Olatia - Te Vaka
Warm Earth Records
Through several strong CD and DVD offerings, Te Vaka have come to represent the new sound of Pacifica. Spreading from the atolls of Tokelau throughout the South Pacific and on to the rest of the world the band has had time to gel a sound that's characterized by sugar cane-sweet harmonies and punctuated by tribal fits of broiling percussion on the pate (the log drum, not the chopped liver). On their latest album, Olatia, Te Vaka has come closer than ever to perfecting their recorded presentation. Not that the material is so much stronger than on previous outings, but the balance between the beautiful conscious ballads (often focused on environmental issues) and the log drum instrumentals is strangely reminiscent of the way the tunes on Celtic albums are often arranged. Call it a formula if you will, but it works exceedingly well for the band. Singer/composer Opetaia Foa'i continues to grow into a confident and poetic voice for the preservation of the islands of paradise in the wake of the new global environmental reality. Working from such a resonant perspective, Te Vaka is destined to win the hearts and loyalty of global music fans around the planet.
Key Tracks: Lelei Ilo Tenei (Better Than This), Te Kupu (The Word)