Alexander Green is drifting across a hilly golf course in the Wellington suburb of Berhampore. Dressed in a stylishly articulated navy blue jacket and skinny jeans, he's in the middle of playing a game with his band mates Mike Isaacs, James Paul, and their managerial assistant Malisa Sisapeta. It's a windy, drizzly day. Alexander doesn't look that concerned though; but he never really comes across as worried about much. Alexander Green is Groeni, and Groeni is a solo studio production project turned three-piece band. Until recently, Groeni's music was relatively unknown. Thanks to some prompting from New Zealand DJ Keegan Fepuleai, Groeni's second EP Hewn is being released via Berlin label Project Mooncircle/HHV.DE. In the process, they're making the shift from cult local act to something larger.

Early in January, EDM.Com's Future Garage Soundcloud channel debuted Groeni's song 'Fray'. In the month since, its blend of Alexander's soulful folk vocals, skipping future garage rhythms, woozy post-dubstep textures and drone art flourishes has clocked up close to 25,000 plays online. After scoring some spins on BBC Radio 3, Groeni's similarly slanted song 'The Oak' is moving as well. Along the way, his work has been praised by Om Unit, Ango (Lucky Me), and LA radio station KCRW's Jeremy Sole. Closer to home, Alexander and his band have been performing in small venues. The same day Hewn comes out worldwide, they'll open for Canadian b-boy turned beatmaker Lunice. While it's definitely early days for Groeni, the route Alexander took to get here was circuitous and winding to say the very least.

Born in the mid-eighties, Alexander spent his childhood in rural parts of the South Island of New Zealand. In between strokes and putts, he offers up a few memories. Seeing a dead whale with his father. Building tree huts and making toy guns. Messing around on drums. Skateboarding. When Alexander was in his teens, the family relocated to the North Island town of Palmerston North.

"I started at a new school. Everyone was into cricket and cars. I didn't really fit in, so I spent most of my time in the art room and discovered marijuana. I did a lot of listening, playing the drums and painting."

Creativity was encouraged at home from an early age. When Alexander wasn't playing the family guitars and piano, drumming on pots and pans, or painting; he'd listen to his father's Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, and David Bowie cassette tapes and LPs. In high school he played in a punk duo with a guitarist. After graduating, Alexander moved down to the capital city of Wellington to attend art school. He quickly quit, moved in with a group of music students and enrolled in music school. "Music school was essentially a really expensive playground. I failed a lot of papers and never finished my degree, but spent four really motivated years amongst incredible knowledge, people and facilities."

At music school, Alexander helped co-found experimental folk band Fuyukos Fables with musicians Scott Maynard and Jeremy Hunter. Stylistically rooted within traditional folk structures and elegant group vocal harmonies, Fuyukos Fables incorporated drone textures and shades of shoegaze into their songcraft. "That was where I first had a go at singing," he recalls. "Being a part of that band inspired the beginnings of Groeni." Alexander also played in an improvised duo called Roti Chenai. They'd perform on the street, or wherever they could find a power point. "One night we set up inside a McDonalds. The staff didn't really know how to react and just let us play."

While he was studying, he started learning about recording and production. "My interest in playing the drums began to decline," Alexander reflects, as we start the last hole of the day. "I became wary of becoming an athlete rather than an actual creative. By practicing all day so I could play fast, I was losing track of what was impressive versus what was art." With minimal prompting, he dived headfirst into electronic music production. "It was a whole new world with no rules or expectations. I was much happier recording and producing tunes." Not long afterward, Alexander dropped out of music school and relocated across the Tasman to Melbourne, Australia.

In Melbourne, Alexander let a series of acoustic guitar compositions of his blossom into the late night bedroom electronica captured on Groeni's self-titled debut EP. A brief obsession with strings turned into a fixation with Burial, and yet while he was surrounded by interesting and beautiful music and art, everything felt like a facade," Alexander admits. "My ideas were empty and frustrated. I tried to turn it into something productive and draw from the feeling of being stuck." After a year of slogging it out in Melbourne, he released Groeni's debut EP on Bandcamp, then moved back across the Tasman to New Zealand.

This time he ended up at his mother's house in the small town of Stratford, located halfway between New Plymouth and Hawera at the foot of Mount Taranaki. Over the next year, Alexander recorded Hewn. "It was an accident I was there," he admits, as we wander off the golf course towards a nearby pub. "I think the surroundings and time spent alone affected the output."

Constructed with a computer, guitar, keyboard, and microphones, Hewn sees him interlacing found sounds, samples, processed guitar, voice, and programming. In the process, Alexander breathes life into a richly interlocked soundworld of intimate textures and vibrant beatscapes. As impressive as it is instrumentally, his sonics also serve as the perfect foil to his mournfully soulful singing voice and folk-informed lyrics. At crux, Hewn is escapist music tinged with a note of sadness, which falls perfectly in line with Alexander's creative philosophy. "I think creativity provides a fantasy world that people can turn to as an escape from the drudge of normal life," he muses. "It shapes our taste and makes up self-expression. I think it's responsible for a lot of what is worthwhile and beautiful in our otherwise pretty miserable existences."

Hewn is due for release in vinyl, cassette, and digital download formats on February 24 through Project Mooncircle/HHV.DE. For more details, please head here.