Listen to the New Emily Wurramara Single “Ngarrukwujenama”

Emily Wurramara
Image Courtesy of Emily Wurramara

Groote Eylandt born singer-songwriter Emily Wurramara has just released her new single “Ngarrukwujenama” and is gearing up for a huge 2018.

The track was recorded with legendary producer David Bridie and is the first taste of her upcoming album Milyakburra due later this year. “Ngarrukwujenama” is sung in Wurramara’s first language Anindilyakwa and the tile means “I’m hurting”.

“This song was written in response to the mining on Groote Eylandt, and in particular the battle fought by the community, which saw the NT government place a total ban on seabed mining around Groote Eylandt in 2013, respecting the concerns of traditional owners about the destruction of the seabed and cultural songlines,” Emily Wurramara explains. “I’m passionate about protecting this earth and everything living on it. “Ngarrukwujenama” talks about how we all come from the sea and how it’s our duty to protect and cherish her, and the pain we cause when we don’t. The song is an anthem and a reminder to care for this beautiful country.”

Take a listen to “Ngarrukwujenama” here:

Expect to see a lot of Emily Wurramara in the coming months – a couple of live dates that have already been announced are below:

Saturday 3rd February – Yalukut Weelam Ngargee Music Festival, O’Donnell Garden, St Kilda, VIC
Sunday 25th February – Sunset20’N, Barangaroo Reserve, Sydney, NSW

The Decemberists Announce New Album I’ll Be Your Girl

The Decemberists
Image Courtesy of The Decemberists

After making our favourite album of 2017, The Queen of Hearts, as part of the Offa Rex project, The Decemberists have kicked off their 2018 with a huge announcement that we can expect another record from them this year.

The album is titled I’ll Be Your Girl and is due for release on the 16th March. I’ll Be Your Girl was recorded with producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Lana del Rey, Wye Oak, Angel Olsen, Swans) and promises to be full of songs that “tend to the darker, more absurdist side of things”.

The Decemberists are also hinting at a world tour this year that may include Australia if they can make it work. The first single from I’ll Be Your Girl is the 80s sounding “Severed” – check out the track listing for the album and a stream of “Severed” below:

1. Once In My Life
2. Cutting Stone
3. Severed
4. Starwatcher
5. Tripping Along
6. Your Ghost
7. Everything Is Awful
8. Sucker’s Prayer
9. We All Die Young
10. Rusalka, Rusalka / The Wild Rushes
11. I’ll Be Your Girl

Courtney Marie Andrews Announces New Album May Your Kindness Remain

Courtney Marie Andrews
Image Courtesy of Courtney Marie Andrews

Americana singer-songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews has announced plans to release her next full length album May Your Kindness Remain on the 23rd March.

Courtney Marie Andrews has gained a number of fans in Australia following her recent tours here with Joe Pug, Sam Outlaw and Big Thief. May Your Kindness Remain was produced by Mark Howard (Lucinda Williams, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Tom Waits) and was recorded over eight days in LA.

“The people that I’ve met on the road these past few years got me thinking about my childhood, and the people around me that I’ve known, and the stories that come from my family,” Andrews explained. “It became clear how many people are struggling through the same issues. People are constantly chasing that bigger life. A lot of people are poor in America—and because of those unattainable goals, they’re also mentally unstable, or sad, or depressed or unfulfilled. A lot of people—myself included at some point in my life—are loving somebody through this. That’s sort of the theme of the record: coming to terms with depression and the reality of the world we’re living in.”

The first single from the album is also the title track. Check out a stream of “May Your Kindness Remain” plus the full album track listing below:

1. May Your Kindness Remain
2. Lift The Lonely From My Heart
3. Two Cold Nights In Buffalo
4. Rough Around The Edges
5. Border
6. Took You Up
7. This House
8. Kindness Of Strangers
9. I’ve Hurt Worse
10. Long Road Back To You

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats Announce New Album Tearing at the Seams

Nathanial Rateliff
Image Courtesy of Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

American roots rock band Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats have just announced plans to release their highly anticipated new album Tearing at the Seams on the 9th March this year.

The album is the follow up to Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats’ highly successful self-titled debut.

“For the first record, I demo’ed everything up and created most of the parts,” said Rateliff. “This time, I felt like we’ve all spent so much time on the road that we should all go off somewhere together. We should all have that experience together.

“I want — and I need — everybody to feel like they’re a part of this band. I want them to feel like they’re contributing artistically and emotionally to the experience of writing and creating this music. We’ve all had to make sacrifices to be in The Night Sweats and I want them all to know that it’s worth something.”

The first taster of Tearing at the Seams is the track “You Worry Me”. Check out the video below:

Husky Announce Intimate Walking In Your Sleep Tour

Image Courtesy of Husky

Melbourne indie-folkers Husky are planning a string of intimate shows this April following the release of their latest single “Walking In Your Sleep”.

The track is taken from Husky’s highly successful 2017 album Punchbuzz which we picked as one of our favourites from last year.

“”Walking in Your Sleep” is a song I wrote during a period of intense dreaming brought on by the meticulous recording of my dreams,” frontman Husky Gawenda explained. “I became obsessed with the possibilities of the dream realm – lucid dreaming, self-exploration, unlocking the unconscious – and how that would affect my waking life and perhaps more so, my writing. The more I slipped in and out of this dream realm, the less I knew the difference between dream and reality and the more they mirrored each other. If I listen back to the song now, I hear an exploration of longing that in my waking life I was trying to escape, but was wrestling with every night in my sleep.”

Husky will be hitting the road this April with shows planned in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Fremantle – check out the full dates plus a stream of “Walking In Your Sleep” below:

Friday 13th April – The Tote, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 14th April – The Landsdowne, Sydney, NSW
Friday 20th April – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 21st April – Mojos, Fremantle, WA

Listen to Laura Marling’s Bob Dylan Cover “A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall”

Laura Marling
Image Courtesy of Laura Marling

If you saw the series finale for Peaky Blinders last year you might have recognised the wonderful Laura Marling on the soundtrack.

Marling has covered Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall” for the show and has just released the track as a streamable single, available in the all the usual places.

Listen to “A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall” below:

Listen to the New I’m With Her Single “Game To Lose”

I'm With Her
Image Courtesy of I’m With Her

US trio I’m With Her have just given us another taster from their upcoming album See You Around (due on the 16th February) – the divinely syncopated track “Game To Lose”.

As with the rest of the album “Game To Lose” was co-produced by Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Laura Marling, Paul McCartney) – take a listen to the track below:

Timber and Steel Premiere: The Ahern Brothers’ singles “There’s A Light” and “Passing Through”

Ahern brothers
Image Courtesy of The Ahern Brothers

After a huge 2017 harmony singing folk duo The Ahern Brothers are getting ready to hit the road one last time before they take a well deserved break.

The Ahern Brothers released their amazing self-titled debut album in 2017 to much acclaim – we described it as “a pure delight” and picked it as number three in our top albums of the year – and now they’ve announced plans to release two more singles and a cover before they hit the road.

The two singles, “There’s A Light” and “Passing Through”, will be released next Monday 15th January but Timber and Steel has been given the opportunity to give you a sneak preview.

The songs were written while The Ahern Brothers toured late last year.

“”There’s A Light” is the first song we wrote together after the release of our first album,” Josh Rennie-Hynes explained. “We were getting ready to begin our debut album tour and had a few days to kill in Queensland so we decided to make the most and write – that’s how it was born.”

“It’s a strange and wonderful song, largely inspired by Jim Carey’s parody song “Cold Dead Hand”,” Steve Grady adds. “In the studio we decided to just throw everything at it, full band production, however at the heart of it we still recorded us singing and playing together. That’s the number one rule for The Ahern Brothers – no matter what we add on top of it, we have to be able to perform it solely as a duo.”

Take a listen to “There’s A Light” and “Passing Through” below:

In addition to the new tracks, The Ahern Brothers also recorded a cover of Ryan Adams’ song “Prisoner”.

“We decided to record “Prisoner” by Ryan Adams as a tribute to the influence he’s had on us as artists,” Grady explained. Because the original recording has a full band production we wanted this one to be stripped back to our two guitars and voices.”

Watch a video of “Prisoner” here:

The Ahern Brothers head out on tour this week, kicking things off at the Cygnet Folk Festival. Check out the full list of dates below:

Friday 12th to Sunday 15th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Friday 19th January – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 20th January – Rous Mill Hall, Rous Mill, NSW
Sunday 21st January – Pelican Playhouse, Grafton, VIC
Wednesday 31st January – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Thursday 1st February – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Friday 2nd February – 63 First Ave, Sawtell, NSW
Saturday 3rd February – Stag & Hunter, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 4th February – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 8th February – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC
Friday 9th February – Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 10th February – Major Toms, Kyneton, VIC
Thursday 15th February – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Friday 2nd to Monday 5th March – Nannup Music Festival, Nannup, WA
Friday 9th to Monday 12th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy, VIC

Listen to the New Sam Newton Single “Hazel Eyes”

Sam Newton
Image Courtesy of Sam Newton

Hardworking Sydney based singer-songwriter Sam Newton released his brand new single “Hazel Eyes” right before Christmas.

The track is taken from Newton’s forthcoming album Stare Into The Dark which is expected early this year.

“Hazel Eyes” waltzes into your ear drums with Sam Newton’s laid back vocal style and the lovely surprise of a live, five-piece band.

“”Hazel Eyes” is a song that seeks to combine the raw energy of Dylan with the lyrical prowess of Van Zandt,” Sam Newton explained. “It was written about the helplessness and desperation that we all experience when someone that we deeply care about is crying. Recorded in one take, “Hazel Eyes” goes straight for the jugular and offers no apologies.”

Take a listen to “Hazel Eyes” below:

Listen to the New Sufjan Stevens Single “Tonya Harding”

Image Courtesy of Sufjan Stevens

Sujan Stevens has surprised everyone with the release of “Tonya Harding”, a tribute to the former US figure skater. To accompany the release Stevens penned a small piece detailing why he wrote the song:

“I’ve been trying to write a Tonya Harding song since I first saw her skate at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in 1991,” Sufjan Stevens explained. “She’s a complicated subject for a song partly because the hard facts of her life are so strange, disputable, heroic, unprecedented, and indelibly American. She was one of the greatest figure skaters of her time, and the first American woman to perform a triple axle in an international competition. She was an unlikely skating star, having been raised working class in Portland, Oregon. Being a poor outsider, her rise to fame in the skating rink was seen, by some, as a blemish on a sport that favored sophistication and style. Tonya’s skating technique was feisty, fierce, and full of athleticism, and her flamboyant outfits were often hand-made by her mother (who was abusive and overbearing). (They couldn’t afford Vera Wang.) And then there was the Nancy Kerrigan incident. In January 1994, Tonya’s then-boyfriend Jeff Gillooly hired an assailant, Shane Stant, to break fellow figure skater Nancy Kerrigan’s leg at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Cobo Arena in Detroit, so that she would be unable to compete at the upcoming Winter Olympics. The after-math of the attack was recorded on camera and ultimately set off a media frenzy (and an FBI investigation). Gillooly and Stan were eventually found guilty, and Tonya pleaded guilty to hindering the prosecution, and was subsequently banned for life from the U.S. Figure Skating Association. Nancy Kerrigan recovered from her injury and won a silver medal at the Winter Olympics. Tonya Harding finished eighth.

“But that’s not even half the story. When Tonya and Gillooly got married, they filmed themselves having sex on their wedding night and produced one of the first-ever celebrity sex tapes (which they sold to Penthouse for $200,000 each). Tonya also had a brief career as a boxer, and is most famous for her bout with former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones (whose sexual harassment suit against Bill Clinton precipitated his impeachment in 1998). Tonya was also (very briefly) in a band called the Golden Blades (they were allegedly booed off the stage during their first and only performance). She also raced vintage automobiles (setting a record by driving a Ford Model A over 97 miles per hours on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah). And in 1996 Tonya used mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to revive an 81-year-old woman who collapsed at a bar in Portland while playing video poker. That’s a lot to accomplish before the age of 30!

“Tonya Harding’s dramatic rise and fall was fiercely followed by the media, and she very quickly became the brunt of jokes, the subject of tabloid headlines and public outcry. She was a reality TV star before such a thing even existed. But she was also simply un-categorical: American’s sweetheart with a dark twist. But I believe this is what made her so interesting, and a true American hero. In the face of outrage and defeat, Tonya bolstered shameless resolve and succeeded again and again with all manners of re-invention and self-determination. Tonya shines bright in the pantheon of American history simply because she never stopped trying her hardest. She fought classism, sexism, physical abuse and public rebuke to become an incomparable American legend.

“I admit, early drafts of this song contained more than a few puns, punch lines and light-hearted jabs—sex tapes and celebrity boxing make for an entertaining narrative arc. But the more I edited, and the more I meditated, and the more I considered the wholeness of the person of Tonya Harding, I began to feel a conviction to write something with dignity and grace, to pull back the ridiculous tabloid fodder and take stock of the real story of this strange and magnificent America hero. At the end of the day, Tonya Harding was just an ordinary woman with extraordinary talent and a tireless work ethic who set out to do her very best. She did that and more. I hope the same can be said of us all.”

Listen to “Tonya Harding” here:

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