Watch the New Video From The Head and the Heart, “City of Angels”

The Head and the Heart
Image Courtesy of The Head and The Heart

American folk-pop band The Head and The Heart have just released their new video for the track “City of Angels”. The track is taken from their 2016 album Signs of Light and the video was directed by Claire Marie Vogel

“When The Head And The Heart asked me to join them on the road to make a video for “City of Angels,” there were many moments, big and small, that made it a trip of a lifetime,” Vogel explains. “Record store shopping in a thunderstorm, backstage birthday parties, a summer ski lift through Catskills mountains, all night bonfires on a California beach, surprise songs in a Charlottesville bar, mini golf beside a river. It was a thrill to be a welcomed fly on the wall and treated as one of the gang. I knew ending the trip at the Monterey Pop Festival would be special, but when we found ourselves in a charmingly odd practice room – the band rehearsing with Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, and Lou Adler, a founder of the festival throwing his two cents in on their arrangement – it felt utterly surreal.”

Check out the video for “City of Angels” below:

Details of the New Mama Kin And Spender Collaboration

Mama kin
Image Courtesy of Mama Kin Spender

This weekend’s Bello Winter Music festival saw the debut performance of Mama Kin Spender – the brand new collaboration between celebrated singer-songwriter Mama Kin and Melbourne multi-instrumentalist/producer Spender.

Their coming together has resulted in art that is greater than the sum of its parts. Mama Kin’s soulful roots music collides with Spender’s slick pop production.

Their first single is “Air Between Us” which is taken from their album Golden Magnets, due in March next year. Bask in the track’s joy below:

Mama Kin Spender will be appearing at BigSound, Australian Music Week and the Queenscliff Music Festival throughout the remainder of this year – details are below:

Tuesday 5th to Thursday 8th September – Bigsound, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 1st to Friday 3rd November – Australian Music Week, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 25th November – Queenscliff Music festival, Queenscliff, VIC

Timber and Steel Premiere: “Names” by Mackenzie Shivers

Mackenzie Shivers
Image Courtesy of Mackenzie Shivers

We’re super chuffed to bring you the first look at New York based folk-pop singer-songwriter Mackenzie Shivers new video “Names”. The video was shot in Australia in the Blue Mountains by filmmaker Lâle Teoman while Shivers was in the country last April.

Just how this came about we’ll let Mackenzie Shivers explain:

“A couple of years ago, I found out about Caitlin Harnett through [Timber and Steel]. I fell completely in love with The River Runs North and was thrilled to see she was playing a show at NYC’s Rockwood Music Hall. I went to see the show (it was fabulous!) and met Caitlin and her friend Lâle Teoman, an actress and filmmaker from Sydney.

Caitlin, Lâle, and I all kept in touch after that via social media. So when I found out that I was going to be in Australia to see family last spring, I reached out to Lâle at her production company River Run Productions to see if she wanted to film a music video together. She said she was game, and we picked the song “Names” from my latest EP Living in My Head. We shot the entire thing in one day near her home in the Blue Mountains.

“Names” was written after a trip to Washington DC and finding the name of a family friend etched in stone at the Vietnam Memorial amongst 2-acres of other names. There was something very stirring about seeing all the beautiful cherry blossoms in the same vicinity as thousands upon thousands of names etched into the memorial. There was this incredible contrast of life and death that I found extremely moving. As the lyrics developed, “Names” turned into a love song – one of the few love songs I’ve written.

Lâle and I wanted to capture the dream-like state being in love and utilize the beauty of the Blue Mountains to their fullest. Lyrics “You by any other name would stay just as kind, you by any other name would be my love” are sung with both whimsy and certainty, birds and sunsets floating between frames. The Blue Mountains were the perfect backdrop.

I’m so proud of this video, and working with Lâle in Australia was in itself a dream come true. I hope you enjoy it – please let me know as soon as you can if you are interested in premiering it!”

Check out the video for “Names” here – let’s hope Mackenzie Shivers makes it back to Australia soon for some shows!

Pierce Brothers Announce New EP The Records Were Ours

Pierce Brothers
Image Courtesy of Pierce Brothers

Fan favourite folk-pop duo Pierce Brothers have announced plans to release their new EP The Records Were Ours on the 19th May. The EP is the first in a planned trilogy of releases featuring material recorded in the studio and live over the last couple of years.

To celebrate the release of The Records Were Ours the Pierce Brothers will be heading out on a national tour through May before flying over to Europe for the Summer festival season. Check out the full list of dates here:

Thursday 18th May – Metro Lair, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 20th May – Lorne Hotel, Lorne, VIC
Thursday 25th May – The Academy, Canberra, ACT
Friday 26th May – The Croxton, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 27th May – Big Pineapple Festival, Sunshine Coast, QLD

Ed Sheeran and Beoga: Pop’s Latest Flirtation with Trad Music

Ed Sheeran
Image Courtesy of Ed Sheeran

A couple of weeks ago Ed Sheeran cemented his status as the biggest male popstar on the planet with the release of his smash hit new album ÷ (pronounced Divide).

If you follow the trad music or Irish music press you’ll know that for at least two of the tracks on ÷ Sheeran collaborated with Northern Irish trad group Beoga.

The first of these tracks, “Galway Girl” (not the Steve Earle track of the same name), was actually inspired by Beoga’s fiddle player Niamh Dunne and features their tune “Minute 5” over the chorus. The lyrics of “Galway Girl” are peppered with trad references (this may be the first number one track to reference Irish song “Carrickfergus”) and Dunne gushed about Sheeran’s love of “Planxty, The Chiefains and … Irish music” in recent interviews.

The second track on ÷ with a piece of Beoga trad is “Nancy Mulligan”, inspired by the story of Sheeran’s Irish grandparents. The track has more trad feel than “Galway Girl” and even features a bit of an Irish-pub-like-singalong during the lead break.

“Galway Girl” was released as a single on St Patrick’s Day and hit the top 10 in a bunch of countries. In an interview with The Guardian Sheeran said that he had to fight to keep the “folk” songs on the album.

“They were really, really against “Galway Girl”, because apparently folk music isn’t cool,” Ed Sheeran explained. “But there’s 400 million people in the world that say they’re Irish, even if they’re not Irish. You meet them in America all the time: “I’m a quarter Irish and I’m from Donegal.” And those type of people are going to fucking love it. My argument was always: well, the Corrs sold 20 million records. The label would say, “Oh the Corrs, that was years ago,” but who’s tried it since the Corrs? There’s a huge gap in the market, and I promise you that in two years’ time there will be a big folk band that comes up that’s pop, and that will happen as a result of labels being like: “Oh shit, if he can put a fiddle and uilleann pipe on it, then we can try it as well”.”

As Sheeran points out trad music in pop music isn’t new. The Corrs practically owned the folk-pop genre in the late 90s and early 2000s. B*Witched 1998 hit “C’est la Vie” was has an Irish whistle solo played over DJ scratching. Even the oft-criticised-for-not-being-real-folk-music Mumford and Sons kick off their track “Roll Away Your Stone” with the Irish trad fiddle tune “Merrily Kissed the Quaker”.

Trad purists will no doubt look down there nose at Ed Sheeran’s folky offerings on ÷, the same way they have with other pop crossover songs over the years. Some of that will be justified – in reality “Galway Girl” is not a great song despite Beoga’s influence – but much of this will be a knee jerk reaction to a perceived popularisation of the tradition.

In truth having an artist of Ed Sheeran’s stature declare his love for Irish trad music can only have upside for the genre.

Think of Sheeran as a trad gateway drug. For many of his fans “Galway Girl” and “Nancy Mulligan” will be their first exposure to this kind of music and even if only a small percentage follow the influences of the songs back to Planxty, The Dubliners, The Chieftains and beyond, that’s still a bunch of music fans that may never have discovered this music otherwise.

While trad may have a reputation in the wider community as twee or old fashioned those “in the know” know it’s a vibrant genre with a bunch of really exciting young artists coming up through the ranks. If you’ve ever caught a set from Trouble In The Kitchen, Tolka, Sásta or any of the other amazing local trad bands around the country you’ll know how much their music can capture your attention, can fill you up and most importantly can make you want to dance.

The best case scenario is the local and international trad scene will see a spike in activity and interest thanks to Sheeran’s flirtation with the genre and that can only be positive. Every fan who clicks a “like” button on social media, watches a Youtube video, comes to a gig or session featuring traditional music because they’re new favourite song is “Galway Girl” is a new part of our community.

So when you hear “Galway Girl” and “Nancy Mulligan” blaring on a pop radio station or out of your kid’s Spotify account take a moment to recognise that this could be the first step on the trad music journey for a new fan. That’s got to make you happy.

Darcy Fox Announces New EP Chapter One

Darcy Fox
Image Courtesy of Darcy Fox

Victorian folk-pop singer Darcy Fox has just announced plans to release her new EP Chapter One. Due for released on the 24th March, the EP was recorded in Cowaar, Gippsland and is produced by Darcy Fox and Jack Hookey.

The first single from the EP is “Hurricane” which has a brand new video that you can watch here:

To celebrate the release of Chapter One Darcy Fox will be heading out on tour with shows in Gippsland, Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne – the full list of shows are here:

Saturday 25th March – House Concert, Gippsland, VIC
Friday 31st March – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 5th April – The Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 9th April – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Sam Buckingham Releases New Single and Announces East Coast Tour

Sam Buckingham
Image Courtesy of Sam Buckingham

Indie-folk singer-songwriter and all round Timber and Steel favourite Sam Buckingham has just released her brand new single “The Water”.

Buckingham spent a bunch of time travelling through Latin America where she was writing material for her upcoming album The Water which is due on the 28th April. “The Water” is our first taste of this new music.

“It’s a song about finding a space where you can allow light to come in,” Sam Buckingham explained. “We all experience darkness and difficulty, and that’s an integral part of life – this song is about knowing there’s always somewhere to go to take a breath, connect with yourself and keep walking through.”

Take a listen to “The Water” here:

To celebrate the release of “The Water” Sam Buckingham has announced a handful of east coast tour dates this February – the full list of dates are below:

Wednesday 22nd February – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 24th February – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 26th February – The Junkbar, Brisbane, QLD

Watch the New Sian Evans Video “Cold Feet”

Sian Evans
Image Courtesy of Sian Evans

Brisbane singer-songwriter Sian Evans has just released the wonderful new video for her track “Cold Feet”. This slice of pop-folk goodness is about the nature of “cut and run self-sabotage behaviour” according to Evans.

Check it out here:

Sian Evans will be celebrating the release of “Cold Feet” with a show at The Zoo in Brisbane next Friday 16th December supporting Ellie Jane with Mudshadows – check out the official Facebook event for more details.

Kate Miller-Heidke Announces The Best Of: Act One

KMH
Image Courtesy of Kate Miller-Heidke

Kate Miller-Heidke is one of those artists who has managed to straddle folk, pop and indie genres and become one of the most beloved singer-songwriters in the country.

On the 2nd December Kate Miller-Heidke will be releasing her retrospective album The Best Of: Act One featuring tracks from throughout her career.

Check out the track listing and video for the single “You’ve Underestimated Me, Dude” here:

Disc One:
1. Space They Cannot Touch
2. Words
3. Mama
4. Little Adam
5. Can’t Shake It
6. Caught In The Crowd
7. The Last Day On Earth
8. Are You Fucking Kidding Me?
9. Walking On A Dream
10. Ride This Feeling
11. Sarah
12. I’ll Change Your Mind
13. The Tiger Inside Will Eat The Child
14. O Vertigo!
15. Share Your Air ft. Passenger
16. Drama ft. Drapht
17. Sing To Me (Denzal Park Mix)
18. I’m Growing A Beard Downstairs For Christmas ft. The Beards
19. You’ve Underestimated Me, Dude
20. Where? with Iain Grandage

Disc Two: Rarities, Covers and Live Versions
1. Dreams/I Love You
2. Australian Idol
3. Southern Cross Tattoo *
4. White Wine In The Sun
5. Hey Little Girl (Live)
6. Love Is A Stranger (Live)
7. Hornets (Live)
8. God’s Gift To Women (Live)
9. The Devil Wears A Suit (Live)
10. Humiliation (Live)
11. In The Dark (Live)
12. Bliss (Live)
13. Yours Was The Body (Live)
14. O Vertigo! (Live)
15. Sarah (Live)
16. Can’t Shake It (Live)
17. Elysian Fields (Live with the TSO)

Kate Miller-Heidke will be heading out on tour at gthe beginning of next year performing a bunch of shows with orchestras around the country. The full list of dates are here:

Saturday 28th January – Melbourne Exhibition & Convention Centre, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 10th March – QPAC, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 24th March – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 25th March – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Friday 31st March – Perth Concert Hall, Perth, WA
Friday 7th April – Canberra Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Tuesday 11th April Federation Concery Hall, Hobart, TAS

Listen to the New Phia Single “Heartstrings”

Phia
Image Courtesy of Phia

This week Melbourne based singer-songwriter Phia released “Heartstrings”, the second single from forthcoming debut album The Ocean Of Everything, due this August. This track is full of bouncy pop goodness that’s bound to put a smile on your face.

Check out “Heartstrings” below:

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