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Origin New Zealand
Genres Pop/Folk
Years active 2000–present
Labels Siren Records
Members Geoff Maddock
Kirsten Morrell
Ben King
Vincent Hine
Nick Gaffaney
Past members Joel Wilton
Andrew Clark
Ben Collier

Goldenhorse are a pop band from New Zealand. The group consists of Geoff Maddock (guitar/vocals), Kirsten Morrell (vocals), Ben King (guitar/vocals), Vincent Hine (bass), and Nick Gaffaney (drums).


Kirsten Morrell
Geoff Maddock

The band was founded in 2000 by Geoff Maddock and Kirsten Morrell. Other original members were Joel Wilton, who with Geoff Maddock and Edmund Cake was a member of the band Bressa Creeting Cake, and Ben King who began on the bass guitar. They were joined by Andrew Clark on guitar and began working on songs written by Geoff and Kirsten. Goldenhorse's first live performance was late in 1997, at the Classic on Queen St in Auckland, a bar newly converted from the Classic movie theatre, which until then had been Auckland's most famous blue movie theater. The gig was not a great success, however Goldenhorse was already attracting attention in the NZ music scene.

Geoff Maddock and Joel Wilton's previous band Bressa Creeting Cake had released one critically acclaimed album in NZ on Flying Nun Records in 1997, and before the band had broken up they had gathered many fans, including Tim Finn and Neil Finn from legendary New Zealand band Split Enz and more recently the internationally successful Crowded House. The respect of these musicians extended to Goldenhorse through Geoff Maddock and Tim Finn loaned Goldenhorse a 24-track tape machine and a recording desk to make an album with.

The First Album[edit]

With recording engineer Nick Abbott the band began work on their first album in the flat where Geoff lived above a strip club in downtown Auckland, but it soon became obvious they needed a more dedicated space to record in. Nick, Geoff and the band's manager Michael Keating moved to a house in the Waitakere hills above Auckland city, and Nick and Geoff converted the new space into a recording studio. The house where they moved to and where Goldenhorse's first album was recorded had an interesting history in that it had been known as the dePalma Institute, the residence and workspace of Bruce De Palma, a controversial electrical engineer and scientist, and brother of the film director Brian De Palma. Bruce De Palma had moved to New Zealand in 1996 to continue his work on free energy machines, and had built and was in the process of testing his latest machine there when he died in 1997.

Unfortunately no working examples of De Palma's 'N-Machine' were left at the institute, and the album was made using conventional power sources. This first album was made over a year by the band, but mostly determined by Geoff Maddock who was producing it and arranging the music. During this period the band released its first single, 'American Wife', which was played only on Auckland's college radio BFM, but it had great success there, being nominated for 'best unreleased song' at the station's annual BNet NZ Music Awards. Regular live playing had built up a following from local audiences. By the time the album was finished and being released on a newly created label Siren Records the band membership was changing into what it would be for the next album with the exit of Joel Wilton and Andrew Clark, who were having trouble making the band commitments due to other work. The bass was now played by Vincent 'Chetto' Hine, a colourful character from rural Taupaki, west of Auckland. Ben King moved to the electric guitar and when Joel Wilton finally departed he was replaced by Ben Collier.

Album's Release[edit]

Goldenhorse's debut album Riverhead was released in October 2002, to a small fanfare. But over the next 18 months various singles from the album started to be played on the radio. The band played live throughout New Zealand continuously and sales of the record climbed slowly then steadily and in August 2004 the album reached no.1 on the national charts. One song in particular, 'Maybe Tomorrow', written by Geoff Maddock achieved great commercial success, and in 2003 it was the most played local song on all New Zealand radio.

In 2010, Goldenhorse founding member Ben King, debuted his new musical project Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids released their debut album Faintheartedness in April, 2011. It was released as an exclusive limited edition vinyl through MusicHype.[1]

In February 2012, the band provided the theme song for TV2's commercial which was a re-recorded version of "I'm Free", originally written by The Rolling Stones in 1965.[2]


Goldenhorse discography
Studio albums 3
Singles 8
Charity singles 1

Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Details Peak chart
RIANZ Certification
2002 Riverhead 1
  • 3× Platinum[4]
2005 Out of the Moon
  • Released: 31 March 2005
  • Label: Siren Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download
  • Platinum
2007 Reporter
  • Released: 29 October 2007
  • Label: Siren Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download


Year Title Peak chart positions Album
2002 "Golden Dawn" Riverhead
2003 "Maybe Tomorrow" 10
"Wake Up Brother" 17
2004 "Northern Lights" 43
"Run Run Run" Out of the Moon
2005 "Out of the Moon" 21
2006 "Don't Wake Me Up"
2007 "Jump Into the Sun" Reporter
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Charity singles[edit]

Year Title Peak NZ chart position
2005 "Anchor Me"
(Kirsten Morell with Anika Moa, Che Fu, Milan Borich, Adeaze, Hinewehi Mohi, David Atai and Donald McNulty)
3 Cover of The Mutton Birds song for Greenpeace, to mark the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior


  1. ^
  2. ^ "TV2 Song: I'm Free". 12 February 2012. TVNZ. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Goldenhorse in New Zealand charts". Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "Kirsten Morrell". sounds aotearoa. Archived from the original on 23 May 2010. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "Greenpeace – Anchor Me". Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 

External links[edit]