Thank Folk It’s Friday – 9th May

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

The Felice Brothers have released their first single in three years, “Cherry Licorice”. Details here

– NSW based singer-songwriter Timothy James Bowen has a bunch of east coast dates this month as well as a brand new live video for the track “Breathe Easy”. Details here

– The new folk and Americana show on Double J, hosted by Emma Swift, kicked off this week. Details here

– South Australian singer-songwriter Sam Brittain is heading out on tour to launch his new album. Details here

– The one and only Stu Larsen will be releasing his debut album Vagabond in July. Details here

– Tonight the May edition of Sydney’s MoFo will take place at The Gaelic Club featuring Huckleberry Hastings and Brendon Moon. Details here

– We gave you the exclusive first look at the new Dan and Amy video “Pretend”. Details here

Splendour in the Grass sideshows have been announced for Ben Howard, First Aid Kit, Mikhael Paskalev and The Head and the Heart. Details here

Nick Mulvey has released another new video in the form of “Meet Me There”. Details here

Mark Wilkinson has added some major city dates to his current national tour this July. Details here

– Perth’s Ruby Boots has just released her new EP which you can stream online. Details here

The Lurkers have just released their new clip “Mining Man”. Details here

– The new Al Parkinson single “Like This” has been officially released. Details here

– Get a taster of Nick Payne’s (Dear Orphans) solo material with a live clip for “My Darling” featuring Katie Brianna. Details here

– Folktronica artist Caitlin Park has released her new gender-bending video “Lemonade”. Details here

Busby Marou have released their new video for “My Second Mistake” and announced a tour this July and August. Details here

– Adeladie’s Todd Sibbin has returned with his new band Todd Sibbin and the Acadian Driftwood sharing a new clip and tour dates. Details here

– Alt-country duo Jep and Dep have released their brand new video “Babe Come Down”. Details here

– Next weekend the Sydney Blues and Roots Festival is holding an Autumn edition in Sydney’s west. Details here

Blog

On Sunday Timber and Steel celebrated its forth birthday. Check out our annual editorial from Editor in Chief Gareth Hugh Evans here

Releases This Week

Little Bastard
Little BastardLittle Bastard
iTunes

Luka Bloom
Head and HeartLuka Bloom
iTunes

First Mind
First MindNick Mulvey
iTunes

Atlas
ATLASOwls of the Swamp
Bandcamp

Timber and Steel Presents

Scott Matthew

Scott Matthew

Sunday 11th May – Brew, Brisbane, QLD
Monday 12th May – Mandala Organic Arts Cafe, Gold Coast, QLD
Tuesday 13th May – Pure Pop Records, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 14th May – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Timothy James Bowen

TJB

We’ve been fans of singer-songwriter Timothy James Bowen for a while now, even though he hasn’t featured a lot on the blog. If you’re in NSW you should check out one of these shows to see just why we think he’s something special

Sunday 11th May – House concert, Bulli, NSW
Friday 16th May – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Boy & Bear
Friday 9th May – Regent Cinema, Ballarat, VIC
Saturday 10th May – Deakin’s Costa Hall, Geelong, VIC
Sunday 11th May – Lighthouse Theatre, Warrnambool, VIC
Wednesday 14th May – Lismore Workers Club, Lismore, NSW
Thursday 15th May – C.ex Club, Coffs Harbour, NSW
Friday 16th May – Panthers, Port Macquarie, NSW

Claude Hay
Thursday 15th May – Venue TBC, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 16th May – O’Neill’s Pub, Dickson, ACT

Daniel Champagne
Friday 9th May – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 10th May – Tattersalls Hotel, Hobart, TAS
Thursday 15th May – Lizottes, Central Coast, NSW
Friday 16th May – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW

Dustin Tebbutt
Friday 16th May – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Ella Hooper
Friday 9th May – Jive, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 15th May – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 16th May – Soundlounge, Gold Coast, QLD

Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers w/ Katie Brianna and Emma Beau
Thursday 15th May – Vic on the Park, Sydney, NSW

Hayden Calnin w/ Eliza Hull
Friday 9th May – Goodgod Small Club, Sydney, NSW

Jep and Dep w/ The Weeping Willows
Saturday 10th May – The Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Kim Churchill
Thursday 15th May – The Northern, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 16th May – Electric Playground, Brisbane, QLD

Little Wise
Sunday 11th May – Kingston City Arts Festival, VIC

Mark Wilkinson
Friday 9th May – Glebe Cafe Church, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 10th May – Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW
Friday 16th May – Brothers Leagues Club, Cairns, QLD

Melbourne Folk Club w/ Mick Thomas, Suzannah Espie, Marlon Williams
Wednesday 14th May – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

MoFo feat. Huckleberry Hastings, Brendon Moon
Friday 9th May – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Owen Campbell
Friday 9th May — Mudgee Brewing Company, Mudgee, NSW
Saturday 10th May — TAB Garden Hotel, Dubbo, NSW
Sunday 11th May — Towradgi Beach Hotel, NSW
Thursday 15th May — The Armidale Club, Armidale, NSW
Friday 16th May — Goondiwindi River Jam, Goondiwindi, QLD

Paul Greene and the Other Colours
Friday 9th May – Venue 505, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 10th May – The Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW

Sam Brittain
Friday 9th May – Revolver, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 16th May – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Scott Matthew
Sunday 11th May – Brew, Brisbane, QLD
Monday 12th May – Mandala Organic Arts Cafe, Gold Coast, QLD
Tuesday 13th May – Pure Pop Records, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 14th May – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC

Sydney Blues and Roots Festival Autumn Edition
Friday 16th to Sunday 18th May – Windsor, NSW

The Beards
Friday 9th May – Tattersalls Hotel, Penrith, NSW
Saturday 10th May – Collector Tavern, Parramatta, NSW

The Perch Creek Family Jugband
Friday 9th May – Yours and Owls, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 10th May – The Hi-Fi, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 11th May – Lizottes, Dee Why, NSW
Monday 12th May – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

The Timbers
Friday 9th May – Albion Hotel, Albury, NSW
Saturday 10th May – Penny Black, Melbourne, VIC

Timothy James Bowen
Sunday 11th May – House concert, Bulli, NSW
Friday 16th May – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Todd Sibbin and the Arcadian Driftwood
Saturday 10th May – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Vance Joy
Friday 16th May – The Metro, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Youth” – Daughter

Daughter have become a favourite on the indie scene worldwide but for us our love affair began with the band’s early, folky single “Youth”

Review: St Jeromes Laneway Festival Sydney, A Folkie’s Perspective

Laneway Festival
Image Courtesy of St Jeromes Laneway Festival

Ever since the St Jeromes Laneway Festival booked Mumford and Sons for their 2010 event right before they became the world dominating band they are today I’ve been a fan. My friends had been telling me to go for a few years prior but it was the 2010 lineup – that also included Sarah Blasko, The Middle East and Florence and the Machine – plus its move to the Sydney College of the Arts venue that clinched it for me. While Laneway is an indie festival at heart it always brings me back for the smattering of folky, acoustic goodness that features on the lineup each and every year

As I wandered into the newly extended Callan Park venue is Rozelle the sweet sounds of Little May filtered over the treetops from the Garden Stage. I’m really proud of these guys – a firm Timber and Steel favourite – for the trajectory their musical career is taking at the moment. Their appearance at Laneway came as a result of taking out the triple j Unearthed and while their early opening spot meant the crowds were no where near as big as they would be later in the day, there was a definite buzz around the park for Little May. A couple of years ago Tigertown had the same slot and it just seems like the perfect way to ease you into Laneway – there’s nothing like the mid morning sun, finding your festival bearings and listening to indie-folk.

Next on my “to see” was Cass McCombs, an artist I have a passing knowledge of but whom many of my peers rave about. Standing in the exposed Courtyard Stage (the limited shade of the peppercorn tree was already well populated) I listened to the American singer-songwriter make his way through a set of country inspired rock tunes. I thought the same thing when I saw Jake Bugg at Splendour in the Grass last year – what Cass McCombs presented was good, I just don’t think it was any better or any more deserving of a place on the Laneway stage than any of the hundreds of country-inspired singer-songwriters I see playing to half empty clubs around the country every week. His talent is obvious, his performance was solid and there were a few people really excited about his set (the guy next to me turned to me unsolicited and said “Who is this? It’s great! So country!”) but for the most part I failed to see what the buzz was about.

From the Cass McCombs set we made our way to hill overlooking the side-by-side Garden and Park stages to catch an afternoon of folky goodness from Vance Joy, Frightened Rabbit and Daughter. I really like the way that Laneway Festival has expanded outside of the walls of the Sydney College of the Arts and into Callan Park for the “main” stages rather than cramming everyone into what is now the Courtyard Stage. Having the elevation of the hill rolling down into the stages was superb, allowing us “older” patrons to have a bit of a sit down on the grass with a clear view of the stage while the young’uns danced up a storm at the front. I hope this is extension of the festival grounds is here to stay – and that the council is listening!

Vance Joy was the man of the hour when he walked on stage in front of a massive crowd for his 2:30pm set. I’d seen him last year at Splendour in the Grass at the height of his “Riptide” stardom and it looks as though he has his festival performance – with his full band behind him – down to a perfect science. Kicking off with God Loves You When You’re Dancing opener “Emmylou” and then deftly moving through the rest of his EP throughout his set Vance Joy had the crowd jumping and singing in the afternoon sun. When the ukulele appeared for “Play With Fire” the crowd went wild, a state of excitement they managed to maintain as Vance Joy wrapped up proceedings with “Riptide”. I think the crowd might have been bigger later in the day when Lorde performed her highly anticipated set, but the energy during Vance Joy’s appearance would not be replicated for the rest of the festival.

Next up were Frightened Rabbit who have managed to shake their comparison Mumford and Sons (which seems solely based on front man Scott Hutchison’s rythmic acoustic guitar sound) and instead earning their reputation as an amazing live band. For a group that boasts more guitarists than is usually recommended Frightened Rabbit still manage to make their sound melodic, complex and layered. This isn’t just a wall of sound, it’s a considered presentation of songs with every instrument playing its part. Hutchison’s reputation as a mouthy Scotsman was fully realised with plenty of in between song banter, berating of the audience and swearing in that charming way that only a Scotsman can. A fantastic performance and the perfect follow on from the sweet folk of Vance Joy.

I’ve been following a writing about Daughter since they first popped up as part of the Communion scene in 2011. Their simple instrumentation – vocals, guitars and percussion – lends itself very well to the indie-folk scene but in truth these guys have firmly moved on from any folk roots they may have once had and have more in common with bands like The XX and Alt-J. I still thoroughly enjoyed their Laneway set as the sun dipped behind the college and the intense heat of the day started to abate. Drawing heavily from their 2013 album If You Leave – which in turn draws heavily from their earlier EPs – Daughter definitely won over the crowd with select cuts like “Youth” and “Amsterdam”.

Daughter were the last of the folkier bands on the line – despite the recent announcement of an acoustic tour Cloud Control have long since shed any folk leanings – so we settled in at the Garden and Park stages and watched the crowds ebb and flow while the likes of Lorde, Haim, Chvrches and The Jezabels played on. I love this festival for so many reasons – its location in Sydney’s inner-west away from the bigger parks and stadiums, its ability to book acts like Lorde and Vance Joy before they’re massive, the relaxed vibe of the bigger stages, the fact I could sit on the grass and enjoy the music – and I’m so glad that indie-folk is still an important part of it. As long as Laneway is able to maintain this quality, both in lineup and presentation, they’ll have me as a lifetime fan.

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 – 1st November

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– The Port Fairy Folk Festival revealed the first lineup of artists for 2014 including Altan (Ireland), Blair Dunlop (UK), Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen (USA), Madeline Peyroux (USA), Rory McLeod (UK), Rose Cousins (Canada), Archie Roach, Ash Grunwald, Bobby Alu, Daniel Champagne, The Mae Trio, The Pigs, The Tealeaves, The Tiger & Me, Things of Stone and Wood and many more. Details here

The Head and The Heart have released their brand new video “Shake”. Details here

– The new EP from Bear’s Den, Without/Within, is out today (see below) and they have released a video for the track “Sahara” to celebrate. Details here

Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers also released their long-awaited new video “Sea Elephant School”. Details here

Cass McCombs has announced a couple of sideshows when he’s in the country for Laneway. Details here

– Alt-country singer-songwriter James Kenyon has announced plans for a November tour. Details here

– This Sunday will see The Davidson Brothers kick off their November residency at The Spotted Mallard in Melbourne. Details here

– Alice Springs based singer-songwriter Jacinta Price will be launching her Bill Chambers produced debut album Dry River this month. Details here

– Scottish trad group Breabach will be in the country for Woodford and WOMADelaide this Summer and are streaming their brand new album Ùrlar online. Details here

– The very buzz worthy, very quirky Mikhael Paskalev will be releasing his new EP I Spy in Australia this month. Details here

Bob Evans has announced his Good Evans It’s Xmas! residency at the Northcote Social Club this December. Details here

– Melbourne trio Whitaker are releasing their new EP Wichita this month. Details here

Daughter have released their brand new video “Amsterdam”. Details here

– Sydney’s MoFo at The Gaelic have announced their November lineup for next Friday including Takadimi and Catgut. Details here

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros have released yet another new video, this time for “Country Calling”. Details here

– When she’s in the country for Golden Plains next year Neko Case has a bunch of sideshows planned. Details here

Interviews

“Lucie and I met in Sydney, and we met through the music really. Lucie played a big part in bringing me to Australia. When we met, I knew we would be friends. When I heard Lucie play a solo show at the Mullum Festival before I went back to the states, I caught a spark – it was like a vision – I could see as clear as day that we would collaborate. When I told Lucie about my vision/idea she was wide open and it rolled on out from there”Pieta Brown from Love Over Gold chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Blog

“Next week Patrick James will be hitting the road for his 2013 Spring Tour. We thought we’d ask the Aussie troubadour for his top ten tracks you’re likely to hear on his tour bus as he makes his way around the country and he came back with a pretty impressive list”Patrick James shares his top 10 tour bus tracks. Blog here

Releases This Week

Within Without
Without/WithinBear’s Den
iTunes

Timber and Steel Presents

Arbori
Arbori
Saturday 2nd November – Bom Funk Studio, Canberra, ACT
Friday 8th November – Smiths Alternative Bookstore, Canberra, ACT

Gigs Next Week

Alice Springs Courtyard Sessions Presents Sally Balfour
Sunday 3rd November – Olive Pink Botanic Gardens, Alice Springs, NT

Boy & Bear
Friday 1st November – Wool Exchange, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 2nd November – The Forum, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 3rd November – The Forum, Melbourne, VIC
Monday 4th November – The Forum, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 7th November – Beach Hotel, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 8th November – Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast, QLD

Busby Marou
Thursday 7th November – Zierholz @ UC, Canberra, ACT
Friday 8th November – The Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW

Clannad
Friday 1st November – Astor Theatre, Perth, WA

Davidson Brothers
Sunday 3rd November – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Dyson Stringer Cloher
Friday 1st November – Panthers, Port Macquarie, NSW
Saturday 2nd November – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 3rd November – Lizotte’s, Kincumber, NSW
Tuesday 5th November – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Wednesday 6th November – Clarendon Guest House, Katoomba, NSW
Thursday 7th November – Lizotte’s, Dee Why, NSW
Friday 8th November – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Emma Davis and Brian Brian Campeau
Friday 8th November – FBI Social, Sydney, NSW

Foghorn Stringband
Friday 1st November – Illawarra Folk Club, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 2nd November – Sydney Bluegrass & Old Tim, Annandale, NSW
Sunday 3rd November – Roxbury Hotel, Glebe, NSW
Tuesday 5th November – Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT
Wednesday 6th November – Yea Community House, Yea, VIC
Thursday 7th November – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 8th and Saturday 9th November – Bendigo Blues & Roots Festival, VIC

heart.beats.mind.
Friday 1st November – The Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 2nd November – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW

James Kenyon
Saturday 2nd November – The Labour in Vain, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 5th November – The Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC

Jordie Lane
Friday 1st November – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 2nd November – Red Hot Music, Devonport, TAS
Sunday 3rd November – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS (Afternoon Show)
Thursday 7th November – Beav’s Bar, Geelong, VIC
Friday 8th November – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC

Lachlan Bryan
Friday 1st November – Burleigh Underground Drummers, Gold Coast, QLD
Thursday 7th November – Mars Hill Cafe, Parramatta, NSW
Friday 8th November – The Lambton Park Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

Little Bastard
Friday 8th November – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW

Loren Kate
Friday 8th November – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

MoFo at The Gaelic feat. Takadimi and Catgut
Friday 8th November – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Patrick James
Thursday 7th November – Yours & Owls, Wollongong, NSW

Sam Buckingham and Buffalo Tales
Friday 1st November – Venue 505, Sydney, NSW

Takadimi
Friday 8th November – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

The Bon Scotts
Saturday 2nd November – Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 3rd November – The Surf Club, Glenelg, SA

The Crooked Fiddle Band
Friday 1st November – Sol Bar, Sunshine Coast, QLD
Saturday 2nd November – The Joynt, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 8th November – The Corner. Melbourne, VIC

The Little Stevies
Saturday 2nd November – Portland Music Festival, Portland, VIC
Thursday 7th November – The Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW
Friday 8th November – The Coogee Diggers, Sydney, NSW

Whitley
Saturday 2nd November – A Day On The Greeen, Hunter Valley, NSW
Sunday 3rd November – A Day On The Green, Mount Cotton, QLD

Friday Folk Flashback

“Lanigan’s Ball” – Christy Moore

This was the first fiddle tune I ever learnt on my violin when I was a kid and still one of my favourites. Christy Moore has such a rhythmic way of singing and is perfectly suited to this track.

Watch the New Daughter Video “Amsterdam”

Daughter
Image Courtesy of Daughter

For their latest video, “Amsterdam”, UK trio Daughter have given us a unique glimpse into their touring life with footage from Festival No.6 in Portmeirion, North Wales. Check out the video below:

Daughter will be in Australia next year for the Laneway Festivals and a couple of side shows. The full list of dates are below:

Friday 31st January – Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, QLD – Laneway
Saturday 1st February ­- Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC), Melbourne, VIC – Laneway
Sunday 2nd February – Sydney College of the Arts (SCA), Sydney, NSW – Laneway
Tuesday 4th February – St Stephen’s Uniting Church, Sydney, NSW
Friday 7th February – Harts Mill, Adelaide, SA – Laneway
Saturday 8th February – Esplanade Park and West End, Fremantle, WA – Laneway
Monday 10th February – St Michael’s Church, Melbourne, VIC

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 25th October

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– The week kicked off with over 500 artists being announced for this year’s Woodford Folk Festival. Details here

WOMADelaide also added eleven new artists to its 2014 lineup including Timber and Steel favourite Sam Lee and Scottish trad specialists Breabach. Details here

– Sydney indie-folk night Little Features have announced their October lineup including Hushka, Colin Jones, Little Bighorn and Jacob Pearson. Details here

Bluesfest announced their third lineup additions for 2014 including Jack Johnson, Elvis Costello, Passenger and Kasey Chambers. Details here

– We posted the full lineup for the Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival which kicks off today. Details here

Busby Marou revealed their new video “Get You Out Of Here”. Details here

– Australian-born, Berlin-based folk-pop singer Phia has released her new single “Do You Ever?”. Details here

– Another festival to announce its 2014 lineup is Golden Plains 8, whose folky artists include Neko Case, The Orbweavers, Archer and the Long Gone Daddies and The Perch Creek Family Jugband. Details here

Patrick James has revealed a brand new track “Wait” ahead of his Spring tour. Details here

Dustin Tebbutt, who is heading out on tour with Boy & Bear, has revealed his new video “Where I Find You” from his new EP The Breach. Details here

Timber and Steel has an exclusive stream of “Streets”, the new EP from Isaac de Heer that is officially released today. Details here

Emma Davis released her new single “Stand Tall” and announced an east coast tour with Brian Campeau in November. Details here

– Sydney’s The Mountains have announced their last headline show for 2013 with Edward Deer and Direwolf. Details here

Daughter have announced Laneway sideshows next year. Details here

– The Sydney Festival announced its 2014 lineup including a bunch of folk acts like Chris Thile, The Staves, Dom Flemons and more. Details here

Midlake released their brand new video “Antiphon”. Details here

– On the 21st November Timber and Steel will be presenting a very special night of music featuring Boy Outside, The British Blues and All Our Exes Live In Texas. Details here

Interviews

“I just don’t think we worked out what we were trying to do with Cherbourg. I think we learnt a lot of lessons from it. It was quite a set formula with Cherbourg and I think we’re all multi-instrumentalists in Bear’s Den and it allows us to be a lot more fluid with the sort of sounds we can make and what we choose to do with them” – Kev Jones from Bear’s Den chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Releases This Week

Wild Heart
Wild HeartBec Sandridge
Bandcamp

Isaac De Heer Streets
StreetsIsaac de Heer
iTunes

The Head and the Heart
Let’s Be StillThe Head And The Heart
iTunes

Timber and Steel Presents

Arbori
Arbori
Saturday 26th October – Festival at Mezzanine Styles, Parkes, NSW
Sunday 27th October – Balcony TV, Coolum Beach, QLD

Gigs Next Week

Boy & Bear
Friday 25th October – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Sundey 27th October – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 1st November – Wool Exchange, Geelong, VIC

Busby Marou
Friday 25th October – The Hi-Fi, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 26th October – The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba, QLD

Caitlin Rose
Friday 25th October – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

Clannad
Saturday 26th October – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Monday 28th October – City Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 30th October – State Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 1st November – Astor Theatre, Perth, WA

Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival
Friday 25th to Sunday 27th October – Dorrigo, NSW

Dyson Stringer Cloher
Friday 25th October – The Sound Lounge, Currumbin, QLD
Saturday 26th October – Judith Wright Centre, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 27th October – Woombye Pub, Eumundi, QLD
Thursday 31st October – Byron Bay Brewery, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 1st November – Panthers, Port Macquarie, NSW

Fleurieu Folk Festival
Friday 25th to Sunday 27th October – Willunga, SA

Foghorn Stringband
Friday 25th to Sunday 27th October – Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival, NSW
Tuesday 29th October – Kyogle Memorial Institute Hall, Kyogle, NSW
Thursday 31st October – Lizotte’s, Kincumber, NSW
Friday 1st November – Illawarra Folk Club, Wollongong, NSW

heart.beats.mind.
Friday 1st November – The Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT

Jordie Lane
Friday 25th to Saturday 26th October – Fleurieu Folk Festival, SA
Sunday 27th October – Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA (Afternoon show)
Sunday 27the October – Ellington Jazz Club, Perth, WA
Thursday 31st October – Spotted Cow, Toowoomba, QLD
Friday 1st November – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival
Friday 25th to Sunday 27th October – Kangaroo Valley, NSW

Lachlan Bryan
Sunday 27th October – Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland, NSW
Thursday 31st October – Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 1st November – Burleigh Underground Drummers, Gold Coast, QLD

Little Features feat. Hushka, Colin Jones, Little Bighorn, Jacob Pearson
Saturday 26th October – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Matt Corby with Bear’s Den
Sunday 27th October – Arts centre, Fremantle, WA

Perch Creek Family Jugband
Friday 25th October – The Polish Club, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 26th October – City Diggers, Wollongong, NSW
Sunday 27th October – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Sam Buckingham and Buffalo Tales
Wednesday 30th October – Royal Exchange Theatre, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 31st October – The Rhythm Hut, Gosford, NSW
Friday 1st November – Venue 505, Sydney, NSW

The Crooked Fiddle Band
Friday 25th October – Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 1st November – Sol Bar, Sunshine Coast, QLD

The Little Stevies
Friday 25th October – The Velvet Room, Melbourne, VIC

Whitley
Friday 25th October – Bendigo Bank Theatre, Bendigo, VIC
Saturday 26th October – A Day On The Green, Mudgee, NSW
Sunday 27th October – Ed Castle, Adelaide, SA

Friday Folk Flashback

“Forever Young” – Joan Baez

Proof that my wife has far better music taste than me – this song was playing in our house the other day and I had to ask her what it was

Daughter Announce Heavenly Sounds Laneway Sideshows

Daughter
Image Courtesy of Daughter

UK trio Daughter will be in the country for the Laneway Festivals next year and they’ve just announced two very special side shows. Daughter will be teaming with Heavenly Sounds for church gigs in Sydney and Melbourne next February. Tickets for these shows are going to be snapped up really quickly so we recommend getting on top of them when they go on sale next Thursday 31st October.

The full list of side shows are below

Tuesday 4th February – St Stephen’s Uniting Church, Sydney, NSW
Monday 10th February – St Michael’s Church, Melbourne, VIC

A Smattering of Indie-Folk for Laneway 2014

Vance Joy
Image Courtesy of Vance Joy

The other major festival to drop a lineup bomb today is of course Laneway. As always the touring festival has it’s finger on the indie-pulse and scattered amongst the electro, pop and rock of the lineup are always a number of folky gems, and 2014 is no different.

The artists Timber and Steel recommends you definitely go and see while you’re dodging hipsters at Laneway next year is UK indie darlings Daughter, Scottish alt-folk group Frightened Rabbit, elusive singer-songwriter Cass McCombs and of course the one and only Vance Joy (above).

The full lineup for Laneway, plus the list of dates for the festival, is below:

Adalita, Autre Ne Veut,­ Cashmere Cat,­ Cass McCombs,­ Chvrches, Cloud Control,­ Danny Brown,­ Daughter, Dick Diver,­ Drenge, Earl Sweatshirt, Four Tet,­ Frightened Rabbit, Haim, Jagwar Ma, Jamie XX, King Krule,­ Kirin J Callinan,­ Kurt Vile,­ Lorde, Mount Kimbie,­ MT Warning, Parquet Courts, Run The Jewels (EL-P & Killer Mike),­ Savages, Scenic, The Growl,­ The Jezabels,­ Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Vance Joy, Warpaint, XXYYXX,­ Youth Lagoon

Friday 31st January – Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 1st February ­- Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC), Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 2nd February – Sydney College of the Arts (SCA), Sydney, NSW
Friday 7th February – Harts Mill, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 8th February – Esplanade Park and West End, Fremantle, WA

New Daughter B-Side, “Smoke”

Daughter
Image Courtesy of Daughter

Having successfully completed a tour to Australia for Splendour in the Grass Daughter have definitely made an impression here. The UK band have just revealed a brand new tack “Smoke” which appears as a B-side for the single “Youth”. Check out “Smoke” below:

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!

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