To celebrate Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, we'll have a new story each day celebrating te reo in music, including exclusive special performances. Check back in tomorrow at midday for more.

The garage door is open, the sun's streaming in, everyone's sitting around the table playing cards, talking, laughing and having fun when out of nowhere, someone's got a guitar and everyone's singing along as one.

This is the Māori garage party. And it's what the Modern Māori Quartet have built their entire album around.

That's Us, which releases tomorrow, is an album about love "in every sense of the word" -
and it was made with the same concept.

"Above all, we just wanted to create something that was true," says quartet member Francis Kora.


"All the stories are based ontrue events and there's a lot of vulnerability that we captured, which I think will really connect. It's a very, very unique New Zealand sound, an older sound, but at the same time I truly believe its what's needed today."

He says a lot of today's music has lost "truth" and that while the sound is good, the stories are less so.

"There's only so many times you can hear someone talk about shaking their butt, or the flash car that they're driving. So we really wanted to tell something that was truthful to us and the heartland of New Zealand," he says.

That's Us is full of songs about love, heartbreak, family and Māori culture, even incorporating four songs in te reo Māori, including the already released single Māreikura/i>, which "pays respect and homage to our women".

"It's just very uplifting stuff. We wanted people to see the lighthearted and loving side of Māori, of us, who we are," says Kora.

Which is why they've returned to the humble Māori garage party.

"With us, if there's a funeral or a birthday or a wedding, at some stage of the evening, a guitar will come out and everyone will join in. It's about people and bringing people together."

Not only is that concept behind the album, it's behind the massive nationwide tour they'll be embarking on to celebrate its release. The shows will see the Quartet play songs from the new album with support from Annie Crummer and Kora promises "the garage party will be in full swing.

"I think the audience will automatically connect with it, it's just that familiarity and the joy of feeling like you're involved with a show. It's a hell of a lot of fun."

Who: Modern Māori Quartet
What: New album That's Us and nationwide tour
When: Out tomorrow, tour starts this weekend
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