close button

Jamie McDell: Six Strings and a Sailboat - review

Nov 18, 2013 Music


It had to happen sometime: someone manufacturing a New Zealand twist on Taylor Swift. As it happened, she just happened along.

McDell, however, is a yacht-loving 20-year-old Aucklander who grew up in Mangawhai, and whose debut refracts her tentative city forays back to the idealised wild beauty of the sea.

While Swift’s power pop is pricked at the edges with a little country, McDell’s is more typically singer-songwriter fare with a hint of folk and a certain blandness that conjures images of the Parachute festival.

It’s all very pleasant, and at its best when breaking out into a reggae lope on “You’ll Never Take That Away”, but the thing sags a little when it should be catching the drift, and it’s very close to being sunk at times by adolescent lyrics like “I’ve gone a little crazy because you’re so amazing.”

It’s nice having a local Taylor Swift with an eco bent but, for now, it’s back to the brig.

First published Metro, December 2012


Latest issue shadow

Metro N°442 is Out Now.

In the Autumn 2024 issue of Metro we celebrate the best of Tāmaki Makaurau — 100 great things about life in Auckland, including our favourite florist, furniture store, cocktail, basketball court, tree, make-out spot, influencer, and psychic. The issue also includes the Metro Wine Awards, the battle over music technology company Serato, the end of The Pantograph Punch, the Billy Apple archives, a visit to Armenia, viral indie musician Lontalius, the state of fine dining, and the time we bombed West Auckland to kill a moth. Plus restaurants, movies, politics, astrology, and more.

Buy the latest issue