A Hawk and a Hacksaw Release New Album “Cervantine”

Image courtesy of A Hawk and a Hacksaw

We like to keep a close watch on the world of gypsy music here at Timber & Steel. The meeting places between the genre and others such as folk, pop, jazz, rock and experimental have seen some of the most exciting and spectacular developments in the world of music in the last few years. Although A Hawk and a Hacksaw haven’t exactly lead the charge on this frontier, none have shone in quite the same peculiar fashion as they.

The two piece, consisting of accordionist Jeremy Barnes (formerly of Neutral Milk Hotel) and violinist Heather Trost, compose often simple, often complex, traditional, eastern-European folk music that is, for the most part, instrumental. They’ve been releasing music in this vein for the best part of 10 years, and now with the February release of Cervantine under their belts, they have 5 full length albums to their name. It’s easy to compare their music to that of Beirut, but they do differ in a few key areas. A Hawk and a Hacksaw make instrumental music, which you might as easily take as a con, when it’s probably more suitably taken as a pro, or neutrally, at worst. They are able to explore the genre in intricacies that Beirut can only dream of, and, although hailing from New Mexico, sound so genuinely authentic that their overall perception as an “indie” band seems ill-fitting and, however pleasingly so, misguided.

You may or may not be interested in purchasing the new album here, but make sure you watch the videos below. There’s a clip of them playing their sorrowful brand of Balkan folk on the streets of Paris for La Blogotheque, and the new video for the title track “Cervantine”. Something old, something new, a sound that’s borrowed, a sound that’s blue.

New Loney, Dear- “Loney Blues” & Video for “Young Hearts”

Image courtesy of Loney, Dear

It’s no secret that we’re eagerly awaiting the imminent release of Hall Music, the new album from Swedish singer-songwriter Loney, Dear (AKA Emil Svanängen). Last year we brought you the first whisperings of the album and a bootleg of a new song, but now we’re pleased to say that at least 2 more songs have surfaced. The first, “Loney Blues”, was released as part of a Something In Construction sampler earlier in the year, and you can listen to it on the Soundcloud embedded below. More recently, Emil released a very simple video of him at the piano playing new song “Young Hearts”. I’m not entirely sure whether it’s a live recording or not. You might be hearing him playing and singing to a studio backing track. There’s definitely horns and strings coming from somewhere out of frame. I still haven’t been able to find a concrete release date for the album, so make the most of these previews; you might be waiting a while.

Bang Bang Boss Kelly to Tour the East Coast

Bang Bang Boss Kelly
Image Courtesy of Bang Bang Boss Kelly

Nu-folk foursome Bang Bang Boss Kelly have had an absolutely cracking 2010 including shows at the Woodford Folk Festival, Caloundra Music Festival and Brisbane Festival and it looks as though 2011 is going to be just as big, if not bigger. The band are about to launch into a four week residency at Brisbane’s Powerhouse after which they are hitting the road for a tour of the East coast.

The East coast tour is in support of the Bang Bang Boss Kelly’s single “Damian Barber” which is set to appear on their upcoming LP. Full tour dates are below:

3rd March – Tempo Bar w/ Graveyard Train, Brisbane, QLD
4th March – Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD
11th March – Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD
18th March – Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD
25th March – Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD
2nd April – Springwood Hotel, Brisbane, QLD
7th April – The Phoenix, Canberra, ACT
8th April – MUM@Worldbar, Sydney, NSW
9th April – The Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
13th April – The Brass Monkey, Sydney, NSW
14th April – The Armidale Club, Armidale, NSW
15th April – The Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay, NSW
16th April – The Lennox Hotel, Lennox Head, NSW

The Middle East Album Details and Free Download

The Middle East
Image Courtesy of triple j

It was way back at the start of December that Townsville’s The Middle East released the first single (“Jesus Came To My Birthday Party”) from their upcoming debut album and we’ve really heard nothing from the band since. Then today out of no where Spunk Records, via their Facebook, released the album’s title, I Want That You Are Always Happy, and a release date of the 8th of April.

And if that little tidbit of news isn’t enough The Middle East are also offering a free download of their new track “Black Death 1349” via the Golden Plains Festival web site (where they are playing from the 12th to the 14th March). “Black Death 1349” is much more in keeping with the band’s earlier releases than “Jesus Came To My Birthday Party” and should delight Middle East fans.

Listen to and download “Black Death 1349” below:

“Black Death 1349”

Download The New Dodos Track “Don’t Stop” Free

The Dodos
Image Courtesy of The Dodos

The new album from The Dodos, No Colour, is due for release on the 14th of March, just 2 weeks away. We’ve already heard the first single off the album, “Black Night”, and now we have another song for you in the form of “Don’t Stop”.

“Don’t Stop” was chosen by Dodos collaborator Neko Case, who sing on about half of No Colour‘s songs, as her favourite song and therefore the one that the band would offer up as a free MP3. Listen to “Don’t Stop” and download it below.

“Don’t Stop”

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros’ “40 Day Dream” Video

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Image Courtesy of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

The new video from our favourite alt-western group Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, for the track “40 Day Dream”, has just been released. The video is the third in a proposed 12-part music video series from the band entitled SALVO!, the first being for “Desert Song” and the second for “Kisses Over Babylon”.

The video for “40 Day Dream” continues the adventures of Edward Sharpe. According to the band’s vimeo blurb:

“40 Day Dream finds Edward and Brother hiding out in the desert after their violent jail-break. Jade, having received a telepathic message from Brother, brings them to meet the rest of the Magnetic Zeros. Edward is welcomed by his new family and his troubles are briefly lifted by a healing vision of togetherness. After a night of revelry, Edward is awakened by Angel.”

To follow the entire SALVO! story ensure you follow the Edward Sharpe Vimeo account. The video for “40 Day Dream” is below:

New Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo Video for “Calendar”

Emily Barker
Image Courtesy of Emily Barker

Emily Barker is a wonderful contemporary folk singer who’s been getting rather a lot of buzz over in the UK but they we have, up until now, sadly ignored. Which is an absolute shame considering Barker is actually an Australian ex-pat now based in the Great Britain.

Emily Barker, with her band The Red Clay Halo, has just released her new album Almanac and to celebrate we have her latest video for the track “Calendar”. Watch it below and expected to hear a lot more from Barker in the future:

Brunswick Music Festival This March

Lolo Lovina
Image Courtesy of Lolo Lovina

When you think about a folk festival you usually imagine driving to a normally sleepy country or coastal town, setting up a tent on a field somewhere and joining a temporary community of people who are all in the same place for one thing – fantastic live music. All of the major folk festivals, from Woodford to Port Fairy to Blue Mountains, are regional affairs. Even the National Folk Festival is held north of Canberra and one doesn’t have to venture into the urban environment at all to be part of it.

And this is what makes the Brunswick Music Festival different. Set up on Sydney Road in Melbourne’s Brunswick, the Brunswick Music Festival truly is an urban affair, making it one of the biggest (if not the biggest) city-based folk festivals in Australia.

This year the festival, now in it’s 23rd year, will be held from the 16th to the 27th March. The list of artists is pretty impressive and includes the likes of Crooked Still, Tony McManus, Andy Irvine, The Alan Kelly Quartet, Lolo Lovina, Flap!, Eric Bogle, Judy Small, Leah Flanagan, Shane Nicholson, Ted Egan, Vika and Linda Bull and the WooHoo Revue, just to name a few.

Details on the full lineup, playing times and tickets to the various shows can be found on the official Brunswick Music Festival web site. If you’re in Victoria or can get to Melbourne while the festival is on we think it will be well worth a look.

Stobie Sounds Call For Song Contributions For New Concept Compilation Album

Image courtesy of Stobie Sounds

Stobie Sounds is a non-for-profit community record label based in Adelaide, South Australia, which releases music from up-and-coming “roots” artists. The label was set up by volunteers as a means of supporting roots musicians, and has been doing exactly that. Stobie Sounds release limited edition, hand-printed, DIY albums made from recycled materials, and whilst they’ve only been releasing small batches of albums from emerging musicians, their significance or quality of production is not to be underestimated. This label have put out superb albums from some of SA’s biggest talents including Bearded Gypsy Band, Cal Williams Jr and Kirk Special, as well  as (amongst many other things) putting together a concept album last year comprised of reworked versions of songs by Big Joe Williams, by various contributing roots artists and groups.

The concept/compilation project is an annual event for Stobie Sounds, and this year they’ve really broadened the possibilities for contributions. Instead of asking for contributions of re-worked covers, they’ve decided to call for original compositions based around the poetry of Frank The Poet (AKA Francis McNamara). This is a fantastic opportunity for any artist to have their music released by one of the remaining “good guys” is the music industry. If you’re not familiar with Frank The Poet’s work; no matter- it doesn’t take long to learn about. The subject is interesting, engaging, and will provide inspiration by the bucket-load.

Stobie Sounds are seeking submission from anybody- local, interstate, or international. On the subject, the label said; “Apart from celebrating this important body of Australian folk literature, we want to link in local Adelaide artists with like minded scenes around the globe. We did this pretty successfully with the last compilation These Are My Blues: A Tribute To Big Joe Williams.”…”The only thing artists need to know is that we want the album to be dark and brooding. Dirgey. Epic. Intense. We’re not looking for naff garden variety bush balladry or rough imitations. This is an album recorded in 2011 and we want it to sound like that.”

So if you think you can explore the works of classical Australian literature in the language of today’s roots music, then head to this page to learn more about the specifics of the project, or get in touch with Stobie Sounds via this link. If they receive enough quality contributions, their minds are open to making the release a double-disc album with two different artists’ interpretations of each of the 12 poems, so get proactive and get writing.

Husky Release New Video- “History’s Door”

Image courtesy of Husky

A few weeks ago we published an article announcing Husky’s new single, “History’s Door” which might have heard on the Triple J waves recently. Since then, the official video for the single has just been released; a classic, cinematic live performance video which will no doubt help the single’s momentum. Just a reminder that their single launch is at The Evelyn Hotel in Melbourne on the 26th of Feb (tomorrow night), and if you read our review of Husky’s set at The Raval in Sydney earlier in the year, you’d know that we’d really recommend seeing Husky live. Stay posted for details about the upcoming album.

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