Voodoo Bloo casts a compelling spell with an intimate live acoustic version of Her Name Was Human — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.
A pointed, potently personal retooling of the debut single from New Zealand singer-songwriter Rory McDonald’s debut album Jacobus, the burning ballad chronicles an addictive, destructive relationship through darkly poetic lyrics and the plaintive intensity of McDonald’s powerful, resounding vocals.
“The track has a lot to do with broken relationships,” explains McDonald, “and the idea of Stockholm Syndrome, which I felt that some of my close mates were experiencing to some degree at the time of writing the lyrics. You know something’s bad for you, but you keep going back for more, in hopes something better comes of it.”
Originally from Sheffield but now based in Wellington, Voodoo Bloo’s sound is influenced by acts such as Arctic Monkeys and System of a Down, as well as singer-songwriters such as Car Seat Headrest and Neutral Milk Hotel. This combination brings a great blend of emotional and conceptual songwriting, bolstered by a catchy, frequently danceable distorted mess. Before Voodoo Bloo, McDonald was the frontman of Lucifer Gunne, who gained a large fan base from touring behind a series of singles and EPs. He started the new band so he could have the creative freedom to create Jacobus, a conceptual and very personal record that was released in December.
“Last July, a close friend of mine for many years, took his own life while I was away overseas,” he reveals. “This was obviously a massive shock to myself and the people around me, but being isolated from my friends while in a different country led me to writing a lot of lyrics during one of the strangest and scariest points in my life. The writing of Jacobus was a very cathartic process at a time when I didn’t have many people around me to talk to.” New Zealand currently has one of the highest teen suicide rates in the world. Recently the band played multiple charity shows for Lifeline Aotearoa (an organisation focused on suicide prevention and mental health treatment).
On the acoustic version, Rory says : “I honestly think that the acoustic version of Human gives the songs a lot more breathing space, not that I don’t think there’s something great about the chaotic energy of the full studio version we recorded, but this is as authentic as it’s gonna get. Human was written on this guitar, and sung with this voice, and considering that’s all this is, it feels very authentic, maybe the textures aren’t there, but this is HNWH at its roots.
Rory hopes to bring his music to other shores as soon as it is safe. He says “It’s such a crazy situation the band is currently in comparatively to the rest of the world, but I can’t wait to see it, touring outside the country has always been something on my bucket list, and even if I can see a little bit of it sometime soon, to play for a completely different crowd in a whole new place would be so surreal”
Her Name Was Human is out now via PlasticGroove Records. The track has been worked on by Gregory Haver (Manic Street Preachers, Super Furry Animals, Bullet for My Valentine) as mix production adviser. Check out Her Name Was Human (Live Acoustic) up top, watch the video for the studio version above, get the single HERE, listen to Jacobus in full below, and connect with Voodoo Bloo on their website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.