire. Moving to Sydney after a brief stint studying for a Jazz degree at the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Ngaiire embarked on a long period of touring overseas and in Australia with roots collective Blue King Brown, mentor and electronic maestro Paul Mac and gypsy jazz outfit Monsieur Camembert lead by ostentatious front man and Camelot venue owner Yaron Hallis.
Years later the need to focus on her own pursuits caused Ngaiire to quit the road and settle back in Sydney where she could discover and build herself as an artist. Journeying from folk soul to jazz hop to indie pop to everything in between, Ngaiire has finally settled on an eclectic sonic identity that is uniquely hers and one that can easily transcend universal territories with its electronic soul elements as well as gratify the folk sphere with her great adoration for storytelling and heartfelt laments.
Dirty Hercules steps forth from an album bookended by challenges, from Ngaiire’s car accident a day before recording started to the death of her sister upon the album’s completion: it stakes a flag in the ground as Ngaiire’s official arrival.
‘Dirty Hercules’ National Tour
Sat March 2 – Nannup Music Festival Nannup, WA
Sun March 3 – Nannup Music Festival Nannup, WA – Sat March 9 – Bridge Hotel Castlemaine, VIC
Special Guests: Ainslie Wills Trio
Sun March 10 – Northcote Social Club Melbourne, VIC – Special Guests: Hailey Cramer; Ghost Orkid
Sat March 16 – Blue Mountains Music Festival Katoomba, NSW
Sun March 17 – Blue Mountains Music Festival Katoomba, NSW
Sat March 23 – Republic Bar Hobart, TAS – Special Guests TBA
Fri March 29 – Clarendon Guesthouse Katoomba – Special Guests – Miss Little and Ribongia
Sat March 30 – FBI Social Kings Cross, NSW
Special Guests – Miss Little and Ribongia
Fri April 12 – The Joynt Brisbane, QLD – Special Guests TBA
Sat April 13 – Full Moon Party Noosa, QLD
Sun April 14 – Buddha Bar Byron Bay, NSW