In October 2021, Reb Fountain released IRIS, her sophomore album via Flying Nun Records, to critical acclaim. Martin Aston from MOJO magazine called Reb, “New Zealand’s next alt-folk sensation” and Karl Pushmann, VIVA New Zealand Herald, states, “From the moment you press play, IRIS envelops you.”
Winner of the 2021 Taite Music Prize and the Aotearoa Music Award for Best Country Music Album and APRA Best Song in 2018, songwriter Reb Fountain is a consummate recording artist and performer: stunning audiences with her music and artistry alike. A perfect extension of her 2020 self-titled album, IRIS elevates Reb Fountain’s music to new heights. Here, Reb effortlessly combines pop elements with her trademark noir folk-punk sound, weaving authentic and anthemic tunes that create an instant and indelible impression.
“Reb Fountain is one of those artists that you don’t know but need to see.” Scenestr, 2022
Reb was born in San Francisco and emmigrated with her family from North America to Lyttelton — the quiet port town out of Christchurch that’s been fundamental to New Zealand’s alt-folk scene, raising artists like Marlon Williams, Aldous Harding, and Delaney Davidson.
Throughout 2020, Reb and her all-star band astounded audiences around the country on her sold out album release tour, joined Crowded House on their 13 date, ‘To The Island Tour’, and honoured Nick Cave at the sold out Auckland Town Hall show, ‘The Boy Next Door’.
Reb Fountain and band made their Australian debut at Womadelaide 2022. They have just completed a nationwide tour of New Zealand performing to sold out audiences in Aotearoa’s most iconic theatres to critical acclaim.
“Shaman-like, Fountain moves across the stage and through the various stages of herself to deliver these songs, devotionals. She and band are not just world class performers, they might in fact be world-beaters.” Simon Sweetman, 2022
“I watched Reb Fountain last Saturday, prowling across the stage like Patti Smith and Cat Power one- minute, Nick Cave living his best life the next. Reb was a revelation. I could have watched that show on any stage in the world – and Reb
would have deserved to be there.” Stuff, 2022
“At first, I thought I was listening to a cross between Patti Smith and Nick Cave but these comparisons quickly fall away as Reb is a true original.” Hifiway, 2022
“Unleashed and unafraid, Reb Fountain is a revelation” Sunday Star Times
“Reb Fountain possesses a crystalline vocal that’s as stunning as it is assured.” American Songwriter
It is often interesting to look back at ‘older’ reviews that pre date Reb’s break through:
In relation to her music I could bore you with superlatives but simply, it’s a relief, a relief to hear, a relief to feel, a relief to behold. No gimmicks, no hype, no pretence, no bullshit. Just her dukes up on stage pouring it out offering it up, honest in a way the world isn’t, full of story and justice and love borne from a life lived and a world traversed. It’s amazing she’s only two albums deep, but life and song don’t get constrained by format they just are, the best ones have to be. Mostly solo, sometimes with comrades on her side, or onstage backing up with NZ’s hardest working band The Eastern, Reb is always present and correct giving muscle and blood and breaking all hearts with hers.
Her music is no prisoners tough yet also giving and with enough play that it will turn hardened cynics burnt out on the in genuine machine that spits out beautiful girls with acoustic guitars almost hourly into believing in the power of songs again. Simply because if there was a deal Reb’d be the real one. It probably ain’t gonna make her rich, or number one, but the world needs her like it needs every sighing messenger, it needs her because we need her. Thing is Reb and her songs don’t need us, she sings them and they exist because they have to, because they were meant to, they are elemental in size as much as they are heart ready in tone. That’s why when you get to see her onstage, you feel lucky, like you’re in on a secret, like you’ve got something the world is yet to figure on. That’s why she makes you feel important, like you mean something. It’s like her heart through those songs lifts you up. Damn it, how many times do you get to say that a songwriter is generous and not vain or self obsessed? Rarely. Reb is a rare one. We are lucky to have her.!