Colette Rivers

  • When: 11th Apr 4:40pm
  • Where: Songwriters Stage
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Songwriters Stage // 4:40 – 5:20pm

An indie-folk artist, New Zealand-American songwriter Colette Rivers brings together an eclectic mix of guitars, drums, and folk instruments to create music that is both uplifting and melancholic.

Rivers’ voice shivers with the raw expressiveness of greats like Bruce Springsteen or Gillian Welch and a sharp edge that evokes the likeness of Liz Phair or Aimee Mann.

Inspired by nature in its many forms, her debut album, ‘Memory Lake,’ is aptly named after the great Lake Taupō where she lived after moving with her family from Washington state at age 11. It was written and recorded/ produced in Rivers’ home studio in the Wairarapa, NZ, just outside of the capital, Wellington. 

Having lived outside New Zealand, in the USA and United Kingdom, Rivers says coming ‘home’ is a grounding experience. “sitting, looking at the lake (Taupō), breathing in the damp kiwi bush and eucalyptus trees, there is something intangible, filled with memories. I need to be near water.” 

There is an undeniable sense of strong melodic hook-writing. The honesty, poeticism and depth of Rivers’ lyrics reflect a fearlessness in revisiting the past, feeling the moments of the right now, considering life, death and the beauty, pain and reality of it.

"Colette Rivers has taken folk music and given it a good shake."

Lynn Freeman, Radio NZ.

"Colette's ability to grow a song and build the song keeps you gripped throughout and is one for a nice summer evening in the late evening sun."

Dave, The Unsigned Reviewer