Ōtautahi artist Phoebe Vic has always loved music. As a young child she remembers sorting through her Dad’s eclectic CD collection and happily listening to a variety of artists.
“I must have been about six years old and I would carefully open one of his CD’s and sit on the couch with headphones listening to the album and leafing through the CD booklet,” she recalls.
That early interest never left her. But it took Phoebe several years to come back to music.
“I actually went to drama school and became an actor. It wasn’t until last year that I suddenly realised that acting wasn’t something I really loved doing – it didn’t fulfil me in the same was that music did. So I said goodbye to acting and here we are. It’s been a varied career but music has always been woven through what I’ve done.”
Phoebe is an accomplished singer and musician based in Ōtautahi, and she’s steadily gaining recognition for her pop sensibilities, powerful vocal and dynamic performance.
‘Strange Rituals’ was created alongside producer, musician and APRA Silver Scroll nominee Emily C. Browning, with thanks to the NZ On Air New Music Development grant.
“The EP feels closer to who I am. I try to be authentic and honest with myself and it feels really special to have written this with my best mate, Emily. It has a very femme energy – I also had a woman master the EP – and I felt this was important as it can be a very male dominated industry.”
The EP’s title holds some clues to the songs Phoebe has recoded.
“The common thread I found was that each track held at its core a ritual of some kind – the narratives I tell myself, the way I self-soothe in the same familiar, destructive cycles or the very literal interpretation of a ritualistic chant. You can hear this metaphorically (sometimes bluntly) in the lyrics but also heavily in the production. We worked somewhere within the realm of alternative and hyper-femme pop, with our biggest references being Caroline Polachek, Charli XCX, Jessie Ware and Allie X. The EP contains a wealth of sonic themes from ethereal and romantic, through to dance and tribal, while all remaining cohesively ‘pop’.”
Having grown up in Kaiapoi, being recognised as an Ōtautahi artist is important to Phoebe.
“I love this city. It cops a lot of flak – but actually it’s a wonderful place to love. Of course it has its flaws, just like any other city, but I’ve found the arts community here to be really supportive and diverse and that’s what I really love about it. Christchurch is home to so many talented artists and it feels really safe to test things here.”
Strange Rituals EP is available on all streaming platforms.