It has almost been 4 years since the controversial second season of The X-Factor New Zealand, which has not been renewed for another season since.
So four years on, where are the artists now?
Brendon Thomas and The Vibes have just released their first EP since the show, where they placed third, gaining a following for being the coolest blues band around. Wrap You In The Sun is a relaxing, blue-sy album, with incredible harmonies and the authentic nature of their music.
Mixing elements of classic rock and blues, The Vibes have created something that with the correct airtime could make them a huge thing in New Zealand. Opening with Let it Fly, the mixture of fast chorus and slower verses sets the laid back feel of the whole record. Brendon’s voice is so slick and soothing that you fall into a trance, and then are woken up by the chorus, which becomes faster and heavier, with it’s very recognizable guitar riff. It makes you want to get up and dance, and that is the feel that the band has given off always, even since their X-factor days.
My favorite track off the record is Copper Shades. I am a big fan of blues music, and I think this track is authentic blues. The Vibes (as Michael Anderson and Timothee Nolier are known) harmonize with Brendon, both in vocals and instrumentally. The song is a simple rhythm, combined with catchy lyrics and a remembered main riff, making it into something great.
I was very lucky to have Michael Anderson, the bassist of the band tutor me in bass for two years. And almost every week for those two years, I had the question of “When is there going to be new music?” I must say, those two years of waiting have been so worth it. While it is not in a style that everybody necessarily enjoys, the Jimi Hendrix influenced songs off this record can make any afternoon just go by like that, with its relaxing rhythms and easy going vibes, an apt description for The Vibes. Definitely a band to watch for in years to come.