Thank Folk It’s Friday – 28th March

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– A new regular country music night, Fun Shootin’ Thursdies, kicked off in Sydney last night. Details here

– NSW based singer-songwriter Daniel Lee Kendall has made a welcome return to the scene with his new single “Angelique”. Details here

– As well as announcing a new album Wagons also have a national tour on the way this May and June. Details here

Passenger announced plans to release his new album Whispers this year with the release of cover art and a making of video. Details here

– And just after the album was announced Passenger also released the video for its title track “Whispers” as well as the release date of the 6th June. Details here

– Irish singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow has announced plans to return to Australia this May including a performance at Vivid Sydney. Details here

Timber and Steel are very proud to be presenting the upcoming tour from singer-songwriter Scott Matthew. Details here

– UK five-piece Eliza and the Bear have released “Brother’s Boat”, their brand new single and video. Details here

– The wonderful Hayden Calnin has announced a couple of intimate EP launch shows in May. Details here

Little Features hits Sydney this Saturday with a lineup that includes Tom Stephens, Lily So and the Bellows, Direwolf and Maia Jelavic. Details here

– Watch “Shake It”, the new video for Sydney roots singer-songwriter Steve Smyth. Details here

– The new album from Paul Greene and the Other Colours drops today (see below) and so does the first date of their NSW tour. Details here

– US nu-folk legends Midlake will be making their way to Australia this May. Details here

The Paper Kites have released their new video “Tenenbaum” ahead of their national tour. Details here

– UK singer-songwriter Gibson Bull has released his brand new video “Where Are You Now”. Details here

John Flanagan is raising money to head over to Nashville to record with a tour that kicks off tonight. Details here

– Sydney seven-piece Little Bastard have released their brand new video “High For You”. Details here

Interviews

“We’re actually not fans of real gentle folk music anyway. We’re like Led Zeppelin fans and Nick Cave fans. We don’t just sit around listening to ponderous acoustic folk music all day. It sort of makes me a little bit angry and bored [laughs]. So we like things a little grittier than that. We haven’t always reflected that in our records I don’t think and it’s probably partly been my fault, reigning Tristan in thinking my voice is too blah blah blah for that. But this time we just came up with all these rock riffs and just went with it. It was a fun record to make” – Taasha Coates from The Audreys chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“For us we love the sound of American music but we’re not Americans, it’s stupid for us to write about American things. It’s not because we’re just writing about Australian songs – that’s just because we’re in Australia. If you were a Scandinavian bluegrass band you should be writing about Scandinavian things. It’s about writing from your own experience, what you know and what you’re influenced by. Otherwise it comes a across as really disingenuous I think” – James Daley from The Morrisons chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“It’s a bit of a tester I guess. The issue for us is that we’ve got these lives that are scattered around the country. And having young children it’s quite hard to do things like go on the road. So at the moment we’re not really in the position to play together full time or to really take the band on the road or take it overseas like we were doing before. So I guess this is a bit of a starter – we want to just ease into it a bit and see how we’re placed over the next couple of years” – Kate Burke from Trouble in the Kitchen chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“The first gig we’re doing on the Friday night is on the Budawang stage which is the big one. Something Jess said was the very first time she went to The National 14 years ago or whatever she saw bands on the Budawang, this is way before Crooked Fiddle, and she said “I want to be playing on that stage”. And finally we’re playing on that stage at quite a good time on the Friday night so we’re very excited” – Gordon Wallace from The Crooked Fiddle Band chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“I think you learn so much from the players that you get to stand next to. When I made my first solo album I probably didn’t understand that as much and you try to keep track of it all for yourself. It was quite liberating on this album to basically hand things over and say “whatever you hear I know it’s going to be stellar and I’m grateful for you for taking that and making something amazing with it”. The players on this album certainly brought that”Kate Fagan chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Releases This Week

Johnny Cash
Out Among The StarsJohnny Cash
iTunes

Sweet Rain Falling
Sweet Rain FallingLittle Wise
Bandcamp

Nickel Creek
A Dotted LineNickel Creek
iTunes

Paul Greene
One Lap Of The SunPaul Greene and the Other Colours
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

John Flanagan

John Flanagan

Melbourne Americana artist John Flanagan is about to head over to Nashville to record his new album. But before he does he needs to head out on the road to raise a bit of cash for things like plane tickets and recording studios. His tour kicks off tonight with a full band show in Melbourne before heading up and down the east coast.

Friday 28th March – Lomond Hotel, Brunswick, VIC
Friday 4th April – Tanswell’s Commercial Hotel, Beechworth, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Ash Grunwald
Friday 28th March – Tanks Art Centre, Cairns, QLD
Saturday 29th March – Base Backpackers, Magnetic Island, QLD

Caitlin Park
Thursday 3rd April – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC

Christopher Coleman Collective
Friday 28th March – Royal Exchange, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 29th March – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 3rd April – Grand Junction, Maitland, NSW
Friday 4th April – The Pier, Port Macquarie, NSW

Claude Hay
Friday 28th March – The Old Manly Boatshed, Manly, NSW
Saturday 29th March – The Katoomba RSL Club, Katoomba, NSW
Friday 4th April – The Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland, NSW

Eleanor McEvoy
Friday 28th March – Illawarra Folk Club, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 29th March – Petersham Bowling Club, Petersham, NSW
Sunday 30th March – St David’s Church, Dee Why, NSW
Thursday 3rd April – South Coast Folk Club, Port Noarlunga, SA
Friday 4th April – HATS-Courthouse Cultural Centre, Auburn, SA

Ella Hooper
Saturday 29th March – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW
Friday 4th April – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

John Butler Trio
Friday 28th March – Belvoir Amphitheatre, Swan Valley, WA
Saturday 29th March – Old Broadwater Farm, Busselton, WA
Tuesday 1st April – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 3rd April – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA

John Flanagan
Friday 28th March – Lomond Hotel, Brunswick, VIC
Friday 4th April – Tanswell’s Commercial Hotel, Beechworth, VIC

Jordan Millar
Friday 28th March – The Loft, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 29th March – Cafe Le Monde, Noosa Heads, QLD
Sunday 30th March – Dowse Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens
Friday 28th March – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 4th April – Polish White Eagle Club, Canberra, ACT

Lior
Friday 28th March – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Little Wise and Megan Bernard
Sunday 30th March – Matians Cafe, Deans Marsh, VIC
Wednesday 2nd April – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 3rd April – “E” For Ethel, Adelaide, SA
Friday 4th April – Café Troppo, Adelaide, SA

Mark Wilkinson
Friday 28th March – The Sound Lounge, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 29th March – Visy Theatre, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 30th March – Pig House Flicks, Byron Bay, NSW
Wednesday 2nd April – The Promethean, Adelaide, SA
Friday 4th April – The Studio Underground, Perth, WA

Paul Greene and the Other Colours
Friday 28th March – The Fig, Manly, NSW
Sunday 30th March – The Waterhouse, Huskisson, NSW

Sally Seltmann w/ Wintercoats
Thursday 3rd April – Lizottes, Kincumber, NSW
Friday 4th April – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Steve Smyth
Saturday 29th March – Baha, Rye, VIC
Thursday 3rd April – Easy Tiger, Paddington, NSW

The Beez
Friday 28th March – Taste Canowindra, NSW
Sunday 30th March – Tamworth, NSW (house concert)

The Good Ship
Friday 28th March – Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 29th March – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW

The Little Stevies
Friday 28th March – Caravan Music Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Perch Creek Family Jugband
Friday 28th March – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 29th March – Devonport Regional Gallery, Devonport, TAS
Sunday 30th March – Live At The Wharf, Ulverstone, TAS
Friday 4th April – The Star Court Theatre, Lismore, NSW

The Pierce Brothers
Saturday 29th March – Upstairs Beresford, Surry Hills, NSW
Sunday 30th March – The Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW

The Stray Sisters
Friday 28th March – Belvoir Amphitheatre, Swan Valley, WA (with John Butler Trio)
Saturday 29th March – Old Broadwater Farm, Busselton, WA (with John Butler Trio)
Monday 31st March – Albany Entertainment Centre, Albany, WA

Yetis
Thursday 3rd April – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW
Friday 4th April – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“There Once Was Love”/”Innstück” – Fairport Convention

I love the way these tracks play with conventional folk time signatures to create music that has a a sense of urgency and complexity that you don’t often find in the tradition. “Innstück” itself is one of my favourite modern folk tunes.

Watch the New Gibson Bull Video “Where Are You Now”

Gibson Bull
Image Courtesy of Gibson Bull

UK singer-songwriter Gibson Bull has been announced as a part of the final eight of the Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition and to celebrate he’s just released a brand new video for his track “Where Are You Now”. The track is taken from Bull’s debut EP Skin and Bones – check out the video below:

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 24th January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

William Fitzsimmons released “Fortune” the first official single from his album Lions. Details here

The Perch Creek Family Jugband have released the very fun video for their track “Party on the Farm”. Details here

– English singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey released his catchy new single “Cucurucu”. Details here

Johnny Flynn released another stunning lyric video, this time for “Bottom of the Sea Blues”. Details here

– The newly renamed One Up Two Down (previously George, Andrew and Daniel) are teaming up with Oh Pep! for a co-headlined east coast tour this February. Details here

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros have another new video out for “Let’s Get High (On Love)” which features the band on tour with a bunch of cameos. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Hayden Calnin has just released his new single “Comatose” from his upcoming EP Oh, Hunter. Details here

– Alt-country singer-songwriter Katie Brianna has released her new video for the track “Dark Side of the Morning”. Details here

– Bon Iver’s S. Carey has released “Fire-Scene” from his upcoming solo album Range of Light. Details here

– Folk-roots duo The Audreys have announced their first album in almost 4 years, Til My Tears Roll Away. Details here

– UK folk royalty Blair Dunlop will be in Australia this month for Port Fairy Folk Festival, The Brunswick Music Festival and the Blue Mountains Music Festival. Details here

The Merri Creek Pickers have just released their new video “Frankie Marlboro”. Details here

– WA based singer-songwriter Sam Buckingham has released a quirky homemade video for her track “Shackles”. Details here

Mikhael Paskalev has released his awesome new clip for the track “Jive Babe”. Details here

– Scottish singer Eddi Reader has released her new video “I’ll Never Be The Same”. Details here

– Check out the video for Gibson Bull’s track “Skin and Bones”. Details here

– UK singer-songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff has released the video for his new single “Still Trying”. Details here

Interviews

“We definitely have fans here but Australia’s so big. Wallander was broadcast here and that definitely helped. And I think with the latest record Dear River having a lot more exposure than previous records has definitely helped build a fan base. I’m constantly getting messages saying “you’ve got to come home!” and I’d love to particularly with this new record Dear River because so much of it is about the subject of home. It is an album that I would like a lot of Australians to hear”Emily Barker chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“That’s what folk music is. It’s very broad. It’s something that you can never quite explain and it’s something that you can never sum up. I’m glad you guys are continuing to follow modern folk music as well – some traditionalists get really boggled done and are closed minded, think that music hasn’t gotten any better since the 20s and 30s and 40s and 50s. To a certain extent I’d agree with them but there’s a lot of new music out there to listen to and appreciate”Pokey LaFarge chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Releases This Week

Green Mohair Suits
Baby, You Just Want To Give UpThe Green Mohair Suits
Bandcamp

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

The Timbers

The Timbers

Adelaide favourites The Timbers are on the home stretch of Januray tour showcasing their new single “Things to Come”. The boys wrap up the tour in their home town next Friday after laying waste to Victoria over the long weekend – these shows are definitely not to be missed

Friday 24th January – Tanswell Hotel, Beechworth, VIC
Saturday 25th January – Festival of the Sails, Geelong, VIC
Sunday 26th January – Penny Black Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 31st January – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Gigs Next Week

Andy Irvine
Friday 24th to Monday 27th January – Newstead Festival, Newstead, VIC
Friday 31st January – Music in the Park, Bendigo, VIC

Cass McCombs
Thursday 30th January – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Imogen Clark and Joe Mungovan
Sunday 26th January – The Aztec, Forster, NSW
Wednsday 29th January – The Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW

Jack Carty
Sunday 26th Jan – House Content, Dunsborough, WA
Tuesday 28th January – House Content, Gelorup, WA
Wednesday 29th January – House Content, Palmyra, WA
Friday 31st January – House Content, Pemulwuy, NSW

Kim Churchill
Friday 24th January – The Northern Hotel, Byron Bay, NSW
Saturday 25th January – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Sunday 26th January – Flow Café, Old Bar, NSW
Thursday 30th January – Transit Bar, Canberra, ACT
Friday 31st January – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes
Friday 24th January – Family Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Laneway Festival
Friday 31st January – Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, QLD

Mark Moldre
Friday 24th January – The Rhythm Hut, Central Coast, NSW

Mat McHugh
Friday 24th January – Mona Vale Hotel, Mona Vale NSW
Saturday 25th January – Heritage Hotel, Bulli NSW

Newstead Live
Friday 24th to Monday 27th January – Castlemaine, VIC

Numeralla Folk Festival
Friday 24th to Monday 27th January – Numerella, NSW

Redvers
Thursday 30th January – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Sarah Blasko
Friday 24th January – Flinders St Baptist Church, Adelaide, SA

Tamworth Country Music Festival
Friday 17th to Sunday 26th January – Tamworth, NSW

The Beez
Monday 20th to Saturday 25th January – Tamworth Country Music Festival, NSW

The Green Mohair Suits w/ The Morrisons, All Our Exes Live in Texas
Friday 31st January – The Loft at UTS, Sydney, NSW

The Lumineers
Tuesday 28th January – The Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

The Timbers
Friday 24th January – Tanswell Hotel, Beechworth, VIC
Saturday 25th January – Festival of the Sails, Geelong, VIC
Sunday 26th January – Penny Black Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 31st January – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Traveller & Fortune
Thursday 30th January – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW
Friday 31st January – The Grace Darling, Melbourne, VIC

Unpaved Sessions feat. Joel Stibbard
Monday 27th January – The Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Zoe Elliot
Friday 24th January – The Lodge, Bellingen, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Auld Triangle” – The Dubliners

Have you heard the version of “The Auld Triangle” on the Inside Llewyn Davis soundtrack? It’s pretty special. But it really pales in comparison to The Dubliners’ version because, well, they’re The Dubliners.

Watch the New Gibson Bull Video “Skin and Bones”

Gibson Bull
Image Courtesy of Gibson Bull

Last year we introduced you to the new Gibson Bull track “Skin and Bones” and now we have a brand new video to share as well. Bull is well known for combining folk and singer-songwriter elements with samples, drums and effects to create some really interesting music. “Skin and Bones” is taken from the EP of the same name which was released late last year – check out the video below:

Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2013

Listening to Records

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 15th November

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Folk four-piece Lime and Steel have a couple of gigs around NSW while they’re busy recording a new album. Details here

– Sydney’s Belle and the Bone People have released their new video “The Boy”. Details here

– The very buzz-worthy Mikhael Paskalev has announced Australian tour dates next March. Details here

– Gold Coast singer-songwriter Weathered has released his new video “Coast”. Details here

– In the year’s most unexpected collaboration Norah Jones and Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong are releasing an album of traditional Americana songs inspired by The Everly Brothers. Details here

– Melbourne duo Sweet Jean have released their new video “Annabelle”. Details here

– Adelaide based singer-songwriter Kaurna Cronin will be heading out on a national tour this weekend. Details here

Matt Walker, the singer-songwriter NSW readers would recognise from the NRMA adverts, has a brand new band called Lost Ragas. Details here

The April Maze are back in the country and are celebrating with a residency at The Toff in Town in Melbourne. Details here

– Melbourne based singer-songwriter Ariela Jacobs has released her debut single “The Sound”. Details here

– Canberran six-piece The Ellis Collective have released their brand new single “Walk Back Down” after a two year hiatus. Details here

– UK based singer-songwriter Gibson Bull will be releasing his new EP Skin and Bones at the start of next month. Details here

WOMADelaide revealed their full 2014 lineup including Billy Bragg, Sam Lee, Breabach, Washington, Hanggai, Jeff Lang, Mikhael Paskalev, Neko Case, Loren Kate, Thelma Plum, Tinpan Orange and many many more. Details here

– George Jackson, Daniel Watkins and Andrew Small have a new bluegrass and old time trio that will be touring the country next year. Details here

The Pierce Brothers will be launching their new single “Tallest Teepee in Town” with shows in NSW and VIC. Details here

– The Blue Mountains Music Festival has revealed the first lineup of artists for 2014 including Xavier Rudd, Ash Grunwald and Lior, Rory McLeod, Eleanor McEvoy, Hanggai, Blair Dunlop, Peter Rowan Band with Richard Greene, Rose Cousins, Eric Bogle, Jeff Lang, Slava & Leonard Grigoryan, Flap!, Sunas, The Woohoo Revue, The Pigs, The BordererS, The Tiger And Me, Jack Carty, Mustered Courage, George & Noriko, Hat Fitz & Cara, Dan Parsons, The Mae Trio and many many more. Details here

– Sydney’s Little May have released their new video “Hide” as well as being announced as supports for the upcoming Mikhael Paskalev tour. Details here

Releases This Week

Jake Bugg
Shangri-LaJake Bugg
iTunes

I Spy
I SpyMikhael Paskalev
iTunes

Timber and Steel Presents

Alex Bowen
Alex Bowen with Tash Sultana, Callee
Sunday 17th November – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets on the Door

Boy Outside
Boy Outside, The British Blues, All Our Exes Live In Texas
Thursday 21st November – The Mac Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Tickets on the Door

Gigs Next Week

Boy & Bear
Friday 15th November – Waves Nightclub, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 16th November – Wrestpoint Showroom, Hobart, TAS
Thursday 21st November – HQ, Adelaide, SA
Friday 22nd November – Metropolis, Fremantle, WA

Busby Marou
Friday 15th November – Flinders Social, Townsville, QLD
Saturday 16th November – Tanks Art Centre, Cairns, QLD
Friday 22nd November – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS

Damien Dempsey
Sunday 17th November – The Cab Bar @ Rosie O’Grady’s, Perth, WA

Davidson Brothers
Sunday 17th November – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Dyson Stringer Cloher
Friday 15th November – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Saturday 16th November – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 17th November – Beav’s Bar, Geelong, VIC
Friday 22nd November – Balnarring Community Hall, Balnarring, VIC

Emma Davis and Brian Campeau
Sunday 17th November – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Foghorn Stringband
Friday 15th November – Nerrigundah Ag Bureau, Nerrigundah, NSW
Saturday 16th November – Quarterdeck, Narooma, NSW

Gossling with Whitaker
Friday 15th November – Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 20th November – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Jacinta Price
Thursday 21st November – Old Telegraph Station, Alice Springs, NT

James Kenyon
Friday 15th November – No. 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW
Saturday 16th November – Thirty Three on Hickory, Dorrigo, NSW
Wednesday 20th November – The Tree House, Byron Bay, NSW

Jordie Lane
Friday 15th November – Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW
Saturday 16th November – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 17th November – Grand Junction, Maitland, NSW
Monday 18th November – Music Lounge, Manly, NSW
Wednesday 20th November – Lizotte’s, Central Coast, NSW
Thursday 21st November – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 22nd November – Mullumbimby Music Festival, Mullumbimby, NSW

Kate Martin
Friday 15th November – Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 16th November – The Brewery, Byron Bay, NSW
Sunday 17th November – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Kaurna Cronin
Sunday 17th November – The Grace Darling, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 19th November – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Lachlan Bryan
Thursday 21st November – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS

Laura & Susie with Wartime Sweethearts
Friday 15th November – Cafe Church Space, Sydney, NSW

Lime and Steel
Saturday 16th November – The Royal Exchange, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 22nd November – Baroque Room, Katoomba, NSW

Lost Ragas
Sunday 19th November – Northcote Social CLub, Melbourne, VIC

Love Over Gold
Friday 15th November – Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT (Lucie Thorne Solo)
Saturday 16th November – The Town Hall, Candelo, NSW (Lucie Thorne Solo)
Wednesday 20th November – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Patrick James
Friday 15th November – The Fly Trap, Fremantle, WA
Friday 22nd November – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Perch Creek Family Jugband
Saturday 16th November – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 21st to Sunday 24th November – Mullum Music Festival, Mullumbimby, NSW

Raindrops on Rooftops feat. Grim Fawkner, Oh Pep!, Christopher Coleman Collective
Saturday 16th November – TBA House Concert, Melbourne, VIC

Robert Ellis and Corey Chisel with Marlon Williams
Friday 15th November – The Substation, Newport, VIC
Saturday 16th November – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Sunday 17th November – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 20th November 20 – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 21st November – Lizottes, Dee Why, NSW
Friday 22nd November – The Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW

Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel
Friday 15th November – The Junkyard, Maitland, NSW
Sunday 17th November – The Wollombi Tavern, Wollombi, NSW
Thursday 21st November – The Joynt, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 22th to Sunday 24th November – Mullum Music Festival, NSW

The Crooked Fiddle Band
Friday 15th November – Wollongong Diggers Club, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 22nd November – Baroque Room, Katoomba, NSW

The Little Stevies
Friday 15th November – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Friday 22nd November – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD

Tanya Batt
Friday 15th November – Jive Bar, Adelaide, SA

Whitley
Friday 15th November – Yours and Owls, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 16th November – Goodgod, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 17th November – Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Roving Gambler” – The Stanley Brothers

This song has crossed my desk twice this week. First of all it appears on the Inside Llewyn Davis soundtrack courtesy of The Downhill Strugglers and then again as part of the Billie Joe and Norah album of Americana covers Foreverly. Listen to this classic version from The Stanley Brothers.

Gibson Bull Announces New EP Skin and Bones

Gibson Bull
Image Courtesy of Gibson Bull

London based singer-songwriter Gibson Bull had announced plans to release a very special EP at the start of next month. Titled Skin and Bones the EP, due for release on the 2nd December, combines Bull’s emotive folk music with samples from scratchy old classical and jazz vinyl sourced by producer Adam Morley.

“As a folk musician, the idea of re-interpreting old music is completely natural, it’s part of the tradition and to attempt to stand apart from what’s gone before would feel wrong, disconnected,” Gibson Bull explained. “So to me, sampling sounds from old records didn’t feel at odds with my folk background. I love the way the sounds are taken into a completely new context; much of what we used was from classical or world music. And once we’d chopped-up, stretched and processed the sounds they were completely unrecognisable but still had a sense of groundedness about them.”

The full track listing plus an embed of the title track from Skin and Bones are below:

1. Skin and Bones
2. Where Are You Now
3. I Won’t Wait
4. While We’re Still Young

The Best Folky Christmas Songs of 2012

Santa Banjo

Christmas music is folk music. You can’t deny it. So as a result we love Christmas music here at Timber and Steel – both the traditional carols and songs and the wealth of brand new material that is released by our favourite artists every year. 2012 has been somewhat of a bumper year from Christmas songs so rather than bore you with this introduction let’s get right into it shall we?

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sufjan Stevens – “Christmas Unicorn”
Sufjan Stevens took his obsession with all things Christmas to a new level this year realeasing the second part of his Christmas boxset Silver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, Volumes 6-10. “Christmas Unicorn” was the first new track to emerge from the boxset and we kind of like it – despite being strange in only the way a Sufjan Stevens Christmas song can be.

Rufus Wainwright feat. Sharon Van Etten – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
The Starbuck’s owned label Hear Music this year released the Holiday’s Rule Christmas compilation featuring a number of our favourite artists (The Civil Wars, Calexico, Punch Brothers, The Head & the Heart, Andrew Bird and more) and was produced by The Decemberists’ Chris Funk. Check out this duet between Rufus Wainwright and Sharon Van Etten from the album.

Punch Brothers – “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”
And with a lineup like that we just have to include another track from Holiday’s Rule. Checkout this take on “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” from the Punch Brothers.

Emmy The Great and Tim Wheeler – “Zombie Christmas”
Last year Emmy the Great and her real life/musical partner Tim Wheeler (Ash) produced the wonderful This is Christmas album of original indie-Christmas songs. This year they’ve re-released the album on vinyl and have a brand new video for the festive and violent “Zombie Christmas”.

She & Him – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
Another indie-folk duo milking last year’s Christmas album (in this case A Very She & Him Christmas), She & Him have this season released a brand new animated video for their track “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”. I wonder how many more Christmases they can get out of a single album? Maybe She & Him and Emmy The Great and Tim Wheeler could team up to create the ultimate indie-folk Christmas album?

Dawn McCarthy and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – “Christmas Eve Can Kill You”
Longtime collaborators Dawn McCarthy and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy released a split single featuring two Everly Brothers’ tracks “Christmas Eve Can Kill You” and “Lovey Kravezit”. The former has this lovely video directed by Lara Miranda.

Roland K Smith & The Sinners – “This Could Be The End (Merry Christmas)”
While this track and video were released last year we’re including it in this year’s list because it appeared on Roland K Smith & The Sinners’ 2012 album Breaking Hearts and Saving Souls. That and you can’t ignore a Christmas song with a bracketed title.

Tom Rosenthal – Christmas Quiet
I have to thank Lachy over at And Pluck Your Strings for bringing this sweet indie-folk Christmas song to my attention (also, you need to be reading his blog – seriously). I don’t know much about Tom Rosenthal but I would have to say this is pretty close to my favourite Christmas song of the year.

Gibson Bull and Carmen – “The Holly and the Ivy”
For the last few years I’ve really enjoyed the annual Christmas compilation album from UK blog For Folk’s Sake. Gibson Bull is an artist that For Folk’s Sake have been pushing fairly heavily this year – and when you hear his version of “The Holly and the Ivy” with Carmen from the compilation you’ll see why.

Dropkick Murphys – “The Season’s Upon Us”
For many the Christmas season is just as much about dysfunction as it is about family and coming together. And who better to capture that in song than folk-punks Dropkick Murphys.

Huey and the New Yorkers – “Christmas By The Side Of The Road”
Huey and the New Yorkers may be the new project from Fun Lovin’ Criminals frontman Huey Morgan but don’t be fooled – this isn’t “Scoobie Snacks”. “Christmas By The Side Of The Road” is a wonderful piece of country Christmas goodness and it’s raising money for veterans charity Help For Heroes. To purchase the single head to the officiel Huey and the New Yorkers web site.

Packwood, Jack Carty, Achoo! Bless You, Fanny Lumsden and Rosie Catalano – “Heading Home (It’s Christmas Time)”
Another charity single, this one a little more local, “Heading Home (It’s Christmas Time)” was put together by some of Timber and Steel’s favourite musicians and raises money for Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy. To pick up the track head to the bandcamp page here.

Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo – “Christmas Time Is Here”
Our favourite ex-pat Aussie musician living in the UK, Emily Barker recorded her own version of “Christmas Time Is Here”, originally the 1965 Christmas episode of Charlie Brown. Backing vocals for the track are care of Rumer, Ren Harvieu and Kristina Train.

Friend of all the World – “The Huron Carol”
Canadian’s Friend of all the World have this year released their second Christmas themed EP, cleverly titled Christmas Time – Volume 2. “The Huron Carol” has a real solemn feel to it but I really like it – I would file this along side the likes of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” or “Dives and Lazarus”.

Leftover Cuties – “Winter Wonderland”
Taken from their EP Christmas Time Is Here, Leftover Cuties have infused a heavy dose of New Orleans into their up tempo version of “Winter Wonderland”. If this doesn’t get you up and dancing on Christmas day nothing will!

Terry Emm – “Gently”
There’s something really sweet about UK singer-songwriter Terry Emm. He reminds me a a little of The Staves or The Leisure Society and his Christmas track, “Gently”, is just beautiful.

Karine Polwart – “Merry Xmas Everybody”
Scottish folk singer Karine Polwart may not have featured too heavily on Timber and Steel this year but 2012 has been absolutely blinding year, following the release of her album Traces, that’s culminated in nominations in the 2013 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for Album of the Year, Folk Singer of the Year and Best Original Song. To celebrate the year Polwart has released a folky version of Slade’s infamous tune “Merry Xmas Everybody”.

Grant Arthur – “Santa Went Down To Georgia”
Choosing just one track from Grant Arthur’s folky Christmas album A Very Grant Arthur Christmas proved tricky but we went with “Santa Went Down To Georgia” due to its obvious connection to the classic “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”. Enjoy!

Feldspar – “In the Bleak Midwinter”
We had to finish up with one more track from For Folk’s Sake It’s Christmas 2012, this time from London five-piece Feldspar and their track “In the Bleak Midwinter”.

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