The mysterious Congress of Animals collective set forth another single release, this time from musician, actor and writer Nigel Collins, who presents his new track, Depends on You.
Nigel is a multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist, who has also trained as an opera singer. He’s toured (some of) the world with the Flight of the Conchords as their string section of one – AKA ‘The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’. Back in Aotearoa his regular band the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra have helped spread the virtues of the Uke both at home and away. He’s also guested on records by Ed Sheeran, Fat Freddy’s Drop, fellow CoA member Age Pryor and The Stereo Bus’s Dave Yetton.
Initially starting life as a folky acoustic instrumental, Depends on You has grown into a lyrically thematic piece about the offering and potential acceptance of support. “It was an experiment – jamming the tune and lyrics live as I recorded them, and what came out seemed to be about trying to offer someone help”, explains Nigel; “Or maybe – as I began to think further – perhaps my higher giving my lower self some advice about accepting it.”
Nigel Collins is ably backed by the Congress of Animals collective – in fact, the track has the honor of being the first recorded song from the project. Nigel tells the tale; “We were with Lee Prebble at the Surgery in 2016. While the band were still setting up gear, Bret asked me to remind him how one of my songs went – we had previously worked on fleshing out the track in previous home jams. We strummed through Depends On You, and off he went to the drum kit and just started playing the groove. Ben came in and picked up the bass and Justin plugged in his guitar and the song was recorded in only a few takes - with cellos and lead guitar later added at home, and a one man woodwind band (courtesy of Oscar Laven) added on the hoof back at the Surgery to complete the track. It came together kind of effortlessly - pretty cosmic really.”
After a rapid sell out, Congress of Animals have added a second Haumoana Hall show to the Hawke’s Bay leg of the Strange Caravan Tour, and now extend the tour to Dunedin for a show at The Captain Cook. Tickets are on sale now through undertheradar.co.nz.
Congress of Animals and Under The Radar Presents
The STRANGE CARAVAN Tour
Bret McKenzie (Flight of the Conchords)
Age Pryor (Fly My Pretties, Woolshed Sessions, Wellington Internatinal Ukulele Orchestra)
Justin Firefly (Fly My Pretties, Woolshed Sessions)
Nigel Collins (Flight of the Conchords, Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra)
Ben Lemi (Trinity Roots, French For Rabbits)
15 November Blue Smoke Christchurch
16 November Captain Cook Dunedin
17 & 18 November Sherwood Queenstown
22 & 23 November Haumoana Hall Hawke’s Bay
24 November Meow Wellington
29 November Totara St Tauranga
30 November Hollywood Cinema Auckland
1 December Leigh Sawmill Cafe Leigh
Depends on You by Nigel Collins with Congress of Animals, is out now on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music and where all good music can be found.