All Bases Covered
December 2023 NZ Musician Magazine print edition (see full article here)
“Prolific alternative pop duo/couple The Response blend electronic minimalism with cultivated pop sensibilities. Widely respected for their honest, often introspective songwriting, their more recent sound has captured a pent-up musical energy, and attracted some noteworthy collaborations. The Response joined forces with Rodney Fisher Music (goodshirt) to jointly create the charmingly pensive 2023 album ‘Art School Dropout’. Amanda Mills talked with Vic and Andy Knopp about that and lots more besides.”
The Top 10 Albums from artists in Aotearoa for 2023
December 20th 2023 – NZ Herald (see original article / full list here)
“The former Goodshirt frontman puts away the fuzz pedal and unplugs the electric guitar for this collection of gentle, meditative indie-folk songs. Crafted in collaboration with Ōtautahi duo The Response, Art School Dropout is an intimate slow-burner that flickers with relatable humanity and swells with private vulnerability.
Tasteful electro flourishes and rousing sentiment embellish Fisher’s acoustic guitar and his knack for a memorable chorus remains as strong as ever. A beautifully lush album. Fans of The National will find a lot to love here.
Listen: Single Keeping Up Appearances with fellow indie-folker Terrible Sons is a highlight but if you only listen to one track make it Down by the Sea.”
RODNEY FISHER AND THE RESPONSE JOIN FORCES FOR NEW SINGLE ‘ICU’ (SINGLE AND VIDEO)
April 28th 2023 – NZ Music Commission (see original article here)
Rodney Fisher is delighted to announce the release of his new single created with The Response, ‘ICU,’ out today.
Fisher and The Response (producers, songwriters, and multi-instrumentalists Victoria and Andy Knopp) have joined forces to create a beautiful and pensive full album Art School Dropout, due to release later in 2023.
Goodshirt frontman, Rodney Fisher is an eminent artist in the Aotearoa music scene. He is a talented producer, guitarist, singer and songwriter, gig facilitator, passionate music advocate, and mentor. Fisher is deeply excited for this new collaborative project with such a vibrant and vibey alt-pop duo as The Response.
The first single, ‘ICU,’ heralds in this new, gorgeous body of work. Fisher describes the track as exploring “the inner turmoil from trying to be true to yourself, feeling lost and found at the same time. When you’re in love, but can’t stop sabotaging the relationship, and all the times you hoped things would work out. Perhaps it’s an ode to those who stick by you, through thick and thin.”
The track is accompanied by a simple yet powerful music video which was directed by Mike Braid.
It’s evident Fisher lights up when working collaboratively and this energy radiates through the new album. “Connection is at the heart of this album. I’ve made a conscious decision to put these things back into my life. I want to work with a team of people, rather than in isolation. Working with Victoria and Andy Knopp made me realise that the collaborative aspect of creating is something that energises me.”
The collaboration came about when Fisher met the duo after hearing their cover of Goodshirt’s ‘Fiji Baby.’ “We got talking, and I made plans to send them a track to get their take on a remix version. I loved their treatment and new direction. They had somehow made it sound more like me, and brought influences I have always had but never explored.”
Rodney Fisher and The Response‘s debut single ‘ICU’ releases today via Aotearoa New Zealand indie music label Bigpop Records.
ANDY CAUGHT UP WITH RADIO HAURAKI
As the Exponents song Victoria turns 40, a bunch of bands in Christchurch are recording covers of it, one of them is The Response. Andy called up to tell us about their spin on it, and Jordan Luck’s legacy on the city. (2022)
RNZ First Song: The Response – Picture Undefined
The Response live in the Radio New Zealand studio on October 18, 2019 to discuss and perform their new single ‘Picture Undefined’ live to air. Listen to the interview here
Watch Picture Undefined performed live by The Response on Radio New Zealand as part of a live to air segment on RNZ’s Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan.
The Response – Single Review: Tallest Walls
28 JUN 2019 // A REVIEW BY JAMIE DENTON (Muzic.net.nz – view original post here)
Christchurch indie-pop duo The Response have launched their latest single; a 3-minute 40-second slice of crisp, catchy, saccharine-sweet, electro-pop. Tallest Walls is a subtle ear-worm of a song, it grows from slender, minimalistic beginnings into a big, hook-laden chorus that will have your head bobbing, and foot tapping. Throughout, silky smooth vocals add emotional hooks to the track and drive it along.
Lyrics such as “I’m stuck up here above the clouds, I know in time I’ll be shot down, I fly too high my feathers melt, but while it lasts there’s nothing else” are a wonderful allusion to the myth of Icarus, a cautionary tale of ‘flying too high’. However, the feel of the track, quality of song-writing, vocal delivery, and overall production quality deliver a feel-good track and vibe. It is this mix of up-beat and overcoming/facing challenges that makes this track so compelling.
The production is slick, yet not overproduced. The vocals are nicely positioned in the mix, not overbearing like so much modern pop, and the distorted bass brings in a much-appreciated grittiness to the track, again being a nice contrast between the crisp clean keyboards, guitars, etc of the verses. For a self-recorded, self-engineered, self-produced, etc. release, the duo of Andy and Victoria Knopp nail it. This is a great track, it sounds great, and the visuals on the associated video are very cool!
As the lead single from a forthcoming album entitled Escaping this Cold Rotation, this sets the bar for that album high. I excitedly look forward to hearing the full-length record, and hearing what this very talented duo have up their sleeves.
Rating: ***** ( 5 / 5 )
REVIEW: THE RESPONSE – LITTLE WORLDS EP
“At a tight four songs, Little Worlds is brooding alt-pop / electro-rock that is akin to the Aussie favorites Slum Sociable. Each track is groovy yet alluring, and all are richly textured. Percolating beats merge with chiming guitars, dark synth hues, and Andy’s distant vocals to create soundscapes that are haunting, hypnotic, and inescapable. The record’s tone is intentional to reflect the messages of lost, uncertainty, fear, and curiosity. To send us deep inside our own minds to figure out our fate and destinations, as the duo state on the title track.”
Single Review: ONLY IN THE NIGHT
“Fresh cut “Only In The Night” is a succinct pop triumph by the New Zealand natives. Dancing electronic elements and surging chords combine, creating a soundscape that can only really be described as a dynamic sonic feast. Delving into the depths of the anxious subconscious, the track tackles thoughts of inadequacy and dreams of grandeur (oh, and sharks apparently).
Taken from their fresh EP, Little Worlds, the track showcases an intriguing electronic edge. It’s pulsating, it’s infectious, and we reckon it’s a worthy playlist addition come rain or shine.”
– One Stop Record Shop (read the full original post here)
THE RESPONSE – WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? EP
“I comb the horizon for signs, that I’ve found my way.”
In a tragic but beautiful narration, The Response is finding their way. Their latest EP, What Are You Waiting For?, is swimming in dreamy synths, bounding guitar lines, and luscious vocals. “Stylistically, we feel the EP is a natural evolution of our sound,” shares Andrew and Victoria Knopp, “Lyrically, we touch on themes of death and the search for meaning, the need to escape but not knowing how or where to.”
The result is a six-track that offers a sense of cautious hope, one that brings nostalgic touches of loss, belonging, and identity. I’ve always been a fan of the pair’s complimentary vocals, so it’s no surprise to hear both Andrew and Victoria pour wonder and emotion into each note. The songs have a nice change of pace, from the twinkling cinematics of “The Great Escape,” to the organic instrument sounds of the title track, and sweet, subtle acoustics of “Call Somebody.”
If you’re searching for your new alt-pop fix, look no further. Purchase the release on iTunes here, and stream “Great Escape” here.
– The Permanent Rain Press (Nov 21, 2017) see original post here
Review: What Are You Waiting For? EP
“Mellow – but not twee – indie pop at its carefully crafted best, each song integrates catchy riffs, handily executed synth and drum machine and a suitable amount of tambourine (not so much as to take the sound into jangle territory). The shared vox duties layer beautifully around one another, adding depth and harmony without ever becoming too much. Obvious might be the stand-out song, with just the right textural swell and build and some glock-y goodness.
The EP’s titular track is another high point, with a pleasantly murky bass line that kicks things off, quickly adorned by high octave twinkles. There’s a real early Vampire Weekend vibe to this song in particular, something I catch threads of across other tracks too.
‘What Are You Waiting For?’ captures a sound that is fresh while conjuring up memories of that heyday of indie pop rock of the mid-late 2000s that we seem to be nostalgia-lising right now. A title that requires the answer: more kickass sounds from The Response!”
– NZ Musician Magazine (May/June 2018) written by Briar Lawry – check out the print issue or full post here
Single Review: Off Grid
“The song is the perfect demonstration of how subtlety can yield something infectious. The bass line and the soft production work, for instance, are familiar yet executed to perfection, yet they establish an awesome funky and groovy vibe. Head noodling is on order with this tune. Meanwhile, Andy Knopp’s lyrics seems to be extremely personal, as if he’s telling a story about his and Vic’s experience of leaving for the western shores of Great White North in search for new adventures. In search for a new life and opportunities. It’s a great tune, and one to which everyone – whether you found what you’re looking for or still exploring – can relate. (RIYL: Divine Fits, Spoon, Max Frost)“
– The Revue (21 Nov, 2017) see original post here
Hannah McGowan Introduces The Response
She’s spanking that drum machine in tight, perfect harmony and he’s patting pedals left, right and centre, singing with all the sweetness of a humble local folk hero, perfect notes falling from his guitar like spring flowers.
There is something incredibly wholesome yet alluring about The Response, their purity tempered with Vic’s absolute badassery on Glockenspiel, bass synth and drums, complemented by a regal, statue-like demeanour. Andy is the extrovert of the pair, charming the audience with witty stage banter.
When they sing together, the harmony is searing. They are simple, understated, yet powerful. Unashamedly Indie-Pop, and damn good at it too, they prefer a “hands off approach to songwriting”, mastering the art of seeing what emerges without trying too hard. “The good thing about being an Indie band in Christchurch is that not a lot of people are listening to your music”, Andy laughs, “so we can do this for us, really”. He believes that the best songs come out when you are “less involved, when it feels like something is working through you”. Their jazz school background is revealed in immaculate and cunning composition, far more sophisticated and subtle than your usual pop facade. The delicate and complex guitar work is injected by off the grid drumming and adorable percussive variation. I hear Liam Finn, Grizzly Bear, Arcade Fire, and something new, something sweet, at times rocky, at times playful.
The production value on their new album North Of Nowhere is extremely high. I was surprised to learn it has been produced independently by this remarkable young couple that tackles everything from writing, recording, mastering and artwork. ‘No Way Out’ is a track that I have completely fallen in love with. It creates a ‘bubble’, a soothing, soul-warming haven from the chaos of the external world and it is gorgeous to come home to after a day full of jagged edges.
North Of Nowhere can be purchased via their website.
Be sure to keep your eyes and ears peeled for upcoming gigs.
– By Hannah McGowan