Entertainment | Music

L.A.B on new album, reo journey and upcoming tour

New Zealand super group L.A.B, have unveiled their latest album, titled L.A.B VI.

The band issued its first five albums over five years but this one has taken longer - two years.

Keyboardist Miharo Gregory says this album incorporates roots reggae, folk, ballads and techno.

Band members are proud of their eclectic mix of songs. Recorded in collaboration with the frequent partner Lee Prebble at Wellington’s Surgery Studios, the album’s creation unfolded amid a demanding touring schedule that featured sold-out performances across New Zealand, Australia, the US, the UK, and Europe over the past two years.

During breaks between tours, the band established a creative hub at Surgery Studios, dedicating days and nights to writing and recording.

Vocalist Stuart Kora hints at the possibility of a reo Māori waiata soon and says he has been taking reo classes with his wife as a way to contribute to the language’s vitality and strength.

“It’s the best way to tackle the government to keep te reo going and to keep it strong,” he says.

Lead singer Joel Shadbolt reflects on his recent experience of learning the te reo Māori version of the national anthem.

“It was quite nerve wracking actually to learn the te reo Māori version but I had great guidance with that and I was super stoked with that.”

The album’s launch precedes a series of special festival performances, including appearances at Electric Avenue in Christchurch, Homegrown in Wellington and a return to the iconic Byron Bay Bluesfest in Australia.

Additionally, the band is to perform in Hawaii for two special shows alongside the acclaimed reggae/pop act Iration, followed by a series of shows in the US, concluding with a return to the California Roots Festival.