Thank Folk It’s Friday – 11th August

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Josh Pyke has announced he’s taking a hiatus after his upcoming regional tour. Details here

– English indie-folk singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey released his new single “Mountain to Move”. Details here

– Australian folk super group The Maggie Darlings release their new album Wishing Well today. Details here

The Kyneton Music Festival announced their first round of artists including Cash Savage & The Last Drinks, Karl S. Williams, Freya Josephine Hollick, Dan Parsons, The Twoks and many more. Details here

– Sydney venue The Newsagency relaunches in its new space next week with a show from Sarah Belkner and Alison Avron. Details here

The Queenscliff Music Festival announced a bunch of international artists for 2017 including The East Pointers, Gabriel Garzon-Montano, Irish Mythen, Lindi Ortega, Ron Artis II & The Truth, Too Many Zooz and Travis Bowlin. Details here

– Canadian duo Madison Violet announced plans to tour Australia this Spring. Details here

Kim Churchill announced his new album Weight_Falls as well as releasing the video for “Second Hand Car” and revealing a huge Spring tour. Details here

Iron & Wine released the gorgeous new video “Thomas County Law”. Details here

– Melbourne based alt-country singer Gretta Ziller has announced album launch dates in Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle and Tamworth. Details here

David Rawlings released his new single “Cumberland Gap” ahead of his album release. Details here

– Brisbane indie-folk four piece Elbury have announced plans for an east coast tour kicking off this week. Details here

– The legendary Paul Kelly released his new video “Firewood And Candles”. Details here

– Irish singer-songwriter Declan O’Rourke has announced plans to head to Australia for a tour this Spring. Details here

Valerie June released her new video “Got Soul” ahead of her upcoming Australian tour. Details here

Releases This Week

Ben Sollee
Ben Sollee And Kentucky NativeBen Sollee
iTunes

David Rawlings
Poor David’s AlmanackDavid Rawlings
iTunes

Jen Cloher
Jen CloherJen Cloher
iTunes

KMH
Live at the Sydney Opera HouseKate Miller-Heidke & The Sydney Symphony Orchestra
iTunes

Maggie Darlings
Wishing WellThe Maggie Darlings
Bandcamp

Paul Kelly
Life Is FinePaul Kelly
iTunes

Richard Thompson
Acoustic Classics Vol. IIRichard Thompson
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

The Newsagency Sessions feat. Sarah Belkner, Alison Avron

Sarah Belkner

Sydney’s favourite intimate venue officially reopens in its new Camperdown space with a show from Sarah Belkner and Alison Avron

Wednesday 16th August – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Asha Jefferies
Friday 18th August – The Flying Cock, Brisbane, QLD

Bangalow BBQ & Bluegrass Festival
Friday 11th and Saturday 12th August – Bangalow Showground, Bangalow, NSW

BATTS
Thursday 17th August – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Bek Sarkoezy and Sam Newton
Saturday 12th August – The Joshua Tree, Sydney, NSW

Ben Salter
Wednesday 16th August – Golden Barley Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Bill Chambers
Friday 11th August – Sunset Studio, Mayfield, NSW
Saturday 12th August – Diggers, The Entrance, NSW

Bill Jackson and Pete Fidler
Friday 11th August – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 12th August – Fairlight Folk, Sydney, NSW

Bluegrass Pub Pick feat. Whoa Mule
Sunday 13th August – George Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Central Coast Country Music Festival
Friday 11th to Sunday 13th August – Memorial Park, The Entrance, NSW

Daggy Man
Friday 11th August – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 12th August – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Darwin Festival
Thursday 10th to Sunday 27th August – Darwin, NT

Echo Deer w/ Holza & Pez
Sunday 13th August – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Elbury
Wednesday 16th August – Lass O’Gowrie, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 17th August – OxJam House Concert, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 18th August – Oscar’s Alehouse, Belgrave, VIC

Emily Davis Band w/ Sam Reiher, Kate Alexander, Hana Brenecki
Sunday 13th August – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Emma Davis
Thursday 17th August – Golden Age Cinema & Bar, Sydney, NSW

Fairlight Folk feat. Bill Jackson, Pete Fidler, Strangelove, Melanie Horsnell
Saturday 12th August – Fairlight Folk, Sydney, NSW

Fallon Cush
Sunday 13th August – The Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

FolkSwagon feat. Daniel Cherote, Alana Wilkinson, MoSoul
Wednesday 16th August – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

For Folk Sake feat. Alice Terry, Christine Jane, Stephanie Cherote
Friday 11th August – 107 Projects, Sydney, NSW

Forever Son
Friday 11th August – Jive, Adelaide, SA

Georgia Fields and Phia
Friday 11th August – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 12th August – Glen Helen Homestead Lodge, Alice Springs, NT

Georgia State Line
Friday 11th August – Saints + Sailors, Portarlington, VIC
Saturday 12th August – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC
Sunday 13th August – Martians Cafe, Deans Marsh, VIC

Handasyd Williams w/ Levi Burr, Nik Philpott
Sunday 13th August – Staves Brewery, Sydney, NSW

High Tea feat. Adam Miller
Thursday 17th August – House Concert, Sydney, NSW

Hinterlandt
Friday 11th August – Bomaderry Presbyterian Church, Bomaderry, NSW

Hollie Matthew
Saturday 12th August – The Bearded Tit, Sydney, NSW

Horns of Leroy’s Jukebox feat. The Collingwood Casanovas
Wednesday 16th August – Belleville, Melbourne, VIC

Husky
Friday 11th August – 48 Watt St, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 12th August – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Friday 18th August – Jive Bar, Adelaide, SA

Illawarra Folk Club feat. Shellie Morris, Troy Jungaji Brady
Friday 18th August – City Diggers, Wollongong, NSW

James Ellis and the Jealous Guys
Friday 18th August – Lulie St Tavern, Melbourne, VIC

Jason Roweth
Friday 11th August – Addison Rd Community Centre, Sydney, NSW

Jen Cloher
Friday 11th August – Readings Carlton, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 12th August – Rocksteady Records, Melbourne, VIC

Jep and Dep
Friday 11th August – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 12th August – Halcyon Daze Records, Sydney, NSW
Friday 18th August – The Basement Discs, Melbourne, VIC

Josh Pyke w/ Kyle Lionhart
Friday 11th August – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 12th August – The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba, QLD
Thursday 17th August – The Gov, Adelaide, SA
Friday 18th August – Prince of Wales, Bunbury, WA

Kelly Brouhaha
Sunday 13th August – The Westernport Hotel, San Remo, VIC
Tuesday 15th August – Pistol Pete’s Food n Blues, Geelong, VIC
Thursday 17th August – The Lomond Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 18th August – Billyroy’s Blues Bar, Bendigo, VIC

Kelly Country Pick
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th August – Beechworth, VIC

Liam Gale & The Ponytails
Friday 11th August – Kingsway Bar, Launceston, TAS

Liam Gerner
Sunday 13th August – Noisy Ritual People-Powered Urban Winery, Melbourne, VIC

Lloyd Spiegel
Friday 11th August – The Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 12th August – The Old Church On The Hill, Bendigo, VIC

Madeline Leman and The Desert Swells, Freya Josephine Hollick
Thursday 17th August – The Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Maia Marsh w/ Sisco Electro, Huckleberry Hastings, Lachlan Vines
Tuesday 15th August – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Melanie Horsnell
Saturday 12th August – Fairlight Folk, Sydney, NSW
Friday 18th August – The Log Cabin Hall, Gooloogong, NSW

Mic Conway’s National Junk Band
Thursday 17th August – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW

My Friend The Chocolate Cake
Friday 11th August – Blue Mountains Theatre and Community Hub, Springwood, NSW
Saturday 12th August – Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Friday 18th August – Theatre Royal Castlemaine, Castlemaine, VIC

Nathan Seeckts and Great Aunt
Saturday 12th August – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Nuet & Nic Cassey
Thursday 17th August – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

O’Shea
Saturday 12th August – Mount Isa Rodeo, Mount Isa, QLD

Open Folk’n
Friday 11th August – The Old Church on the Hill, Bendigo, VIC

Packwood
Friday 18th August – Plant By Packwood, Melbourne, VIC

Paul Hayward & The Sidekicks
Saturday 12th August – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Paul Kelly
Friday 11th August – Red Eye Records, Sydney, NSW
Monday 14th August – Readings Carlton, Melbourne, VIC

Pete Murray
Friday 11th August – Wrest Point Showroom, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 12th August – Launceston Country Club, Launceston, TAS
Thursday 17th August – Batemans Bay Soldiers Club, Batemans Bay, NSW
Friday 18th August – Waves, Wollongong, NSW

Queen Porter Stomp
Friday 18th August – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Raised By Eagles
Friday 11th August – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 12th August – The Junkyard, Maitland, NSW
Friday 18th August – The Workers Club, Geelong, VIC

Reuben Stone w/ Dan Vogl
Wednesday 16th August – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Rick Hart’s Bare Bones w/ Ben Leece
Friday 11th August – The Drunken Poet, Melbourne, VIC

Scarlet’s Revenge
Thursday 17th August – The Record Crate, Sydney, NSW

Shane Nicholson
Friday 11th August – Anita’s Theatre, Thiroul, NSW
Saturday 12th August – Harmonie German Club, Canberra, ACT
Friday 18th August – Music Lounge, Brookvale, NSW

Shelley’s Murder Boys
Sunday 13th August – Golden Barley Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Shellie Morris, Wityana Marika and Dhapanbal Yunupingu
Tuesday 15th August – Darwin Festival, The Lighthouse, Darwin, NT

Sofar Sounds Gold Coast
Friday 18th August – House Concert, Mermaid Beach, QLD

Someday June w/ Zac Saber
Friday 11th August – Analogue Academy, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 12th August – The Basement Bar, Bendigo, VIC

South Coast Folk Club Hall of Famers
Thursday 17th August – South Coast Folk Club, Port Noarlunga, SA

Tami Nelson
Thursday 17th August – Darwin Festival, The Lighthouse, Darwin, NT
Friday 18th August – The Flamin’ Galah, Brisbane, QLD

Taryn La Fauci
Friday 11th August – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW

The Co-Ground Folk Show feat. Amistat, Ariela Jacobs, Mia Wray
Friday 18th August – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

The Cope Street Parade
Saturday 12th August – Rooks Return, Melbourne, VIC

The Demon Drink
Saturday 12th August – Jubilee Hotel, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 18th August – Yandina Hotel, Yandina, QLD

The Newsagency Sessions feat. Sarah Belkner, Alison Avron
Wednesday 16th August – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

The Round Up feat. Nigel Wearne and Ayleen O’Hanlon
Wednesday 16th August – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

The Settlement
Saturday 12th August – Commercial Hotel, Hamilton, VIC

The Slipdixies
Sunday 13th August – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC

The Slowdowns
Friday 18th August – The Unicorn Hotel, Sydney, NSW

The Teskey Brothers
Friday 11th August – Mojo Record Bar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 11th August – The Lansdowne, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 12th August – Ed Castle, Adelaide, SA

The Twoks
Friday 11th August – House Concert, Adelaide, SA

The Willie Wagtails
Saturday 12th August – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC

Timothy James Bowen
Friday 11th August – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Saturday 12th August – The Bluebee Room, Adelaide, SA

Tobias
Friday 11th August – Irish Club, Emerald, QLD
Saturday 12th August – Irish McGanns, Eoma, QLD

Tori Forsyth
Friday 18th August – The Music Lounge, Brookvale, NSW

Untamed Ceilidh
Saturday 12th August – Northcote Uniting Church, Melbourne, VIC

Wanneroo Folk Club feat. Dingo’s Breakfast, Ashlea Reale
Friday 11th August – Dorchester Hall, Perth, WA

Whoa Mule
Saturday 12th August – Lentil as Anything, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 13th August – George Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Between The Wars” – Billy Bragg

The Newsagency Announce Official Opening of New Space in Sydney

Sarah Belkner
Image Courtesy of Sarah Belkner

For the past few years Sydney venue The Newsagency has been a favourite intimate space for so many of the artists we cover on Timber and Steel. There was nothing quite like picking up a six pack at the Vic, a pizza from Supreme Gourmet and then squeezing yourself into a tiny seat in order to experience some truly magical music.

Then earlier this year Alison Avron, venue owner and singer-songwriter, made the difficult decision to close The Newsagency after her landlord declined to let her upgrade the space. After months of searching Avron managed to secure a new space in Camperdown which officially opens next week.

The new Newsagency has already hosted a couple of quiet gigs but Wednesday the 16th August is their official opening night. The night will see the return of the much loved Newsagency Sessions and will feature performances from the wonderful Sarah Belkner (above) along with a set from Alison Avron herself.

If you’ve missed this little gem of a venue we recommend getting down next Wednesday and checking it out – more information can be found on the official Facebook event here. And to check out what else is coming up at The Newsagency head over to their official site.

Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2013

Listening to Records

In what is now an end of year tradition Timber and Steel are following up our own list of the top albums of 2013 with a piece that opens the floor to some of our favourite artists.

We reached out to musicians far and wide, from big international names to local up-and-comers, to get their thoughts on the best albums and EPs of the year and the result is once again incredible. If you ever wanted to know what the artists you listen to are listening to then look no further as we present to you Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2013:

Back on the MilksThomas Busby (Busby Marou)
The Starry FieldBack on the Milks
It’s almost impossible to slot this album into a genre because it covers almost all styles yet somehow it works perfectly. Mark Myers could be from another planet, because this seems to be a soundtrack from another world.

Picture of YouDarren Cross (Jep & Dep, Darren Cross Band)
Guy ClarkMy Favorite Picture of You
Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt have to be mentioned in the same sentence. The masters of the Texan Troubadour Genre- minimal powerful melodies and stories that change your mood-help you live. Townes is no longer around – Guy Clark is in his 70s, his songs getting stronger and more powerful. These guys wrote the rule book. Guy Clark’s latest album is amazing. In a world of autotune – Racscal Flatts / Taylor Swift mediocrity – a true country artist without any of the rhinestone cowboy bullshit is still alive and kicking and relevant and still breaking our hearts. I dare you to listen to “My Favorite Picture of You” or “Hell Bent On A Heartache” and not feel something. A true Inspiration.

Sam AmidonDevon Leger (Hearth Music)
Sam AmidonBright Sunny South
Because Sam Amidon is the most visionary folk artist of his generation. He understands musical traditions deep into his bones, and though he goes very far afield in his interpretations, he’s so grounded in the traditions that his experimentation serves as a vehicle to delve farther into the source material than ever before. He’s an uncompromising artist that reminds me again why I love folk music.

Melody PoolKristy Cox
Melody PoolThe Hurting Scene
The Hurting Scene has to be one of the most amazing debut releases of an Australian artist in a long time. It’s an album that more often than not touches on the topics of hurt and sadness – yet a notion of positivity shines through each of the songs. Melody’s vocals are shine on each track, however it’s her lyrics and the melody in each song that draw you in so you have to keep on listening! By far my favourite release of 2013! This girl is amazing!

Tiny RuinsOscar Lush
Tiny RuinsHaunts
For me, this six track EP has more depth and honesty than any other full length album of 2013. Tiny Ruins is the moniker of UK born, New Zealand based, singer-songwriter Hollie Fullbrook. Following up from her 2011 album Some Were Meant For Sea, the Haunts EP is a beautifully flowing fusion of modern folk, jazz and old-school country blues. Fullbrook’s rich and captivating vocals roll so smoothly over her laid back picking style as she draws you further and further into the veil of fog that hovers over this charming collection of songs. What I love most about Haunts is the way it pays tribute to so many traditional styles, from the Townes Van Zandt style of guitar on “Cold Comfort” to Fullbrook’s flawless cover of “Rolling Mill Blues”, yet I fail to compare the sound of Tiny Ruins to anything else because it’s also completely of its own world. I promise that this one really is worth all of your time.

Daft PunkKim Churchill
Daft PunkRandom Access Memories
Whilst I’ve been dancing around possible answers in my head I really have to go for one which I’ve barely stopped playing since I bought it. I know the whole world seems to have been won over, but Random Access Memories by Daft Punk has been my favourite album this year. It has such respect for music and its evolution over the past 50 years. It also has most of my favourite session players from as far back as the 60’s as well. Using drummers like JR Robinson and Omar Hakim and experimenting with things like Gorgio Moroder’s monologue over the top of those drums was incredible. Its the kind of music I dream of hearing and the ultimate experimentation in excess. Over a million dollars, 5 years the best studios and session players in the world and the occasional full orchestral and choir movements! Finally though, what mainly draws me to an album is the songs. Though I never thought I would look to Daft Punk for inspiration, the songwriting is really exquisite. Particularly the Paul Williams collaboration, “Touch’.

StreetsMike McCarthy
Isaac de HeerStreets
I am a huge fan of Isaac De Heer, his records are on high rotation here. On Streets Isaac continues on this well built path of unorthodox folk songwriting. Again, as on his previous two records, the production captures his quirky approach to writing and performing music. The melodies are strong, the lyrics are the kind you want to pore over and try to understand. Every broken piano sound and haunting backing vocal has it’s place in a very well thought out and enjoyable EP.

The PreaturesAshleigh Mannix
The PreaturesIs This How You Feel?
I cannot tell you how may times I have listened to this EP since it’s release. Its absolute killer first single “Is This How You Feel?” still has me shamelessly breaking out in dance wherever and whenever I hear it. I actually cannot stop myself! The entire EP is filled with a catalogue of influences – Fleetwood Mac, Prince and Neil Young are a few that I immediately note. Yet at the same time, The Preatures have their own captivating sound that I personally cannot get enough of. Listening to female lead, Isabella Manfredi’s voice makes me want to put on my LBD and leather jacket and paint the town red. While the lead vocals of Gideon Benson in “Dark Times” leaves me completely devastated that I’m not single … It’s funny where music can take you. Is This How You Feel? is the sound of a band doing what they do, and doing it fecking well!

Jim JamesIsaac de Heer
Jim JamesRegions of Light and Sound of God
A couple of years back I was struck by the Yim Yames EP Tribute To which is a collection of George Harrison songs – I loved how rushed the recording sounded, full of pure longing blasted into its delivery. I hadn’t heard anything about the Regions… album but bought it on a whim when I was wandering through Polyester Records, judging from the strength of that EP. What I found was a real grower with a gospel sorta vibe, mixed with huge drum sounds and wonderful imaginative lyrics and soundscapes. The whole album has a naivety and innocence about it that is captivating, flowing from song to song effortlessly, with a great instrumental track halfway through that lets it breathe. It’s well worth a few listens!

Stolen ViolinMark Myers (The Starry Field)
Stolen ViolinTemperate touch, Tropical Tears
I don’t listen to much music outside of the studio but I spent a lot of time with this album. It might not be everyone’s thing with it’s lofi guitars and hard to hear lyrics but I had tears in my eyes by the end of it.

Jimi HendrixJustin Thurgur (Bellowhead)
Jimi HendrixPeople, Hell and Angels
My album for 2013 is Jimi Hendrix’s People, Hell and Angels a previously unreleased studio album that was supposed to be the follow up to Electric Ladyland. This album is full of refreshingly strong, raw, bluesy songs with a healthy funk influence played by instrumentalists who are true virtuosos and unafraid of expressing themselves. The soul pours out of these recordings.

Keston Cobblers ClubRachael McShane – (Bellowhead)
Keston Cobblers’ ClubA Scene of Plenty
This sounds like a really fun band to be in! The rich instrumentation featuring tuba, squeeze-box, banjo, strings, percussion and vocals, coupled with catchy melodies and massed group vocals on the song “Beam” make you want to sing along, put on your dancing shoes and join the party. Keston Cobblers’ Club have a very refreshing DIY attitude to recording and packaging. They designed their CD case as a train set with cut-out-and-stick trains, tents and animals. Well worth checking out their videos on YouTube too.

Jimi HendrixBenji Kirkpatrick (Bellowhead)
Jimi HendrixPeople, Hell and Angels
I would have to say People, Hell and Angels by Jimi Hendrix is my favourite album of 2013. The reasons being I’m a massive Hendrix fan and although there’s nothing really very new on this release it’s a great collection of Hendrix tunes and displays his fluid mastery of the guitar very well. Also some nice cameos from the likes of Stephen Stills and Lonnie Youngblood. Essential stuff for us Hendrix geeks.

Midnight Follows MeJulian Cue (The Barons of Tang)
BJ MorriszonkleMidnight Follows Me
Ridiculous and beautiful, this album is essentially the mad ramblings of a one man band let loose in a studio. I love the every changing and complex compositions, demented keyboard sounds and the delicate balance between “tongue in cheek” and sincerity. Also it seems to me that BJ Morriszonkle is one of the finest male vocalists / crooners playing around at the moment. His voice makes this album. 5 out of 5 exploding cakes

Vance JoyWoody Pitney
Vance JoyGod Loves You When You’re Dancing
Since first hearing a demo of “Riptide” in 2012, i’ve been a big fan of VJ’s music and his debut EP didn’t disappoint! James Keogh has a killer voice and there isn’t a dull moment throughout the entire 5-track EP. All of the songs are beautifully written, yet simple enough to have you singing along after one listen. With catchy melodies, slinky ukelele strumming and powerful storytelling, it’s clear to see why people compare the great man to the likes of Paul Kelly and Bernard Fanning.

Vic ManuelScott Collins (The Mid North)
Vic ManuelBury Me Deep
Vic Manuel is someone you probably would not have heard of……yet. ‘Bury Me Deep’ is his first solo album and it is a cracker. A melding of folk, old-time and Americana, with lyrics that are as good as Leonard Cohen and Dylan. He can rip your heart out and have you horny as a hound in a matter of a few words. There are road trip songs, ballads, bluegrass toe tappers and dark tales from older days. The song ‘Oh Mother’ will have the hardest of you shedding tears. As a songwriter myself, i hold Vic in awe. I am amazed by him and a little bit (ummm…..whole lot) envious of his talent, he is quite simply Brilliant.

Vance JoyThelma Plum
Vance JoyGod Loves You When You’re Dancing
Because it makes me feel sad, but good sad.

Liz StringerCara Robinson (Hat Fitz and Cara)
Liz StringerSoon
I actually have been listening to the album Soon by Liz Stringer with its powerful tales of personal experiences written so poetically that grasps my attention every time it is played. With its beautiful delicate and honest intent it is a raw masterpiece. I love this.

Abbe MayEli Wolfe
Abbe MayKiss My Apocalypse
A diverse and experimental artist from WA, with quite few different releases. This album evokes an intense feel, from a strong and highly expressive woman – cathartic in love and release – in a lemon juice squeezed on a paper cut kinda way.

Chance McCoyJimmy Daley (The Morrisons)
Chance McCoy & The Appalachian String BandChance McCoy & The Appalachian String Band
I love old time music and this album by Chance McCoy & The Appalachian String Band is packed full of it. The newest member of Old Crow (replacing Willie Watson), and educator of Old Time Music at The Augusta Heritage Centre, West Virginia, Chance McCoy really knows his stuff. He is an amazing old time fiddle and banjo player with a really sweet sounding voice to top it of. The collection of tunes here feature some of my favourite old time numbers like “Lazy John”, “Greasy Coat”, “Little Birdie” and “Gospel Plow”, while also introducing me to some great tunes I had never heard before, like “Davy Come Back and Act Like You Ought To”. That’s the thing about old time music, it’s an endless well of incredible songs, I don’t think I’ll ever stop digging through them. With fantastic playing and singing, this album has a more slick sound that what you usually get with old time music and in that sense would be a great introduction for someone looking to get into this genre.

CapercaillieEddi Reader
CapercaillieAt The Heart of it All
This is a beautiful traditional album using the tradition and bringing it right up to date. Karen is one of my favourite Scottish vocalists and this album is class as is their live performances. A little bit of Scotland for your ears.

Josh PykeChris Collins (Tigertown)
Josh PykeThe Beginning and the End of Everything
One of the best song writers that we have in Australia, Josh has been a major influence on our music since the start. All four albums are filled with honest stories so it’s cool to be able to follow someone through different stages of their life. For a fourth album, this one seems to have a certain youthfulness and energy to it, which could come from having a toddler running around in this record. It’s a very Australian sounding record which is something we love and would love to harness ourselves one day. This album makes you excited about love, life and family.

Bobby AluBrianne Curran (Takadimi)
Bobby AluTake it Slow
Refreshing, groovy and chilled out all in one. Bobby Alu’s album of 2013 just makes you feel like having a great day!

Melody PoolKevin Mitchell (Bob Evans)
Melody PoolThe Hurting Scene
This is an insanely good debut album. The lyrics and songwriting are so good it’s hard to believe they come from a someone of such a tender age. The production is subtle and honest and Melody’s voice is weighty and substantial. She must be an old soul or something. I can’t get enough of this album.

Katie BriannaAndrew Wrigglesworth and Laura Coates (The Weeping Willows)
Katie BriannaDark Side of the Morning
Katie’s voice will instantly capture you but it’s her lyrics that will hold you; one part heartbreak, two parts introspection, a dash of sass and one hundred percent original. Her tone may evoke some of the greats (Iris DeMent, Lucinda Williams, Nanci Griffith, Kasey Chambers…) but Katie holds her own and her album packs a punch. It’s definitely one of those rare finds you can appreciate from beginning to end without any temptation to reach for the “skip” button. Dark Side of the Morning is Americana at its best; at times dark and moody, other times hopeful, even audacious. Our favourite tracks are “What It Means”, “Dark Side of the Morning” and the vulnerable last track, “Risk it All”.

The VaccinesAndrew Davie (Bear’s Den)
The VaccinesMelody Calling
I bloody love this EP. We recently had the honour of touring with The Vaccines on the Mumford and Sons Full English Tour and we just had the best time. An amazing group of people and an incredible band. We listened to this EP religiously in the van between shows and I constantly had “Melody Calling” and “Everybody’s Gonna Let You Down” stuck in my head. Freddie’s guitar parts are so unconventional and interesting and the chord progressions and band dynamics flow in such a beautiful and unpredictable kind of way. It’s an incredibly inspiring piece of work and Justin’s songwriting has always been brilliant but just keeps getting better and better.

Kurt VileJordan Wilson and Benjamin Riley (Georgia Fair)
Kurt VileWakin’ on a Pretty Daze
It’s a beautiful sounding record. He’s a cool cat and has been a favourite of ours for a while. It’s a great record to get you through whatever you’ve been dealt, especially when combined with wine and cigarettes in your lounge room.

0Roscoe James Irwin
Ichiko Aoba0
A super beautiful (if not odd) collection of tracks from this Japanese alt/folk singer-songwriter. It’s strikingly bare, but really intimate as a result. You feel like you’re there with her, listening to her play her songs in your bedroom. The classically inspired nylon string guitar parts, mixed with Ichiko’s etherial vocal melodies create something really unique and honest, (even though I have no idea what she’s singing about). Track 8, “Haru Natsu Aki Fuyu” is a standout.

Ghost BoyGregory Alan Isakov
Sanders BohlkeGhost Boy
Beautiful and dark electric landscapes behind songs that make you dream, and remember how important music is.

The DronesMark “Looch” Lewis (Handsome Young Strangers)
The DronesI See Seaweed
This band is so far ahead of the pack it scares me. I didn’t think the Drones could top their last album Havilah – but they have. Gareth Lilliard’s lyrics slowly weave into your brain as always whilst the delivery and more specifically the passion in the delivery still kills me everytime. The final track “Why Write A Letter That You’ll Never Send” (all 9 minutes of it) is stunning. The best album from 2013 from Australia’s best band. Simple really.

Anna CalviBity Booker
Anna CalviOne Breath
Anna did not start singing until she was in her mid twenties. Now she is singing her hearth out. Her songs explode like colour onto a canvas. She slowly draws the listener into her world. Her guitar is like a voice, sometimes a weep, sometimes a laugh. This album makes me feel close to the beautiful beast she has within.

Josh PykeJackson McLaren
Josh PykeThe Beginning And The End Of Everything
(Ok I might be a bit biased but it’s a great album!). Josh sets the bar high and this record is an absolute cracker. Grappling poetically with legacy and morality. The BIG themes! Beautiful harmonies and clever arrangements. It sounds like Josh is having fun and that’s what I like about it.

Katy PerryGemini Downs
Katy PerryPrism
Yes I know we’re in an indie band and our taste is music is meant to be all indie and alternative – and primarily it is – but everyone has their guilty pleasures, right? For what it’s worth – chuckling at the new “Roar” film clip, feeling creative when looking at the fairyland live sets that this chick pulls off and winding up the windows in the car in order to sing along as loudly as possible was enough to bring Katy Perry to the top of the pile. Plus she got dumped by a tonne of record labels before she cracked it which makes her success all the more impressive.

Cloud ControlJosh Pyke
Cloud ControlDream Cave
I love Cloud Control, and this record really saw them push themselves, whilst still remaining true to the almost primitive innocence that their music captures for me. Al’s voice has taken on a strangled desperation in some songs that makes the whole thing a lot tougher in a very engaging way. Love it.

Sam AmidonBayden Hine (Packwood)
Sam AmidonBright Sunny South
An artist who’s work I’d been meaning to listen to for a few years dropped into my lap when I was asked to support his Australian tour earlier this year. I couldn’t have been happier! His albums are effortlessly beautiful, and his live set all the more so. Sam Amidon reworks American trad tunes from way back when into his own brand of contemporary folk. On his previous two albums he paired up with one of my favourite composers Nico Muhly (Grizzy Bear, Jonsi, Sufjan Stevens), but on Bright Sunny South he mirrored his live set – recording with minimal instrumentation as well as a few guest accompanists (most notably Jazz trumpet legend Kenny Wheeler – so, so cool). The winning track for me is “As I Roved Out” – my favourite choice for singing along to in the car when stuck in traffic. Freaks people out every time!

Christy MooreDamien Dempsey
Christy MooreWhere I Come From
A legendary Irish folk singer. 45 tracks that he wrote or had a hand in. An incredible album full of human spirit and empathy and stories and wisdom and humour, Christy is everything I aspire to be as a singer, a great role model, check out “Viva La Quint Brigada”, “Johnny Connors”, “The Boy from Tamlaghtduff”, “Lisdoonvarna”, “Whacker Humphries” or “Strange Ways”. Sublime.

The NationalIsaac Graham
The NationalTrouble Will Find Me
My brother bought me Trouble Will Find Me for my birthday this year. On his way to buy it he fell off his push bike and fractured his wrist in two places and ended up in hospital for a few days. He was all fine but the whole incident totally overshadowed my birthday. Fortunately he’d bought me such a great present so I forgave him. I’ve always had a passing interest in The National but for me this album is the perfect combination great songwriting, considered progressions, beautiful arrangements and flawless production. Not a bad song on the whole thing.

John SmithGibson Bull
John SmithGreat Lakes
There is something very honest about John’s music. You get the feeling he really believes in the songs he sings. This is certainly the case with Great Lakes. A beautiful album.

Sam BuckinghamHeyMun
Sam BuckinghamI’m A Bird
An album that tickles the senses with its dreamy folk-sical setting whilst hitting the high notes of honesty is one of the valiant traits of Sam as a musician. If she’s in love Oh, Bahbo she’ll say it’s so. If she’s got to Leave This Town, she will, but not without a song. A spirited gem in the indie music scene here in Australia, her recent live performance of this album when on tour with Buffalo Tales was a beautiful delivery of tunes that draws smiles on faces.

Kacey MusgravesFanny Lumsden
Kacey MusgravesSame Trailer Different Park
It surprised me how much I love this album so “trying to be a cool indie kid” wont fly this year for me as it’s a major label country pop album that has done it. It’s my hell yeah to “small town up-bringings” and overall is just a really well crafted album that lyrically has the right percentage of sass, apple pie and trailer parks. (Also I have serious caravan plans so it teams with the theme).

Vampire WeekendRoland K Smith
Vampire WeekendModern Vampires of the City
I’ve been pretty slack at keeping up with new music this year, but I’m okay with that, the good stuff I missed will find its way to me eventually. One record I did enjoy was Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City. The too-cool-for-school Indie rockers seem to have made the jump out of ironic subject matter and into more emotionally effective territory. I think it works for them. The production’s great too – mixing hard blues with vocal pitch shifters in “Diane Young”, the harpsichord is put to good use in album highlight “Step”, and industrial percussion in “Obvious Bicycle”. I’ll get around to listening to more new music once Bob Dylan stops releasing his excellent Bootleg series.

Big ScaryLittle May
Big ScaryNot Art
This is an album that I can listen to on repeat for hours on end, and it reminds me of staying up until 4am drawing and drinking red wine. It is a collection of beautiful songs produced perfectly with everything in it’s rightful place.

Rhye WomanBec Sandridge
RhyeWoman
Great title, magical album cover, a beyond brilliant opening track and sob-worthy film clips. Being a sucker for tales of heartbreaking romances, understated vocal melodies and gentle synths, this Canadian duo definitely have my vote. They had me like a fool playing “Open” on repeat for weeks. (Note: I may very-well still be sobbing and smiling and listening to this track whilst typing this).

VasenGeorge Jackson (The Company)
VäsenMindset
Swedish super group Väsen have produced a new album this year featuring their trademark melodic invention and effortless virtuosity, it’s simultaneously modern while still tradition based, balancing on that fine line, like they always do, with ease. The Fiddle, Nyckelharpa and Guitar trio offers unending creativity of textures throughout the album, defying their seemingly minimal lineup, and of course, there’s plenty of Polska’s to get your feet tapping to. These guys are simply, brilliant. I’ve had Mindset on repeat in my car and on my computer and have even learnt four of the tunes already. If you haven’t heard Väsen, do yourself a favor, this is a good place to start. If you know and love them already, this new offering is another classic.

Frank SolivanMustered Courage
Frank Solivan and Dirty KitchenFrank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen
This album has everything we appreciate in modern bluegrass. Flawless three part harmonies and the kind of virtuosic pickin’ that makes you wanna sell your shit on eBay, or work a lot harder. The band has a unique and modern take of bluegrass, while still maintaining integrity to the tradition.

Buffalo TalesPerch Creek Family Jugband
Buffalo TalesRoadtrip Confessions
We first had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with Wes (aka Mr Buffalo Tales) at Wintermoon Folk Festival in May this year. Great voice, great guy, great songs, great performer, and (you guessed it) great album! It’s a gold mine of catchy, rootsy folk gems that always end up stuck in our heads!

Volcano ChoirMatthew Oastler (Little Bighorn)
Volcano ChoirReprave
I thought my fascination/addiction to anything Justin Vernon did hadn’t carried over when I first listened to Repave by The Volcano Choir, however his genius, and the emotions that come with it are slow burning. It has now been the only thing I’ve listened to for 3 months, and I hear something new every time. It feels a lot more anthemic and hopeful than any of his previous works. Only a special few can make you feel like Vernon does, and this album is a classic example.

CirclesLachlan Bryan
Chris PickeringCircles
I got to know Chris on the road in the USA and each night he quietly blew me away with not only his songs, but the way he played and sang them. His music is subtle – delicate but nourishing – filled with the warmth and self-deprecation that are trademarks of his live performance. Whenever Circles comes on my iPod I am reminded that CP is a proper artist, and I can’t imagine paying a fellow songwriter a greater compliment. Bravo Sir!

Kurt VileEdward Deer
Kurt VileWakin’ on a Pretty Daze
Whenever I describe Kurt Vile’s music to someone, I manage to make it sound like something to be avoided. Really long, meandering songs with numerous guitar solos and a guy mumble-singing in almost a monotone. But the textures and atmosphere in his music are so rich and evocative. I kept coming back to this record this year, and it has to be one of my fave driving albums ever.

Volcano ChoirImogen Clark
Volcano ChoirReprave
I’ve never found another artist whose songwriting moves me quite as much as Justin Vernon of Volcano Choir and Bon Iver, which is why I couldn’t wait for this album’s release. I think the best songs often take a couple of listens before you say “yes, I get it, and I love it”, which is what happens to me every time I listen to a project Vernon has been a part of. In Repave, the vocals are so raw and the dynamics so great that it just builds you up and tears you down in a kind of frenzy of emotion. To me, the album sounds like how I imagine listening to someone’s soul would sound – completely pure, heart-wrenching, honest, complex and unpredictable. That’s why I think this record is magic.

Loren KateSarah Humphreys
Loren KateMoving On
Loren is a folk artist like no other, her songs punch me right in the heart til I’m crying my eyes out and her voice is like honey. A beautiful record.

Neko CaseAchoo! Bless You
Neko CaseThe Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
We’ve both been huge fans of Neko Case for a few years, in particular her ’06 album Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, what an album. This record is just awesome as well. Her voice is beautiful as usual, and her lyrics are bad ass! “Man” is a particular fave. She writes absolute cracking pop songs, and the production of her records are always really rich and lush. I particularly love the edgier kind of grit and distortion that features a fair bit on this one, Neko gettin’ back to her punk roots via whimsical pop. So good!

Ainslie WillsAlison Avron
Ainslie WillsYou Go Your Way, I’ll Go Mine
This record gives me all I need in music: tingles and toe taps. The subtle and sexy grooves combined with the beautiful and rich tone of Ainslie’s vocals get me every time. “Weighing The Promises” and “Liquid Paper” are the standout tracks for me. Miss Wills is representing everything that is right about the Australian music scene.

NgaiireSam Buckingham
NgaiireLamentations
I can’t quite say why I love this album. I think it’s a combination of her voice, interesting production and the fact that it’s not like anything I’ve listened to before. It feels experimental but perfectly thought out, bold but humble, surprising but familiar … truly creative and original.

DaughterHayden Calnin
DaughterIf You Leave
I played this album on repeat for the few weeks after hearing it for the first time. It’s depressing, but motivating, which is totally my kind of jam. Stand out track was, and still is “Smother”, with the lyric “I wish I’d stayed inside my mother, never to come out” it pretty much sums up the whole album. Daughter’s blend of shoegazey guitar lines, slow bass and simple, yet well composed drum lines, matched up with her gorgeous vocals and lyrics, is so mature, intricate and worth a listen.

Ainslie WillsAll Our Exes Live In Texas
Ainslie WillsYou Go Your Way, I’ll Go Mine
The vocals and arrangements are incredible and Ainslie’s lyrics are so evocative. We particularly love “Liquid Paper” – such a universal sentiment. We listened to the entire album about a million times in the van on the way back to Sydney after we played a show with her in Melbourne. She also happens to be an amazingly good egg.

Mark KnopflerThe April Maze
Mark KnopflerPrivateering
This is actually a 2012 release but we only just discovered it … So it is new to us! A friend of ours who had toured with Mark Knopfler made us a mix CD for our Canadian tour and one of his songs was on there – we loved it, so we went online and bought the rest of the album. It is fantastic. It really takes you on a journey – lots of ups and downs and there are lots of goosebump moments. Our favourite tracks are “Haul Away” and “Kingdom of Gold” – these songs are super folky, just the way we like it. The production and instrumentation are spot on. This is a truly inspirational album for any songwriter. 100 stars.

JoJo SmithLucie Thorne
JoJo SmithStanding In The Lovelight
When it comes to soul not much beats being in the same room as JoJo Smith singing straight in to your heart. But this mighty collection – from one of our mightiest vocalists – comes pretty darn close. A national treasure!

Abbe MaySweet Jean
Abbe MayKiss My Apocalypse
Abbe May’s album is a blistering synth pop romp that takes you through all the ups and downs of imploding love. One of the many great things about this album is that she doesn’t “tell you about her feelings”. Instead, every song actually makes you feel something as a listener, which can be both uncomfortable and uplifting. It’s a funny, dark, smart, poignant and really well put together album.

The NationalEmily Barker
The NationalTrouble Will Find Me
I picked up this record just before heading out on a solo tour across the UK. It was a beautiful summer and I was driving myself around the country doing record shop in-stores and promoting our new record. Trouble Will Find Me quickly became my driving soundtrack. The songs are fantastic. Brilliant lyrics: a combination of abstract, ironic, heartfelt and just plain silly sometimes (ie. “I was teething on roses, I was in guns and noses”). I love the effortlessly, out-of-the-ordinary time signatures they use; the epic, but still intimate, production value; the melodies and arrangements; and Matt Berninger’s croonery, deep voice is always killer. A great record to drive to!

LordeRosie Catalano
LordePure Heroine
Given that we’re in an age where number one singles are as much about taking bootylicious selfies as writing good music, it took me a while to figure out how Lorde managed to dominate the Billboard charts, especially as my initial listen to her album Pure Heroine didn’t register highly on the excitement scale. I’ve happily eaten my words since then as Lorde and her producer Joel Little are a match made in heaven – the harmonies are beautiful, her lyrics take me to another world (albeit a teen world that I’m not sure I’d like to go back to), and I have a soft spot for Kiwis.

Mali MaliJack Carty
Mali MaliGather ’round the Goose Clock
I love this record because it feels anxious and intimate and fragile. The songs are strong, and tell their stories, but they go about it quietly so you really have to tune in to catch them. “Peace In My Chest” is the highlight for me, it feels like an affirmation.

Vance JoyPierce Brothers
Vance JoyGod Loves You When You’re Dancing
Since seeing him at The Hills Are Alive festival earlier this year, we picked up this EP. It’s a soulful and beautifully paced EP with awesome range from the indie pop rhythms of “Riptide” to the heartfelt and intimate lyrics of “Snaggletooth”. The crescendo in “From Afar” is our favourite. Well done sir. Well done indeed.

PikeletRose Wintergreen
PikeletCalluses
Entrancing from the very first listen (start with the track “Calluses”), this album still tickles my brain in unexpected and exciting ways. I’m not sure I understand it, but it’s unlike anything else I’ve heard, and I keep going back for more. YES!

Mark MoldreJessica Cassar (Jep & Dep)
Mark MoldreAn Ear To The Earth
If Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and Jeff Tweedy were pushed out to sea in a rickety old boat they’d come up with something like this. Mark Moldre’s An Ear to the Earth is a boisterous yet soulful musical journey worth the fare. You’ll be stomping and crying and laughing, and if you’re lucky to catch Moldre live, you’ll be doing all three with a whiskey in hand.

PowerlinesBeth Stephen (The Little Stevies)
Mustered CouragePowerlines
I’m a sucker for great harmonies and catchy melodies, and Mustered Courages’ album Powerlines has both, so I’m a big fan. Powerlines was produced by Jimi Maroudas, who also produced our first album Love Your Band. And for me it ticks all the boxes of a great album. The songs remind me of those off Foggy Highway, by Paul Kelly and The Stormwater Boys; strong and well-constructed, front and centre. Followed secondly by great musicianship and vocal harmony to present the full kick-ass package. And although their musicianship is apparent, luckily for these talented lads their songs don’t need to be dressed up head to toe in an overkill of instrumental licks to try and hide a weak song, but instead have successfully shown off their musicianship when it counts and in a very tasteful way. When I listen to the album I hear it as a collection of great pop songs first, and secondly as a bluegrass album. And in my opinion I think that’s clever, and the sign of good bunch of songwriters. There’s also nothing more impressive than when a group can reproduce an already top-notch studio album to an even higher standard live, and that’s what Mustered Courage can do. It’s a tasteful album, one of great energy and diversity in mood and who sings the lead on each song, and I recommend a listen to anyone who calls themselves a music lover.

ArcWhitaker
Everything EverythingArc
The perfect sophomore release, Arc built on all that was good about Everything Everything’s punchy, dramatic and down-right enviable musical style presented by their debut album three years prior. It’s the kind of record we listen to and think “Man, how did they do this? How can we do this?” as we listen through every track on repeat. Incredible production – good luck topping that one boys (they will)!

Vance JoyMark Wilkinson
Vance JoyGod Loves You When You’re Dancing
Emotive vocals and great songs. “Riptide” has obviously been huge, but the rest of the EP really stands up as well.

AgapeCastlecomer
Bear’s DenAgape
Bear’s Den produce an organic brand of music that resonates in its beautiful and powerful simplicity. Disarmingly honest lyrics accompany soaring and often haunting melodies backed by 3-part harmonies, and there are obvious folk influences to their songwriting. These guys are a must-see live act, and seem to be going from strength to strength, recently following up in magnificent style with their new EP Without/Within. There is an unassuming and captivating charm in this EP that is hard to resist.

HaimImogen Bel
HAIMDays Are Gone
There seemed to be a lot of highly anticipated releases this year, and for whatever reason, I missed out on a lot of them! One band that caught my attention early on however, was HAIM. This is a really solid album – so many hooks jam packed into each song, both melodically and rhythmically. I love that these girls obviously love pop music, but they play around with structures and mix things up to keep it fresh and surprising. They are obviously very accomplished musicians but they never let it get in the way of creating fun, interesting pop music. Standout tracks: “The Wire”, “Don’t Save Me”, “Go Slow” (no filler on this album though!).

Steal The LightKyle Vause (The Timbers)
The Cat EmpireSteal The Light
This is my favorite Cat Empire album to date. I seriously can’t fault this album, every song is a winner. My top three tracks off this album are “Still Young”, “Open Up Your Face” and probably the first single “Brighter Than Gold”.

Lucy WiseNigel Wearne
Lucy Wise & The B’GolliesWhen We Wander Far From Home
It makes me very happy to nominate this album as my favourite for 2013. The first time I heard Lucy Wise, I was struck by the originality and honesty of her songwriting. There are so many layers at work in this ten song offering. She’s included songs about organic farming and broken families, sailing, family connections, sculpture gardens and even Google Earth! Three members of the B’Gollies double in their own right as The Sting Contingent and they, with Mischa Herman on accordion, bring sophistication and tastefully woven arrangements to Lucy’s beautiful songs. “Lay of the Land” and “Mother’s Song” are stand-out tracks. A slow-burner that keeps giving.

InnocentsKate Martin
MobyInnocents
This was difficult to narrow down so I’ll say that ONE of my favourite LPs of 2013 is Innocents by Moby. Seven of the twelve tracks are collabs, it’s nice cross-pollination. The highlight track for me is a very moving instrumental called “Going Wrong”.

Step BrothersAidan Cooney (Boy Outside)
PalmsStep Brothers
A vehicle back to care free summers that lasted for ever. Yes that feeling. Play loud! Jump around aimlessly. Throw shapes at friends. A real shot in the arm. This shit works.

Josh PykeDan Acfield (Dan and Hannah Acfield)
Josh PykeThe Beginning And The End Of Everything
I must admit that although I’ve been listening to lots of music that’s new to me this year, most of it was not actually released this year! However, I have been enjoying Josh Pyke’s recent release The Beginning and End of Everything. After watching Josh Pyke perform tunes from this album from side of stage earlier in the year, I went home and immediately purchased the album. It’s deliciously folk-pop with that special (but evolved) Josh flavour which is quite difficult to not enjoy.

Josh RitterJack McNeill and Charlie Heys
Josh RitterThe Beast in Its Tracks
Josh Ritter has always been a favourite listen, he seems to grow more subtly insightful with each new album. A thoughtfully connected collection with the ghost of the Golden Age of Radio walking quietly through it. Ritter has the knack of catching you off-guard, gifted with a quiet wit, a sharper tongue than most and a real eye for the detail.

Warp and WeftEmma Davis
Laura VeirsWarp and Weft
Laura Veirs makes me happy. In fact, I think I would go as far as saying, I love her. Her unique way of phrasing things, her incredible ability to put into words the way that nature effects us, the delicate but interesting production- I couldn’t get enough. Laura’s newest release, Warp and Weft once again seems to deliver that Veirs-y charm that I have grown fond of. It is definitely a more mature album than Saltbreakers and the slightly Fleet-Foxy previous album July Flame. Some of the tracks are a little rockier with the beefy sounds of her Gibson shining through, and the arrangements are loaded full of weird and wonderful instruments, but the songs don’t seem to get lost at any point. Every little thing has its place and works together to carry her strong melodies and endearing way with words. As with her past releases, the album works well as a entire composition, so a little listening time is needed to start appreciating the tracks separately, but I think it makes this record a real grower. Overall, it’s a beautiful and carefully produced album that seems to communicate the warmth of nature and our place in it, so darn well.

Melt Yourself DownJoe Gould (The Crooked Fiddle Band)
Melt Yourself DownMelt Yourself Down
This debut is most original album I heard all year, a mix of electronics and afrobeat that is dark and danceable. Saturated sax riffs and tribal drums collide and make me feel euphoric that there’s still sounds out there I haven’t heard. What a great feeling to evoke in a listener!

LuxGordon Wallace (The Crooked Fiddle Band)
AfenginnLux
My album pick of 2013 is Lux by Danish band Afenginn. I have been a fan of the band’s “bastard ethnopunk” for a while now and their back catalog is well worth checking out. Lux is their latest offering and has quite a chilled out/ambient vibe and the most amazing fold-the-cd-digipak-into-a-lantern I have ever seen! Last year we realized we would cross paths at a festival in Sweden, so met Kim the main composer and became friends. The outcome of that is that they will be in Sydney playing at the Basement on the 16th January and Crooked Fiddle are lucky enough to be playing support! A great success of cross-continental mutual musical appreciation!

Big ScaryMark Leahy The Twoks
Big ScaryNot Art
After listening to Not Art I cannot help but walk around with a bounce in my step. This album is so confident, so diverse, so intricate and yet really simple. Fantastic production and really great songwriting. The performances have such dark commitment and awesome personality about them that I cannot help but love it.

Lucy WiseEmily-Rose Sarkova (Chaika)
Lucy Wise & The B’GolliesWhen We Wander Far From Home
I would say Lucy Wise’s newest album, When We Wander Far From Home. Her incredibly personal way of writing songs seems to capture so perfectly the very small delicate goings on of everyday life as well as the touching poignantly on deep environmental and social issues. All in a collection of songs that are truly beautiful and you cannot help but want to sing along with her.

The HeistCJ Shaw (CJ Shaw and the Blow Ins)
I have two:
Big ScaryNot Art
Beautiful and purposeful. Every nook and cranny of this album has been sculpted with the up most of care.
Macklemore and Ryan LewisThe Heist
A powerhouse. Big sound, big ego, big belief, big purpose. It is big and wonderful, makes you think and groove. It enlights and inspires.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 28th June

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Grizzly Jim Lawrie released his brand new video “Midnight Run”. Details here

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros treated us to another brand new song in the form of “This Life”. Details here

– UK trio Daughter released the much anticipated official video for their track “Youth”. Details here

Lachlan Bryan has apparently got The Wildes back together for a new album and is touring in NSW and VIC before its release. Details here

The Civil Wars released the video for their brand new track “The One That Got Away”. Details here

Boy & Bear have revealed the cover art and release date for their new album Harlequin Dream as well as tour dates this October and November. Details here

Alison Avron, singer-songwriter and the brains behind Sydney venue The Newsagency, is launching her new EP next month. Details here

Josh Pyke released his new video “Leeward Side”. Details here

– The Adrian Edmondson fronted folk-punk band The Bad Shepherds have a new album on the way. Details here

– Details of the Inside Llewyn Davis soundtrack have been revealed. Details here

Sideshow Alley have posted their latest video with Nathaniel Rateliff in NYC. Details here

Folk By The Sea has announced its first round of artists for the debut festival this September including Ted Egan, Casey Donovan, Pat Drummond, Nick Rheinberger, The Rusty Datsuns, Fintan Vallely (Ireland), Riogh and more to come. Details here

Interviews

“I was initially attracted to the sound of Tolka as they reminded me strongly of possibly one of my favourite Australian folk bands. I won’t say which one, though it was mentioned in dispatches and a subject of some discussion when we spoke — press Play to find out”Tolka chat to Bill Quinn. Interview here

Releases This Week

Isaac Graham
Glorious MomentumIsaac Graham
Bandcamp

Timber and Steel Presents

Alicia Adkins
Alicia Adkins with Lucy Wise, Alex Hamilton
Sunday 30th June – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets on the Door

Buffalo Tales
Buffalo Tales
Saturday 29th June – The Kent, Newcastle, NSW
Monday 1st July – 505, Surry Hills, NSW
Thursday 4th July – Roundabout Inn, Glouster, NSW
Friday 5th July – The Courthouse Hotel, Tamworth NSW

Official Site

Gigs Next Week

Dan & Hannah Acfield
Friday 28th June – The Loft Chevron Island, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 29th June – Solbar, Maroocydoore, QLD
Sunday 30th June – The Powerhouse (Livespark), Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 4th July – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC
Friday 5th July – Ararat Live, Ararat, VIC

Fraser A Gorman w/ Stu Mackenzie (King Gizzard)
Wednesday 3rd July – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Imogen Clark
Sunday 30th June – The Toxteth Hotel, Sydney, NSW

John Flanagan
Saturday 29th June – Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 30th June – House Concert, Glebe, NSW
Tuesday 2nd July – House Concert, Central Coast, NSW
Wednesday 3rd July – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 5th July – Illawarra Folk Club, Wollongong, NSW

Lachlan Bryan
Wednesday 3rd July – The Song Factory, Blacktown, NSW
Thursday 4th July – Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland, NSW
Friday 5th July – The Aero Club, Tamworth, NSW

Little Features feat. Matt De, Liam Gale, Baby Lips and The Silhouettes, Charlie Gradon, Fanny Lumsden
Saturday 29th June – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Mustered Courage
Friday 28th June – Molly Malones, Devonport, TAS
Sunday 30th June – Brookefield Margate, Margate, TAS
Sunday 30th June – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS

Patrick James
Saturday 29th June – Sub Lounge, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 5th July – Paddington Uniting Church, Sydney, NSW

Perch Creek Family Jugband
Friday 28th June – Bangalow Bowling Club, Bangalow, NSW

The Stillsons
Friday 5th July – The Front, Canberra, ACT

Thelma Plum
Thursday 4th July – Transit Bar, Canberra, ACT

Tigertown
Friday 28th June – The Weatsheaf, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 29th June – Ya-Ya’s, Perth, WA
Sunday 30th June – Indi Bar, Scarborough, WA
Friday 5th July – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Tom West
Thursday 4th July – Ya Ya’s, Perth, WA

Friday Folk Flashback

“Thumper” – The Wedding Band

A few years back Mumford and Sons (and some friends) released a limited EP as The Wedding Band which was only available with tickets to one of their tours. I’ve been falling back in love with this track which is intersected with some reels – if anyone knows the name(s) of the reels would love to know!

Alison Avron Launching New EP, By Your Side

Alison Avron
Photo by Yvonne Mullane, Courtesy of Alison Avron

If you’re a fan of live and local music in Sydney there’s a very good chance you’ve crossed paths with Alison Avron – either in her guise as a talented singer-songwriter or as the brains behind the fantasic, intimate venue The Newsagency in Marrickville.

On the 20th July Avron will be releasing her brand new EP By Your Side and is planning a launch at, you guessed it, The Newsagency on the same night. By Your Side was recorded with Josh Schuberth (Josh Pyke, Brett Winterford) and is a sneak preview to an album they plan to finish in 2014.

If you’ve been to The Newsagency you’ll know that seats are extremely limited. If you want to make it down to this show we recommend you get in quick – for more information, including how to get tickets, check out the official Facebook event here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 11th January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Timber and Steel are proud to be presenting the upcoming tour from Melbourne trio Little Wise. Details here

Anaïs Mitchell and collaborator Jefferson Hamer will be releasing an album of traditional ballads taken from the Francis James Child collection, due this March. Details here

– Sydney singer-songwriter Sam Buckingham shot the video for her track “Let’s Go Home” on a phone while she was at the Peats Ridge Festival over new year. Details here

– Adelaide singer-songwriter Kaurna Cronin has revealed a brand new track, “Run Boy”, via a video shot live in the secret underground tunnels under Victoria Square. Details here

– Aussie-Swedish folk duo Nick and Liesl have announced plans to release a brand new EP, Friend and Lover, and have a bunch of East Coast tour dates through February and March. Details here

Matt Walters continues the trend of indie-folk videos of the artist walking through the woods with his latest single “I Would Die For You”. Details here

– The 2013 Port Fairy Folk Festival has added a bunch more artists including Xavier Rudd, Mustered Courage and The Stillsons. Details here

– Intimate Sydney venue The Newsagency is presenting a very special songwriting workshop in February featuring Sarah Humphreys, Jack Carty and Alison Avron. Details here

– On the 1st February Country Roads hits the Vanguard in Sydney for a night of folk, country and bluegrass featuring Bellyache Ben and the Steamgrass Boys, The Green Mohair Suits, The River and the Road and All Our Exes Live In Texas. Details here

Luka Bloom will be touring the country in March after already being confirmed for the Blue Mountains Music Festival and Bluesfest. Details here

– The Northern Beaches Music Festival will be holding a pop-up fundraiser this Sunday in Sydney featuring RAPT trio feat. Ben Palumbo, Spasm Band, Renny Field and Ryan Collings. Details here

Crooked Still banjo player Greg Liszt also plays with experimental jam-folk five piece The Deadly Gentlemen who have just released their new single – a cover of Vampire Weekend’s “The Kids Don’t Stand A Chance”. Details here

– Sydney indie-folk quartet Tin Sparrow have released their first ever official music video, the zombie film inspire “The Beast”. Details here

The Lumineers treated us to a live video covering Bob Dylan’s classic “Boots of Spanish Leather”. Details here

– The Cobargo Folk Festival has a pretty exciting lineup this year including David Ross Macdonald, Don’t Mention The Wall, Kim Churchill, Martin Pearson, Modhan, The Bon Scotts, The Perch Creek Family Jug Band (above), Vin Garbutt and many many more. Details here

– Nashville based singer-songwriter Caitlin Rose has released another track from her forthcoming album The Stand-In titled “I Was Cruel”. Details here

Interviews

“I’ve been playing music my whole life. I really started taking it serious a few years ago. I put out an album called False Alarm. I had a lot of success with that; had it featured in a big show that was all over the world, and went to number one iTunes”Andy Brown chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“The festival! Wonderful! We’ve got our program up, and we’re just doing our last scheduling with the last few volunteers, trying to fill in a few gaps. But looking absolutely fantastic. I’ve got a taste of a few of the artists at Woodford Folk Festival when I was there — it’s looking absolutely magnificent.”Illawarra Folk Festival Artistic Director David de Santi chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

Spotlight On

Melody Pool

Melody Pool

“Hailing from the Hunter Valley in NSW Melody Pool’s music is equal parts country and folk and she has one of those voices you just want to listen to for hours. My first reaction to Pool’s music was how strongly it resembled that of Laura Marling (a fact not lost on the reviewers on her Unearthed Page) but upon listening to her Awake, You’re All Around Me EP more closely it’s clear that she is more than a Marling clone weaving elements of country and indie music throughout her songs”Spotlight on Melody Pool here

Releases This Week

Dropkick Murphys
Signed and Sealed in BloodDropkick Murphys
iTunes

Gigs Next Week

Davidson Brothers and Mustered Courage
Friday 11th January – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Don’t Mention The Wall
Thursday 17th January – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW
18th to 20th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

East Coast Canadian Showcase feat. Andy Brown, Dave Gunning
Friday 11th January – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC

Illawarra Folk Festival
Thursday 17th to Sunday 20th Januray – Bulli, NSW

Kim Churchill
Friday 11th January – Heritage Hotel, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 12th January – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Friday 18th January – Clancy’s Fish Pub, Fremantle, WA

Lachlan Bryan
Wednesday 16th January – The Retreat Hotel, Melbounre, VIC

Lianne La Havas
Friday 18th January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW

Northern Beaches Music Festival Pop-Up Fundraiser feat. RAPT Trio feat. Ben Palumbo, Spasm Band, Renny Field and Ryan Collings
Saturday 12th January – William Street Studios, Sydney, NSW

Sam Buckingham
Friday 11th January – Moree Plains Gallery, Moree, NSW

Sharon Shannon
Friday 11th January – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 12th January – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

The April Maze
Saturday 12th January – The Glass Onion Society, Longjety, NSW

The Mouldy Lovers
Friday 11th January – Notes Live, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 12th January – Phoenix Bar, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 13th January – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 17th January – Bon Amici’s, Toowoomba, QLD
Friday 18th January – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD

Tin Sparrow
Friday 11th January – Front Gallery Cafe, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 12th January – Yours and Owls, Wollongong, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“No Gods (and Precious Few Heroes)” – Dick Gaughan

This week’s FFF is dedicated to sometime Timber and Steel contributor MackaJay who was obsessed with this song for some time. Originally written by Brian McNeill (Battlefield Band), I’ve chosen Dick Gaughan’s version for the man’s amazing voice (and the fact it was featured on the very first podcast from The Mike Harding Folk Show).

The Newsagency’s Songwriter School in Sydney

Sarah Humphreys
Image Courtesy of Sarah Humphreys

This February Sydney venue The Newsagency is hosting a workshop for aspiring singer-songwriters featuring talks from guest musicians on everything from songwriting technique to how to set up and promote gigs as well as a masterclass to help you work on your own songs.

The Newsagency’s Songwriter School will play host to two of Timber and Steel’s favourite local songwriters, Sarah Humphreys (above) and Jack Carty, along with The Newsagency operator and singer-songwriter in her own right Alison Avron.

The workshop will take place on the 5th February from 7pm at The Newsagency, 375 Enmore Road, Marrickville. Tickets are $20 to watch or $30 to workshop your songs as part of the masterclass. For more information and to get your hands on tickets follow this link.

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