A Chat w/ Frontman of New Zealand Indie Rockers Marlin’s Dreaming

With its jangle-pop vibes and surfy undertones, Marlin’s Dreaming’s new album Quotidian gently washes over you with a salty wave of ease.

Released April 24, Quotidian’s fuzzy electric guitar and echoing melodies paired with frontman Semisi Maiai’s bold yet comforting vocals instantly puts you in a good headspace. Quarantine may have physically separated Marlin’s Dreaming from themselves and their fans, but it hasn’t stopped them from cultivating their creative abilities and encouraging their listeners to do the same.

“Get up really early and drink heaps of coffee and go outside and then go inside and do heaps of fun stuff inside, creative stuff if you can, then go back outside for ages and then go back inside and have some beers and cook dinner,” Maiai tells BTRtoday about his key to staying sane. “I think that’s a good routine.”

Marlin’s Dreaming, “Sink Or Swim”

Marlin’s Dreaming’s previous releases convey more of an ‘80s post-punk inspiration, while the new album tends to slow things down and show a more sensitive side to the group. With each track unfolding dreamier than the next, the band’s name becomes more clear. The jangly pop cloud produced by tracks like “Sink Or Swim” or “Moth Eyes’” creates imagery that’s wildly different, but never leads you into a nightmare.

“It’s quite different, different than what people are used to if they’ve listened to Marlin’s Dreaming [before],” Maiai says about the new album. “The songwriting has matured a bit [too] and I care more about structure.”

Maiai’s father influenced the musician at an early age and had Maiai listening to ‘80s/’90s punk and local music from hometown label Flying Nun Records. These influences are heavily prevalent in their sound and vibe, but with a fresh contemporary take that keeps them from being any one specific genre.

Though quarantine has kept the group apart, Maiai says they’re still in the midst of editing new music and haven’t slowed down on that front one bit. He waits excitedly for the days they can get back on the stage.

“Recently, [before quarantine] we’ve been putting some work into a projector or light show,” Maiai says about their live shows. “But normally we’ll just jump on [stage] for about an hour and a half and have a bit of a jam—we kind of plan for a setlist but we usually end up just doing interpretive stuff between songs and have a chat with the crowd and make them feel at home.”

Listen to the entire interview with Marlin’s Dreaming Semisi Maiai and their new album Quotidian on this week’s episode of The Music Meetup.