Here’s Day 15 of the 31 days of May New Zealand Music month Bandcamp challenge.

The Shrugs are from Hamilton. Guitar, bass, drums, and a voice. It’s a voice that sings in a New Zealand accent, and the stories are often the stuff of everyday small town New Zealand. I know Hamilton is, technically speaking, a Big City. But whenever I’ve been there it has a small town feel. Just on a very large scale.

I saw The Shrugs play down in Dunedin at Chick’s Hotel (which is just outside Dunedin itself) a few years ago. They were fun and they were funny. Their kind of self-deprecating humour worked around the minimalist garage pop they make. The songs also have some elements of classic melodic power pop, but on the economy setting. Full of clever hooks but never overblown. ‘Skinny Arms’ is a perfect example. Seeing the girl of your dreams walking down the road with a knuckle-dragger boyfriend and thinking ‘But what can I do to make it all right?/ I’ve got two skinny arms to hold you tight.’