With new album Cosmonaut and a national tour starting this week, Pickle Darling, aka Lukas Mayo, is leaving the bedroom recording studio and heading for space, via several New Zealand venues. They answer a few questions first.
Describe your sound in one sentence.
Like Brian Wilson but worse.
How did the events of the past year or so affect your music-making, and what has lockdown meant for the world of bedroom pop in general?
I guess, maybe I can only speak for myself, being in New Zealand we were/are pretty sheltered from the true horror of the pandemic overseas. Most bedroom pop artists make "lockdown" albums by default, I thought it was funny it became kind of a new marketing thing when that's how the vast majority of musicians in the world have always made music.
How does your second album Cosmonaut show your growth as an artist?
It's just better!! Catchier songs, better production, better singing, just a record I am totally proud of! I wish this was the first thing I released!
Is smalltown NZ ready for Pickle Darling? Where are you most looking forward to playing?
I'm super excited for the small towns, that was something I was really determined to do right from the start! I'm excited to play Palmerston North for some reason, I genuinely have no clue what it's like!
What one song do you most enjoy playing live and why?
Rinse Spin Cycle! It's our Free Bird and the whole band really shines on it!
What one change would you make to the NZ music scene if you could?
More all ages venues!
Where do you see yourself in five years?
What one song by another artist do you wish you'd written and why?
Sweet Is The Melody by Iris DeMent! Probably one of my most listened to songs ever, I think it's perfect and the chords are so simple and it feels like it's been around forever. Either that or Tom Frampton's Honesty Is Not F***ing Emo, which I only just discovered this year. That song makes me cry.
You're curating a music festival - who's on the bill, alive or dead?
It would be a twee festival! It would have Los Campesinos, Princess Chelsea, The Postal Service, Belle and Sebastian, Sufjan Stevens, Brian Wilson, The Unicorns, The Tokey Tones, Voom, and Frankie Cosmos!
Finally, be honest, do you like eating pickles?
I do!! Fans should get me pickles as gifts lol.
• Cosmonaut is out now. The tour goes to Oamaru - July 1, Dunedin - July 2, Invercargill - July 3, Christchurch - July 10, Auckland - July 15, Tauranga - July 16, Hamilton - July 17, Wellington - July 22, Palmerston North - July 23, Hastings - July 24, Nelson - July 30, Onekaka - July 31.