It's taken 30 years for something new to hatch, but fans of the The Chicks can finally rejoice – Kiwi sisters and singers, Suzanne Lynch and Judy Hindman, have returned to the recording studio to release a much-awaited new single.
"The strange thing is we sound just like we used to – we still sound young!" says Suzanne laughing.
"Everyone who listens to the song asks, 'Are you sure you recorded it last month?' We still sound like The Chicks – we're not quite The Chooks yet!"
The three-decade hiatus from making music together came to an end this year for a special project – Suzanne was approached to be the music supervisor for a New Zealand-made film, 3 Mile Limit, based on the story of Radio Hauraki's dramatic and turbulent early days as a pirate radio station.
Suzanne, who vividly remembered sneaking into Hauraki's studio in the middle of the night to record jingles for the station, was immediately on board to help out.
"[Director] Craig Newland told me he was making this film and needed some help sourcing songs from that era," explains Suzanne.
"I thought, 'Well, I guess I could ask around.' No-one needed any convincing. Next thing, there were gaps in the film that we needed a song for – we just couldn't find the right song to fit. So, I thought, 'Hmm, maybe I could just write a new song for this bit of the movie!'
"Craig loved it and it went from there. I ended up writing seven new songs. It went from finding a few old songs, to being a whole big project."
Suzanne got a helping hand with writing a few new tracks from Kevin McNeil of The Mods' fame, whom she credits for getting the sisters back in the studio.
"He wrote this song called He's the Boy," says Suzanne.
"When he sent it to me, he said, 'I think it sounds more like a girl's song. It's almost a Chicks song!' When I listened to it, I realised it could be and it might be a bit of fun."
Judy, who has been singing with The Rumour (formerly The Surfires) for the last 25 years, said she was thrilled to get the call from Suzanne, asking if she'd be interested in recording the song with her.
"I said 'yes' straight away," says Judy. "Sue said, 'Well, you don't have to say yes now, you can think about it, Jude!' And I said, 'I don't need to! I really want to do it!'"
Suzanne says it was an eerie feeling of déjà vu when it came time to record the new song.
"It was just like riding a bike though," she says. "We slipped right back into it. Obviously there's an awful amount of water that's rushed under the bridge since we were last in the studio, but once we got singing again, it was just like old times."
But a lot has changed. For a start, they've recorded their parts of the song separately, and they made the track in Suzanne's son, Andy Lynch's, music studio.
"If you had of told us when we were kids that we would one day be singing together, making music that would be recorded by our children, I don't think I would have believed it," says Judy. "What an experience."
While it may be the first official time The Chicks have made music together since finding success with hits The Hucklebuck and I Love You Timothy in the 1960s, the duo say they've rarely been apart in the last three decades.
"Everyone always asks us, 'What's the big story? Why did you split up?'" says Suzanne.
"Well, I'm afraid there isn't one! We just grew up. When Judy was 18, she discovered boys, while I discovered music. Judy wanted to travel, so she went to Hong Kong to sing, while I got offered another TV show here."
Judy, who is married to The Surfires' bass player, Ross Hindman, now has four grandchildren and says she and Suzanne are rarely apart from one another, living just 15 minutes drive away.
"We have been in each other's lives the whole time," Judy explains. "It's just that we haven't worked together. We've always been close."
Christmases are usually spent crowded around the piano, playing a variety of instruments.
But for now, the duo won't have to wait until next Christmas to make sweet harmonies. They plan to sing their new song at a number of events this year.
As for more work together in coming years, neither is ruling it out. "Maybe," says Judy smiling. "I guess we'll have to see what the future holds."
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