Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band Announce Big Machine

Eliza Carthy
Image Courtesy of Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band

English folk royalty Eliza Carthy will be releasing their new album Big Machine on the 3rd February.

Carthy is joined on the record by The Wayward Band, a twelve piece band featuring the likes of Saul Rose, Sam Sweeney (Bellowhead) and Barn Stradling (Blowzabella). The result is a huge “big band” sound reminiscent of Bellowhead that perfectly suits Eliza Carthy’s voice.

The album also sees collaborations with Teddy Thompson, MC Dizraeli and Damien Dempsey.

Check out the full track listing plus the first single “Fade & Fall (Love Not)” below:

1. Fade & Fall (Love Not)
2. Devil In The Woman
3. The Fitter’s Song
4. Jack Warrell’s (excerpt) – Love Lane
5. Hug You Like A Mountain (feat. Teddy Thompson)
6. You Know Me (feat. MC Dizraeli)
7. Great Grey Back
8. Mrs. Dyer The Baby Farmer
9. I Wish That The Wars Were All Over (feat. Damien Dempsey)
10. The Sea
11. Epitaph

Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2016

Child Records

You’ve heard what we think the top albums of 2016 were, but lets be honest this is the piece you’ve really been waiting for.

Every year we reach out to the community of folk and acoustic musicians in Australia and around the world to ask them to pick their favourite album or EP of the year, and this year they came through in spades.

So without further waffle may we present to you this year’s Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2016.

Bill ChambersEagle & The Wolf
Bill ChambersCold Trail
What a record. Bill just turns up when he feels like it and shows us all how it’s done. The title track is one of the best driving songs ever written and we’ve done A LOT of driving this year! This record has been with us on every trip and inspires us as artists of the alt. country genre to dig deep and keep being real, in life and in music. He’s the baddest and the best.

James KenyonAnna Cordell
James KenyonImagine You Are Driving
This album takes me into such a beautiful space, it is so beautifully written and produced, I find myself smiling every time I listen to it – I’m entranced and inspired.

Joe MungovanImogen Clark
Joe MungovanWay Down South
Joe totally embodies the Joni Mitchell quote about songwriting, “The closer you get to your heart is the closer you get to everyone else’s”. This EP is an evolution for him, the production is so sparse and spacey, almost Bon Iver-ish, and very different from the folky style of his first EP. But what remains is Joe’s amazing ability to capture so perfectly the melancholy of the human condition with his beautiful melodies and heart-wrenching lyrics. A big 5 stars from me. Love ya, Joe!

Piers FacciniSam Lee
Piers FacciniI Dreamed An Island
This album only came out a couple of weeks ago but I think needs mentioning in this years crop. Piers is one of the finest male singers and his musicianship is exquisite. It’s an album of great sensitivity with deep thought and poetry inside. The songs are so well formed, he has a knack at creation of timeless soundings orgs.

DD DumboDan Flynn
D.D DumboUtopia Defeated
Oliver has really found his own unique sound while incorporating some diverse influences including folk, electronic and world music. I was really impressed with his songwriting and his ability to draw you in to his strange little world. I also love the production with all those sonic layers that reveal themselves over repeated listens. Amazing debut.

Michael KiwanukaSkyscraper Stan
Michael KiwanukaLove and Hate
I got hooked on this album while touring around New Zealand. The songwriting is melodic, the dynamics are masterful and the closing track, “Final Frame”, kicks me in the guts.

William CrightonJosh Rennie-Hynes
William CrightonWilliam Crighton
I first heard William at Nannup at the start of this year and loved it. He’s a great performer and his songs are top notch. This album captures all of that perfectly. The production is spot on and is a testament to the benefits of what a more DIY approach to recording can achieve.

Bon IverTanya Batt (BATTS)
Bon Iver22, A Million
There have been a lot of amazing releases this year, Canary, Braille Face and Hayden Calnin were three I wanted to choose too. However, it had to be Bon Iver. The most highly anticipated album in my life, it did not disappoint. This album means so much to me, It’s an extremely innovative album within soundscapes and also so raw, filled with emotion. Many tears were shed when I first listened.

MoulettesClaude Hay
MoulettesPreternatural
Moulettes new album Preternatural really grabed me from the first second, Distorted Cello, Oboe, guitar bass drums and they all sing insane harmonies perfectly live….Audio candy

Bill HuntLiam Gale (Liam Gale & the Ponytails)
Bill HuntUpwey
Conversational, melodic, witty and hooky songwriting flood through the beautiful ebb and flow of Upwey, Hunt’s first of many offerings. The songs are hued by a consistent arrangement of drums, bass, violin and Hunt’s subtle and precise guitar style. But they don’t rely on these arrangements; each song a story, assisted by the swell of instrumentation to convey the tales that swing from the near Latin grooves of “Odalik” to the slow sexy grind of “Sea of Love”. At six tracks long, it leaves you wanting more. Perfect.

Childish GambinoSahara Beck
Childish GambinoAwaken, My Love!
Listening to this album is like switching off the real world and stepping into an original and new world. I find it very inspiring.

Oh PepThe Little Stevies
Oh Pep!Stadium Cake
I think the songwriting on Stadium Cake is really interesting. The songs take me to a place that I’m not expecting both lyrically and musically when I begin listening to them and they keep me guessing, which I absolutely love. The arrangements and production are also super cool, and I’m simply just a big fan of talented women and female partnerships doing great things in the arts.

Side PonyFanny Lumsden
Lake Street DiveSide Pony
It seriously makes me the most joy filled human ever. Side Pony is possibly my biggest songwriting envy of late and they just really nail that motown meets pop retro good times.

Nick CaveMiles O’Neil (Miles and Simone)
Nick Cave and The Bad SeedsSkeleton Tree
I was scared to listen to this album due to the tragic circumstances surrounding it. Finally
mustering the courage one bright morning I listened to it through while walking beside the sea.
I stopped many times during that walk to sit and, floored, marvel at the breathtakingly
sadness and beauty captured in what is, to me and I’m sure many others, a masterpiece.

Hayden CalninForest Falls
Hayden CalninCut Love Pt 1/2
Hayden is an absolute stayer of the Melbourne music scene, but it’s for good reason. This record is world-class. Sparse, rich, cinematic, and desperate in its feel, it holds on to you long after the first listen.

Button CollectiveThe Bottlers
The Button CollectiveThe Lonesome Sea
As a softly lilting mandolin emerges from the silence of the opening track, Brodie’s haunting lyrical ballad begins to unravel the story of the heartbreak of a man, torn between travelling the lonesome sea and those who he has left behind. This beautiful yet bittersweet combination of well-travelled wordsmithing and an instrumental palate carrying a nostalgically truthful warmth, could be heard in any far-flung tavern in the dead of night, as tired candles flicker. Finishing with a raucous fling titled “Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy”, the Button Collective’s release concludes on a stirring high, twisting your arm to crave another ale. The EP’s recording, mixing and mastering add a special flair, as you hear the charismatic live-elements that give you a heart-swelling, beer-swilling singalong that you can partake in at any time. Well done fellas!

The Dreaming RoomPhia
Laura MvulaThe Dreaming Room
Her lyrics explore feminism, faith, self-worth, race, and her harmonies, arrangements and production are deep and multi-hued. One of the most exciting songwriters around, unafraid to experiment with multi-genre collaborations, like the London Symphony Orchestra and Nile Rodgers.

JoyGordon Wallace (The Crooked Fiddle Band)
The Peep TempelJoy
This is a great third album by the Melbourne based three piece that has initial flavours of 90s Aussie pub punk/bloke rock (like Cosmic Psychos) but that is just the beginning – the album is musically quite varied, with intelligent, dark, caustically humorous and often political lyrics with moments of honest beauty.

Wartime SweetheartsJoe Gould (The Crooked Fiddle Band)
Wartime SweetheartsSo Long Sparta
It’s always great when a local artist drops something as fully formed and self-assured as Louise Nutting’s second album under the Wartime Sweethearts moniker. Experimental without forgetting the songcraft, it deserves its rightful place amongst the St Vincents, Dirty Projectors and My Brightest Diamonds of the art pop world. Props to local label Art As Catharsis, whose releases in October alone spanned from Wartime Sweethearts to Hashashin’s eastern mathrock and No Haven’s dark hardcore. Eclecticism rules the day!

BeyonceTaryn La Fauci
BeyoncéLemonade
To create and release a piece of work that is so intricately linked and ordered, one you must listen to from start to finish to understand the whole was really refreshing! The film that accompanied the album was also richly interesting, deep and powerful. To address themes such as infidelity and race and then to weave them powerfully into a full album, which on release caused so much controversy and started a conversation world wide, I thought was really great.

Melody PoolKevin Mitchell (Bob Evans)
Melody PoolDeep Dark Savage Heart
Another beautiful record from the most under-rated songwriter in Australia. “Love, She Loves Me” gives me goose bumps every time.

Winter WheatFrank Turner
John K SamsonWinter Wheat
I am a long term partisan of John’s work, so it’s not surprising that I liked this record. But god-DAMN, the man just keeps delivering. This record had me in tears three times on my first listen through, and it gets better with age.

David BowieWilliam Crighton
David BowieBlackstar
My favourite album from 2016 is Blackstar from David Bowie. There were a lot of great albums but I listened to it the most.

TigallerroSteven Barnard (Arbori, Jon Cotton)
Phonte and Eric RobersonTigallerro
Smooth grooves, dope rhymes, sweet melodies. You’d be hard pressed to find another 2016 record his year that has this flow, though Anderson Paaks’ Malibu is a close second. It rolls effortlessly from track to track and the inevitable ass shaking comes with a no “slutty table top twerking” guarantee. It’s rare that a hip hop record explores what it means to be a man of sexual fidelity, a family man, and even man of faith in higher power. Getting hype or turning down, my morning wake up or my party starter, this record has been a solid find.

Julia JacklinJesse Lubitz (TinPan Orange)
Julia JacklinDon’t Let The Kids Win
This album is a gem. The more I listen to this record, the more the songs shimmer and shine with a beautiful honesty. Jacklin’s songwriting is earnest and her voice perfect – it feels like an important voice which dances delicately on a wire between mundanity and profundity.

Bon IverOliver’s Army
Bon Iver22, A Million
Although becoming more and more electronic heavy, Justin Vernon’s signature haunting melodies and dynamic vocals remain consistently endearing. I found the production to be quite bold and experimental, and I love that they’re continuing to explore their sound and push it in new directions. Sonically, it’s spacious and beautiful.

RadioheadKim Churchill
RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool
My top album of 2016 has probably got to go to A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead. It really hit me at the perfect moment. I was deep in the studio and sometimes getting a bit overly flustered by how complex the process of recording can be. I think Radiohead have done something incredible in the way this album is so relaxed, so subtle, but so powerful. There is this beautiful calm confidence that I am completely in awe of. To be alive whilst their legacy is still being added to is a real treat!

Conor OberstThomas Busby (Busby Marou)
Conor OberstRuminations
Brave, personal and heart achingly real. It feels like you’re in the room with him as he’s pouring his heart out.

Iggy PopEm George
Iggy PopPost Pop Depression
It would be a total lie for me to say that I have been patiently and politely waiting for a new Iggy Pop record because I’ve been extremely impatient and downright rude, mouthing off to my vinyl copy of Lust for Life, begging to the Iggy Pop gods for a new release and then Post Pop Depression hit in March this year. Produced by Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), the entire album is gritty and dark, sharp and tight with that small hint of sadness that lies just under the surface of Iggy Pop’s music. However in true Iggy fashion, the melodies and heavy drums lift the album into something that is hard to define, taking you to another place. My pick for 2016!

KaleoGerrit Gmel (Citizen of the World)
KaleoA/B
I came across these guys on Spotify a few months ago as they were our number one associated artist then. I had never heard of them before but their album has been on repeat ever since. Their album is incredibly varied, with high-energy songs like “Way Down We Go” and soft ballads like “Save Yourself”. An emotional rollercoaster from start to finish.

Gregory PorterJoe Glover (Shelley’s Murder Boys, Backsliders)
Gregory PorterTake me to the Alley
I watched a YouTube clip of Gregory Porter performing on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert and watched it several times over, absolutely mesmerised. The album is just as mesmerising; full of soul, jazz and RnB, beautiful arrangements and Porter’s effortless delivery; just enough grit and soul to keep the jazz interesting! I listen to this album when I want something that will absolutely zone me out of where I am and what I am doing, Porter’s soothing voice is like being wrapped up in blanket and given a cup of hot cocoa.

Bruce MolskyShell Eves (Shelley’s Murder Boys)
Bruce MolskyCan’t Stay Here This a-Way
Bruce Molsky always manages to bring such a rich, unique sound to the old-time classics. His latest album is no exception. His fiddle-singin’ gives me warm fuzzies akin to sitting by a campfire under a starry sky.

David BowieJimmy Murray (Shelley’s Murder Boys)
David BowieBlackstar
It was hot, humid January afternoon driving through a sun-shower when I first listened to David Bowie’s Blackstar album. Released just 2 days after his death aged 69 this is an amazing final piece of work from this incredible artist. The hauntingly beautiful voice and instrumentation echos with songs about finality and death. Listening to this I was filled pure joy, sadness and reflection of this artist’s inspirational legacy.

Black Mountain String bandThe Plough
Black Mountain String BandTime Traveller
This year The Plough discovered the Canberra based Black Mountain String Band and can’t get enough of them. The exuberance and variety they bring to a live show is showcased beautifully in their recording. Their mix of traditional and original songs and instrumentals take the listener back in time through a landscape of high energy Old Time, Western Swing, triangle pumping Cajun and plucky Fiddle polkas. This CD’s been on high rotation in the Lancer’s CD stacker ever since it was launched in the bush capital on a chilly winters night.

TyrannamenFraser A Gorman
TyrannamenTyrannamen
A brilliant, gruff mixture of Memphis Garage-soul blended deep in a gravel filled, VB bottle of Australian 70’s pub rock. Eight tracks long, all killer no filler.

Margo PriceNick Payne (Dear Orphans)
Margo PriceMidwest Farmer’s Daughter
Margo is one of the first of a new breed of Americana artists to come out of the new epicentre of country music in East Nashville. Alongside Cale Tyson, Michaela Anne, Erin Rae, et al., these guys are playing authentic honky-tonk reminiscent of 1970s outlaw country, yet with their own fresh take. Midwest Farmer’s Daughter reminds me of the edgiest tracks from Dolly Parton, and the fact she is the first country act signed to Jack White’s Third Man Records is a testament to the quality of this album.

Oh PepJames Kenyon
Oh Pep!Stadium Cake
Stadium Cake is a brilliant album – brave arrangements, tight pop writing, great lyrics and Liv’s voice is a pleasure. I love the ambition of the album, and the assuredness the result. It’s an inspiring record

Julia JacklinAinsley Farrell
Julia JacklinDon’t Let The Kids Win
I’ve had the chance to see Julia perform these songs over the past couple years so I’ve been very excited for her album. She has an incredible songwriting talent topped by this powerful yet vulnerable voice that’ll break your heart and put it back together again all in one go. If you get the chance to see her and her band live I wouldn’t miss it.

Liz StringerMel Parsons
Liz StringerAll The Bridges
I have been a fan of Liz for a good few years now, I’m completely smitten with her voice – all husk, beauty and pain. I had high expectations for her new album, and All The Bridges delivers and then some, it’s been on repeat in my house since it arrived.

CanaryKathleen Mary Lee
CanaryI Am Lion
I like this because it is a celebration of very big, very beautiful feelings that I reckon have no other way of being celebrated other than through this kind of emotionally epic music. The lyrics are attempts at honesty and the music is always their non verbal emotional equivalent, making the album a very cathartic experience. If you want it to be. A bit of a masterpiece

Eagle and the WolfSam Buckingham
Eagle & The WolfEagle & The Wolf
Sarah brings out Kris’s sweetness and Kris brings out Sarah’s no bullshit strength – making this album the perfect balance of heart and “fuck you”. It just sounds like two musicians being real and having a ball. Awesome songwriting, perfect harmonies – it’s golden.

Sian EvansTori Forsyth
Sian EvansHow Time Has Treated Thee
This EP has only swept across my table recently but it is hands down a stand out. It makes me feel happy, sad and inspired all in one hit!

Songs From DanLucie Thorne
Dan TuffySongs From Dan
Aussie expat (now Dutch resident) and legend Dan Tuffy (Big Low, Wild Pumpkins at Midnight) has made one of my favourite albums not just of 2016 but of all time (seriously!). Co-produced by Melbourne’s Matt Walker, and recorded partly here in Melbourne, and partly in Holland, this album is an extraordinary collection from a true poet who sings straight to the heart of it all. Check it out folks!

Sian EvansHusky Gawenda (Husky)
Damien JuradoVisions Of Us On The Land
While this is Damien Jurado’s twelth album, it is the first I heard of him. Visions is a psychedelic, mystical odyssey, one that takes place within and without. The internal wanderings, the struggles and revelations, mirror an external landscape that is both beautiful and haunting. Each listen draws you further into these mirror worlds and all the while Jurado’s songs and sounds are immediately and undeniably striking.

Tracy McNeilLeah Flanagan
Tracy McNeil and the Good LifeThieves
Thieves is such an enjoyable record to listen to. It’s poppy and catchy yet underneath the veneer of fun singalong good times the songs themselves incredibly well crafted and arranged. Tracey writes a damn good song and if you’re lucky enough to see her band live, you’ll see them play those songs damn well too.

Adora EyeMusketeer
Adora EyeIf You Need A King, I’ve Been Prepared All My Life
This is probably the most raw and enduring folk album I have listened to all year. I am sure that this Swedish singer-songwriter was up all night writing this album in a smokey boat in the Stockholm harbour somewhere. You can almost see him clutching that ink pen with a red right hand, as his pet raven swings in a cage above his head eating dead beetles.

Hiss Golden MessengerDave Powys (The Paper Kites)
Hiss Golden MessengerHeart Like A Levee
I heard this album playing in a record store in London, and as I flicked through racks of vinyl I was drawn into the melodies and depth of his song writing. Every now and then you come across an artist who really moves you, or scratches an itch you never knew you had – this album has done both for me.

The Kill Devil HillsCatherine Traicos
The Kill Devil HillsIn On Under Near Water
This album encapsulates all that I love about the The Kill Devil Hills. A mad racket of noise, it pulses with life and is as ripe with heartfelt ballads as it is with sexy, sinister, badass, guitar driven numbers. Enjoy with whiskey.

Robert Ellis10 String Symphony
Robert EllisRobert Ellis
His first self-produced effort combines thoughtfully crafted songs with unique and interesting arrangements, expertly performed by him and his killer band. It’s the full package real deal and we love it so much.

The Dead MaggiesThe Dead Maggies
The Cloves and The TobaccoAcross The Horizon
TCATT are one of many celt-punk bands making great music in Java, and this album is a standout. It’s straight up driving celtic punk, with big powerful singalong choruses that tug the heartstrings. Good arrangements and musicianship help make this album great. We played with them in their hometown of JogJakarta, in the attic of a vegetarian cafe. The power cut out just before the gig, so the bands went ahead and played unplugged, it was a great moment of sweaty singalongs.

Howe GelbMark Moldre
Howe GelbFuture Standards
Late night meanderings. Laid back, whisky infused jazz piano. Wordplay and lyrical twists that stand alongside the wit of Ira Gershwin and Hoagy Carmichael with the quiet phrasing of Chet Baker. Gelb continues to walk to his own beat – confounding expectations whilst smashing and recreating genres. His history has always hinted towards a love of jazz and occasionally detoured into Monk style musings – here Gelb embraces it wholeheartedly.

TullaraSian Evans
TullaraBetter Hold On
Earthy folk and roots with a dash of dirty grunge, Tullara presents her debut EP Better Hold On. Featuring her superb guitar slinging and percussive finger tapping wizardry, genius pop-roots arrangements and powdery vocals; it’s as if an Aussie Taylor Swift, John Butler and Andy Mckee were entrapped in a love triangle and spawned gold threads of wild honesty weaving together this admirable little Roots record. It’ll jerk a tear and invoke a bit of primal badass equally.

TaliskJake Pember (The Button Collective)
TaliskAbyss
Ever since first hearing Mohsen Amini’s amazing concertina playing earlier this year I have been a little bit obsessed with this band. They have the perfect blend of traditional and modern styles, and each member has such command of their instruments that every track feels as natural and flowing as a conversation.

Max SavageKaurna Cronin
Max SavageTrue Believers
Max has a brilliant ability to invite his audiences into the narrative of his works. With brilliant imagery and musicianship True Believers captures a great snapshot of true Australian culture, while also creating a great sense of nostalgia by grasping that 80’s Australian rock sound perfectly. The perfect soundtrack for an Australian road trip or any suburban household.

Nick CaveAlex L’Estrange
Nick Cave and The Bad SeedsSkeleton Tree
Amongst all the huge artists that dropped albums in 2016, and the loads of Australian artists that arguably dropped career highlights (Ball Park Music, These Guy, D.D Dumbo), there was one album that I found myself frequently listening to, uninterrupted, alone on the hi-fi, and that was Skeleton Tree by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. It’s not necessarily my favourite, I think it’s an impossible task to name a favourite, but it was the first album that came to mind for this list, and that means more than anything. Hearing it coupled with the film One More Time With Feeling was challenging, given its subject matter. But its atmosphere was expertly executed; dynamic, fluid, smooth and heartbreaking. The rooms of Air, La Frette and Retreat studios are beautifully on display in songs like “Girl in Amber”, where the wispy backing vocals of The Bad Seeds hauntingly resonate across the walls. These contrast the desperate and almost maddening mantras of “I Need You”. What makes it a truly extraordinary album, is that it isn’t just doom and gloom. ‘Skeleton Tree’ doesn’t dwell on tragedy, it addresses it as part of the human condition, and there is an underlying beauty in that.

William CrightonClaire Ann Taylor
William CrightonWilliam Crighton
The storytelling and the whole atmosphere created by Crighton on this album is incredible. His dark, brooding voice and emotive style of delivery, commanded my attention from the first moment I heard it.

Andy ShaufWilliam Fitzsimmons
Andy ShaufThe Party
This was my favorite album of the year for one simple reason: MELODY!!! Andy is everything that’s right about classic “pop” music; never playing a note without a damn good reason for doing so, and songwriting that makes you feel something deep in your gut. He’s the worthy musical son of Harry Nilsson that we’ve longingly been waiting for.

LuciusRuby Boots
LuciusGood Grief
I have to choose this album because I’m still, since its release, pulling away the layers on it. Although it’s a predominantly pop record, the lyrical content and melodic arrangements are so intelligent and accessible all at once – a fine line that is hard to walk. The girls’ voices are otherworldly and tend to make me forget where I am and what I’m doing every time I put this album on. I still can’t get enough of it.

WetLacey Cole (Lazy Colts)
WetDon’t You
If you have a soft spot for B-grade pop ballads/R&B this Brooklyn-based three piece may just have written the soundtrack of your 90s-nostalgia drenched dreams. Their latest album Don’t You is a not-so-guilty pleasure of mine. Helmed by the stunning front-woman Kelly Zutrau, her unusual vocal inflections and impassioned delivery suggest an emotional complexity in what may otherwise be confused as banal sentiments (one song is called “Baby, You’re The Best”). Once combined with the lush production and rhythms of the band – assigned with the noble task of turning tears into toe-tappers – these songs are wonderfully earnest, rarely overwrought and exactly what you need right now.

James KenyonJoe Murphy (The Timbers)
James KenyonImagine You Are Driving
I have been lucky enough to see James play a couple of times. His beautifully crafted songs are reminiscent of great songwriters like Paul Kelly. The album is a stunning representation of his work.

JRHMabel Windred-Wornes (Charm of Finches)
Josh Rennie-HynesFurthermore
I love this album. It’s got so much warmth, it’s spacious. I listen to it late at night doing my homework and it’s so calming. It’s like the energy he captured recording it in the hills of Woodford transmits. We met him at Bendigo Blues and Roots Fest this year and felt we’d discovered a rare gem. He’s an amazing songwriter.

Tom BrosseauMatt Bauer
Tom BrosseauNorth Dakota Impressions
Beautiful storytelling, vivid imagery, and an incredible sense of place. I’ve always loved Tom’s records and he’s at the top of his game here writing about his native North Dakota.

Jim JamesTimberwolf
Jim JamesEternally Even
It’s a pretty passionate political plea and America needed a timely voice. He even released it the day before election day. I think his voice is very much from another world, so that’s an important “third person” kind of perspective. It’s a well sequenced collection of songs, and I really love the warm psych and soul inspired production/composition. Maybe I’m just biased because I know that Jim James and Blake Mills would make up my sonic dream-team.

Nigel WearneJustin Bernasconi (The Stillsons)
Nigel WearneDrawing Circles
Nigel has really forged his own fingerpicking techniques on both the banjo and guitar on this album, and his voice tenderly delivers every song with intense concern and passion. Just check out the live version of the title track.

The Kill Devil HillsMark ‘Looch’ Lewis – (Wifey/Handsome Young Strangers)
The Kill Devil HillsIn On Under Near Water
I have always loved this band. In all their incarnations and styles whether that is folk, country, gospel, rock or what I call the “WA dirge” (Kim Salmon, Drones type bass driven tunes). Hard to believe it is now 12 years since the release of their debut Heathen Songs when that “Drinkin’ Too Much” song first got my attention. And while it has been 7 years since the last studio album Man You Should Explode, the good news is that I reckon this is the most cohesive album yet. Cracking harmonies, great playing and strong tunes. Tracks like “The Nets”, “Chinese Burns” and notably “The Kid” are 3 of the best tunes they have released. Let’s hope there is more output and touring to come.

Austin LucasMatt Golotta (The Sweet Jelly Rolls)
Austin LucasBetween the Moon & the Midwest
I spend a fair bit of time on the road traveling to see my partner and this record became the perfect traveling companion for me. Took a few listens to get into and also realise it’s a concept album which draws from Lucas’ own past experiences. Without spoiling the outcome, it follows the luckless musician Richard, his partner Kristie Rae and his best friend William. It features killer song writing with pedal steel, twangy tele, country influences with punk rock subtlety, numerous guest vocals from the likes of John Moreland and Corey Brannan, and a cracker duet with Lydia Loveless “Wrong Side of the Dream”, dealing with the struggles and plights that many musicians face. My song of the record is “William”, the solo acoustic number at the end that makes you feel like you’ve just been kicked in the guts. Songwriting at its finest.

Cody JinksAndrew Cavalieri (The Sweet Jelly Rolls)
Cody JinksI’m Not the Devil
Raw, honest and heartache. That is this album! The first track really sets the mood for the rest of the album, but is broken up by “Chase This Song” which is a damn banger of a driving song! The outlaw vibe flowing from Junks’ music really prepares you for some hard times and disappointment in life. Bloody hell I love this album! Honorable mentions: Murlocs – Young Blindness, Jonny Fritz – Sweet Creep and Mudcrutch – 2.

Wartime SweetheartsLaura Bishop (Chaika)
Wartime SweetheartsSo Long Sparta
A killer voice, some super awesome writing skills, and an obsession with bodybuilders (hello Ms Olympia!) make this my favourite album of 2016. Wartime Sweethearts, aka singer-keyboardist-loop artist-songwriter Louise Nutting, signed to Art As Catharsis Records this year and released an album full of all the beats and electric piano and vocal harmony sounds that I like to hear (and I wish I could make) – and my favourite track “Figure It In, Figure It Out” has all the unexpected twistings and turnings of chord progressions that I wish I could write. One day Chaika will make sounds like this! One day…

Neil YoungTristan Goodall (The Audreys)
Neil YoungPeace Trail
Well with everyone saying we should just put 2016 behind us (although to be honest we should probably be approaching 2017 with a little trepidation too) I’ve decided not to dig too deeply into the past when thinking of my favorite record release of the year. I’ve loved many, but my recent love is the just-released 37th album by Neil Young. Peace Trail is short, musically experimental within its tight three piece band approach, and lyrically angry and poignant. I love it for the drummer’s drummer Jim Keltner and the way his delicate touch chases Neil’s quirky phrasing around the songs. I love it because it captures another freeze frame moment from a restless and undaunted songwriter, and I love it, of course, for those mighty guitar tones.

Davey CraddockLachlan Bryan
Davey CraddockCity West
2016 was a great year for my friends releasing good music. Melody Pool comes to mind, as do The Weeping Willows, Henry Wagons, Ange Boxall and Bill Jackson. It’s actually really hard to contribute to a “best of” list when you’re close to many of the artists – it’s hard to be objective – even after I rule out the records I was actually involved in making. Actually – it’s always hard to be objective, whether you know the artists or not. Furthermore, judging a whole body of work is hard – and for me, more than ever, 2016 was the year of the song (as opposed to the album or EP). And as songs go, the one that’s really stuck with me this year is the song “Number 9” by Davey Craddock. I love the cricket references. I asked Davey if he was a diehard cricket fan like me. He’s not. I was bitterly disappointed.

The Stray BirdsThe Mae Trio
The Stray BirdsMagic Fire
The Stray Birds made our fave album of 2014 and they’ve done it again in spectacular style with Magic Fire. It’s everything about this album and this band, the playing, the three part harmony and songs that are unabashed, true and unadorned. Magic Fire is a reminder of the things that matter, it’s definitely a fire and maybe a little bit magic.

Tori ForsythAndrew Swift
Tori ForsythBlack Bird
This EP is right up there as one of my favourite releases of 2016. From the moment I heard the opening title track, “Black Bird”, I knew that I was in for a treat. The diversity on display within the 5 tracks of Tori Forsyth’s debut release excites me. The songs are so well crafted and presented with such a mature sound, especially for someone so young. I’m eagerly awaiting the next release from one of Australia’s most promising young songwriters.

Hayden CalninRoscoe James Irwin
Hayden CalninCut Love Pt 1
A beautiful album from Melbourne artist Hayden Calnin. Drenched in melancholy and ambient awesomeness, this album had me at hello. (One of my favourite live shows of 2016 as well).

Jordie LaneNadine Budge (The Stetson Family)
Jordie Lane & The SleepersGLASSELLLAND
Have to say I’ve been particularly digging Jordie Lane’s GLASSELLLAND this last couple of months – with mighty input from the multi-talented Clare Reynolds. Let’s face it, Jordie’s a bit of an all-round talented guy!

Melody PoolDavey Craddock
Melody PoolDeep Dark Savage Heart
One of my fave local album’s of the year was Melody Pool’s Deep Dark Savage Heart. I’m a sucker for strings and a massive chorus and I love the way the songs build from really intimate, delicate and ornate passages into full-blown, wailing-on-a-mountain top with Stevie Nicks, 100 soaring bats and a thunderstorm moments. I saw her launch it at the Abbotsford Convent earlier this year and it was a really powerful and affecting show for me.

Methyl EthylTim Guy
Methyl Ethel – “No.28”
I know it’s not an album, but I’ve listened to this song more than any other this year, and it only came out a little while back. It has a lot going for it – great rhythm behind a smart piece of songwriting and then the whole thing is bathed in a deep silver mercury type thing. An Australian classic I swear.

DocksThe Staves
Amanda BergmanDocks
Our favourite album of 2016 is Docks by Amanda Bergman. Her voice is utterly sublime. You want to listen to every word she says. The music is dreamy, deep, soft, moody with melodies that whirr deliciously around your mind for days and weeks on end.

Katie BriannaRaechel Whitchurch
Katie BriannaVictim or the Heroine
I picked this album up when Katie and I did a songwriters showcase together. Sitting beside her listening to her songs was so magical – her voice is one of the most enchanting I have ever heard and her lyrics hit you right in the feels every time. Reminds me of a young Lucinda!

James KenyonMandy Connell (Stray Hens)
James KenyonImagine You Are Driving
James’ lyrics have that magic of time and place usually associated with voices like Paul Kelly or Bruce Springsteen. You can practically smell his scenes. You’re there. This album captures the voice but better than that, like a Tim Winton book, its a record that makes you present in Kenyon’s stories.

Jordie LaneLiz Stringer
Jordie Lane & The SleepersGLASSELLLAND
It’s no secret that Jordie Lane and I are good mates. We grew up together, musically speaking, and I am more familiar with his work than with most other artist’s. His new album, his first full-length release in five years, is called GLASSELLLAND, recorded by Jordie himself in various make-shift recording spaces in North Los Angeles and co-produced by his fiercely talented partner, Clare Reynolds, who also co-wrote half of the songs and sings and plays a heap of instruments on the record. Jordie’s songwriting and musicianship continue to evolve and stretch out with the years and these songs, and the way they’re recorded, ache with longing while driving forward with a swagger and a playful showmanship, melodically rich and hooky as fuck. I always become a bit weepy listening to Jordie sing. And, now, the combination of him and Clare ruins me every time. Beautiful.

David BowieColin Jones (Colin Jones & The Delta Review)
David BowieBlackstar
An exceptional reflection on final days and the unknown. Every note by Bowie, McCaslin and the band emphasize the chaos and fragility of life. There is no better swansong for an artist.

A Moon Shaped PoolEmma Anglesey
RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool
A Moon Shaped Pool completely surrenders to simple truths that both lie in plain sight and in the messy tangled, kicking and screaming realities of life. The epic levels of angst in the opening track “Burn the Witch” are like an exorcism – Jonny Greenwood’s sharp string arrangement take you right to the edge – and then from there it’s like Alice falling through the rabbit hole of raw emotion and you go deeper and deeper.

DawesTim Hart (Boy & Bear)
DawesWe’re All Gonna Die
Some of the best lyric writing welded on to some pretty simple, but catchy, pop songs. Produced by Blake Mills (Alabama shakes, Laura Marling), this is a great record start to finish if you can forgive some slightly John Mayer sounding guitars that pop their head up from time to time. This I the record I keep coming back to this year

Oh PepRebecca Bastoli
Oh Pep!Stadium Cake
I don’t think I have ever been so entranced, excited or exhausted by the journey of listening to an album start to finish.

Bon IverDustin Tebbutt
Bon Iver22, A Million
Bon Iver has once again exceeded expectations on this release. It’s both familiar and foreign, delicately coloured, softly focused yet angular and stark. It’s brave, honest and all the things that I loved about Justin’s earlier works, without coming close to formulaic. It’s colloquial and conversational, yet inherently profound. Incredible stuff both musically and sonically.

Margo PriceJosie Rothwell (Peasant Moon)
Margo PriceMidwest Farmer’s Daughter
There’s something comforting about Margo Price’s debut album, almost like I’d listened to it before, but not in an overly familiar sort of way. Perhaps there’s something in her glorious voice that reminds me of my parent’s Dolly Parton records. She’s a great story teller, and I want to know more about her heartaches and headaches, particularly when accompanied by her crack band. I’m also proud to say my 4 year daughter keeps calling for “Hurtin’ (on the Bottle)” when we’re in the car – and I can’t think of anything else I’d want her to be listening to right now.

BJ BarthamHarvey Russell (Peasant Moon)
BJ BarhamRockingham
It pains me to say this but BJ Barham’s new-found sobriety has coincided with a serious coming of age as a songwriter. Taking a (very) short break from American Aquarium duties, BJ’s solo release (a genuine side-project) is seriously hard-hitting stuff. It rivals Aquarium’s 2012 release Burn. Flicker. Die. for intensity, but of a completely different nature. With sparse arrangements (often acoustic) Barham, as storyteller, gives you an uncensored and unashamed glimpse into how rural America has been left behind. Not for the faint hearted.

William CrightonSam Newton
William CrightonWilliam Crighton
I’d caught Crighton perform a bunch of times at local venues around Sydney and really dug his tune (and especially the music video) “Woman Like You” prior to this album’s release. So I was anticipating this release. Really excited for it. I was stoked when I heard that he and producer Matt Sherrod came through with the goods. Big time. Highlights for me are “Riverina Kid”, “Priest” and “2000 Clicks”. In my mind, this one is about as strong as debut albums get.

Chaim TannenbaumEliza Carthy
Chaim TannenbaumChaim Tannenbaum
The album that I have most enjoyed and most visited this year is the debut of the kind, quiet genius Chaim Tannenbaum (Storysound Records). I’ve had the privilege of working with Chaim over the years but it was only recently I realised that I have lived with his distinctive voice and gorgeous humility since I first began to love music. It’s his voice that forms the third harmony in “Complainte pour St Catherine” on the first McGarrigle sisters’ album, a song I played over and over as a child until you could almost see through the record, and he has been quiet companion and producer to theirs and their extended family’s work ever since. It’s somewhat typical of his humility that he has waited this long to make an album, produced by his dear longtime friend and collaborator Loudon Wainwright III. It’s a collection of avuncular stories told in his gorgeously expressive voice with beautiful, minimal production. Some trad, some conversational originals covering everything from the fate of the baseball stadium Ebbets Field to living in a depressing grey London in the endless rain in the 1960s. An album to listen to with your eyes closed by the fire. Again and again, and again.

PinegroveQuinton Trembath
PinegroveCardinal
The lyrics on this album read like the private diary of a well spoken (and well read) guy filled with both anxiety and excitement for life. The musicianship and dynamics complement this introspectiveness well, making it perfectly suited for intense solo listening as well as for being cranked on road trips with friends.

Sean McMahonAlison Ferrier
Sean McMahon and the MoonMenShiner
Sean McMahon’s laid back yet somehow intense vocal brings this fantastic collection of songs to life in my living room. Shiner’s ragged elegance is full of the sort of raunchy country rock I can’t get enough of. Stand out tracks for me: “Shiner” and “Here Comes the Night Again”.

WhitneyEddie Boyd
WhitneyLight Upon the Lake
This album just grew and grew on me since my first listen. Simple, catchy tunes that make me wanna dance or go driving for a long time. I think Whitney nailed everything about this album – the instrumentation, the production, obviously the songs. Also, they’re heaps good live.

Secret PathThe Once
Gord DownieSecret Path
The Tragically HipMan Machine Poem
This year was a hard year in Canadian Music. We have a fella here by the name of Gord Downie. He is a legend. He has helped raise Canadians to be more real with his music. He is the frontman for the band The Tragically Hip. There are not many people in Canada who don’t know who The Hip are. Their music has become part of our DNA. Gord, this year, made a statement saying he has terminal brain cancer so he obviously fighting for the men and women of the north. The folks that have needed a voice for far too long. He is being that voice. He is showing us how to be Canadian and that we can’t be without acknowledging the needs of all of our people, without respecting all of our people. This year, instead of succumbing to his illness, he put out two albums. One with The Hip and one solo. Here they are. They are magic and will go down in history in our great nation. It’s amazing to watch one man build his second legacy.

Cash SavageJessica Cassar (Jep and Dep)
Cash Savage & The Last DrinksOne Of Us
This has everything you want from a record. It’s dirty and beautiful, and dark as hell. Cash sings with a thunderous anguish that cracks, rumbles and echoes so perfectly any sorrow you might have ever had. And like any good storm, the album’s darkness reveals a little light, one that roars some sort of painful end, or much needed beginning. I love this record!

Tracy McNeilGretta Ziller
Tracy McNeil & The GoodlifeThieves
I’ll be the first to admit I’m late to the game when it comes to Tracy McNeil & The Goodlife. I caught their set at Out on the Weekend and was captivated! Their 2016 album Thieves is just so dang easy to listen to, I will confess it is turning into a “chilling on the deck summer favourite” of mine! Please, if you haven’t already, pick up or download a copy of this album and chill!!

Bill JacksonRosie McDonald (RAPT, Trippy Hippy Band, Seanchas)
Bill JacksonThe Wayside Ballads Vol. 2
Bills’ reputation had preceded him before I heard him at Fairlight folk with Ruth Hazelton and Pete Fiddler. I grabbed the opportunity to contribute to his The Wayside Ballads Vol. 2 crowd funding campaign to get Bill and Pete over to Nashville to record with some very fine session players. Bill kept me updated with postcards and messages so I felt like a sideline cheerer in this whole project. Then the CD arrived! Magnificent songs, co-written with Bills’ brother Ross. Bills’ time worn voice, rich and mellow, rootsy, Americana-ish but very very homegrown, local accent, stories big and small, tender and big hearted. Pete’s playing shines in amongst the session guys, a great listen. Music for travel, the cabin, the verandah, anywhere.

Kate Burke and Pete WildMelanie Horsnell
Kate Burke and Pete WildLive at St Peters
In my small town we have the most marvellous artists touring through, but I also love our sweet locals, and I adore this live record by Kate Burke and Pete Wild. Pete Wild’s “Mars 1” is a love song about a person who goes on the Mars mission leaving his forever love behind, the Martin-Martin song is an old village favourite and the last love song between Doris and Arthur makes me giggle and lament at the same time. And I adore playing Kate Burkes version of Frozen Man on repeat when everything in life gets a bit much.

MontaigneGretta Ray
MontaigneGlorious Heights
My favourite record that was released in 2016 is without a doubt, Montaigne’s Glorious Heights. What impresses me most about this record is the fact that it is rather evident that the artist went into this project with the intention of experimenting with her sound and taking risks, drawing inspiration from a range of her influences and assuring that each song conveyed a slightly different emotion from the previous track. I believe it was this approach of 20-year-old Jess Sero’s (Montainge) that resulted in the production of what I perceive to be a very imaginative and bold debut album. This record showcases the fact that Jess has, unquestionably, one of the strongest and most commanding voices in the Australian music industry, this being exemplified through the outstanding production and arrangements of the songs that make up Glorious Heights. As well as this, each song is demonstrative of Jess’ incredibly clever and unique songwriting, which I cannot wait to hear more of in years to come; the simplicity yet complexity and quirkiness of a lyric such as “when you touch my skin, I think ‘this isn’t boring'” makes one ponder on such a line, as Jess’ way of writing is different, daring and something that never fails to make me smile. Glorious Heights made me so very excited about how extravagant pop music is becoming in this day and age, and on the whole made me very proud to be a young woman in the Australian music scene.

WhitneyTreetop Flyers
WhitneyLight Upon the Lake
I first started hearing about this band online, so was waiting for the album with anticipation. When it dropped I must have played it back to back straight away, which rarely happens. They are hard to put in a genre, which is really great. No Woman is one of our faves of the year. They are great live and do a version’s of NRBQ’s Magnet, so happy campers over here.

Drive By TruckersShane Nicholson
Drive-By TruckersAmerican Band
In a year of many great records, this stands tall above the crowd. It’s everything I love about the Truckers: gutsy and raw, clever and thoughtful, sometimes irreverent and full of attitude, and sometimes tender and restrained. Imagine a bastard-child born to Son Volt, Matthew Ryan and Uncle Tupelo, but all dressed up in those well-worn and unmistakable Drive-By Truckers clothes. How could that not make for the coolest kid on the block this year?

Conor OberstJack Carty
Conor OberstRuminations
It’s bloody beautiful in its simplicity. Gorgeous songs performed honestly. It seems like every track is a complete performance and any imperfections only enhance the sincerity of it all for me. Such an incredibly good songwriter.

Hayes CarllThe Weeping Willows
Hayes CarllLovers and Leavers
Lovers and Leavers is Hayes Carll’s most personal, introspective and “exposed” album to date, both in terms of the intimate, confessional songwriting and the stripped back arrangements, reminiscent of Heartbreaker era Ryan Adams, never saying too much – or too little. This intimacy draws you in, while Carll’s vulnerability captures you and takes you on a journey through heartache and reflection. Hayes was always in good hands with dynamic duo Joe Henry (producer) and Ryan Freeland (engineer) at the wheel, steering gently towards a common, graceful goal. Henry’s arrangements are characteristically unique yet elegant and tasteful, while Freeland brings his trademark clarity and warmth. Check it out if you’re fans of the late, great Guy Clark and/or Townes Van Zandt or fellow Texans, Steve Earle and Kevin Welch. Stand out tracks: “Sake of The Song”, “The Magic Kid” and “Drive”.

Iggy PopKelly Day (Broads)
Iggy PopPost Pop Depression
Sometimes you’ll find a record that makes you feel high from the moment it begins. Iggy’s new album, channelled through the hooky sounds of Josh Homme and given a Bowie-esque lean, made me grin like a mad person. And then immediately take it for another spin.

Robert EllisMegan Cooper
Robert EllisRobert Ellis
I was waiting to go on air for an interview. While we were pfaffing around getting ready “The High Road” came on. I pretended I knew who Robert Ellis was when I was advised who the artist was that had pretty much hypnotised me in 30 seconds flat. I went out and paid cash money for the album the next day. Every song got me on first listen. Cinematic moments. Super personal bits. Non-standard approaches. Aspirational.

PassengerSam Brittain
PassengerYoung As The Morning, Old As The Sea
Mike has always had a wonderful way of crafting simple and memorable melodies. Combine this with his always captivating lyrics and you have a master songwriter who’s tunes that sneak their way into your day. Songs that sooner or later without realising you find yourself humming whilst waiting in line for your morning coffee. Although often his storytelling veers on on the darker side of heartbreak and loss this latest album has a lighter touch, proving Passenger is and a yard stick for the aspiring modern folk troubadour. A dynamic artist who’s albums have been true to his own brand since day one. Additionally his band on this record are also fantastic live. I recently caught his show to a sold out Vicar Street in Dublin, it was one I won’t soon forget.

Bon IverAde Vincent (The Tiger and Me)
Bon Iver22, A Million
Another great record from Bon Iver – I have loved all three so far. I like how it also pushes into some new and interesting territory with the production. The auto-tuned a cappella of “715 – CR∑∑KS” is a particular highlight

Margaret GlaspyMaia Marsh
Margaret GlaspyEmotions and Math
It makes me feel really empowered whenever I listen to it, as a woman myself playing music. The songs are strong, guitar tone is great and her voice has this amazing growl that cuts through a sincere sensitivy at the same time.

BlondDirewolf
Frank OceanBlond
My hat is profusely off to an artist who can seamlessly bridge so many facets of musical integrity. What I mean by that nonsensical shit is that the entire record is some kind of highly strung soundboard (literally) which either sends you flying high just to get high, or high because you’re just too fucking upset. “Skyline To” and “Seigfried” are perfect examples. The whole collective arrangement kills me too, it’s like listening to recent Bon Iver whilst playing Sega in a radio store – the musicality is superb. I could say a lot more, but I’ll safely surrender by saying it definitely influenced the direction of my mind in doing another record.

Bon IverWildwood Kin
Bon Iver22, A Million
Easily. We’ve never heard anything quite like it. It’s just genius.

Tattletale SaintsGeorge Jackson (The Company, Buffalo Nickel, One Up, Two Down)
Tattletale SaintsTattletale Saints
Nashville based, New Zealand duo Tattletale Saints released their self-titled, second album this year, and it’s beautiful. Cy Winstanley (Guitars, Vocals) can pen songs with the best of them, his offerings on this album range from self-reflective and insightful, to sometimes cynical and cutting but always with a masterful craftsmanship. Vanessa McGown (Double Bass, Vocals) provides both solid and virtuosic Double Bass playing and vintage tinged country vocals. The new album is definitely a departure from their earlier acoustic recordings – but for a new fan, like me coming along, this is a bold and engaging listen complete with a production dripping in vintage tones and depth. Listen, and enjoy!

Genni KaneBill Jackson
Genni KaneSelfies
Ex-member of seminal Australian band, The Flying Emus, Genni Kane has a voice that can’t be denied. This long awaited record shows she is also a very gifted songwriter and the opening track “Little White Dog” is the beginning of a beautiful journey that deserves your attention.

Nancy KerrRuth Hazleton (http://www.billjacksonmusic.com/, Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton)
Nancy KerrInstar
A heady mix of poetry, politics and social commentary, Nancy Kerr’s Instar is an achingly beautiful collection of original songs framed within the landscape of traditional folk music. Beautifully performed and produced, Instar is, without doubt, one of the masterpieces of folk from 2016 and a work that will inform the tradition for a long time to come.

Fanny LumsdenThe Pigs
Fanny LumsdenSmall Town Big Shot
This album is full of great songs written from Fanny’s heart. She’s the real McCoy. Whenever we see her play live her songs get stuck in our head for weeks after. “Bravest Of Hearts”, “Soapbox” and “Don’t Let The Bastards Get You Down” are just a few of the crackers on this rekid. This is a breath of fresh air for Australian Country Music. We love Fanny! More… More…

Side PonyHannah Acfield (The Acfields)
Lake Street DiveSide Pony
Give me a bit of 60’s sounding soul any day of the week! The songs are catchy, nice melodies and make you wanna move. I’m a sucker for a sterling vocalist. This was fav album for me.

Julia JacklinWillowy
Julia JacklinDon’t Let The Kids Win
An album about the little things in life that somehow manages to sum up the bigger things as well, cutting right through the mess to the heart of it all. Beautifully written and perfectly executed. It’s lovely to see an artist from the Sydney folk music family reaching great heights with an exceptional debut album.

John FlanaganSal Kimber (Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel)
John FlanaganThere’s Another Way To Where You’re Going

Bill ChambersRicky Pann (The Willing Ponies)
Bill ChambersCold Trail
Jen MizeWarnings and Wisdom
Sam BushStoryman
Bill Chambers is an Australian Journeyman troubadour. Songwriter, producer, sideman and front man, Bills live shows have influenced many and earned him a legion of devoted fans. Cold trail is Bills first studio album in four years and reminds the rock pop acts infiltrating modern country of where the heart of country lies. Cold Trail is a collection of honky-tonk “life lived” country that is the real deal. Produced by Bill and Recorded at his son Nash Chambers foggy mountain studios, Cold Trail is a world class record that draws on many influences to deliver country authenticity with Aussie perspective. A cracker record.
It’s a long way from Jen Mize roots in the Appliacian mountains of Georgia and North Carolina as a decedent of Lumbee Tribe of native Americans to the Sunshine coast of Queensland. Jen Mize is the real deal in every respect. An American songwriter with an incredible voice delivering an album packed with dynamic, well-crafted songs that’s all killer no filler. Shane Nicholson’s earthy production, arrangments and playing provide a tastefully rich sonic pallet that does this fine singer justice. The album glides from old-timey to traditional country and honky tonk, setting a very high bar of authenticity. An absolute stand out record.
Sixty-four-year-old Sam Bush has many stories to tell as a musician, innovator, writer and singer. One of my favourite musicians on the planet, Sam is a bluegrass master and the father of newgrass music spawned from his groundbreaking band the New Grass Revival. Sam is arguably one of the most influential mandolin players in history having played with just about everyone from Bill Monroe to Leon Russell. This record is a collection of finely crafted songs with a crack band featuring vocals from Emmylou Harris and Alison Kraus. A masterful record.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 6th June

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– American newgrass five piece Trampled By Turtles released their new single “Wild Animals”. Details here

Mustered Courage are heading to the US for pretty much the rest of the year, but before they go they have a handful of shows planned on the East Coast. Details here

– UK folk legends Martin & Eliza Carthy have released their new single “Happiness” from their new album The Moral Of The Elephant. Details here

Melody Pool and Marlon Williams have announced a co-headline national tour this July and August. Details here

– Next week Sydney folk night Porch Light Sessions is set to feature Dave Calandra, Christopher Coleman and Elana Stone. Details here

Timber and Steel favourite Imogen Clark is heading out on a three city joint tour with Darcy Fox and Paige Renee Court. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Marmalade Ghost has released his debut single “This Chest of Drawers”. Details here

– Australian singer-songwriter Stu Larsen has released the video to his new track “Thirteen Sad Farewells”. Details here

– NSW duo Siskin River released their debut video “Up”. Details here

– Americana old-timey artist Dom Flemons has confirmed a solo album for July and has released a new single “But They Got It Fixed Right On”. Details here

Matt Walters has released his highly anticipated new single “NightWalk”. Details here

– The UK’s Monument Valley has released his new single “Plans”. Details here

– Monthly Sydney jam night Bluegrass at Yulli’s returns this Wednesday with an appearance from Not Good With Horses. Details here

– Sydney gets the Autumn/Winter Finders Keepers Markets tonight and tomorrow with music from folky artists like Leroy Lee, Brian Campeau, Martha Marlow (above), Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers, Bec Sandridge, Hannah Marjorie, Boy Outside and more. Details here

– We got a stream of the new Kaurna Cronin single “Goodbye to You” ahead of its launch in Adelaide tonight. Details here

– Brisbane’s Brianna Carpenter will help you chase the winter blues away with her new video “In Our Hearts”. Details here

Fanny Lumsden and the Thrillseekers have announced details of their 2014 Country Halls tour with Ruby Boots. Details here

– Sydney’s Huckleberry Hastings has started drip feeding his new mini-album and art project with the release of his track “The Sick”. Details here

Interviews

“After two successful runs in Australia in recent times with Pieta Brown, showcasing the Love Over Gold album, Lucie is back on the road solo, albeit with long time collaborator percussionist Hamish Stuart, and teaming up for a double bill in Bacchus Marsh with Liz Stringer”Lucie Thorne chats to Billy Quinn. Interview here

“From humble beginnings in 1998, in a small venue that sat 20 in the audience, Michael Johnathon has built the Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour into a public broadcasting colossus, heard and seen around the globe each week from its current home in the Lyric Theatre, Lexington KY”The Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour’s Michael Johnathon chats to Billy Quinn. Interview here

Releases This Week

McNeill and Heys
Any Other MorningJack McNeill and Charlie Heys
iTunes

Oliver Downes
At The EndOliver Downes
Bandcamp

Whispers
WhispersPassenger
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Kaurna Cronin

Kaurna Cronin

Adelaide’s Kaurna Cronin has spent the last month touring up and down the east coast and tonight returns to his home town to launch the new single “Goodbye to You”.

Friday 6th June – Pirie & Co. Social Club, Adelaide, SA

Gigs Next Week

Bluegrass at Yulli’s feat. Not Good With Horses
Wednesday 11th June – Yulli’s Upstairs, Sydney, NSW

Chaika
Friday 6th June – The Unorthodox Church of Groove, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 7th June – 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW
Sunday 8th June – Upstairs@199, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 12th June – Avoca Beach Picture Theatre, Avoca Beach, NSW
Friday 13th June – The Foundry 616, Sydney, NSW

Christopher Coleman Collective
Thursday 12th June – Porch Light Sessions, Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 13th June – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW

C.W. Stoneking
Wednesday 11th June – St Stephen’s Uniting Church, Sydney, NSW
Friday 13th June – St Michael’s Uniting Church, Melbourne, VIC

Daniel Champagne
Tuesday 10th June – Burps, MacKay, QLD
Wednesday 11th June – Bellevue Hotel, Townsville, QLD
Thursday 12th June – Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns, QLD

Finders Keepers Sydney w/ Leroy Lee, Brian Campeau, Martha Marlow, Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers, Bec Sandridge, Hannah Marjorie, Boy Outside
Friday 6th and Saturday 7th June – Australian Technology Park, Sydney, NSW

Graveyard Train
Wednesday 11th June – The Northern, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 13th June – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD

Isaac de Heer
Saturday 7th June – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 8th June – Red Poles Winery, Adelaide, SA

Jeff Lang
Friday 6th June – Nexus Arts Centre, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 7th June – Fly By Night, Fremantle, WA
Sunday 8th June – Ravenswood Hotel, Ravenswood, WA
Thursday 12th June – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 13th June – The Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns, QLD

Josh Pyke with Jack Carty
Friday 6th June – Montrose Town Centre, Montrose, VIC
Saturday 7th June – The Memo, Healesville, VIC
Friday 13th June – Fannie Bay Gaol, Darwin, NT

Justin Bernasconi
Saturday 7th June – Pizza and Wine Club, Kyneton, VIC
Friday 13th June – The Bendigo Folk Club, Bendigo, VIC

Kaurna Cronin and Ben Whiting
Friday 6th June – Pirie & Co. Social Club, Adelaide, SA

Kim Churchill
Friday 6th June – The Prince of Wales, Bunbury, WA
Saturday 7th June – Alice & Sharni Present: Theth & Gibson, Adelaide, SA

Little Bastard
Thursday 12th June – Rad (Yours & Owls), Wollongong, NSW
Friday 13th June – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Melbourne Folk Club feat/ Matt Walters, Anika Moa, Tim Guy
Wednesday 11th June – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

Paul Green and the Other Colours
Saturday 7th June – See Change Festival, Huskisson, NSW

Peak Festival
Friday 6th to Monday 9th June – Perisher, NSW

Ruby Boots
Saturday 7th June – The Astor Lounge, Mount Lawley, WA

Spookyland
Friday 13th June – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW

Taliska
Friday 6th to Monday 9th June — National Celtic Festival, Port Arlington, VIC
Tuesday 10th June — Vic Folk Music Club, Ringwood, VIC

The April Maze
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th June – Palm Creek Folk Festival, Townsville, QLD
Wednesday 11th June – House Concert, Mullumbimby, NSW
Friday 13th June – Dundurrabin Community Centre, Dundurrabin, NSW

The Audreys
Friday 6th June – Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW
Saturday 7th June – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 8th June – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 12th June – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC
Friday 13th June – Kyneton Town Hall, VIC

The Beards
Friday 6th June – Wollongong Uni, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 7th June – The Abbey, Canberra, NSW
Sunday 8th June – Captains, Batemans Bay, NSW
Wednesday 11th Jun – Carrington, Katoomba, NSW
Thursday 12th June, The Railway Club, Darwin, NT
Friday 13th June – The Railway Club, Darwin, NT

The Folk Informal feat. Enola Fall, Karl Christoph, Benjamin James Caldwell, Direwolf
Thursday 12th June – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW

The Paper Kites
Saturday 7th June – The Railway Club, Darwin, NT
Friday 13th June – The Northern, Byron Bay, NSW

The Pierce Brothers
Sunday 8th June – Hotel Brunswick, Brunswick Heads, NSW

Todd Sibbin and the Acadian Driftwood
Friday 13th June – Jade Monkey, Adelaide, SA

Top Half Folk Festival
Friday 6th to Monday 9th June – Mary River, NT

Wagons
Friday 6th June – Barwon Club, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 7th June – The HiFi, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 8th June – Karova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC
Thursday 12th June – The Abbey, Canberra, ACT
Friday 13th June – Yours & Owls, Wollongong, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Better Way” – Ben Harper

I’ve always said that one of the positives that comes out of having a government as divisive as the one Australia has right now is that it motivates the previously politically apathetic to take a stand. And one of the best ways to vent our frustration at the political process is through music. I believe in a better way.

Listen to the New Martin & Eliza Carthy Single “Happiness”

Martin and Eliza Carthy
Image Courtesy of Martin & Eliza Carthy

UK folk royalty Martin & Eliza Carthy will be releasing their brand new album The Moral Of The Elephant this week and it’s already been getting quite a lot of buzz in the folk community. The new single from The Moral Of The Elephant is “Happiness” which was written by Molly Drake, the mother of Nick Drake. Take a listen to “Happiness” below:

Winners of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014

BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards

The 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards were held at the Royal Albert Hall in London last night in a ceremony which featured a ton of Timber and Steel favourites both as winners and as performers.

The winners on the night included the likes of Bella Hardy, The Full English and Anaïs Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer picking up gongs. This year the Young Folk Award, always a one-to-watch artist, went to The Mischa Macpherson Trio while the first ever recipient of the Hall of Fame award went to Cecil Sharp. Check out the full list of winners below:

Lifetime Achievement Award
Clannad & Martin Carthy

Good Tradition Award
Cambridge Folk Festival

Folk Singer of the Year
Bella Hardy

Best Duo
Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin

Best Group
The Full English

Best Album
The Full English – The Full English

Horizon Award
Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar

Musician of the Year
Aidan O’Rourke

Best Original Song
“Two Ravens” – Lisa Knapp

Best Traditional Track
“Willie of Winsbury” – Anaïs Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer

BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award
The Mischa Macpherson Trio

Hall of Fame
Cecil Sharp

And of course the night also showcased a bunch of great performances that the BBC has already made available online. Check out hightlights from Peggy Seeger, Martin Carthy & Eliza Carthy, Anaïs Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer, The Fisherman’s Friends, Clannad, The Full English, Suzanne Vega, Martin Simpson & Richard Hawley and Bellowhead. Watch them all below









Thank Folk It’s Friday – 31st May

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Laura Marling has added a second Melbourne and Sydney date to her July tour of Australia. Details here

– The video for Matt Corby’s new single “Resolution” arrived late last week. Details here

– The enigmatic Whitely made a return to the Australian music scene after a three year absence with a brand new single, news of a new album and a tour this July. Details here

– The amount of success Passenger is seeing at the moment is phenomenal – we’re so proud of you Mike! And we’re so excited that Passenger’s coming back to Australia this year for a national tour in December. Details here

– The final artists have been added to the Snowy Mountains of Music lineup before it hits Perisher next weekend. Details here

– Listen to the new track from folk duo Sweet Jean, “Tomorrow Morning”. Details here

– And Sweet Jean are heading out on tour in July when they release their new album Dear Departure. Details here

– Folk-punk singer-songwriter Isaac Graham has announced plans for a new album and is already giving away three of its tracks as free downloads. Details here

– Next week will see the release of Wayward Daughter, the best of CD from folk legend Eliza Carthy. Details here

– The debut single/video from singer-songwriter Dustin Tebbutt, “The Breach”, is really sweet. Details here

– The wonderful Patrick James has announced a couple of all ages headline shows at the end of June in Sydney and Melbourne. Details here

– Harmonic four-piece Evan and the Brave have announced a single launch show in Sydney mid-June. Details here

– Alt-country singer-songwriter Lachlan Bryan has a new video for the track “Whistle and Waltz”. Details here

– The Finders Keepers Markets hit Sydney tonight and tomorrow with lots of lovely live music for you. Details here

– Listen to “You Can Stay”, the new single from Melbourne’s Woody Pitney. Details here

– The latest track and video from Bernard Fanning’s new album definitely harkens back to his Tea and Sympathy days. Details here

Interviews

“‘The Hypnotist’ is a taste of the album to come with a deeper involvement in digital palettes and working with producers in the studio. The last album was quite ‘home-made’ so I’d love to experience the process of a more ‘studio’ record – Pete Uhlenbruch of Owls of the Swamp chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Spotlight On

Paper Aeroplanes

Paper Aeroplanes

“With their evident evolution through each recording, the Paper Aeroplanes are are duo (currently touring with band) that should definitely be watched. They are the kind of act that would be at home in an intimate venue as well as on a main stage of a large summer festival”KTBell spotlights Paper Aeroplanes. Profile here

Blog

“How am I doing? Exhausted. Optimistic, but a bit anxious. It feels very pushy and demanding to be spending all of my time (yes, all of it – yesterday I worked a 17 hour day) asking people for things”Rose Wintergreen talks Crowd Funding in the third of a four part series. Blog here

Timber and Steel Presents

Owls of the Swamp

Owls of the Swamp
Friday 31st May – The Hideaway, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 2nd June – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Tickets

Gigs Next Week

Achoo! Bless You and The Mountains
Saturday 1st June – Baha Tacos, Rye, VIC
Sunday 2nd June – Pure Pop Records, Melbourne, VIC

Eleanor McEvoy
Friday 31st May – Wollongong Diggers, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 1st June – Cat & Fiddle, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 2nd June – Humph Hall, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 5th June – The Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW
Thursday 6th June – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 7th to Monday 10th June – The National Celtic Festival, Port Arlington, VIC

Finders Keepers Markets
Friday 31st May – Carriageworks, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 1st June – Carriageworks, Sydney, NSW

Martha Wainwright
Friday 31st May The Tivoli, Brisbane QLD
Saturday 1st June Byron Theatre Byron Bay, NSW
Sunday 2nd June Byron Theatre Byron Bay, NSW

Matt Corby with Grace Woodroofe
Friday 31st May – Palace Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 1st June – The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 7th June – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Mustered Courage
Friday 31st May – Clancy’s Fish Bar, Fremantle, WA
Saturday 1st June – Indi Bar, Scarborough, WA
Sunday 2nd June – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, WA

The Perch Creek Family Jugband
Friday 7th June – The Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW

Jep and Dep
Thursday 6th June – Terrace Bar Newcastle, NSW
Friday 7th June – Mars Hill Cafe, Parramatta, NSW

Palm Creek Folk Festival
Friday 7th to Monday 10th June – Palm Creek, QLD

Snowy Mountains of Music
Friday 7th to Monday 10th June – Perisher, NSW

Sounds of the South feat. Megafaun, Fight the Big Bull, Justin Vernon and Frazey For
Saturday 1st June – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 2nd June – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Texture Like Sun, Ella Hooper, Roscoe James Irwin
Tuesday 4th June – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

The Milk Carton Kids with Melody Pool
Tuesday 4th June – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 6th June – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 7th June – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC

Tom West
Wednesday 5th June – The Front Bar, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 6th June – Dowse Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 7th June – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Top Half Folk Festival
Friday 7th to Sunday 9th June – Glen Helen Resort, NT

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Fox” – Nickel Creek

Big thanks to Timber and Steel contributor/co-founder MackaJay for getting this song stuck in my head this week. There’s worse ways to spend a week I suppose.

Eliza Carthy Announces Best Of Album Wayward Daughter

Eliza Carthy
Image Courtesy of Eliza Carthy

Legendary English folk-singer and fiddle player Eliza Carthy is marking 21 years a professional musician with the release of a career-spanning best of double album Wayward Daughter. Carthy is a member of the great Waterson/Carthy folk music dynasty and in her time has won two Mercury Prize nominations, seven BBC Radio Folk Awards, a Paul Hamlyn Prize and a bunch of other accolades too numerous to mention.

Wayward Daughter is set to feature 31 tracks from Eliza Carthy’s career including both traditional and self-penned material as well as a couple of live tracks. The album is out oin the 3rd June through Topic Records – that’s the cover art at the head of the article.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 18th January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– The latest song from the upcoming album Son of Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys has hit the internet and it’s a version of “Shenandoah” featuring Tom Waits and Keith Richards. Details here

– UK indie-folk darlings Daughter has announced the details of their upcoming debut album If You Leave, complete with 10 single word track titles. Details here

The Crooked Fiddle Band are taking the crowdfunding route with their second album and are asking fans to contribute to a Pozible campaign. Details here

– UK singers Eliza Carthy, Lucy Farrell, Kate Young and Bella Hardy have joined their considerable talents for a brand new folk supergroup project Laylam, with a new album due on the 28th January. Details here

Donavon Frankenreiter is bringing his brand of surf-roots (and his moustache) back to Australia this February and March for a massive 30+ shows. Details here

– The new video from Hayden Calnin, “Summer”, is better written, acted, shot, directed and of course soundtracked than anything on Australian television at the moment – that’s my claim anyway. Details here

– The Counting Crows have confirmed a handful of sideshows when they’re in the country for Bluesfest. Details here

– Melbourne instrumental three-piece The String Contingent announced their new album Talk and started streaming it online all at once. Details here

– “Winter Make Way”, the new single from Melbourne’s Sleepy Dreamers is pretty stunning. Details here

Matt Walters has finally released his Vacant Heart EP, four months after the original release date. Details here

– Ex-Middle East memeber Mark Myers has unveiled his new solo project, The Starry Field, with a poppy debut single and a bunch of east coast tour dates. Details here

The Starry Field’s debut single “All Of My Love” also has a brand new video to go with it. Details here

The Perch Creek Family Jug Band have teamed up with the Quarry Mountain Dead Rats and the Bearded Gypsy Band for a east coast mini-festival tour this February. Details here

– “Line of Fire” is the brand new single from Junip from their upcoming self titled album. Details here

The Staves released their brand new video “Winter Trees”. Details here

– UK trio Bear’s Den have made their latest single, “Pompeii”, available as a free download. Details here

Passenger has revealed a brand new song “A Thousand Matches” via a live video that also features Stu Larsen and Isobel Anderson on backing vocals. Details here

Interviews

“We started off on New Year’s Eve at Peat’s Ridge, and that was amazing. We’ve also ended up with large amounts of nude Australians, twice in a fortnight” – Jorge Kachmari from The Underscore Orkestra chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“We’ve decided quite recently that we’re not going to record anything all three of us together. Because Laura wants to focus on her career and I want to focus on mine. And I’m happy to play with Amelia and Laura when we’re together, but it’s kind of like a side project being The Miss Chiefs”Laura Zarb, Amelia Gibson and Vendulka Wichta of The Miss Chiefs chat to Bill Quinn. Interview here

Reviews

Gigs

“As a country-wide heat wave began to take hold you’d be forgiven for thinking only a crazy man would leave the beach lined coastline of Sydney for a weekend in New South Wales’ central west. And you’re probably right except I was driving over the mountains to take part in the Gulgong Folk Festival, an event I had heard so many good reports on in 2012 and which boasted a 2013 lineup that seemed lifted straight from the pages of Timber and Steel – how could I not attend?”Gareth Hugh Evans reviews the Gulgong Folk Festival. Review here

Releases This Week

Vacant Heart
Vacant HeartMatt Walters
Bandcamp

Timber and Steel Presents

Grizzly Jim Lawrie
Grizzly Jim Lawrie with Kat Arditto
Sunday 20th January – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Archie Roach
Friday 25th January – State Theatre, Sydney, NSW

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

Kim Churchill
Friday 18th January – Clancy’s Fish Pub, Fremantle, WA
Saturday 19th January – Settler’s Tavern, Margaret River, WA
Sunday 20th January – Indi Bar, Scarborough, WA
Tuesday 22nd January – The Loft, Gold Coast, QLD
Wednesday 23rd January – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 24th January – Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD
Friday 25th January – The Northern Hotel, Byron Bay, NSW

Leah Flanagan
Sunday 20th January – Salon Perdu Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW

Lianne La Havas
Friday 18th January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 20th January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Salon Perdu Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – Salon Perdu Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW

Tamworth Country Music Festival
18th to 27th January – Tamworth, NSW

The Mouldy Lovers
Friday 18th January – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 19th Januray – The Rails, Byron Bay, NSW

The Starry Field
Sunday 20th January – The Public Bar, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 23rd January – The Round, Dowse Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 24th January – The Barcode, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 25th January – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

The Underscore Orkestra
Tuesday 22nd January – Bendigo Hotel, Collingwood, VIC
Wednesday 23rd January – Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

The Waterboys
Wednesday 23rd January – State Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Don’t Forget Your Shovel” – Christy Moore

Was stoked to discover this song has an official film clip complete with a shirtless Christy Moore. This was one of those songs I used to love when I was a kid, mainly because the lyrics (and the way Moore sings it in his staccato Irish accent) are just so absurd, at least to a kid. But it really has a timeless message – that “if you’re going to do it don’t do it against the wall”. Mind your sandwiches.

Carthy, Hardy, Farrell and Young Team for New Project Laylam

Laylam
Image Courtesy of Eliza Carthy

Folk-blogs the world over have been abuzz this week with news of a brand new UK folk supergroup made up of Eliza Carthy, Lucy Farrell, Kate Young and Bella Hardy. The group, called Laylam (meaning “chorus”), is unique in that all four artists are known for singing while playing the violin – although that is not the reason they got together.

“This musical journey began through the joint efforts of the Sage Gateshead and Alan Bearman at King’s Place in London – Kathryn Tickell thought we would sound good together, and it turns out she was right. She later said that it hadn’t occurred to her that we were all women who played the violin and sang at once,” explained Eliza Carthy. “Happy coincidence then, and one that is working well for our sound-tight harmonies and rhythms in voices and bows. And we had such a good time, and such nice tunes, that we thought we would make this album as an excuse to hang out some more. We played everything pretty much live in a room, with fancy bits added later and mistakes glossed over. Oliver Knight added ideas and hobnobs, made killer coffee and tried to work out how to make us sound alright.”

Laylam’s debut self titled album is scheduled for release on the 28th January with the quartet about to embark on a UK tour. We’ll let you know as soon as some audio or video hits the web from these talented ladies.

The Best Christmas Songs of 2011

Santa

At Timber and Steel we’re unapologetic fans of the Christmas song. Whether they be carols, Christmas favourites or new festive singalongs Christmas songs are at their heart folk songs so its no wonder that December sees us decking the halls, hanging the mistletoe and warming up our vocal cords with plenty of Christmas cheer.

Last year we started the tradition of bringing you our favourite Christmas songs from the year as performed by artists on the folkier side of the fence. Being big on traditions we thought this was one worth repeating this year especially given how many Christmas songs we’ve already featured on the site. So put out the beer and cookies for Santa, have another mince pie and get into the spirit with the best Christmas songs of 2011

Josh T. Pearson – “O Holy Night”
Josh T Pearson has capped off a pretty impressive year with the release of a bonus EP of Christmas carols. His haunting version of “O Holy Night” hit the web at the start of the month as a free download – take a listen for yourself.

Achoo! Bless You – “Coming Home (To You This Christmas)”
Getting into the Christmas spirit Sydney duo Achoo! Bless You offer up this sweet Christmas original which is also available for free download.

Jack Carty – “I Only Want Your Presence”
Jack Carty is currently writing and demoing material for a brand new album so to close off the One Thousand Origami Birds part of his career he’s released a free EP featuring B sides from the album plus this brand new Christmas track. In the tradition of Paul Kelly’s “How to Make Gravy” this is a Christmas song with out really being about Christmas.

The Leisure Society – “Christmas Mistakes”
For the second year in a row fantastic UK based folk-blog For Folk’s Sake has released a Christmas album titled For Folk’s Sake It’s Christmas featuring some of the best in indie folk taking on Christmas classics or brand new tunes. Our pick from the album is The Leisure Society’s “Christmas Mistakes”.

Darren Hayman – “Lost In The Snow”
Taken from his Christmas in Haworth EP (as well as appearing on the For Folk’s Sake It’s Christmas Album) this track from Darren Hayman was actually written last Christmas, and the video was shot at the same time.

Eliza Carthy – “Dives & Lazarus”
Eliza Carthy performs this Christmas ballad as part of Bright Young Folk’s December Sessions and then goes on to explain how the song was sung in Victorian times as a warning to give to the poor or risk eternal punishment. Not quite “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”.

She & Him – “The Christmas Watlz”
Get a little less solemn now here’s the first track from She & Him’s indie Christmas hit A Very She & Him Christmas. In true hipster style the album can be ordered complete with Christmas beanie and mittens – so ironically kitsch!

Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler – “Home For The Holidays”
Attempting to outdo She & Him in the indie-Christmas album stakes the teaming of Emmy The Great and Tim Wheeler has resulted in This is Christmas, an album of all original Christmas songs. Check out the Christmas jumper filled video for “Home For The Holidays”.

Matthew and the Atlas – “Fairytale of New York”
We’re pretty sure this song was actually recorded and released last year but we’ve only just stumbled across it now thanks to folk blog Cover Lay Down. Matthew and the Atlas have produced a pretty faithful of this Pogues classic and Matt Hegarty’s rough-spun voice is perfect for the song.

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