Bic Runga is probably the greatest musical export ever from New Zealand. Why her music never really caught on beyond her native country still perplexes me. 3 years after 'Birds', she finally returns with a new compilation. 'Try To Remember Everything' comprises b-sides, rarities, live cuts and previously unreleased materials. The album's actually quite good, in comparison with others of this ilk. One of the many highlights is 'A Day Like Today', a b-side from my favorite Bic era 'Beautiful Collision'. It's a wonderful feel-good song with not a single note gone to waste. Bic's cute way of enunciating certain words is also on display here. Listen closely. I misheard 'carried' as 'carefree', and 'a message' as 'Mrs. Jones' all the time. 'Strangers Again', a new recording of a song by Kiwi band Sneaky Feelings, is closer to the style of her third album, 'Birds'. There's also an orchestral take on the jazz standard 'Autumn Leaves', and two pristine live versions of 'Drive' and 'Sway'. I swear I had like 4 different live versions of 'Sway' and I love them all. Here I offer you a rare acoustic performance from the Irish charity compilation 'Even Better Than The Real Thing' instead. If you're not familiar with her, then make 'Sway' your starting point. I still remember clearly the first time I saw the music video for 'Sway' on VH1. So captivated was I that I rushed to my dial-up connection to find out more about this amazing woman. That video was an alternate version that's not on Youtube, the one with her walking down the snowy streets, bumping into eerie twins. I'd love to watch that one again. Aah, good times...
You don't know how hard it is to find an old pic of hers with decent quality. I ended up choosing the one above, a very young Bic from the late '90s, she's lovely isn't she?
If you're already a fan, then this is a nice collector's item to tide you over, if you're not, seriously, start digging.
I know she's quite busy raising her child these days, but let's hope new materials will be put out soon. In the meantime, enjoy.
Bic Runga - A Day Like Today
Bic Runga - Strangers Again (Sneaky Feelings Cover)
Bic Runga - Drive (Live)
Bic Runga - Sway (Live)
(from Even Better Than The The Real Thing Vol. 2, 2004)
Try to buy the album here.
Visit her MySpace.