Country of Origin: New Zealand
Anna Coddington is one of New Zealand’s foremost heroines of independent pop music, as is clearly evident on her debut, self-produced album “The Lake”, released in June 2008.
Coddington has been quietly kicking around New Zealand’s music scene for some time now. You may have heard her singing in the background of some well known tunes by artists like Bic Runga, Anika Moa, SJD, Dimmer and more, or in the foreground of a handful of casually released pop gems by her bands Handsome Geoffery and Duchess.
The daughter of a Maori woman and a Pakeha man who dabbled in guitar/piano/ singing and drumming, respectively, Coddington grew up in the sleepy seaside town of Raglan. By age 11 her Dad had taught her the 4/4 rock beat and she was clanging away with gay abandon, by 14 she had wrangled a few guitar chords out of her Mum, and by age 16 she was fronting and writing for her first band, Handsome Geoffery.
Coddington later filled the same roles in four piece band Duchess- a more mature and refined distillation of her talents. She co-produced, with Edmund McWilliams Jnr (aka. Ed Cake of Bressa Creeting Cake fame), the six-track Duchess E.P, which was released independently in 2005 and distributed by Rhythmethod. It included the singles “You Buried Me Alive” and “Raglan City”, the latter garnering the Juice TV “People’s Choice” award in 2007. The E.P has since sold out of its first pressing and was critically acclaimed:
“ . . . all 6 tracks are faultless, with all killers no fillers” The Big City
“ . . . every track is the embodiment of perfect pop, with catchy melodies and sweet, smart lyrics that never dive into the saccharine… six songs are just not enough, I want to hear more of Anna Coddington’s beautiful voice” Rip It Up magazine
Since Duchess disbanded in 2006, Coddington has toured nationally and internationally as support act and backing singer for Anika Moa and Bic Runga. But by 2007 an overwhelming desire to focus her creative energy back into her own, ever-increasing stable of tunes took hold and put into motion the process which culminates in her forthcoming album, “The Lake”.
“The Lake” sees Coddington working with what she describes as her “factual dream band”. Taking the production reigns herself, she gathered together guitarist Ned Ngatae (Trinity Roots, Hollie Smith, Dimmer), drummer Riki Gooch (Trinity Roots, Bic Runga, Eru Dangerspiel), bassist Chip Matthews (Opensouls, Anika Moa), and keyboardist Steph Brown (Che Fu, Nathan Haines, Opensouls). Recorded at Roundhead Studios and Radio New Zealand with acclaimed engineers Neil Baldock and Andre Upston, the album also features vocals from friends (and then flatmates) Anika Moa and Tim Guy, and a musical cameo from Neil Finn.
Coddington has a unique talent for writing beautiful songs with a twist of reality, and a voice good enough to make it all melt together. With subject matter ranging from heartbreak to love and party anxiety to apology, it is a delightfully engaging album which, like the lady herself, may occasionally give off a tongue in cheek smile, but will always have some worthwhile substance underneath.