Following the release and tour of critically acclaimed fourth album How We Got To Now in 2015, The Broken Heartbreakers retreated to the wings, the core songwriting duo of John Guy Howell and Rachel Bailey stepping out only occasionally over the past few years.
The Broken Heartbreakers are excited to be heading back to play their old haunt, the Wine Cellar for two shows with a five-piece line-up that sees singer/guitarists Howell and Bailey joined by Craig Monk (violin, guitar), Angus McBryde (bass) and Paul McLennan-Kissel (drums) for a journey through the band’s full catalogue and new material.
Now based in Dunedin, The Broken Heartbreakers have been tweaking heartstrings and charming audiences with their rich harmonies and warm instrumentation since 2002.
The Broken Heartbreakers’ song writing core duo of Rachel Bailey and John Guy Howell moved back to John’s hometown of Dunedin in 2013 after an extended period overseas, where the duo lived, performed and recorded in Melbourne, Europe, the UK and Bailey’s birthplace, the Irish Republic.
Howell has a long musical history which started with teenage band The Tin Soldiers, then Alpha Plan, Salon Kingsdore and more recently the instrumental krautrock group Die Musikband. Bailey is one half of the duo The Everly Sisters alongside Flora Knight.
The Broken Heartbreakers’ music mixes the bleak with the beautiful, drawing on deep roots of country, folk and classic pop melody, but with a defiant, subversive twist and just a touch of modern electricity.
The Broken Heartbreakers released a debut EP Everyone’s Waiting ForTheir Darlin’ in 2006, followed by three critically acclaimed albums: their self-titled debut Album (2007), Wintersun (2010) and How We Got to Now in 2015.
Their records have garnered well-deserved praise from New Zealand’s foremost critics, all revelling in the music’s beauty and sonic promise.
Nick Bollinger (The Sampler, National Radio) described their self-titled album as “a gorgeous album…soft but with substance, sonically rich and beautifully performed” while Grant Smithies praised the album in the Sunday Star Times as having “desert-dry wit, and melodies sturdy enough to hang your hat on.”
The Otago Daily Times rated their debut four and a half stars and described it as “an 11 track gem that ticks all the right boxes when it comes to crafting perfectly formed country and folk-pop songs.”
A four-star review in the NZ Herald described Wintersun as “sad, touching and sunny winter music all in one”.
Their last album, How We Got To Now, has received similarly glowing reviews with Nick Bollinger including this in his Top Albums of 2015:
”Acoustic instruments have always been at the heart of The Broken Heartbreakers’ sound and the acoustic playing on How We Got To Nowis classier than ever… through folk-rock, psychedelia and soul, The Broken Heartbreakers’ How We Got To Now is connected by a thread of melancholy; songs in which the personal and the political, the inner and outer worlds, turn out to be inseparable.”