Rip It Up
FOUR & A HALF STARS. The moniker – AnikaBoh&Hollie – is appropriate because Peace Of Mind sees the three singer-songwriters not only working effectively as a collective outfit, but it also demonstrates each lady’s musical individuality. And in that sense they’re less of s supergroup and more of a collaboration. It’s on this footing that Anika Moa, Boh Runga and Hollie Smith have crafted an exceptionally enjoyable album. The album introduces itself with ‘Sea of Dreams’; a gentle acoustic number based around a sea of lulling repeating musical motif, and from there, it’s a largely easy -listening–pop-rock affair, but one with subtle hints injected into each track that reminisces on the respective singers’ previous works. So, for example ‘Walk Away’ is more imbued with the soul and subtle roots that characterize Hollie Smith whereas ‘Honest Mistake’ is a more straightforward pop-rock track, eliciting memories of Stellar. The only really disappointing moment in the album comes near the end. ‘Like I Love You’ tries to take a delicate, almost esoteric approach but ends up unremarkable and a somewhat deflating listen. Luckily the title track follows up and leaves the album-proper ending on a good note. And this brings us to the bonus tracks; live cuts of AnikaBoh&Hollie featuring three songs previously performed by each other in another guise. These offer more than your basic bonus tracks too, illustrating again not only the consummate song-writing prowess of each lady individually, but how perfectly the three fit together. It provides a fantastic ending to a fantastic record. Paul Comrie-Thomson. April 2013
Combining songwriting talent like this is really a somewhat daunting prospect. It could potentially go pear-shaped for all involved. Thankfully this is not the case. Whoever’s idea it all was, it’s Hollie Smith, Boh Runga and Anika Moa that really make it work with their individual talents, combined years of musical experience and super sweet harmonies and backing vocals. All songs were written collaboratively except for three bonus live tracks at the end that are credited to each (Hollie’s Bathe In The River being written by Don McGlashan). But it’s not just singing and writing songs together. Anika brings her acoustic guitar, Hollie her electric (as well as playing piano and percussion), while Boh does percussion. The other musicians involved are Jol Mulholland (lead guitar, acoustic, keyboards – as well as production duties alongside the trio), Godfrey de Grut (various keys), Tom Broome on drums and percussion, and Chip Matthews on bass. There’s a mix of musical styles, from the semi-acoustic opener Sea Of Dreams, through ska track Why Don’t We, to the moody trip hop-paced Lost, Boh’s restless Over And Over, to the strong title track that closes the main part of the album. Recording was done at The Lab late in 2012, with the live tracks recorded in October 2012 at the Holy Trinity Cathedral. There is a lot of songwriting talent on show here, but really the main treat is the voices. The way they work together, the sweetness of each individually and the Amy Winehouse-power of Hollie’s vocals – though she’s mostly restrained for this collaboration. Ania Glowacz. Feb/March 2013
The Dominion Post
AnikaBoh&Hollie – Peace of Mind (Sony Music) ✪✪✪✪
The fact that Anika Moa, Boh Runga and Hollie Smith are popular solo doesn’t mean getting them to write and perform together adds up to three times the creativity or impact. For every successful ‘‘supergroup’’, history is littered with failed experiments. I came to this album not expecting much,except that it would be professional and well produced. But I’m more than simply surprised by Peace of Mind. I’m impressed. What Moa, Runga and Smith have done is something I thought impossible – the three are more than the sum of their parts. They split lead vocal duties throughout the dozen tracks, and the songs reflect their preferences, so when Moa, it leans to indie folkie, Boh to rock, Smith to gospel, soul and blues. This is coupled with a largely strong set of songs, including Honest Mistake, the ethereal Sea of Dreams, Come Hell or High Water – with vocals that would do Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser proud, and the richly layered and psychedelic- tinged title track. Tom Cardy 18/02/13
New Zealand Womans Weekly
FOUR & A HALF STARS. Three of New Zealand’s finest female artists (Anika Moa, Boh Runga and Hollie Smith) were magic together on their sell- out Church Tour last year, and the delightful trio’s music lives on in their studio collaboration. Their unique styles and voices create a beautiful fusion of sounds. For example, the sweet and surprising track Sea of Dreams has an Anika-like beat combined with Boh’s etherial vocals. When not taking centre stage, Hollie’s vocalsare a perfect accompaniment. Beautiful listening.
Kiwi pop darlings present a magical merging of talents on Peace of Mind. “More than the sum of their parts” is not a tired cliché in the case of Peace of Mind, the new collaboration between Anika Moa, Boh Runga and Hollie Smith. The album happened in a typical Kiwi style: a few wines, a few laughs and then ‘Hey, let’s writes some songs!’ The result? Twelve guitar-driven pop songs full of mesmerising, swirling harmonies, equally influenced by all three women. Some sound distinctly like they belong to one of the trio. The title track, “Lost” and “Don’t Really Care” sound like Anika’s songs, whereas “Honest Mistake” belongs to Boh. Elsewhere, these iconic voices unite seamlessly. My favourites are “Over and Over” and the album closer, “Come Hell or High Water.” Read more here
They gave themselves a deadline of a week or so to see if they could write some songs together. Because although Anika Moa, Boh Runga and Hollie Smith are good friends and among New Zealand’s best songwriters, they are very different musicians with three distinct voices. Read more here
“Doing what I love everyday is an amazing feeling, now I get to tour with two other brilliant, beautiful and amazing singer-songwriters too.
“I’ve looked up to Boh since I first became a muso and I’ve known Hollie a long time and sometimes wish I could have her voice as mine. This is going to be so fun ‘cos were all so zany.” Read more here
“It’s not often you get to see three striking women lined up on stage together with their guitars slung low. It’s even more rare to find three women with such individually powerful voices singing together in concert.
But when Anika Moa, Boh Runga, and Hollie Smith launched into a beautiful acoustic version of Moa’s song Running Through The Fire, at the start of their show at the Holy Trinity Cathedral last night, it was clear that despite their talents as solo artists, they’re just as strong singing in harmony, the cathedral reverberating beautifully with their voices.” << Read the full review here…
The excellent instrumental accompaniment was predominantly guitar – Anika with her characteristically energetic rhythm backing, and Boh and Hollie swapping between lead and bass guitars.Added to the mix were accomplished drummer Tom Broome (Status, Kronikal) and keyboardist Godfrey de Grut (The New Loungehead).All Saints proved an ideal venue for the concert, with mood lighting creating an appealing neo-gothic effect.The sound, whilst not strictly acoustic, was very well reinforced and mixed, providing the perfect level for the style of music.”
“MAGIC! Sheer bloody magic! ……”