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The best kept secret in music


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Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


From opposite ends of the world; the skyscrapers of Chicago USA and the rugged isolation of the South Island of New Zealand, Laurie Piggott and Troy Sugrue formed an unlikely musical partnership. Their approaches to song writing contrasted as dramatically as their geography. The result is a unique collaboration called VESSEL.

The music of VESSEL spans trip hop to soft soul. It has been described as avant-garde jazz, twisted pop and the “torch” music for a new age. But while it may not be easy to label, the feel is unmistakable - dark, brooding and just plain sexy. The VESSEL sound is one of contrasts; Laurie Piggott’s haunting, vulnerable vocals float above complex rhythms, lush instrumentation, scratching, samples and sounds. The result is music that is both gentle and powerful at the same time.

VESSEL’s music has the hooks and hummable melodies of classic pop but with a sense of contrariness and mischief that keeps surprising. Lyrically, the songs are poetic and honest.

“It is important for us to create music that people would want to sit with, to live with. We’ve been told our music is like wrapping yourself in a velvet smoking jacket or sipping a glass of red wine in the dark. It’s great if we can stir those feelings,” says Laurie. “The lyrics are the core of the music - everything works to support what is being expressed. Our songs are about exploring the feelings we all have – wanting, vulnerability, desire. Those sexy dark recesses we all possess but don’t always want to visit and write about... Well, that’s where we went and we love the words and sounds that we found there”

The song writing partnership came out of a long-term friendship and mutual love of music. “We used to get together on Friday nights to sing old jazz tunes; and basically just mess around,” says Troy Sugrue, “At one of these get-togethers I played Laurie a piece I had been playing around with – she started humming a melody, put words to it – and the next day we had a song.”

That song was “take me down” the first single off the band’s upcoming debut album.

“To our surprise, we couldn’t stop writing - and all of it got us excited.”, says Troy, “Our backgrounds and influences are so different – but together we’re magic. Having grown up in Chicago and France, Laurie’s musical influences are jazz, blues and French ballads and her interests are Art and Theatre. I come to this more conventionally. I abandoned music at Otago University to work with a covers band. I spent the next eight years performing and touring with a covers band, so there’s more pop and dance music flowing through my veins.”

“I approach our songs like an artist and Troy approaches them like a musician,”. says Laurie, “Alone I’d probably make “noise” – at best maybe “sound” but together we make music”.

The best talents from New Zealand’s modern music scene were brought in to contribute to VESSEL’s music; including dj work from Manuel Bundy and sampling and midi work from Paddy Free of Pitch Black.

The first single for the group is “take me down”, a song of intense longing and desire, girlish yet bold at the same time. The CD single includes a french rendition of the song, entitled “m’enflamme”, perhaps even sexier than the original and a driving dance oriented song, “let me be a secret” with strange distorted vocals and thumping bass and percussion. The CD single also includes bonus tracks of remixes of the three VESSEL tracks from Andy Morton for Retreat and Joost for Subware productions.

VESSEL is unique to the New Zealand music scene – moody, strange, dark, sexy and very very compelling.