5 Songs, 14 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It may seem incongruous that Drax Project make great pop music, given the quartet's early days studying jazz at college in their native New Zealand. But all the same, Noon has a party vibe to fit any setting—from twilight warm-up to peak-hour motivator to late-night/early-morning cooldown. Credit the band's intuitive rapport, strengthened from days busking on the streets of Wellington. Ben O’Leary’s snake-charmer guitar combines with hooky vocal melodies (“Prefer,” “Only Us”) for a winning dance-floor combination that's like Ed Sheeran at his most caffeinated. DP’s mini stories keep the mind engaged as well: “Woke Up Late” is an amusing day-in-the-life tale of a nocturnal clubber, while “Toto” invokes the Wizard of Oz sidekick as a metaphor for staying open to adventure.

EDITORS’ NOTES

It may seem incongruous that Drax Project make great pop music, given the quartet's early days studying jazz at college in their native New Zealand. But all the same, Noon has a party vibe to fit any setting—from twilight warm-up to peak-hour motivator to late-night/early-morning cooldown. Credit the band's intuitive rapport, strengthened from days busking on the streets of Wellington. Ben O’Leary’s snake-charmer guitar combines with hooky vocal melodies (“Prefer,” “Only Us”) for a winning dance-floor combination that's like Ed Sheeran at his most caffeinated. DP’s mini stories keep the mind engaged as well: “Woke Up Late” is an amusing day-in-the-life tale of a nocturnal clubber, while “Toto” invokes the Wizard of Oz sidekick as a metaphor for staying open to adventure.

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About Drax Project

A soulful four-piece, New Zealand's Drax Project makes hooky pop influenced by jazz, electronic drum'n'bass, and R&B. Former university jazz students, they transitioned from a busking covers band into a full-fledged pop outfit, issuing a series of well-received EPs. In 2017, Drax Project broke through to a wider audience with their hit single "Woke Up Late."

Named after a portmanteau of sax and drum, Drax Project was formed in 2013 by Massey University jazz students saxophonist/singer Shaan Sing and drummer Matt Beachen. Playing a mix of pop cover songs, the duo started out by busking at local bars and various locations around Courtenay Place in Wellington. They quickly added fellow Massey classmate bassist Sam Thomson and Whitireia New Zealand guitarist Ben O'Leary, and transitioned to playing original music that combined their love of dance-pop, jazz, hip-hop, and R&B. In 2014, they released an eponymous debut EP and embarked on a series of high-profile festival dates. Two years later, they delivered a second EP, T/W/OO, produced by former Shapeshifter member Devin Abrams. Included on the EP was the single "Cold," which hit number one on Spotify's viral chart and gained airplay across New Zealand. Their profile expanded even more after they nabbed several opening slots for Lorde and Ed Sheeran. A third EP, Noon, arrived in 2017 and featured the single "Woke Up Late," which peaked at number one in New Zealand and achieved platinum status.

ORIGIN
Wellington, New Zealand
GENRE
Pop
FORMED
2013

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