New Music Monday – 29th April

Aldous Harding
Image Courtesy of Aldous Harding

Welcome to the first edition of New Music Monday where we collect some of our favourite tracks and videos from the previous week for your listening pleasure. As this is the first one of these we’re reaching back a little further than just one week, with a collection of songs we’ve been obsessing over for the last month or so. Enjoy!

Alana Wilkinson – “Partner In Crime”

Australian folk singer Alana Wilkinson’s new single “Partner In Crime” perfectly captures the nostalgia of childhood as well as being a poignant tribute to a childhood friend who has sadly passed away.

“I needed to write a song that painted a picture of the colourful friendship we shared as kids,” Wilkinson explained. I think you’ll agree the result is something special.

Aldous Harding – “The Barrel”

Last Friday New Zealand bassed singer-songwriter Aldous Harding released her third album Designer which features this stunning track “The Barrel”. I can definitely hear the influence of Nick Drake in the finger-picked guitar and production of “The Barrel” and Harding’s vocals are mesmerising. Maybe my favourite song of hers to date.

Anna Smyrk – “Benjamin”

Victorian folk singer Anna Smyrk has been popping up on radar a lot over the last few months. I managed to catch a couple of songs at her recent National Folk Festival blackboard set and she’s just come off the back of a weekend at the St Alban’s Folk Festival.

Smyrk’s new single “Benjamin” is inspired by her travels to places like the Solomon Islands, Cambodia and the Philippines and features a really sweet backing track of guitar, mandolin, dobro and bass. The track will likely feature on an EP that Smyrk has planned for later in the year and she’s got a bunch of tour dates throughout the east coast in the coming weeks:

Wednesday 1st May – Scullion Sessions, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 5th May – The Folk Studio, Armidale, NSW
Tuesday 7th May – Cambus Wallace, Gold Coast, QLD
Wednesday 8th May – Can You Keep a Secret?, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 9th May – City Sounds, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 10th May – Dusty Attic, Lismore, NSW
Friday 14th June – Merri Creek Tavern, Melbourne, VIC

Bear’s Den – “Crow”

Another beautiful song and video, this time from UK favourites Bear’s Den.

“The song “Crow” was written in memory of my Mum’s boyfriend who lived with us growing up,” Bear’s Den lead singer Andrew Davie explained. “He was an awesome guy and somewhere between a father figure and a best friend to me growing up but unfortunately he passed away when I was 15. I wrote this song as I wanted to acknowledge how important and thankful I am to him for helping to raise me and my sister.”

This is taken from the band’s latest album So That You Might Hear Me, released last week, and is probably our favourite song from the release.

Citizen Of The World – “Deep Blue Eyes”

The evolution of Sydney’s Citizen Of The World continues with the release of their new track “Deep Blue Eyes”. A lot of the folk influences of their earlier work have been softened as the band moves towards a more expansive indie sound similar to the likes of Winterbourne, Dean Lewis or Vance Joy.

“Deep Blue Eyes” is taken from the band’s new EP Window To Your Mind which they’ll be launching this Friday 3rd May at Lazybones Lounge in Sydney,

Courtney Marie Andrews – “May Your Kindness Remain (Acoustic)”

Our favourite track of 2018 gets given the stripped back, acoustic treatment by US singer-songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews. While not being too far from the original, this version of “May Your Kindness Remain” does get to the essence of what makes this a great song – and so much of it is about Andrews’ amazing voice.

“May Your Kindness Remain” is one of four acoustic tracks Courtney Marie Andrews has released to celebrate the one year anniversary of her amazing album of the same name. The other tracks – “I Took You Up”, “Rough Around The Edges” and “Border” are available to stream and download in all the usual places.

Garrett Kato – “River Mouth (Live Forest Session)”

There’s something really special about this live video recording of Australian/Canadian singer-songwriter Garrett Kato’s latest single “River Mouth”. I’m a sucker for a finger-picked guitar and evocative lyrics to “River Mouth” is right up my alley. “River Mouth” is taken from Kato’s upcoming EP Distant Land which is due for release this coming May.

Hussy Hicks – “Get Ready”

Hussy Hicks channel their inner-Mavis Staples for this slice of soul infused magic. “Get Ready” is the Australian duo’s first release since their 2017 album On The Boundaries and dropped right before their recent performance at Bluesfest.

James Bennett – “Weird World”

Prolific roots singer-songwriter James Bennett has just dropped his new “Weird World” as a sneak peak into what we can expect from his upcoming third album This Time Tomorrow.

“The single Weird World is a song about the times we live in, how lucky we are just to be here and observing the show from the sidelines,” Bennett explained. “It’s an upbeat, cant get it outta your head kinda song.”

Joe Mungovan – “Lost Myself”

Kiama based singer-songwriter Joe Mungovan has really doubled down on the clean, expansive production for his latest single “Lost Myself”. The track was written after an extensive tour of Europe and Australia

“After I came back from touring overseas I rented a house in the bush and set up my studio for a few months,” Mungovan explain. “I was strumming on my dad’s old nylon string guitar that I took out there and “Lost Myself” sort of just fell out. It was the last song that I wrote whilst in that house and by then I had spent far too much time alone. I guess the song comes from a place of solitude and confusion. It is easy for me when I’m in that situation to live in my head and get lost in different thoughts and questions. That is the beauty but also the downside of isolation.”

John Smith – “Hummingbird”

Every time the new single, “Hummingbird”, from UK based folk singer John Smith has crossed my ears in the last few weeks I’ve sat up and paid attention. I don’t know what it is about this track – I think it’s absolutely stunning. Everything from Smith’s vocals to the simple arrangement it pitch pefect.

“Hummingbird” is taken from John Smith’s new album of the same name and is one of only a handful of originals amongst mainly traditionals on the record.

“The song itself is really the catalyst for the whole album,” Smith explained. “I didn’t want to give it a title that belonged to something someone else wrote 100 years ago. So when I sat down to write, “Hummingbird” came out of me really quickly, within an hour. It’s the rare song that tumbled out, and I was lucky to capture all the pieces. As soon as it arrived I thought, “This is the glue that’s gonna hold the whole thing together”.”

Justin Townes Earle – “Frightened by the Sound”

American singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle returns with “Frightened by the Sound”, a track that sounds like, well, a Justin Townes Earle song (and trust us, that’s a good thing). This is the latest taste of Earle’s upcoming album The Saint Of Lost Causes, due on the 24th May.

Kasey Chambers – “Hey Girl”

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of her debut album Kasey Chambers will be releasing a deluxe edition of The Captain on the 17th May complete with this recently unearthed track “Hey Girl”. I love this song for the nostalgia of classic Kasey Chambers.

Madison Violet – “Tell Me”

Canadian duo Madison Violet have gone deeply autobiographical on their new single and video “Tell Me”. The track details a time early in their career where they formed a band and became a couple – something they were advised to hide by some industry folk.

I think you’ll agree this is a pretty special track.

Ordinary Elephant – “Jenny & James”

Were you lucky enough to catch Ordinary Elephant when they toured Australia recently? Amazing, right?

The duo’s latest single “Jenny & James” tells the story of an interracial couple struggling to keep their relationship together with a society that doesn’t approve. It is taken from their album Honest which will be available this Friday 3rd May.

Radical Face – “Doubt”

Following the expansive folk songs of his The Family Tree three album project, Ben Cooper, AKA Radical Face has started to explore other parts of his sound. The latest single from Radical Face, “Doubt”, sparkles with eighties synths and a driving drum beat while still championing Cooper’s unique indie-folk vocal style. “Doubt” is taken from Radical Face’s latest album Therapy which was released last Friday.

The Leisure Society – “A Bird, A Bee, Humanity”

Ok, I’m a huge fan of English folk-rock band The Leisure Society, but I had absolutely no idea that they had a new record out (Arrivals & Departures for those playing at home). “A Bird, A Bee, Humanity” is their latest single and I doubt I’m the only one who things the opening refrain sounds very very like the theme for the Serial podcast. I’ll just leave that there.

1 Comment

  1. May 3, 2019 at 10:13

    […] – Our first ever New Music Monday featured new tracks from the last few weeks from the likes of Alana Wilkinson</a, Aldous Harding, Anna Smyrk, Bear’s Den, Citizen Of The World, Courtney Marie Andrews, Garrett Kato, Hussy Hicks, James Bennett, Joe Mungovan, John Smith, Justin Townes Earle, Kasey Chambers, Madison Violet, Ordinary Elephant, Radical Face, The Leisure Society. Listen and watch them here […]

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