"Some artists explode with a bang. Others diligently build an oeuvre of work to smaller-scale fanfare, their audience clamouring to lay hands on every new release. Mali Mali is one of the latter, their 2020 album I Was Told to Keep an Eye Out (the fourth in just seven years) releasing a stream of sophisticated pop storytelling into the world with both urgency and deceptive ease.
A community support worker by day, Mali Mali (real name Ben Tolich) has dedicated his spare hours over the past seven or so years to building collections of concise, meditative chamber-pop. Debut album Gather 'round the Gooseclock (2013) caught the attention of many and 2016’s follow-up As a Dog Dreams earned accolades the country over. In 2018 Mali Mali returned with Azimuth, replete with metaphysical abstractions wrapped up in succinct chamber-pop. ‘Azimuth is melodic and poetic, yet also grainy and mysterious’, said Nick Bollinger in an RNZ review. ‘While it’s playing you think of nothing else, nowhere you’d rather be’, raved Off the Tracks.
As well as releasing "I Was Told to Keep an Eye Out" in 2020 (which Graeme Hill called his album of the year) He also wrote and recorded an EP centered around cascading piano songs called "Kill and Throw" and supported Finn Andrews of "The Veils" at the Hollywood Cinema. With a new album and EP under his belt Mali Mali is eager to bring these songs to a live audience in 2021.
Mali Mali will be supported by performance poet Laban Cole