Emmylou Harris Announces Australian Tour with Rodney Crowell

Emmylou Harris
Image Courtesy of Emmylou Harris

Legendary country singer Emmylou Harris has announced plans to return to Australia for a tour this June. Harris has announced that she’ll be touring with songwriter and frequent collaborator Rodney Crowell.

Check out the full list of dates below:

Sunday 21st June – Concert Hall, Perth, WA
Tuesday 23rd June – AIS Event Centre, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 25th June – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 27th June – The Star Event Centre, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 28th June – Entertainment Centre, Wollongong, NSW
Wednesday 1st July – Jupiters Theatre, Gold Coast, QLD

Iris DeMent Announces 2015 Australian Tour

Iris Dement
Image Courtesy of Iris DeMent

American country and folk singer Iris DeMent has announced plans to return to our shores this May with shows announced in Adelaide, Newcastle, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. DeMent was last in the country in 2013 which was her first Australian tour in 15 years. Joining her this time around will be American singer-songwriter Pieta Brown.

Check out the full list of dates below:

Friday 22nd May – The Gov, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 23rd May – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 24th May – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 28th May – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 29th May – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Listen to Sun Kil Moon and Laura Marling Cover Led Zeppelin

Laura Marling
Image Courtesy of Laura Marling

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti British music Magazine Mojo has included a tribute album with their latest issue. Two of the artists to appear on the album are folk favourites Sun Kil Moon and Laura Marling, both of whose contributions are also streaming online.

Take a listen to Sun Kil Moon’s version of “Sick Again” and Laura Marling’s take on the instrumental “Bron-Yr-Aur” below:

Sun Kil Moon are touring Australia this month – the full dates are here:

Saturday 21st March – Atheneum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 22nd March – The Hi-Fi, Brisbane, QLD
Monday 23rd March – City Recital Hall, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 25th March – The Bakery, Perth, WA

Laura Marling’s new album False Hope is due on the 20th March.

Thom Lion and The Tamers To Launch New EP This Friday

Thom Lion
Image Courtesy of Thom Lion and the Tamers

This Friday 6th March Adelaide indie-folk band Thom Lion and the Tamers will be taking to the Pirie & Co Social Club in his home town to land his brand new EP Fruition. Joining him on the night will be local favourites The Timbers and Ivanhoe.

The gig kicks off at 8pm with tickets just $10 on the door. For more information check out the Pirie & Co Social Club web site here.

Listen to the New The Tallest Man On Earth Single, “Sagres”

Tallest Man
Image Courtesy of The Tallest Man On Earth

The first single from the upcoming album from The Tallest Man On Earth, Dark Bird is Home, is the wonderfully jangley 70s folk-pop track “Sagres”. Take a listen below:

If “Sagres” is anything to go by I think Dark Bird is Home is going to be a lot of fun. Dark Bird is Home is due for release in Australia on the 8th May.

Review: Packwood, Autumnal

Image Courtesy of Packwood

I was one of the lucky few that go my hot little hands on a stream of Packwood’s mini-album Autumnal well before it was released this week. But the reason you’re only reading the review now is the quandary the release gave me – do I like the album because I’ve been anticipating it for almost 2 years now, or do I genuinely love it for what it is?

I’ve been listening to Autumnal over and over in the past month. A stream of it automatically fires up when I log into my computer each morning and it’s become by default music to drink coffee and read my emails to. I feel like it’s become part of my DNA. And you know what? I honestly think it’s Packwood’s best work to date.

Autumnal sees a few minor changes to the Packwood sound. Done is vintage banjo picking in favour of an acoustic guitar. The orchestral elements are still there but have been toned down, favouring instead the backing of a choir. And there’s even drums on a couple of the tracks! But the essence of Packwood’s chamber-folk sound is still there and fans of his 2012 debut album are bound to be delighted by the five stunning tracks on Autumnal.

“All Smoke Must Find It’s Way Home” is the album’s first single and is probably the most accessible on the album. There’s a Sufjan Stevens vibe to the melody and guitar accompaniment but once it builds to the chorus with it’s choir, pizzicato strings and trilling flutes it draws comparisons with “big” bands The Polyphonic Spree, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros or even early Arcade Fire. I love the way the 6/8 time signature of the guitar is punctuated by the steady march of the drums on this track, pushing it forward and drawing the listener in with every crescendo.

Of all the songs on Autumnal “Before the Fall” feels the most like the tracks from 2012’s Packwood with a focus on Packwood’s sparse vocals and melodic guitar over the top of sweeping orchestral and vocal arrangements. Packwood’s delicate vocals are bolstered by the oohing and ahhing of the choir and result is glorious.

I know Bayden from Packwood is a huge Sam Amidon fan – we often trade Sam Amidon tracks on social media – so it’s no surprise to see the indie-folk singer-songwriter’s influence all over “What I Want”. I think it’s the syncopated drums in “What I Want” that really remind me of Amidon coupled with the timelessness of the melody and Packwood’s vocals. I’d love to see Packwood experiment more with this sound – I think it could take him into interesting directions.

“Some Flood Let Out” is probably the track I struggle with the most on Autumnal. It’s circular, ambient melody overshadows Packwood’s lyrics and I find myself drifting out of the music. It’s still a really interesting song – I like that Packwood is trying different approaches to the way he arranges his tracks, I think this one just missed the mark a little.

The final track on Autumnal, “.​.​.​and All Your Mistakes”, pares Packwood back to his core elements – the beautiful fingerpicked guitar, vocals front and centre with a subtle harmony sitting just behind. There’s something captivating about this song – you can imagine it silencing a room, the audience leaning in close to hear every note. Just stunning.

Overall I can’t recommend Autumnal enough. Packwood has grown so much in the 3 years since his last release while retaining the unique sound that makes him so captivating. I’m so glad he’s back!

Autumnal is the first part in a wider, four part song cycle titled Vertumnus. It is available to buy via Bandcamp and iTunes. Packwood’s upcoming tour dates are below:

Saturday 28th March – Vinyl, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 15th April – Bella Union @ Trades Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 17th April – Smith’s Alternative Book Shop, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 18th April – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 19th April – Black Bear Lodge, Bribane, QLD

Mumford & Sons Announce Third Studio Album Wilder Mind

Mumford and Sons
Image Courtesy of Mumford & Sons

The big news this morning is of course the return of Mumford & Sons with the announcement of their new album Wilder Mind. The album is due for release on the 1st May and was produced by James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, HAIM, Florence & The Machine) which promises a rockier direction for the band.

“Towards the end of the Babel tour, we’d always play new songs during soundchecks, and none of them featured the banjo, or a kick-drum,” Marcus Mumford explained. “And demoing with Aaron meant that, when we took a break, we knew it wasn’t going to involve acoustic instruments. We didn’t say: ‘No acoustic instruments.’ But I think all of us had this desire to shake it up. The songwriting hasn’t changed drastically; it was led more by a desire to not do the same thing again. Plus, we fell back in love with drums! It’s as simple as that.”

“It felt completely natural, though,” Ben Lovett added. “Like it did when we started out. It was very much a case of, if someone was playing an electric guitar, drums were going to complement that best; and, sonically, it then made sense to add a synth or an organ. We chose instruments that played well off each other, rather than consciously trying to overhaul it.”

The full track listing for Wilder Mind is below:

1. Wilder Mind Track listing:
2. Tompkins Square Park
3. Believe
4. The Wolf
5. Wilder Mind
6. Just Smoke
7. Monster
8. Snake Eyes
9. Broad-Shouldered Beasts
10. Cold Arms
11. Ditmas
12. Only Love
13. Hot

The announcement of Wilder Mind was coupled with a bunch of northern hemisphere Gentlemen of the Road shows. Australian Mumford & Sons dates are expected to be announced soon for later in 2015. Watch this space for more information as it comes to hand!

Listen to the New Calexico Single “Falling From The Sky” feat. Ben Bridwell

Image Courtesy of Calexico

Last week saw another new track from the upcoming Calexico album Edge of the Sun hit the webs. “Falling From The Sky” is Calexico’s latest single which features Ben Bridwell from Band of Horses – take a listen below:

Edge of the Sun is due for release on the 14th April.

Timber and Steel Video Premiere: Josh Rennie-Hynes, “27”

Josh Rennie-Hynes
Image Courtesy of Josh Rennie-Hynes

We are super proud to be bringing you “27”, the brand new video from Queensland based alt-country singer-songwriter Josh Rennie-Hynes. The track is taken from Josh Rennie-Hynes’ 2014 album February and features stunning black and white video portraits. Check out “27” below:

Josh Rennie-Hynes is heading out on tour with Liam Gerner and Caitlin Harnett this month – the full list of dates are here:

Wednesday 11th March – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 13th March – Currumbin Creek Tavern, Gold Coast, QLD
Wednesday 18th March – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 19th March – Bleach Festival, Gold Coast, QLD
Friday 20th March – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Wednesday 25th March – Ararat Live, Ararat, VIC
Thursday 26th March – Yarra Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 27th March – The Jive, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 28th March – The Singing Gallery, McLaren Vale, SA

Watch the New Imogen Clark Video “While Women Wait”

Imogen Clark
Image Courtesy of Imogen Clark

I managed to catch Imogen Clark live in her hometown of Sydney last week for the first time in what seems like an age. And it’s not that I hadn’t tried to see her live – it’s just that Clark has been on the road, both here and overseas, for much of 2014 and the beginning of this year. Seeing her in Sydney is more the exception these days than the rule.

Imogen Clark has just released her latest video “While Women Wait”, a track she co-wrote with John Walsh. Check out the video below:

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