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With artful cadences that catch you off guard with every diaphanous progression, the Auckland-based alt-electronica pseudo-trip-hop outfit Speech Act Theory and the moniker of Pete Hickman provides fitting soundscapes to sonically visualise the process of acceptance and prevailing.


What started as a cathartic studio project in 2019 for the multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer quickly evolved beyond the studio, which saw Speech Act Theory play their biggest live show to date, supporting Trentemoller at the Powerstation in Auckland in June 2023.


At his core, far deeper than the proliferated comparisons to Massive Attack, Portishead, and Thom Yorke, Hickman writes through what resonates, exhibiting an intimate and honest interconnection to his vulnerability through his self-produced records.


After deliberation and pandemic disruption, the debut single, Holding Out, was released in August 2021, with the singles Straight Lines and Grief Wave released in the same year. In 2022, Old Versus New hit the airwaves, followed by a reimagining of Grief Wave in September 2022.


In March 2023, the single ‘Next Time’ preceded the debut eponymous EP, which will be released via AAA Records on the 29th of September 2023.


Along the way, Speech Act Theory has garnered critical acclaim from RNZ, airplay from Bfm and 13th Floor.

"it is refreshing and a very welcome change to hear something that harkens back to the classic trip-hop and downbeat era but with a modern spin"

With a nod to the 90s alternative/trip-hop stylings of the likes of Massive Attack, Zero 7 and Radiohead, it easily encompasses the best of those worlds while introducing its own unique and modern flavour.

May Magazine


“Hearing Speech Act Theory come into their stride as they stay irrevocably true to their candourously resolving form with their evocatively intricate firestorm of a single, Next Time, was a mesmerising sonic trip that you’ll never want to return from.” 

Amelia Vandergast, A&R Factory


“Do yerself a favour. See Speech Act Theory next time they play a gig in your town. You deserve it”



“A lovely, dreamy set, the kind you can just sink into and lose yourself in the moment”

13th Floor

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