Nostalgia, banjo, and pop-punk lead to mental health fundraiser
WARWICK SMITH / Stuff
Fi Carr brought together a group of musicians to create Elemeno Papaioea, an Elemeno P cover EP, as a fundraiser for the Mental Health Foundation.
A group of musicians have transformed some of New Zealand’s most iconic pop-punk songs into a banjo-led indie song collection to remember lost friends, foster togetherness and raise funds for mental health services.
Elemeno Papaioea is an EP of classic Elemeno P songs from the band’s debut album, recorded and reimagined by musicians from Palmerston North and Wellington as independent covers.
The project formed after Fi Carr (Soda Boyz, Asbestos Man, PomPom, Sects in the City) and a friend were talking about their first albums.
The beginnings of Elemeno P Love and disrespect, who reached number one in New Zealand in 2003, was Carr’s first.
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Carr was given a banjo around the same time as this conversation, which they quickly became obsessed with and decided to practice by creating Elemeno P blankets led by a banjo.
The idea for the EP and the fundraiser that followed quickly formed, with Carr wanting to do something common ahead of the Christmas season.
“Not everyone has a good time at Christmas and sometimes you have to forge your own whānau. “
Carr and many others involved in the project have suffered a great deal of loss over the past few years which has always been felt around Christmas.
Most of the EP was recorded in Carr’s apartment over three days.
Some people recorded vocals at the apartment, but others sent recorded parts elsewhere, using Carr’s demos as points of reference.
The main single of the EP, a cover of Urban getaway, started out sounding more like the classic Th ‘Dudes Happiness, with 10 people in a room on Christmas Eve singing, Carr said.
But the song changed after Xanthe (Recitals, Mystery Waitress) sent in a melancholy vocal take that ended up becoming the main part.
Carr also got help from an independent label Papaiti Archives to release the EP.
The clip of Urban getaway was another group effort, with friends posting videos that they turned to each other spending time together.
Carr hoped Elemeno P liked the covers, especially since they were releasing a special edition of Love and disrespect with country, big band and hip-hop versions of some of their greatest hits.
All profits from Elemeno Papaioea are donated to the Mental Health Foundation.
Carr matches every donation – “I didn’t buy any Christmas presents this year” – the $ 200 pledged by Tuesday being topped up to $ 400.
People can buy the EP on a pay what you want basis from elemenopapaioea.bandcamp.com, or wait for it to be uploaded to Spotify in the coming weeks.