These highly-rated new albums could be the soundtrack to your summer

Whether you want to add some vibes to a sunny BBQ, set the mood for a relaxing summer’s day or get hyped up with some disco beats, we recommend perusing this line-up of recently released albums. The likes of Kylie Minogue, Bruce Springsteen and more will see you in good stead to groove on through the summer months.

Kylie MinogueDISCO
The 15th studio album from the queen of disco couldn’t have come at a better time. Just when we’re ready to throw on our glad rags and shake off the year that was, Kylie Minogue is here to ensure that we have the perfect soundtrack. Disco is brimming with bright, poppy tunes and is set to be the ultimate party album for the season ahead.
Song to start with: ‘Say Something’

Future IslandsAs Long As You Are
Honest and heart-wrenching, the latest album from Indie-Synth group Future Islands is an euphoric ode to the realities of being human. From mellow, melodic beats to rousing, optimistic notes, the record is ultimately joyful, and will help us all end a tough year on a high note. 
Song to start with: ‘For Sure’

Bruce SpringsteenLetter to You
Recorded in just five days, live in studio with the E Street Band, Springsteen’s new album sees the iconic artist taking stock of what is important in his life. Shedding the various personalities he adopted in previous records, his latest musical outing feels deeply personal — The Boss making peace with his past. 
Song to start with: ‘Ghosts’

SAULTUntitled (Rise)
This might be the fourth album in sixteen months for British R&B/Electronic duo, SAULT, but if you thought they were scraping the bottom of the barrel, you’d be wrong. Genre-bending and soulful, this record reflects the artists’ vast wellspring of musical inspiration, combined in a way that feels effortless on the ear.
Song to start with: ‘Free’

Matt BerningerSerpentine Prison
Making his solo debut, The National’s Matt Berninger has released a thoughtful, exquisitely realised album that offers a true portrait of the artist himself — one of the 21st Century’s most recognisable and influential voices in rock. 
Song to start with: ‘Oh Dearie’

Nubya GarciaSource 
Talented tenor saxophonist, Nubya Garcia has produced an energetic jazz album that flows through nuanced musical layers, articulated by the wonderfully expressive notes of the instrument she plays so well. A refreshing and engaging listen.
Song to start with:  ‘Stand With Each Other’ [Feat. Ms MAURICE, Cassie Kinoshi, & Richie Seivwright] 

Kacy & Clayton and Marlon WilliamsPlastic Bouquet
This cross-continental collaborative album from acclaimed Canadian folk duo Kacy & Clayton and one of New Zealand’s greatest musical talents, Marlon Williams, soars with luminous harmonies and a beautifully melodic sound that spans Williams’ Pacific style of country music and North American folk.

Jay ElectronicaAct II The Patents of Nobility (The Turn)
Known by fans as the ‘lost’ album, Jay Electronica’s new release was so delayed that it had achieved almost-mythical status. Leaked by fans online in an incomplete form, this album has been widely deemed an instant hip hop classic and is essential listening for any fans
of the genre.
Song to start with: ‘Real Magic’

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Channel the effortless cool of Slim Aarons-era dressing with these easy wardrobe additions

Capturing beautiful bourgeoisie holidaymakers in the 70s, Slim Aarons’ iconic photographs evoke an almost-unattainable ‘cool.’ While you may not be able to travel there, taking your style cues from the shores of the Caribbean or the French Riviera will at least have you looking the part.

Left to right: Canarvon cap from Rodd & Gunn, Moscot Lazer Sun Matte sunglasses from Parker and Co, James Perse Revised Sueded polo from Workshop, Common Projects Original Achilles sneaker from Workshop, Elle + Riley Spencer Cashmere sweater.

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Lauren Hutton

Take a cue from 70s style with timeless jewellery to cherish forever

The collision of the hippy and disco movements created a potent breeding ground for jewellery that combined chain motifs with glamorous details. From Elsa Peretti’s iconic Bone Cuff to timeless timepieces, these 70s-inspired jewellery pieces are sure to be cherished forever.

Left to right: Breguet Rein de Naples watch from Partridge Jewellers, Ballon Bleu De Cartier watch from Partridge Jewellers, Bulgari Serpenti Seduttori Ladies watch from Partridge Jewellers

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Vege Bang Bang

These are all the enticing food trucks you should be chasing this summer

Many of the best eateries in town started life as a food truck, and we’ve got to say they’re often one of the best parts of any weekend market, music festival or cultural event. Here, we’ve collated some of the best food trucks in town to keep an eye on, from ramen to dumplings, ice cream to gluten-free fare.

Vege Bang Bang
An Auckland-based vegan food truck, Vege Bang Bang proves plant-based fare can be anything but boring.

Cinta Caravan

Cinta Caravan
Real fruit ice cream is the essence of summer, and Cinta Caravan’s are some of the best. Choose from a vanilla, yoghurt or vegan coconut base, and add various berries, mango and banana. 

Miso Ra

Miso Ra
Popping up all over Auckland, chef Taku Hida brings his premium quality Tokyo Street Ramen to the people, and it never disappoints.

Left: Noodlechick. Right: Grown up Donuts

Noodlechick
Can’t eat gluten? No problem, when it comes to Noodlechick, Auckland’s first Coeliac Dining Out Programme-certified food truck. Offering gluten-free, plant powered bites, Noodlechick can be found serving up an Asian-fusion menu of handmade, coeliac-friendly noodles and dumplings.

Grown up Donuts
With permanent digs in Henderson and Wairau Valley, these indulgent donuts also appear regularly at markets around Auckland. You’re going to want to follow their social media to find out where, as these are unmissable.

Left: Wood Spirit. Right: Akemi’s Gyoza

Wood Spirit
Serving artisan Turkish flatbread (pide) from scratch, make sure to catch the goods from this “mobile wood-fired concept” next time it pops up at a market.

Akemi’s Gyoza
Akemi Obata is a gyoza aficionado, having grown up eating her grandmother’s handmade dumplings in Japan. We recommend seeking out Akemi’s Gyoza every Sunday at Clevedon Farmers Market.

Che Lucio BBQ

Che Lucio BBQ
For Argentinian BBQ that can come to you, look no further than Che Lucio. Catering all manner of events, this truck is ideal for lovers of expertly cooked meat.

The Rolling Pin

The Rolling Pin
Specialising in scrumptious handmade dumplings, whenever we see this food truck at an event, we can’t resist. 

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Get your culture fix with the most captivating best-selling books from the year that was

With the calibre of new books being released, there’s no better time to lose yourself in the pages of a great tome. These are our top picks of 2020’s best-sellers.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett 
Debuting at number one on the New York Times Bestseller list, this exquisite novel follows two identical, light-skinned Black sisters, and the disparate roads that lead them to ultimately live very different lives. An engrossing, compassionate and provocative story about family and relationships, the book is set to be made into a limited series for HBO.

Anxious People by Frederik Backman
When a failed bank robber decides to take the attendees of an apartment open-home hostage, eight anxious strangers are forced to discover that they’re a lot more similar than they would have ever thought. A charming, wise and humorous look at friendship, forgiveness and hope. 

The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante
Recently picked up by Netflix, this page-turner paints a powerful picture of its protagonist, a young woman moving through childhood, adolescence and adulthood, all the time trying to separate herself from her lineage, on a path to discovering who she truly is.

The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult returns to our reading rotation with a shiny new novel. Centred around Dawn Edelstein who survives a plane crash during which her mind is flooded with memories of a man she saw 15 years ago (instead of her husband), this fascinating book explores second chances and will leave you with a fresh perspective.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
In Matt Haig’s fictional world, there is a library that exists between life and death. It is the place in which his touching story’s protagonist is able to redo her life; and live it in a way that doesn’t leave her with regrets. But her choices have serious repercussions, and soon, everything is at stake.

Trio by William Boyd
From acclaimed writer, William Boyd, comes a tale of comedy, tragedy and redemption. It is the summer of 1968, and a producer, a novelist and an actress are in the midst of making a ‘Swingin Sixties’ film in Brighton. Between their secret lives, hidden agendas, and the threat of their private lives spilling over into their public ones, the show must go on — but to what end?

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
Bravely and intelligently exploring an abusive relationship between Vanessa (a bright, promising high-school student) and her manipulative teacher, Kate Elizabeth Russell’s new novel is controversial and painful as the protagonist, armed with hindsight, looks back on what she thought had been her first love.

Love by Roddy Doyle
From an award-winning Irish author comes the story of two old friends who reconnect in Dublin for a night of reminiscing and storytelling. Through his thoughtful and gently comedic writing, Roddy Doyle speaks to the many different forms that love can take in all of our lives.  

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In search of the trip of a lifetime? This flight will take you to see the Southern Lights up close

Viva Expeditions has teamed up with Air New Zealand and the Otago Museum to offer the opportunity of a lifetime — a chance to experience the Southern Lights up close.

On the 20th of March, join astrophysicist Dr Ian Griffin and a team of expert astronomers on an exclusive Air New Zealand Dreamliner flight that will leave from Christchurch and travel across the Southern Ocean towards Antarctica, where the Aurora Australis shines the brightest.

Over the course of the 10 hour, non-stop round-trip (eventually ending up back in Christchurch) passengers will be treated to an unprecedented view of this incredible, natural phenomenon as well as views of various constellations and planets, with the astronomers giving guidance on what to look out for, and an on-board photographer helping to ensure everyone is able to get some truly stellar shots.

With tickets already in high demand, bookings are essential.

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Meet Hercules Noble, the culinary up-and-comer reimagining the landscape of private cheffing

Is being good at cooking an inherent, or a learned skill? I had assumed it was the latter. But when I put the question to Hercules Noble, a culinary wunderkind whose star is on the rise, his answer is characteristically balanced. “You do need courage and you definitely need to be a bit bold, but cooking is mostly instinctive,” he tells me, before offering a caveat, “that doesn’t mean you have to be naturally gifted, it just means that you have to have had enough experience.” 

Experience, it seems, comprises most of Noble’s culinary education. He grew up in an open-minded, creative home with parents encouraging him to pursue something that he loved. His mum even helped him get his first job in the kitchens of Little & Friday. After deciding against a traditional university degree, Noble sought work on a vineyard in Bandol, in the South of France — the same vineyard, in fact, that his father had worked on when he was of a similar age. At the Châteaux de Pibarnon, Noble learned as much about food as he did wine, spending his mornings sorting through grapes and his afternoons at the local markets, sourcing ingredients for dinner, which he would cook for the whole domaine.

“We had access to the incredible produce of the Mediterranean,” he explains, “but we also had food coming in from places like North Africa.” He pauses, “have you ever had a fresh date? Not the dry ones we get here, but a truly fresh one? They’re incredible.” Noble (and his food) made such a good first impression that he was invited back to the Châteaux the next summer, and the summer after that, hosting pop-up restaurants and parties that helped him to refine (without knowing it at the time) the socially-focused, open style of cooking he would eventually offer his clients as a private chef. 

Noble’s ability to grab opportunities and learn as much as he can from the people who subsequently fall into his orbit, has served him well. For example, when a family friend in New York was diagnosed with cancer, the young chef offered to fly over and manage the strict diet his friend’s illness demanded. “Having to research, track and weigh everything I was cooking, I learned a hell of a lot,” he tells me, “like the fact that cruciferous vegetables should always be chopped 45 minutes before cooking, because it allows an enzyme they contain to multiply, upping their nutritional density.” 

Last year, Noble was invited to spend lockdown as the private chef for a large household in Coatesville, where he was given a carte blanche to cook breakfast lunch and dinner for around 15 people everyday. “I have a habit of not thinking about things and just sort of jumping into them,” he tells me, “but it was so much fun, I really thrive off that sort of thing.”

Noble’s ability to think on his feet in a creative way is the backbone of his prowess in the kitchen. And the fact that he is where he is without any formal training is quite astounding. “Lots of YouTube,” he divulges, laughing, when I ask about where he turns for guidance. “And, honestly, Jamie Oliver,” he continues, “he gets a bad rap sometimes because he does accessible, simple food, but I’ll often go back to his recipes when I need some inspiration.” 

In fact, simplicity seems to be one of Noble’s guiding principles. He creates hyper-seasonal food that is pared-back, wholesome and infused with unexpected elements, dreaming up original flavours that aren’t tied to any specific ‘cuisine.’ His oeuvre is defined by the combination of his versatility and a natural tendency for balance. A menu by Noble might include dishes like roast peppers with capers and white anchovies, mozzarella with marinated apple, guava and macadamia and plum and rosemary tart. When he caters a pop-up restaurant or a party (as he sometimes does at establishments like Ponsonby wine bar, Annabel’s), he might cook spiced chicken and mushroom tacos with date and garlic aioli or snapper ceviche with burnt orange and burnt baby capsicum on an open grill. 

Despite having worked around the world, Noble tells me his favourite kitchen is still the one on his family’s land, Brodie’s Creek on the Karikari Peninsula. Up there, the oven is wood-fired, the stove-top is al fresco, the ingredients are grown on the land and the living quarters — like Noble’s self-made shipping container bedroom — are stripped-back and refreshingly unpretentious. “Being at Brodie’s and having my own garden is what inspires me,” he says. “It’s easy to say ‘seasonal ingredients’, but when I actually have those things growing in front of me, and I’m standing in the sun in this beautiful environment with an open fire to cook on, and friends and family to cook for, that’s what I love.” 

Noble’s affinity with the land up north inspired him to start working towards using only ingredients grown and sourced in New Zealand. He recently started making sourdough which has found a keen audience on Instagram for its unique iterations like olive-rosemary and orange-dark chocolate. He has also started using fresh-from-the-farm dairy to create flavoured butters that will accompany the bread. “I think Covid-19 has been a bit of a warning,” Noble says, “it’s given us an opportunity to knuckle down and support local a lot more.”  

Noble’s love for food is amplified by the freedom he has around it. Freedom to be creative, considered and challenged. To offer dining experiences that are tailored specifically to the individual and to change his modus operandi when he feels like it. Success, for this chef, doesn’t mean scaling-up or creating products for the masses. Instead, it’s about keeping things personal. “I like to listen to what someone wants and respond with original ideas. Experimentation is where the creativity comes in,” Noble explains, “which, I think, sets me apart, and allows me to feel connected to the people I cook for.”

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Once upon a time… in the Valley

Take a moment to tune into these new and noteworthy podcasts

The long days of summer serve up the perfect opportunity for losing yourself in a good book, listening to an enthralling podcast or finally starting one of the TV series you’ve been putting off. Here is our guide to the new podcasts that are worthy of your time.

Once upon a time… in the Valley
A podcast created by Peabody-nominated C13Originals and Vanity Fair’s Lili Anolik, Once Upon a Time… In the Valley delves into the scandalous story of Traci Lords (or, as the F.B.I later discovered, Nora Kuzma), an icon of the hedonistic 1980s and the original pornstar (she started in the industry at only 15 years old). Psychologically thrilling, this series goes back to the decade of excess to uncover the truth of who the real villains and victims were.

From The Oasthouse: The Alan Partridge Podcast
Alan Partridge (a comedy treasure) might be known for his hilariously deadpan characters, but for the first time, the man himself is pulling back the curtain on his own life, offering a hilarious glimpse into his world from the privacy of his home. 

Dope Labs
In this clever crossover of science and pop-culture, best friends and scientists Titi and Zikaya examine current cultural events and phenomena with the precision and uncompromising meticulousness of their profession, serving up scientific principles in a way that everyone can get on board with. 

The Alarmist
Exploring who was to blame for history’s greatest tragedies, this podcast revisits some of the worst. From the Plague to the Titanic to the breakup of The Beatles, writer and comedian Rebecca Delgado Smith addresses who was at fault, in a hilarious but informative way.  

Get Sleepy
Anyone who suffers from insomnia should download this podcast immediately. Offering a selection of sleep meditations combined with calming stories to help you drift into a deep slumber, you can finally put counting sheep to bed. 

Shade The Podcast
Recognising the need for systemic change in the arts and media landscape at large, host Lou Mensah facilitates a number of necessary conversations on art and representation, each episode offering its own, thought-provoking take.  

Bitch Bitch Bitch
Revelling in the deliciously British pastime of complaining (particularly about one’s job), Matt Lucas (Little Britain) delves into some of the less than ideal aspects of the jobs we all wish we had. 

Thrilling Tales of Modern Capitalism 
Essential listening for anyone with their own business (or anyone thinking of starting one) this podcast looks at a company in the news, and explores its history in depth, answering the question of how it got to where it is now — whether it’s a success, or failure. 

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Get to know Chloé Julian, the designer behind new local lingerie brand Videris

Videris is the purposeful new local underwear brand founded by leading lingerie designer Chloé Julian, whose impressive credentials include roles as the head designer for Agent Provocateur, Stella McCartney, and Vice President of Design for Savage x Fenty. With a name meaning “you are seen” in Latin, Videris centres on consciously, ethically and sustainably-designed intimates that utilise colour psychology to encourage its wearers to evoke a moment of intent in their day. 

What were the main things you wanted to perfect with Videris? Despite having worked for years as a lingerie designer, I looked in my drawers one day and realised I didn’t have anything I actually wanted to wear. There’s this historical mentality that we need a wire to give us support, but I don’t find it comfortable. So, it was important to create a product that people felt did give them similar support to a wire but was actually comfortable, allowing the breasts to fluctuate throughout their cycle and the day.

Tell us about the colour psychology aspect? It started with a friend telling me to wear purple to tap into my instincts when I was working with a lot of big personalities, and from there I started researching colour as a powerful mental tool. It’s used a lot in marketing, advertising and food, so why not utilise it for good in fashion? Colours are made up of energy and light, and contain differences in wavelengths, and so they can affect your energy and mood. Each Videris colour is intended to help the wearer evoke a different intent or emotion, so they can have a moment checking in with themselves that’s just for them — even if they’re wearing all black on the outside.

What materials are used in the Videris range? Environmental considerations are very important to me, so for this reason I eschewed the use of lace as most lace fabrics are derived from plastic. Each Videris item is exclusively made from Tencel, a breathable, natural fibre made using sustainably-sourced wood pulp. It’s ultra-soft to the touch, making it super comfortable to wear, is long-wearing and more sustainable than cotton. Every part of our process is also OEKO-TEX® certified, which means every piece of material or trim we use is free from potentially harmful substances like toxic dyes, which I think is vital given these pieces sit so close to our skin.

Ethical considerations are also very important to you — how have you incorporated these into the manufacturing process? I’m very proud to be working with our manufacturing partner in Sri Lanka, a company that shares our commitment to ethical and sustainable production processes. Regular check-ins ensure they’re still upholding our standards, which include no night shifts so staff can maintain a good work/life balance, and wider community contributions.

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Left to right: Christian Dior Spring 21, Jacquemus Spring 21, Etro Spring 21, Zimmermann Spring 21

These resort-inspired pieces will have you looking the part for a long, hot summer

Wherever you choose to spend your holidays this year, ensure you’re dressed for the weather with a selection of resort-inspired summer wardrobe essentials.

Coveted


Step into spring with these stylish, easy-to-wear slides

The world’s most desirable luxury activewear brand, Moncler opens its Auckland boutique

The new sleepwear collaboration between Papinelle and Karen Walker is in bloom