Wednesday, May 07, 2014
When I first moved to New Zealand, one of the first Kiwi artists I learned about was Annie Crummer, and the first song of hers that I heard was “State of Grace” (1996), above.
“State of Grace” reached Number 8 on the NZ chart. The song appealed to me, as a newly arrived immigrant, for the inclusion of Maori. Later that same year, I heard and liked “U Soul Me” (middle video), which reached number 21 on the NZ charts. Both songs are from the album, Seventh Wave, which reached Number 5 on the NZ album chart.
Annie has also been part of a number of bands and projects. She was part of While The Cat’s Away, as I discussed yesterday, Herbs and she also was part of the ENZO project, in which the New Zealand Sympnony Orchestra and various artists collaborated to reimagine Split Enz songs. A side note on that: On our first trip back the USA in 1997, we saw the Enzo album on display in an American music store. It was a bit surreal for me.
Another of the groups she was part of was Netherworld Dancing Toys, which was formed in Dunedin in 1982 by Malcolm Black, Nick Sampson, Graham Cockroft and Brent Alexander. Annie Crummer and Kim Willoughby (who were both later part of When The Cat’s Away) joined later. “For Today” (1985) was their only single, and reached Number 3 on the NZ chart. They put out five albums in their active years, but none of them charted. “For Today” (video below) is also one of my favourite 1980s NZ songs.
Annie was also one of the people I was connected to on MySpace, back when that was still a thing, so she’s the first of these artists that I’ve had any personal interaction with. Such as it was. But because her song was one of the first Kiwi songs I heard and liked when I first arrived in this country, she’ll always be kind of special to me.