Imogen Clark Announces Album Launch Tour

Imogen Clark
Image Courtesy of Imogen Clark

It’s been a month since Sydney based alt-country singer-songwriter Imogen Clark released her fabulous debut album Love & Lovely Lies and the buzz centred around her hasn’t yet abated. And that buzz is only set to continue with the announcement of a national tour this July

“I love playing live,” Clark explained. “Next to songwriting, it’s my absolute biggest passion. I can’t wait to get out on the road again and bring these songs and stories, and this album I’m so proud of, to venues around Australia. See you out there!”

As well as supporting Willie Watson and Josh Hedley for their Brisbane show on the 8th July Imogen Clark will be taking in doubts up and down the east coast before finishing up in Adelaide. Check out the full list of dates below:

Friday 8th July – Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 15th July – Oxford Circus, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 16th July – Stag & Hunter, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 17th July – Hotel Blue, Katoomba, NSW
Friday 22nd July – Shebeen, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 7th August – Quarterdeck, Narooma, NSW
Wednesday 17th August – The Red Room, Ararat, VIC
Sunday 21st August – Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 20th May

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

The Low Anthem announced their first album in five years, Eyeland. Details here

– Irish singer-songwriter Foy Vance has announced an Australian tour for this September. Details here

– Melbourne based singer-songwriter James Kenyon released his new video “The Motorbike Song”. Details here

– Singer-songwriter Josh Rennie-Hynes released his new single “Rosie”. Details here

– Sydney alt-country singer Imogen Clark released her new video “You’ll Only Break My Heart”. Details here

– Folk music legend Jon Boden looks like he’s going solo. Details here

Gregory Alan Isakov has announced a new album with the Colorado Symphony. Details here

Timber and Steel favourite Jack Carty successfully crowd sourced his new album Home State, released his new video “All At Once” and announced a tour with Emily Barker and Jordan Millar. Details here

– Melbourne duo Sweet Jean announced a national tour for this July. Details here

Blog

“We’re happy with our set, playing to a reasonably full room. There are a few photographers in the crowd which is a bit disconcerting but we get some great feedback and even sell a few EPs. People are confused by Josie’s accent given we are an Australian band!” – Part 1 of Peasant Moon’s Canadian Music Week tour diary. Read it here

“It’s so cool to see so many amazing Aussie girls rocking the Supermarket! Sounds Australia do such an excellent job curating these events and we are so honoured to have been included” – Part 2 of Peasant Moon’s Canadian Music Week tour diary. Read it here

Releases This Week

Hayden Calnin
Cut Love Pt 2Hayden Calnin
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

FolkSwagon feat. Timber & Steel, Bec Bastoli, Colin Jones & The Delta Revue

T&S

We’re going to be very selfish here and promote our own gig. Timber and Steel (the band), will be appearing at this week’s FolkSwagon along with the amazing Bec Bastoli and Colin Jones

Wednesday 25th May – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Andy Golledge w/ Caitlin Harnett
Thursday 26th May – Union Hotel, Sydney NSW

Bon Iver
Friday 27th May – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Busk For A Cure
Saturday 21st May – Newtown, Sydney, NSW

Chaika
Friday 20th May – The Unorthodox Church of Groove, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 21st May – Wauchope Hall, Wauchope, NSW
Sunday 22nd May – The Rhythm Hut, Gosford, NSW

Clare Bowen
Tuesday 24th May – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 25th May – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 26th May – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Friday 27th May – Anita’s Theatre, Thirroul, NSW

Claude Hay
Friday 20th May – Finnian’s Irish Tavern, Port Macquarie, NSW
Saturday 21st May – The Federal Hotel, Bellingen, NSW
Sunday 22nd May – The Rails, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 27th May – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD

Dallas Crane
Sunday 22nd May – Bald Faced Stag, Sydney, NSW

Davidson Brothers
Saturday 21st May – White Cliffs Music Festival, NSW

Don McGlashan
Friday 20th May – Paragon Cafe, Katoomba, NSW

FolkSwagon feat. Timber & Steel, Bec Bastoli, Colin Jones & The Delta Revue
Wednesday 25th May – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Hootenanny feat. Skyscraper Stan
Sunday 22nd May – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

James Thomson & The Strange Pilgrims w/ De’May
Sunday 22nd May – The Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Jep and Dep, Hannah Marjorie
Thursday 26th May – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Joe Mungovan
Friday 20th May – The Loft, Warnnambool, VIC
Thursday 26th May – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC

Josh Pyke
Thursday 26th May – Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT

Julia Johnson and Vorn Doolette
Saturday 21st May – House Concert, Sydney, NSW

Leah Flanagan
Sunday 22nd May – The Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Little May
Friday 20th May – Adelaide Uni Bar, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 21st May – Amplifier Bar, Perth, WA
Friday 27th May – Solbar, Sunshine Coast, QLD

Mark Lucas & Friends
Thursday 26th May – Mr Falcons, Sydney, NSW

Mark Wilkinson
Friday 20th May – Downstairs at The Maj, Perth, WA
Saturday 21st May – Downstairs at The Maj, Perth, WA
Sunday 22nd May – Downstairs at The Maj, Perth, WA
Thursday 26th May – Pier on Clarence, Port Macquarie, NSW
Friday 27th May – Soundlounge, Gold Coast, QLD

Melody Pool
Friday 20th May – Paddington Uniting Church, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 21st May – Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 26th May – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD

Not Good With Horses
Sunday 22nd May – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Sahara Beck
Friday 20th May – RAD, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 21st May – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 22nd May – Brass Monkey, Sydney, NSW
Friday 27th May – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Skyscraper Stan
Friday 20th May – Jane’s, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 21st – Six String Brewing Company, Erina, NSW
Sunday 22nd May – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 26th May – The Grand Junction, Maitland
Friday 27th May – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW

The Beards
Saturday 21st May – Jive Bar, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 25th May – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC
Thursday 26th May – The Golden Vine, Bendigo, VIC
Friday 27th May – SS & A Club, Albury, NSW

The Bottlers w/ Jim Mongrel
Thursday 26th May – The Hideaway Bar, Sydney, NSW

The Button Collective
Thursday 26th May – The Temperance Society, Sydney, NSW
Friday 27th May – The Foghorn Brewhouse, Erina, NSW

The Weeping Willows
Friday 20th May – Bendigo Folk Club, Bendigo, VIC

TinPan Orange
Friday 20th May – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“8 Dogs 8 Banjos” – Old Crow Medicine Show

Watch the New Imogen Clark Video “You’ll Only Break My Heart”

Imogen Clark
Image Courtesy of Imogen Clark

Sydney singer-songwriter Imogen Clark has been getting an insane amount of buzz for her brand new album Love & Lovely Lies which was released a couple of weeks ago.

Clark has just released a video for her latest single “You’ll Only Break My Heart” which we think you’re going to love – check it out below:

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 22nd April

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– UK singer-songwriter Blair Dunlop released his new video “Eternal Optimist”. Details here

Imogen Clark announced details of her upcoming debut album Love & Lovely Lies. Details here

Dan Mangan + Blacksmith released their new video “Forgetery”. Details here

– Indie-folk five piece The Paper Kites released their new video “Renegade” and announced national tour dates in June and July. Details here

The Felice Brothers have announced details of their upcoming album Life In The Dark. Details here

– Soul-folk singer Michael Kiwanuka released his new video “Love & Hate”. Details here

– Indie-folk duo Winterbourne announced details of their upcoming EP Pendulum along with a new single and tour dates. Details here

– Folk-punks The Dead Maggies released their new video Tommy Pieman. Details here

Bluegrass @ Yulli’s returns to Sydney this Wednesday with The Willing Ponies. Details here

– Melbourne indie-folk duo Sweet Jean announced details of their new album Monday to Friday. Details here

Bear’s Dean released details of their upcoming album Red Earth & Pouring Rain. Details here

Releases This Week

MATA
TempleMatthew and the Atlas
iTunes

Panacea
PanaceaSahara Beck
iTunes

Sandy Denny
I’ve Always Kept A Unicorn – The Acoustic Sandy DennySandy Denny
iTunes

Timber and Steel Presents

The Timbers

William Fitzsimmons

Saturday 23rd April – Jive, Adelaide, SA
Friday 29th April to Sunday 1st May – Winter Moon Festival, North Queensland, QLD

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Spurs For Jesus & Handsome Young Strangers

HYS

It’s the 10th anniversary of Spurs For Jesus & Handsome Young Strangers’ annual ANZAC day show. You know this is going to be huge.

Monday 25th April – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

A Man Walks Into A Bar feat. Sam Newton
Friday 22nd April – Blood Moon Theatre, World Bar, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 23rd April – Blood Moon Theatre, World Bar, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 24th April – Blood Moon Theatre, World Bar, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 27th April – Blood Moon Theatre, World Bar, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 28th April – Blood Moon Theatre, World Bar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 29th April – Blood Moon Theatre, World Bar, Sydney, NSW

Ainsley Farrell
Wednesday 27th April – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW

April Maze
Saturday 23rd April – The Tea Club, Nowra, NSW
Friday 29th April to Sunday 1st May – Mt Beauty Music Festival, VIC

Bluegrass @ Yulli’s feat. The Willing Ponies
Wednesday 27th April – Yulli’s, Sydney, NSW

Colin Jones & The Delta Revue
Friday 22nd April – White Horse Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 26th April – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Davey Craddock
Sunday 24th April – RTR FM’s In The Pines, WA
Friday 29th April to Sunday 1st May – Mount Beauty Festival, VIC

Devon Sproule
Saturday 23rd April – The Gum Ball Festival, Dashville, NSW
Saturday 23rd April – No 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Sunday 24th April – Ex-services Club, Mullumbimby, NSW
Monday 25th April – Queen Street Mall Stage, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 27th April – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 29th April – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

FolkSwagon feat. Darby, The Delta Revue, Braden Evans
Wednesday 27th April – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Green Room Banjo Sessions
Tuesday 26th April – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Hootenanny feat. Andy Baylor’s Cajun Combo
Sunday 24th April – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

HOWQUA
Saturday 23rd April – Shadow Electric, Melbourne, VIC

Joe Mungovan
Friday 22nd April – No. 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Saturday 23rd April – Queen Street Mall Stage, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 24th April – Epiphany Coffee, Gympie, NSW
Friday 29th April – House Concert, Holgate, NSW

John Flanagan
Saturday 23rd April – The Song Room, Tanunda, SA
Sunday 24th April – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Julia Jacklin
Friday 29th April – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Matt Corby
Thursday 28th April – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA

Medusa’s Wake
Sunday 24th April – PJ Gallagher’s, Sydney, NSW

Mount Beauty Music Festival
Friday 29th April to Sunday 1st May – Mt. Beauty, VIC

Not Good With Horses
Sunday 24th April – Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Of Monsters and Men
Thursday 28th April – The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 29th April – The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD

Old Man Luedecke
Friday 29th April to Sunday 1st May – Planting Festival, Woodford, QLD

Planting Festival
Friday 29th April to Sunday 1st May – Woodford, QLD

Rowena Wise
Friday 22nd April – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Ryan Bingham
Friday 22nd April – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 23rd April – Brass Monkey, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 24th April – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Wednesday 27th April – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 28th April – Captital Theatre, Bendigo, VIC
Friday 29th April – Byron Theatre, Byron Bay, NSW

Sian Evans
Friday 22nd April – Grounded Festival, Brisbane Valley, QLD
Saturday 30th April – Nimbin Mardigrass, Nimbin, NSW
Sunday 1st May – Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD

Sparrow-Folk
Wednesday 27th April – The Matchbox, Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 28th April – The Matchbox, Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 29th April – The Matchbox, Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Spurs For Jesus & Handsome Young Strangers
Monday 25th April – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

St Albans Folk Festival
Friday 22nd to Monday 25th April

The 5 Lands Experience feat Vanishing Shapes
Sunday 24th April – The Rhythm Hut, Gosford, NSW

The Beards
Friday 22nd April – Dunsborough Tavern, Dunsborough, WA
Saturday 23rd April – Price of Wales, Bubury, WA

The Dead Maggies
Friday 22nd April – Barwon Club, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 23rd April – Westernport Hotel, San Remo, VIC
Sunday 24th April – The Tote, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 24th April – Whole Lotta Love, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 29th April – The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart, TAS

The End Festival
Saturday 23rd April – Hills End, NSW

The Go Set
Friday 22nd April – Barwon Club, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 23rd April – Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 24th April – The Tote, Melbourne, VIC

The Gum Ball
Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th April – Dashville, NSW

The Timbers
Saturday 23rd April – Jive, Adelaide, SA
Friday 29th April to Sunday 1st May – Winter Moon Festival, North Queensland, QLD

The Weeping Willows
Sunday 24th April – T’Gallant Winery, Main Ridge, VIC
Friday 29th to Sunday 1st May – Mount Beauty Music Festival, Mount Beauty, VIC

Tim Guy
Saturday 23rd April – Martians, Deans Marsh, VIC

TinPan Orange
Friday 29th April – The Grand Poobah, Hobart, TAS

Vance Joy
Saturday 23rd April – Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne, VIC **SOLD OUT**
Sunday 24th April – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW **SOLD OUT**
Monday 25th April – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW **SOLD OUT**

Winter Moon Festival
Friday 29th April to Sunday 1st May – North Queensland, QLD

Friday Folk Flashback

“Holding Up The Sky” – Karl Broadie & Caitlin Harnett

I never met Karl Broadie but almost everyone I know in the Sydney music scene knew him well. I’ve been watching all of the loving tributes for Broadie online after he passed away this week and it’s clear how important he was to folk and country music in this country. His legacy will live on in the music.

Imogen Clark Announces Details of Her Debut Album

Imogen Clark
Image Courtesy of Imogen Clark

Alt-country singer-songwriter Imogen Clark has finally revealed details of her highly anticipated debut album. Titled Love & Lovely Lies was co-produced by Clark along with Harry and Jack Hookey and is due for release on the 6th May.

“I love this album,” Imogen Clark says. “It’s definitely the thing I’m proudest to put my name on so far in my life. I had a big hand in producing it myself and I’d never done that on a record before. I produced it alongside two great artists – Harry Hookey and Jack Hookey. We worked on it and played all the instruments together. I’ve never had a record that represented me so strongly. It really is a snapshot of me at 20 and 21 years of age, and I’m really proud of it.”

The latest single from Love & Lovely Lies is “You’ll Only Break My Heart” – take a listen here:

Ten Artists to Watch in the First Half of 2016

Bob Dylan

Following the success of last year’s “Ten Artists to Watch in the First Half of 2015” article we thought we’d try our hand again at picking which bands and singers you’re going to be hearing a lot from over the next 6 months. This list is by no means exhaustive (I had to whittle it down to just 10) but I think it’s a nice mix of artists, old and new, to keep an eye on this year. It’s 2016 – let’s get excited about new music!

All Our Exes
All Our Exes Live in Texas

While it’ll be tough to top a 2015 that included supporting The Backstreet Boys on their Australian tour I reckon All Our Exes Live in Texas are set to have a massive 2016. Having hit their crowdfunding target to record their debut album late last year the girls have been busy running between festivals, recording studios and music video locations throughout January – and they’ve just been announced as the supports for Passenger’s Australian tour. Expect All Our Exes Live in Texas to be everywhere you look this year.

Bon Iver
Bon Iver

It’s been five years since Bon Iver’s last album. It’s been four years since Bon Iver last toured Australia. In fact most people had written them off, assuming Justin Vernon was moving on to other projects, until mid last year where Bon Iver played the Eaux Claires Music Festival in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and Vernon told Consequence of Sound that this was the start of the band’s third cycle. Now they’re heading to Asia for shows in Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, China, Japan and Taiwan this February and March bringing them very close to our shores…

Eagle and the Wolf
Eagle & The Wolf

Two of Australia’s finest singer-songwriters, indie-pop goddess Sarah Humphreys and alt-country troubadour Kris Morris, met, fell in love and now they’re making they’re making beautiful folk music together as Eagle & The Wolf. The project is in its infancy but they’ve already secured a tour with Kasey Chambers, wowed crowds at the Tamworth Music Festival and have an album coming out in February.

Imogen Clark
Imogen Clark

If the buzz from Tamworth is anything to go by 2016 is going to be huge for Imogen Clark. Signing to the coveted Lost Highway label late last year and recording her debut album in Nashville (release date to be announced), Clark has been going from strength to strength – and it couldn’t happen to a nicer girl!

John Flanagan
John Flanagan

John Flanagan is one of those artists that manages to straddle the fine line between country and folk music and as such has been embraced by both scenes. His new solo album There’s Another Way To Where You’re Going hits stands next week and he heads off on a tour with alt-country Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel throughout February and I have a feeling that Flanagan will gain a whole new legion of fans around the country before the year is out.

Matt Corby
Matt Corby

The two songs we’ve heard from Matt Corby’s debut album Telluric so far couldn’t be more different – the gospel infused “Monday” was followed up with the psychedelic “Sooth Lady Wine”. Exactly what the rest of the album will hold remains to be seen but you can be pretty sure Matt Corby’s amazing voice and solid song writing will shine through.

Matthew and the Atlas
Matthew and the Atlas

Another artist that has been too quiet for too long UK nu-folkers Matthew and the Atlas revealed their new song “Elijah” earlier this month with the news they’d been in the studio late last year. We don’t have any more details on what will be the result of those recording sessions but if you’ve heard “Elijah” you’ll be very very excited.

Radical Face
Radical Face

After almost a decade American artist Radical Face will finally release the third album in his The Family Tree trilogy this March. Radical Face first crossed our path when “Welcome Home” was used for a Nikon commercial a few years back and I’ve devoured everything since. The one track we’ve heard from The Family Tree: Leaves is “The Road To Nowhere” which sees Radical Face up the ante production wise boding well for the rest of the record.

Rowena Wise
Rowena Wise

There was so much buzz surrounding Rowena Wise’s solo music last year which seemed to die down somewhat as she ducked into the studio to record an album. Now there are some rumblings of a return with Rowena Wise and her new band The Guys booking gigs in February. Prepare to have Rowena Wise win your heart all over again.

The Timbers
The Timbers

Adelaide’s kings of the folk-stomp The Timbers will be releasing their first true studio album Restless in February and are following up with a huge national tour. These guys have built a reputation as an amazing live band and are set to become a festival favourite as they jump from Port Fairy to The National and beyond.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 22nd January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– American singer-songwriter Matt Bauer released his new video “What The White Book Said”. Details here

Radical Face announced that he will be releasing the final album in his trilogy, The Family Tree: Leaves, this March. Details here

The Brunswick Music Festival has announced its 2016 lineup including Blind Boy Paxton, Jeff Lang, Alison Ferrier, Mandy Connell, Charles Jenkins, Cat Canteri & Justin Bernasconi, Brooke Russell, Ayleen O’Hanlon, Hat Fitz & Cara, Mountain Mocha Kilimanjaro, Mànran, Spiro, Moxie, Shane Howard Trio, Mia Dyson, Jess Ribeiro and many more. Details here

– Sydney singer-songwriter Imogen Clark released her new video “Take Me For A Ride”. Details here

– UK nu-folkers Matthew and the Atlas released their new single “Elijah”. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Zac Saber released his new single “Soak Up The Sun”. Details here

Boy & Bear released their new video “Limit of Love” ahead of their national tour. Details here

– Folk trio Applewood Road released their new video “Lovin’ Eyes”. Details here

– Americana singer-songwriter James Thomson has announced an East Coast tour this February and March. Details here

– We were really proud to debut the new single from The Campervan Dancers, “Slow Down, Butterfly”. Details here

– English nu-folk artist King Charles released his new single “Choke”. Details here

– Perth based Americana singer Davey Craddock released his new single “Peaceful Bay”. Details here

Releases This Week

Aoife
In The Magic HourAoife O’Donovan
iTunes

Desert Songs
Desert SongsPiers Faccini & Dawn Landes
iTunes

Gamble for a Rose
Gamble For A RoseKing Charles
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Tom West

Tom West

Singer-songwriter Tom West returns to his spiritual home of The Grace Emily in Adelaide to play the first of two live album recording sessions

Thursday 28th January – The Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Gigs Next Week

40 Ways to Love Your City w/ Warren Fahey, Christa Hughes and Mic Conway’s National Junk Band
Saturday 23rd January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 24th January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW
Monday 25th January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW

Allison Forbes
Friday 22nd January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 23rd January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Andrew Swift
Friday 22nd January – Hogs Breath Stage, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 23rd January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Beth Patterson
Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th January – Newstead Live Folk Festival, Newstead, VIC
Thursday 28th January – Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 29th January – Ocean View Hotel, Urunga, NSW

Country Conquers Cancer feat. Paddy McHugh, Pat Tierney, Megan Cooper, Dana Hassall, Sian Evans, Josh Rennie-Hynes, Brad Butcher, Dana Gehrman, The Mighty Kind, Jen Mize, The Floyd Family Breakdown, Ben Bunting, Andy McDonnell, Cameron Milford, Emma Bosworth, Hayley Marsten, Ellie Jane, Boatkeeper, Byron Short and the Sunset Junkies
Thursday 28th January – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD

Boy & Bear
Friday 22nd January – Odeon Theatre, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 23rd January – Festival Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 29th January – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA

Cake & Cordial Sessions feat. Paddy McHugh, Megan Cooper, Gretta Ziller, Andy Golledge, Brad Butcher
Friday 22nd January – St Paul’s Anglican Church, Tamworth, NSW

Dana Hassall
Friday 22nd January – City Plaza, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – FanZone, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – The Songwriters Round, Capitol Theatre, Tamworth, NSW

Davey Craddock w/ The Waifs
Sunday 24th January – Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA

Deep Down South feat. Lachlan Bryan, Les Thomas, Mr Alford Country, Jemma Nicole, Andrew Swift, Brooke Russell, Tom Dockray, Gretta Ziller
Sunday 24th January – The Stag, Newcastle, NSW

Eagle & The Wolf
Friday 22nd January – The Longyard, Tamworth, NSW

Elwood Myre
Tuesday 26th January – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW

Fanny Lumsden
Friday 22nd January – Capitol Theatre, The Songwriters Round, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – Longyard Deck, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 23rd January – Longyard Goonoo Goonoo Room, Tamworth, NSW

Far From Folsom Featuring Tex Perkins and The Tennessee Four with Rachael Tidd
Friday 29th January – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC

FolkSwagon feat. Comedownsundown, The Campervan Dancers, Special Guest
Wednesday 27th January – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Hootenanny Bluegrass Sundays feat. Echo Deer
Sunday 24th January – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Imogen Clark
Friday 22nd January – Tudor Upstairs, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 23rd Januray – FanZone, Tamworth, NSW

Irish Mythen
Friday 22nd January – The Django Bar, Marrickville, NSW
Saturday 23rd January – The Paragon Cafe, Katoomba, NSW
Friday 29th January – The Wesley Anne, Northcote, VIC

John Butler Trio
Friday 22nd January – Belvoir Amphitheatre, Upper Swan, WA
Saturday 23rd January – Leeuwin Estate, Margaret River, WA
Sunday 24th January – Quindanning Tavern, Quindanning, WA

Josh Pyke
Friday 29th January – Twilight at Taronga, Sydney, NSW

Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes
Friday 22nd January – The Tamworth, Tamworth, NSW

Megan Cooper
Friday 22nd January – Cake & Cordial Sessions, St Paul’s Anglican Church Hall, Tamworth, NSW

Michael Hurley and Meg Baird
Sunday 24th January – St Stephen’s Uniting Church, Sydney, NSW

Newstead Live! Music Festival
Friday 22nd to Monday 25th January – Castlemaine, VIC

Numeralla Folk Festival
Friday 22nd to Monday 25th January – Numeralla, NSW

One Up, Two Down
Tuesday 19th to Saturday 23rd January – Andrew Clemont’s Supper Club, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 23rd January – West Leagues Club, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 27th January – Cat and Fiddle Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 28th January – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Friday 29th January – Hotel Gearin, Katoomba, NSW

Out of Abingdon
Saturday 23rd January – Nethercote Music Factory, Nethercote, NSW
Wednesday 27th January – Hippo Co, Canberra, ACT

Ryley Walker
Friday 22nd January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 23rd January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 24th January – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Monday 25th January – The Toff, Melbourne, VIC

Tamworth Country Music Festival
Saturday 15th to Sunday 24th January – Tamworth, NSW

The Audreys
Saturday 23rd January – Live at the Vines, Kay Brothers Winery, McLaren Vale, SA
Sunday 24th January – Flying Saucer Club, Elsternwick, VIC
Monday 25th January – Spotted Mallard, Brunswick, VIC

The Brouhaha
Friday 29th January – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

The Button Collective
Friday 22nd January – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 23rd January – Swamp Collective, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 24th January – Oriental Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

The East Pointers
Friday 22nd January – Chudleigh Community Hall, TAS
Saturday 23rd January – Queenstown Memorial Hall, TAS
Sunday 24th January – Southport Community Centre, TAS

The Franklin Electric
Friday 22nd January – The Fat Controller, Adelaide, SA
Friday 29th January – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

The Waifs
Saturday 23rd January – Leeuwin Estate, Margaret River, WA
Sunday 24th January – Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA

The Wayward Henrys
Friday 22nd January – Hogs Breath Cafe, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 23rd January – Hogs Breath Stage, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 23rd January – Cafe Retro, Tamworth, NSW

Tom West
Thursday 28th January – The Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Friday Folk Flashback

“Johnny Stewart, Drover” – John Thompson

This week we lost Chris Buch who wrote this magnificent song.

Watch the New Imogen Clark Video “Take Me For A Ride”

Imogen Clark
Image Courtesy of Imogen Clark

In case you needed any further proof that Sydney based singer-songwriter Imogen Clark is an artist to watch in 2015 check this out: when Clark released her new single “Take Me For A Ride” on Friday it went straight to number one on the iTunes country charts.

The track also comes with a fantastic new video that documents some time that Imogen Clark spent in Nashville last year – check it out below:

Imogen Clark is currently making waves and breaking hearts up at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Her remaining shows are as follows:

Thursday 21st January – Capitol Theatre, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Americana in the Park, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – Tudor Upstairs, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 23rd Januray – FanZone, Tamworth, NSW

Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2015

Record Collecting

So you’ve read what we think the top 25 albums of 2015 are but here’s what you’re really waiting for – the article where we ask our favourite artists to pick their favourite recordings of the year.

Every year we reach out to artists across the Timber and Steel genre spectrum to pick their number one album or EP of the year and the results are always surprising. So get yourself a cold drink, find somewhere comfortable to site down and enjoy Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2015:

Postcards From Ursa MinorFrank Turner
Will VarleyPostcards From Ursa Minor
I stumbled across Will a few years back and instantly fell in love. He’s currently my favourite songwriter, and I think this album is little short of a masterpiece.

The DeslondesJimmy Daley (The Morrisons, The Tawny Owl Stringband)
The DeslondesThe Deslondes
Heard the song “Louise” on a live music series on YouTube called Jammin In The Van and was immediately bowled over. Went and bought the album (yes I bought it) and was not disappointed. Killer songs, retro production that sounds modern at the same time, great playing and awesome singing/harmonies. I’ll be knocking back many tins over summer while listening to this album.

The Phosphorescent BluesMichael O’Donnell (The Squeezebox Trio)
Punch BrothersThe Phosphorescent Blues
Stop reading this review right now and go listen to this album. Its just perfect. From the 10 minute opener to Debussy to one hell of an ending, this album is a game changer. There is only one (10 second) instrumental solo on the whole album, opting for lush orchestrations instead. It was a HUGE influence on us.

Paradise is ThereTaryn La Fauci
Natalie MerchantParadise is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings
To be able to re-release a complete new version of a record first released 20 years ago in 1995 is an incredible artstic achievement. Karl Broadie introduced me to her music and since then I have drank up her journey and past records. Her voice holds this piercing warmth and wisdom that coos you in and wraps you up like a child in its mothers arms. Getting to devour this rediscovery of Tigerlily and how she has evolved with it is why this record is my favourite release of 2015.

Wilder MindGerrit Gmel (Citizen of the World)
Mumford & SonsWilder Mind
This is really a no brainer for me, I absolutely adore these guys and without them I probably wouldn’t write the music I write today. This being said, their new sound took me a while to get used to and I went from loving 95% of the songs to loving 70% on this new album. Still, it shows how even a genre-defining band can have the guts and skill to reinvent their sound and write powerful songs independently of the instrumental setup.

Diamonds in the BloodstreamJosh Rennie-Hynes
Raised by EaglesDiamonds in the Bloodstream
A great collection of songs. Honest and thoughtful and the production is spot on. One of my favourite Australian bands.

But For All These Shrinking HeartsWoody Pitney
Josh PykeBut For All These Shrinking Hearts
Josh Pyke delivered again with this new gem of an album, But For All These Shrinking Hearts. Staying true to his iconic style and sound, this tightly produced record is a great listen. Despite not having any stand-out hits like previous albums, it still has plenty of sparkle and charm. My personal favourites are “Hollering Hearts” and “Book of Revelations”.

Carrie & LowellCaitlin Park
Sufjan StevensCarrie & Lowell
There is no-one quite like Sufjan Stevens. It is hard to put your finger on the power of his story-telling, what it is that drags us in so. For me, it is the way he paints the picture; he writes about the little things, the smaller moments between two people. A whole album dedicated to the memory of his mother and descriptions of her passing, we are left to fill in the the rest of the story. Where they lived, their age – these things don’t matter as long as you are privy to their quiet moments alone. And then in one foul swoop, he wraps up the meaning of the song in one sentence, and your heart breaks into a thousand pieces **we’re all gonna’ die**. A lyric that will stay with me forever, a lyric i will always remember from the year 2015: “What could I have said to raise you from the dead, oh could I be the sky on the fourth of July?”

Strange New PastSteven Barnard (Arbori)
Seth SentryStrange New Past
I know this puts me at risk of losing my indie folk privileges but Seth Sentry’s second LP was simply outstanding. Kendrick Lamars to pimp a butterfly was musically more brilliant but topically from another world. His harmonic nostalgia tethered by trap beats rap ego and existential early 30’s humility is seamless. The record plays from start to finish effortlessly and voids of any Aus hip hop cringe worthy cleches that we have blushed at when measured against the likes of Kings Kunta and Kick Push. I’m a hip hop dancer and this is hands down the best Aussie rap release for getting down to ever. If you dig emotional depth, impressive musicality and need a reason to shake your ass, this record is all that and more.

sound and colorRosie Jackson-Taylor (Liam Gale & The Ponytails)
Alabama ShakesSound & Color
I have been completely obsessed with every single track on the album since the first time I heard it and it was on welcomed high rotation for the entire drive of our East Coast tour earlier this year. Brittany Howard’s voice is unbelievable and every song is captivating in its own right. The whole experience of the album is kind of like listening to futuristic funk blues in space, naked.

Sol InvictusClaude Hay
Faith No MoreSol Invictus
I had been waiting for this album for years. Singer Mike Patton can put an unique infectious melody to anything he touches, melodies that stick. There’s always something different that comes from these guys that is so refreshing to my ears, the complete opposite of commercial radio.

Carrie & LowellSam Newton
The Milk Carton KidsMonterey
This is one of the most ‘pure’ sounding records that I’ve ever heard. I know that this could be said of just about all of the releases by these guys but I feel that with Monterey, they have reached all new heights in lyricism, vocal unity and the art of subtle lead/guitar fills. It says something special about the songwriting of a group when every track on an album contains a maximum of 2 voices and 2 guitars but can still hold its own from start to finish. I bought the vinyl when I saw them live earlier in the year and it has easily been one of my favourite purchases of 2015.

LoyaltyMatt Bauer
The Weather StationLoyalty
I haven’t connected with a record this strongly in a very long time. From the first lines of “The Way It Is And The Way It Could Be” I was just – there. It took me several attempts to get to the end of the record because I was so moved I kept having to turn it off.

Key ChangeMatt Corby
MockyKey Change
This album is full of songs to live life to, songs you can put on at any moment and jam out to.

Carrie & LowellDan Flynn
Sufjan StevensCarrie & Lowell
How many gobsmackingly good folk songs can you fit into one album? Eleven it seems. This album is unbelievably melancholy but also curiously uplifting and indeed healing. The vocal melodies are outrageously good, the instrumentation is pitch perfect and the production is stunning despite the fact that part of the album was recorded on his iPhone. I will be listening to this for years to come.

Darling ArithmeticKim Churchill
VillagersDarling Arithmetic
I have ogled at the songwriting abilities of Conor J O’Brien since we played a small gig in an odd venue called the Duncan Garage Showroom on Vancouver Island years ago. In the past his lyrics have portrayed a depth and insight that guided me as a person much further into myself and my unconscious emotional processes. Again he helps me make those journeys on this album but with a simplicity and vulnerability that is just profound! He has clearly had some pain and rebirth in his life and he puts it out on the table in an incredible honest way. He reaches further inside himself than many of us ever will and gives us songs that allow us to take the same journey’s into ourselves. It’s kind of creepy how he does it. But he’s always flirted with being a bit creepy. Watch the video clip to his first single off the album, “Courage”, and you’ll see what I mean. In many ways its the essence of psychedelic folk; Spooky, insightful, melodically stunning and at its core undeniably beautiful and honest.

Phosphorescent BluesBlair Dunlop
Punch BrothersPhosphorescent Blues
Whilst it’s an incredibly impressive body of work from a technical standpoint, it never strays into grandstanding or over-indulgence. Beautiful arrangements, soaring harmonies and songs that keep me guessing – a gem!

Soft Faces to HoldAlanna Eileen
Toby GrahamSoft Faces to Hold
Beautiful, surreal alternative folk music with incredible vocals, lyrically inventive and delicate in all the right places. It got me through the year.

When The Storms Would ComeBronte
Holy HolyWhen The Storms Would Come
I have been a fan of Holy Holy since they released their first EP. Their album When The Storms Would Come, which was released in July this year, has been a stand out album in my opinion. I enjoy the lyrics and the melodies that flow throughout their music which continues to improve with each release. I think the next few years for Holy Holy will be huge and they are starting to enjoy a great deal of success from overseas audiences. Stand out track is “History” but “You Cannot Call For Love Like A Dog” just makes me want to crank up the dial and drive around all night, it is such a cruising tuneeee.

Nathaniel RateliffJoe Murphy (The Timbers)
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night SweatsNathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Only released recently this album is straight out of the 70’s!! Full of now Motown and soul, it’s 2015’s ultimate road trip album.

NinaThe Campervan Dancers
Daniel MarchNina
So much groove! It’s really tight, shows a wonderful depth of stylistic influences. Great production and musicianship – just the whole package. These have been our chosen cruisin’ tunes in Candice-the-Campervan-Dancer-van this springtime.

If I WasJoel Barker
The StavesIf I Was
It was hard to chose against Glen Hansard’s Didn’t He Ramble but after seeing The Staves at The Beautiful Days Festival in Devon, UK a couple of years ago I had to go with their 2015 release If I Was. Hearing three sisters sing together in perfect harmony make it seems so damn easy. The addition of Justin Vernon as producer takes the intimacy of their past work and elevates it into a more accessible market. Theres a new dynamic and consideration to the recording process that really hits a note with me. Songs such as “Make It Holy” and “Steady” have magnificent vocal loops and hooks that keep you wanting more of those voices made to sing together. It’s got a lot of texture, as much intimacy of their previous releases, but additional drive which undoubtedly has introduced them to a whole new fan base. Makes we want to prop myself up against a tree, close my eyes and listen to it on repeat, over and over again.

These WallsRose Wintergreen
Anna CordellThese Walls
Sometimes, very rarely, new songs come to me in my dreams. I wake up with the melody in my bones, I sleepily reach for my phone to record it before it disappears forever. It’s happened several times recently, and I’ve been ecstatic with the deep, haunting quality of the melodies, the pleasing way they meander effortlessly like a creek rambling unselfconsciously in bushland so remote that no one will pass through for decades at a time. Unfortunately for me, I’ve realised that these melodies are actually Anna Cordell’s, from her stunning debut record, These Walls! Arresting and deeply affecting.

EPTim Guy
BumspaEP
A force of nature in the very northern parts of NSW. They made an EP this year and squeezed 5 songs onto a little ’45. The last track comes from the view of a Bushranger being in his cell while awaiting hanging. It’s really rare and really wonderful. Great songwriting with ragged attitude to the musical accompaniment.

FourwindsThe East Pointers
FourWindsFourWinds
After chatting about our many favourite records from this past year, the 3 of us decided that FourWinds deserve the top spot with their self-titled album. This crew from Ireland is tearing up the traditional music scene with their authentic sound and top-notch musicianship. Check ‘em out live if you can!

Modern VintageSian Evans
Cheap FakesModern Vintage
If its not for the super smooth vocals of Kiwi front man Hayden Andrews alone, it’s the funk, the phat base, totally hot horn lines and syncopated silences. Production instrumentation ties cleverly a carnival dub vintage rock’n’roll infused surf style funk and soul variety. Consistent. Solid. It dribbles dizziness, you can’t sit still!

The Woodshed SessionsScott Collins (The Mid-North)
Wood and WireThe Woodshed Sessions Vol. 1
Six tracks recorded in one take around one microphone. It is an exciting display of musicianship and energy. Very fun and awe inspiring.

Sound and ColorAlison Ferrier
Alabama ShakesSound & Color
An exciting, innovative and uplifting second release from the rock band with soul. Singer/guitarist Brittany Howard’s performance is utterly inspiring: she gives it everything she’s got. I sing along with this in the car quite a lot!

The PositionsCastlecomer
Gang of YouthsThe Positions
We love that the album is so dark in theme yet the melodies could be on any pop album. It’s an impressive body of work. Our runners up are Holy Holy’s When the Storms Would Come and Tame Impala’s Currents.

AngelenoNick Payne (Dear Orphans)
Sam OutlawAngeleno
California has always been a source of great country music – first with the Bakersfield Sound and then later from Los Angeles. This year Californian Sam Outlaw refused to move to Nashville to record his debut album Angeleno and instead insisted on recording in Los Angeles with the help of Ry Cooder as producer. The album is both genuine country in its sound and also its stories. This album takes me back to an earlier time in country music whilst still sounding fresh and un-clichéd.

All Your Favourite BandsTracy McNeil (Tracy McNeil, Bell St Delays)
DawesAll Your Favourite Bands
From the first drop of the needle your ears are hit with six single, drawn out notes played on one guitar against a spattering of drumrolls from off in the distance – this is the hook, the earworm of the song painted thinly as a foreshadowing of what’s to come. And what is to come? Like the sun bursting through a dark cloud, the soundscape breaks wide open as the band punches in with that very same hook – this time fully realised. Dawes always create a sound that is purposeful, epic and at times slightly over-worked in terms of lyrics, but their latest release All You’re Favorite Bands gets the balance just right. Produced by David Rawlings, Dawes will find it hard to top this collection of world-class songs, played and captured live in a room by a band at the height of their career.

Trans Arlantic HighwayLuke Sinclair (Raised By Eagles, Bell St Delays)
Lost RagasTrans Atlantic Highway
The most soul shaking cosmic country experience I’ve had since Beck tried his hand at the genre. It’s more traditional than that of course and has all the essential ingredients you need to make a good country album – pedal steel, guitars, drums, bass, great song writing – but there’s an indescribable magic to it. Something deep that runs right to the heart. Matt Walker, Shane Reilly, Roger Bergodaz and Simon Burke are like the components of a beautifully engineered vintage engine, each part absolutely essential to the whole, the art of what happens when things are put together in the right way. Buy this album – it runs like a dream.

The Stars My DestinationNick O’Mara (Raised By Eagles)
Ben SalterThe Stars My Destination
There’s a sense of humour and a sense of dread in varying degrees throughout this album. Track 4 scares the shit out of me. Salter’s an incredible lyricist, his guitar playing’s tidy as fuck and his voice – sheesh, forget about it. This album is more than the sum of those wonderful parts I reckon. It’s just funny, thoughtful, sometimes rockin’, soulful – hope he hasn’t read this the next time I run into him at the pub. “We’ll have all the time in the world, An endless afternoon, When we’re bones under the dunes”.

Choose Your Weapon
Luke Richardson (Raised By Eagles)
Hiatus KaiyoteChoose Your Weapon
It’s complicated and tricky-clever but with grooves that are solid and so grounded. I think my favourite thing about this band is that each part – drums, keys, vocals, etc – are given their own separate sonic space so even when individually there are some pretty dense rhythmic and harmonic things going on the overall sound is still really open.

TravellerGretta Ziller
Chris StapletonTraveller
I was really excited when Gareth emailed me asking for my favourite album of 2015! Determined to do my due diligence, I got straight onto my 2015 Soundtrack on Spotify (where I put all the new music I find) and went round and round. The one album I just could not go past was Chris Stapleton’s Traveller – it’s just so dang good!!! This album came out and it was like he was holding a hand full of ace’s around a table full of jokers in the poker game they call country music! If you’ve heard of The SteelDrivers you would instantly recognise Stapleton’s voice, its a lonely shot of whiskey in an empty bar, it’s singing to Jesus on Sunday morning, it’s whispering to your lover in the dark of night and it crying over a broken heart, and of course his songs cover all this and more! On a side note, I do recommend googling Stapleton, he is no newcomer to Country music, having been involved with the aforementioned SteelDrivers, but he has also been in the background writing hit songs for major country music artists for years! I could keep gushing about this album for days, but, in short, Traveller is a return to good honest heartfelt country music – and we all say Amen!

Echolocations CanyonAinsley Farrell
Andrew BirdEcholocations: Canyon
This entire album was recorded in the Coyote Gulch Canyons in Utah. It’s the first of a series where Bird uses different components of the environment to stretch, bend and explore sound. I think it’s important to give credit to your surroundings and appreciate that the environment you’re in has a huge influence on the sound you put out.

OutsidersKate Burke (Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton, Trouble In The Kitchen)
Heath CullenOutsiders
The fact that I love this album has only a little to do with the fact that Heath lives up the road from me. This album, where Heath is joined by Elvis Costello’s Impostors, has fantastic songs that range from the danceable “Two Left Feet” to the gorgeously Daniel Lanois-esque “Who’ll Rock the Cradle” and anthemic “One for the Road”, all lush and powerful and featuring mad, crazy, wonderful keys and piano at almost every turn. I love it more with every listen.

Mother's Not Feeling Herself TodayRuth Hazleton (Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton)
Suzannah EspieMother’s Not Feeling Herself Today
A brave, bold, powerful and honest collection of songs that successfully destroys taboos and exposes truths; a very rare thing. Beautifully performed and produced, this album is laden with artistic integrity from a songwriter who’s driven from a deeply personal space and sings like a rising angel.

Carrie & LowellWilliam Fitzsimmons
Sufjan StevensCarrie & Lowell
Sufjan + return to acoustic music. What’s not to love!?!! Truth be told, even though I love and respect Sufjan’s art more than just about anybody else alive (Sorry Selena Gomez!) I was kind of bummed when I heard that he’d be returning to an “acoustic” sound for this record. Don’t get me wrong, I love acoustic music. I make acoustic music. But I cherish the fact that Sufjan has always been willing to do something kind of, well, different … and still make you hum along (e.g. that ghastly solo in “Springfield!!!”). And I snobbishly loved being one of the people who really, really loved the Adz project and his increasingly left of center writing. But once I got past the hype of Carrie & Lowell (the unopened vinyl sat in my studio for about 2 months) and actually listened, I was overjoyed. I recently lost someone very important to me, so certainly the subject matter of Carrie & Lowell hit close to home. But, moreover, it was the record’s ability to wrap these difficult ideas into such simple, small, understated songs. Nobody messes with the idea of subtlety and histrionics like Suf. And to perfect that tricky dance and sing about death at the same time is tantamount to a masterpiece.

CurrentsAnnie Hamilton (Little May)
Tame ImpalaCurrents
Tame Impala have seriously nailed it with this album, there are some excellent musical moments in there. It’s really cool to see a band evolve and grow over the course of a few albums while still maintaining their own sound and style.

Sound and ColorOlivia Hally (Oh Pep!)
Alabama ShakesSound & Color
There’s only one way to listen to this album: from top to bottom and on repeat. It was already my favourite album this year and then I later discovered a bonus track called “Joe” on a TV show and I cried a little bit. It’s too good.

Ryan BinghamRuby Boots
Ryan BinghamFear and Saturday Night
I love the balance between emotive songs/story telling and grit. I am a sucker for good Americana music with raw delivery and grunt behind it and this album fulfils all of that and more. Every track on there is A grade songwriting with classy melody hooks that are not too obvious until you turn it off and they are running through your head for the rest of the day. These songs that make me a little sad but fill me full of hope at the same time, also another soft spot for me. I love this artist, and this album is my favourite album of 2015.

ShipsOscar Lush
Water MusicShips
“Four weeks after the devastating suicide of my sister, I locked myself in my shed for four days and wrote and recorded these songs on my 8-track as both tribute and therapy. I’ve had death close to me before and here I was again.” – This record absolutely broke my heart and still continues to do so. Every time I listen it brings me to tears. Mathew is such a powerful and unique songwriter. Nothing I listened to this year came close in depth and heartache to this record.

DeclarationAnna Cordell
Kate Burke & Ruth HazletonDeclaration
This is REAL folk music. And these are REAL women. This music has purpose beyond the artists own egos. I am completely inspired by this album and these two women – and, well, the music is just so beautiful!

Ron BlockHamish Davidson (Davidson Brothers)
Ron BlockHogan’s House of Music
So many of my favourite contemporary bluegrass musicians are giving it their all on this creative instrumental album. Best of all, there are so many “you can’t do that on a banjo” moments!

Small Town BigshotLachlan Davidson (Davidson Brothers)
Fanny LumsdenSmall Town Big Shot
Fanny is a great artist and natural entertainer, her hard work and real songs have been fantastically produced on her debut record. Catchy, easy listening and a great voice makes you wanna hit repeat every time.

Don't Lose ThisSkyscraper Stan
Pops StaplesDon’t Lose This
I’ve never had much of a hard-on for Jeff Tweedy so I was skeptical when I heard he was collaborating with Mavis Staples on the final, posthumous release of her father’s music. As it turns out, both Jeff and Mavis have done an amazing job fleshing out the bare-bones recordings Pops made in 1999, a year before his death. It’s all here; tremolo guitar, reverby drum sounds and beautiful group vocals from the Staples sisters. Plus some unexpectedly clever lyricism.

The Stars My DestinationMark “Looch” Lewis (Handsome Young Strangers, Wifey)
Ben SalterThe Stars My Destination
Well I have to admit in the 4 years I have been doing this for you lovely folk at Timber And Steel I have had the hardest time choosing. Kudos to Buddy Glass and Bad Dreems for almost getting there. It took me a week but I’m giving my gong to Ben Salter for My Stars The Destination. The thing that kills me about this guy is that he just improves artistically and vocally with every release. His debut The Cat was a magnificent effort but he has raised the bar again here. As a songwriter he is up there in my book with Gareth Lilliard, Tim Rogers, Mick Thomas and Paul Kelly. I don’t think it would be overselling to say he is possibly the best vocalist in the land right now. Listen to the title track when the vocals beef up half way through. If that doesn’t make your neck hairs stand up I don’t know what will. Usual story: should be huge, probably wont be. Travesty.

1989Ryan Oliver (Oliver’s Army)
Ryan Adams1989
I’ve always been a fan of Ryan’s ability to take a song and completely own it, especially in cover songs (We all remember his haunting version of ‘Wonderwall’ don’t we?). He took probably the most commercial and poppy sounding album and turned it into a very solid folk rock album that you wouldn’t know wasn’t if they didn’t happen to be mega-hits that he was covering. The production is great and I think maybe most noteworthy is his ability to spin somewhat jovial adolescent lyrics and somehow add that signature Ryan Adams melancholy. Respect.

HighRoland Kay-Smith
Royal HeadacheHigh
The formula these guys have is irresistible. I’m not much of a heavy rock guy, traditionally favouring more Timber-and-Steel-esque tunes, but the whole blue-eyed garage soul thing just gets me. Some of it’s silly, some of it’s naff, but there are enough great tunes here to keep me coming back again and again.

ValleywoodNad Budge (The Stetson Family)
Dan ParsonsValleywood
I first heard Dan Parson’s new album Valleywood whilst driving around Nashville in a crappy rental car with a really crappy sound system, and it blew me away – Valleywood, that is, not the car! I was first struck by how great the production came across, full, rich and really well balanced – then I was drawn into Dan’s songs, each one wanting me to listen to what he had to say, and giving me a sense of nostalgia as well as excitement for this next generation of great songwriters.

CurrentsDustin Tebbutt
Tame ImpalaCurrents
This was my favourite release this year. I hadn’t really listened to the band before this album, and it was an incredible introduction. For me, it’s the beautiful combination of genres in here that gives this record so much depth. A lot of the song structures and mixing techniques borrow heavily from house music (the extensive use of filters for example), and a lot of the beats are a mix of old school soul and breaks. These fundamentals are then built upon with psychedelic guitar parts and raw, dreamy vocals. The record has attitude, vibe, heart and a real overarching journey. I just love it.

The Phosphorescent BluesJon Boden (Bellowhead, Spiers & Boden)
Punch BrothersThe Phosphorescent Blues
I was a bit late to the Punch Brothers party, but what a sound! It’s not really bluegrass, more experimental art-pop with bluegrass instrumentation. Beachboys-esque vocals, mandolin funk workouts, beautiful style and tone throughout by five masters of their instruments.

Carrie & LowellSam Sweeney (Bellowhead)
Sufjan StevensCarrie & Lowell
This is such a beautiful and poignant record. It’s hard to listen all the way through without shedding a tear. After The Age Of Adz, this a welcome return to Sufjan’s folkier side. It’s a heart breaking album about his relationship with his mother who died of cancer in 2012 after a long history of substance abuse and mental health issues. It’s a painful listen and yet so perfect.

Mellow DramaMark Lucas
James McMurtryComplicated Game
It’s the narrative, those fragile vignettes that come alive with truth and a sheer humanity that doesn’t preclude a little bitterness but is always tempered by a dry humour. As he says himself, like his American literary giant father, Larry McMurtry (“The Last Picture Show”, “Lonesome Dove” etc.), James is a fiction writer. His dad was an inspiration to me before I stumbled across his son’s work on a drive across Texas in ‘89. It’s been a heck of a journey in song and, to my way of thinking, that’s what it’s all about – a Complicated Game indeed and I still “miss my dog from years ago” too.

TrackerBob Barford (Bloodwood)
Mark KnopflerTracker
Mr Laidback personified. I reckon he put this album together for his own amusement and just because he could. While not overly impresive on the first few listens, like any good album it grows on you. It’s an insight into what he is up to at this point in time.

Shadows In The NightMark Moldre
Bob DylanShadows In The Night
So many iconic artists have tried the “American Songbook” album and have dismally failed. This is Dylan at his most intimate and unguarded. We hear every drawn breath from Dylan at microphone, every finger touching a string, the slow drag of a bow across a double bass string, a quiet movement or shifting of feet in the room – nothing is hidden from the listeners ear. No careful ProTools editing. A band in a hushed room. Guitars are caressed, sweeping pedal steel is syrupy and lush, drums are ever so softly brushed, tempos remain languid and dreamy while Dylan growls and croons his way through the mist. Lyrics written decades ago seem timeless, ironic and strangely poignant in Dylan’s gentle phrasing. Imagine granddad at the family reunion recalling songs of his younger days at the upright piano in the corner of your lounge room as the warm glow of an open fire crackles and pops. Nostalgia, sadness, wry humour and regret all seep and melt into one another until you feel you’re drifting in a grainy sepia haze. Perfect.

The Hedge SchoolsColm Mac Con Iomaire (Colm Mac Con Iomaire, The Frames)
The Hedge SchoolsAt the End of a Winding Day
My favourite albums involve time and space travel. They bring you places. This album At the End of a Winding Day by Dublin songwriter Patrick Barrett and Producer and co-conspirator Joe Chester AKA The Hedge Schools is a warm, golden, sonic-embrace. Visit this place and be well.

WindfallBrad Butcher
Joe PugWindfall
As much as I loved Rodney & Emmylou’s Traveling Kind or Isbell, Stapleton, or Oz’s very own songsmith Shane Nicholson’s great albums of 2015 Windfall speaks to me the most from an artistic point of view and holds the elements of music I love dearly; great songwriting recorded in a moving an honest way.

Kill It YourselfJesse Lubitz (TinPan Orange)
Jess RibeiroKill It Yourself
The latest album from Jess Ribeiro creates an entire world. It’s a fully cohesive album with songs that draw you in and make you want to listen harder – it feels as though you might miss something important if you’re not paying full attention. Each song is beautiful and the production is perfect.

TelegraphCara Robinson (Hat Fitz & Cara Robinson)
Kevin DohertyTelegraph
I had the pleasure of hearing Kevin Doherty’s live set while in a play in Dublin, Ireland. I fell in love with the stories that he made into song about his insight into the world today, the world that has passed and indeed the world too set before us. His own stories in song take on the heroism, evil, love, madness all words and more that is more than the story itself he quotes. The album itself is personal and inviting and welcomes you in with the warmth and depth that he has in his voice to listen with intent as the album unfolds. There is a sense of awareness that is brought forward from a time long forgotten in the music and it is so important in song writing today that these stories of historical changes are kept alive as it seems a lot of the modern day writing is about surface subjects only a few dare to reiterate in a whole album. Recorded by a mighty line up of artists indeed within their own right, Liam Bradley, James Delaney, Paul Moore, Paul Rodden, Nicky Scott, Enda Walsh and Kevin Doherty set the tempo aptly. Favorite tracks “Camden Street” and “Tug Boat” The story and historical references are poetical and strong and is indeed offered beautifully and honestly to the listener. Inspiring writing.

Marlon WilliamsPatrick James
Marlon WilliamsMarlon Williams
Although I’m in a library, listening with headphones and writing about this, it’s almost as if I am sitting in a tin shed listening on a half broken record player with a glass of aged scotch delving into something from my mum and dad’s music collection. Obviously this guy has such an incredible vocal ability, but sometimes that’s hard to capture and draw an intimate focus to on record. He and his team have nailed that and the band compliments it so well. I tend to be drawn to albums that inspire my own writing or change the way I think for a minute about music. This album does that for me. Not because the production is over the top or revolutionary but because it’s raw and honest and it takes me to a specific setting. It’s also performed in a refined way that almost seems theatrical, I think that’s what gets in me in from the start.

Hell Breaks LooseImogen Clark
Shane NicholsonHell Breaks Loose
Hell Breaks Loose is like a glass of whisky you want to drink, and love to drink, even though you know that when you ingest it, it’s going to bring to the forefront of your mind some of the most heartbreaking truths you’ve ever known and expose things you didn’t even know you felt or thought. Gut-wrenching lyrics and beautiful melancholic melodies, and more honesty than even whisky could bring.

BloodPhia
Lianne La HavasBlood
Lianne’s voice is so velvety and intoxicating and enveloping, and the songs she writes are deep and powerful. She writes a killer pre-chorus too. The production is also fantastic, highlighting the light and shade and rough and smooth of her voice and songs. I can’t stop listening to it!

One Song RomanceNick Keeling (Mustered Courage)
Michael BarnettOne Song Romance
This album is a precision powered product of over 50 years of stringband music in America. Michael is a champion of the newest ilk in bluegrass and old-timey, and can play the fiddle like you wouldn’t believe. The front porch isn’t enough these days and folk musicians that were inspired by the likes of Bela Fleck and Chris Thile a decade ago are now taking to advanced tertiary institutions like Berklee and Juliard to hone their craft. If you like Punch Brothers, Crooked Still, or The Deadly Gentlemen, then rosin up to One Song Romance.

GoonJon O’Neill (Forest Falls)
Tobias Jesso JrGoon
It’s been hard as of late to find music that gives me a comforting chill down my spine, but this album did. Every one of Jesso’s masterpieces is straight from the heart and has an overwhelming sense of home and familiarity. I love this album because it doesn’t rely on production to make the songs “better” – rather, they are simple, beautiful and raw.

10Bill Jackson
Darrell Scott10: Songs of Ben Bullington
Darrell Scott met Ben Bullington during a trip to Yellowstone National Park with his children. Bullington was a small town Montana doctor who happened to write songs in his spare time and a mutual friend thought they might enjoy each other’s company – two single dads on vacation in the wilderness with their offspring. In fact, they wound up good friends with more in common than they probably thought at first. Bullington, it turned out, was fighting a cancer diagnosis that wound up taking his life. But, before he passed, he wanted to play a songwriters-in-the-round show in Nashville, and the date was set at the Station Inn. According to the liner notes on Scott’s new album, 10: Songs of Ben Bullington, that was the first time that he’d heard Bullington’s songs. And, as we can hear on the disc, Bullington was a remarkable songwriter. His lyrics have a natural musicality, and the nuance of his stories is bowl-you-over good in places. Scott’s treatment of the songs is pure and arresting. Here’s one of the most versatile artists in the Americana/roots world, whose instrumental prowess is well documented, giving one strum per measure in some cases, leaving room for the songs to create their own life. Not a lot of songs could stand up when stripped back to such simplicity. On the one hand, it’s a shame that a songwriter the calibre of Ben Bullington lived most of his whole life without his songs getting much further than his own guitar. On the other hand, it’s a blessing that his friend Darrell Scott picked up that very guitar and immortalized them. Favourite tracks: “I’ve Gotta Leave You Now”, “Born in 55”.

Mellow DramaAriela Jacobs
Kevin GarrettMellow Drama
Colouring was the first track I heard off Garrett’s debut EP and I immediately fell in love with the rest of the compilation. Similar to the James Blake aesthetic, his songs are punctuated with electronic beats but they are used gently and sparingly. Lyrically, he grabs your attention from the get go and although simplistic in narrative, he reels you in with unheard of metaphors to symbolise a broken relationship. Kevin may make you weep your eyes out, but I’m telling you it’s worth the sob and the copious amounts of ice cream afterwards.

Dogs at BayThom Lion
Bad DreemsDogs At Bay
I haven’t heard rock this real in a while. The songs and sound are unashamedly Australian. A raw record that hits you right in the face!

Daniel RomanoHarvey Russell (Peasant Moon)
Daniel RomanoIf I’ve Only One Time Askin’
Canadians do country well and Daniel Romano is no exception. On his fourth solo album the Ontarian moves away from the country folk of early material and beyond the twangy honky tonk of his 2013 release. This time it’s a modern interpretation of the countrypolitan sound which emerged in the 1960s. Some will accuse him of pastiche, and this is tempting if only the songwriting, instrumentation and vocal phrasings weren’t so damned good. George, Merle, Willie and even Charlie Rich would be happy to have written these songs. Romano knows he’s writing classics too, his brashness is evident through the use of rich synth-strings and drum machines. This was album of the year before I’d reached the end of my first listen.

Daniel KnoxJosie Rothwell (Peasant Moon)
Daniel KnoxDaniel Knox
The 2015 release from Chicago troubadour Daniel Knox is my fave album of the year – the top of a very long short list. The album is rich with gorgeous instrumentation, surprising given the stark piano and vocal package of his earlier releases. The arrangements complement the sharpness of his songwriting and his utterly enchanting voice. I love the breadth of the album – Knox gives us hazy dream trance on “Blue Car”, sharp and catchy on “Don’t Touch Me” and even a hypnotic choir in 14 15 111. Lyrically, Knox’s observations of the sometimes mundane imbue the entire album with an undercurrent of creepy menace

Imaginary ManAshleigh Mannix (Ashleigh Mannix, Little Georgia)
Rayland BaxterImaginary Man
I was hooked on the first listen. The first track “Mr. Rodriguez” had me bopping from the intro, and by the time the second verse had kicked in, I was swinging my hair and red wine around the kitchen like no tomorrow. My favourite song is “My Captain”, followed closely by “Rugged Lovers”. Both songs make me stop whatever I’m doing, and just listen. He makes me want to be a better songwriter. It’s just such a friken great album.

Imaginary ManJustin Carter (Justin Carter, Little Georgia)
Rayland BaxterImaginary Man
A lyrically inspiring album from start to finish.

Multi-LoveSahara Beck
Unknown Mortal OrchestraMulti-Love
Every song makes me fall in love again and again, not only with its extremely catchy melodies which dance through every instrument but also the lyrics that call you in with their familiar and relatable subject of thought. Unknown Mortal Orchestra have been on repeat in my mind all year long, this album is a wise old ear worm that I welcome into my mind with a warm accommodating smile

Chaos and the CalmMark Wilkinson
James BayChaos and the Calm
This record is really strong from top to bottom. It has a fantastic energy about it and the production hasn’t been overdone which really allows Bay’s voice to shine. The songs are catchy and accessible without being soulless and Bay’s vocals can stretch from intimate to powerful giving the album space for light and shade.

Sam AmidonCatgut
Sam AmidonHome Alone Inside My Head
Sam Amidon can go from quietly beautiful to shockingly abrasive in seconds. For Home Alone Inside My Head he put together a bunch of field recordings captured in 2002 after studying with old time fiddler Bruce Greene and free jazz violinist Leroy Jenkins. It’s not easy listening but it’s a glimpse inside the musical mind of someone we find very inspiring.

CurrentsTom Stephens
Tame ImpalaCurrents
Couldn’t deny Kev the props he deserves. The tunes are written, recorded, performed and produced all by the man himself, on his lonesome. There wasn’t even a dude around to get him a coffee when he was feeling flat. When it dropped the band and I listened to it five times in a row driving back from Melbourne. Everything is perfectly placed. The man is a master.

Yours DreamilyEddie Boyd (Eddie Boyd and the Phatapillars)
The ArcsYours, Dreamily,
The album is just filled with bangers from start to finish. Really great songwriting, catchy as f*@k and really interesting production. I would best describe it as soul/motown rock meets wild wild west. Super cool.

Ben MastwykJustin Bernasconi (Justin Bernasconi, The Stillsons)
Ben MastwykMornin’ Evenin’
Mastwyk’s beautifully crafted debut album is full of gems, the songs gently pushes and pulls you all the way from Texas to Melbourne inner north in one long dance.

The GleanerJordie Lane
Brendan WelchThe Gleaner
Thanks to local new Ballarat label, Heart Of The Rat Records, this brilliant album was given new life in October. Undoubtedly my favorite Australian voice, Brendan’s epic songs are matched by Paul Dempsey (Something For Kate) with the producer hat on! I know already it’s gonna be one of my favorite records of all time!

Coming HomeBroads
Leon BridgesComing Home
Our pick for 2015’s top album was the debut album from Texan soul singer Leon Bridges. Co-written with members of Texan band White Denim, the album perfectly pays homage to that moment in history when gospel music bled into the world of soul. Particularly reminiscent of the velvet tones of Sam Cooke, the charismatic charm of this album had us absolutely bowled over, and has been played on high rotation since its release mid way through the year. Check out the single “Lisa Sawyer” – absolute retro gold.

Father John MistyTanya Batt
Father John MistyI Love You, Honeybear
I can’t even express what this album did to me the first time I heard it. It’s no hidden secret that Joshua Tillman is one of the best singer/songwriters of our generation/ever. His lyrical ability to tell a story is like no other. Then throw in the incredible voice and arrangements within his work and you just die a little inside with the pain he shares with you. I am a bit of a sucker for a concept album also so this is why this ended up being the winner. It’s such an honest album, so honest that he found it incredibly hard playing these songs in front of those close to him, and I feel that’s something I can relate to. I love you, Father John Misty. Thank you for sharing this with us all.

Such JubileePaddy Connor (Lime and Steel)
Mandolin OrangeSuch Jubilee
This duo have a magic touch of writing and playing songs that seem deceptively simple: and sometimes just that little extra beat or chord that grabs you. That can really play, but it’s never flashy: feels like you’re around a kitchen table at 2am with old friends singing that one song that opens their heart.

Jason IsbellAndrew Swift
Jason IsbellSomething More Than Free
A lot of my friends ok the music industry were raving about Jason Isbell, especially the women. If his name got mentioned on social media it was often followed by “swoon” or “my future husband” but it was actually my Dad that handed me his album and upon first listen I didn’t understand the fuss. As I’m lazy when it comes to changing CDs in my car it stayed in there for a while and played through several times and I came to realise just how impressive this man is. Something More Than Free is an album of songs I wish I had written. They’re not catchy when you first hear them but they grow on you, become a part of you, draw you in so you want to listen to the lyrics and thank god they do, the man is a wordsmith! This is one of those album where you don’t skip a song from start to finish.

Hell Breaks LooseTristan Goodall (The Audreys)
Shane NicholsonHell Breaks Loose
We don’t always agree on things like this, but in the case of the best album of 2015, my band-mate Taasha and I are in complete agreement. Shane Nicholson’s Hell Breaks Loose is a killer record. A break-up album for the educated country set (I think that’s us) that hums with vibrant melodies, deadly hooks and stinging lyrics, it sets a new bar for roots acts in our neck of the woods. Gently driving acoustic guitars and shuffling drums support a singer in search of a new start – confident, melancholy and yet tuned to hope.

Be ItThe April Maze
Jesse WitneyBe It
Four tracks of gold. The musicianship, arrangements and production are off-hook. Track 2, “Higher”, really takes you higher, it is so uplifting. But track 4, “Australia”, Jesse does something really special – it is very beautiful and captures the true essence of Australia. The perfect soundtrack for a roadtrip.

Glass FoolTodd Sibbin
Kaurna CroninGlass Fool
I’ve watched Kaurna’s development through four releases and on every level Glass Fool marks a significant step up. The songwriting, both lyrically and melodically, arrangement, production and his band’s cohesion (particularly Chris Panousakis’ lead guitar work) combine for a very tidy release indeed.

PondBetty & Oswald
PondMan It Feels Like Space Again
Oh boy the new Pond album has been round the block a few times at our place. Sonically arousing and drenched in all that bowie-esque glamour, these guys are right on!

Glass FoolBeth Stephen (The Little Stevies)
Tim GuyChords
The first thing that stood out to me hearing Chords for the first time was the song arrangements. I suspected from the moment I heard them that a lot of thought had gone into the structure of the songs and the lengths of the sections in each song. None of the songs are too over played, it’s full of great guitar licks and vocal hooks, the melodies and chord progressions are really interesting and unexpected, and Tim has given great vocal performances on all tracks. He’s used his whole vocal range and included stacks of killer harmonies. The album covers a range of genres which I think can be risky sometimes in terms of keeping a natural flow. But Tim pulled it off. My fav’s are “Footsteps” and “It’s The Weekend”. Chords is a strong collection of strong stand alone songs.

Kendrick LamarHayden Calnin
Kendrick LamarTo Pimp A Butterfly
This is a piece of art. Kendrick has made what I consider to be one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. He’s doing wonders for an ever-rising genre of music and delivers an intelligent, modern, original, political and poetic masterpiece with this LP. Fav track: “Alright”

Glass FoolWillowy
The Weather StationLoyalty
Beginning with a stumbling fast paced picking of the guitar and warped percussion – the mood of this album is immediately established, taking the listener on a somber yet hopeful sonic journey. Even with upbeat songs like the title track “Way it is, Way it Could Be” there lies a weight in expectation. Noticing this year a pull towards a fuller and often more electric centered production, each track on this album unashamedly bares it soul with a stripped back, predominantly acoustic, yet thoughtful layering of instruments that builds when needed. The album highlights Tamara Lindeman’s emotional and warmly experimental vocals that compliment her soul bearing songwriting.

Jason IsbellEmily Barker
Jason IsbellSomething More Than Free
Like many, I adore Jason’s record, Southeastern, so it was always going to be a difficult album to follow up. I bought Something More Than Free at Grimey’s record shop in Nashville and it was the only CD I had in my hire car for the week I was there. It is fantastic. As always, his raw lyrics and vocal delivery are arresting. Dave Cobb’s production is also killer. My favourite track is “Children of Children” because it reminds me of the beautiful, haunting Dillard and Clark record, Through the Morning, Through the Night.

TravellerTimothy James Bowen
Chris StapletonTraveller
He’s got a voice that will leave you mouth-gapingly speechless and a beard/hat combo to match. Do your ears a favour and get into it as fast as humanly possible. In particular, listen out for the track, “Tennessee Whiskey”. Good Lord.

Mother's Not Feeling Herself TodayLiz Stringer
Suzannah EspieMother’s Not Feeling Herself Today
Suzannah has always been one of my favourites. As a writer and performer. This new collection of songs, recorded with Jeff Lang at his studio and a stellar band, is another heartbreakingly beautiful one. One of the few artists that consistently brings me to tears, Espie has trawled some depths lyrically throughout this album that few would be brave enough to attempt and, in doing so, has cracked open a vein of shining gold. It’s stunning.

Songs to PlayJulia Jacklin
Robert ForsterSongs to Play
I hadn’t heard of Robert Forster until I listened to him being interviewed by Richard Fidler about story songs from the 1970s. I liked his talking voice and his passion for Carly Simons “You’re So Vain”, I’d never really listened closely to the lyrics. So I looked up his record and it made me really happy! His wobbly vocals, Australian accent, the Christmas bells in “And I Knew”. Listen to “A Poet Walks” if you need a confidence boost over the Christmas socialising period.

Dorsal FinsRoscoe James Irwin
Dorsal FinsMind Renovation
An absolute cracker of a record from some of the best dudes in Melbourne. With Ella Thompson (GL), Jarrad Brown (Eagle and The Worm) and Liam McGorry (Saskwatch) at the helm, there was no chance this record wasn’t going to rule. Sweet 90s garage vibes and some great electro boogie, all without actually sounding like a retro throwback record. “Nothing Left to Hide” with its Iggy-ness, and “Heart On The Floor” are standouts. One of the best live bands kicking around as well.

MotorheadShane Nicholson
MotorheadBad Magic
After 40 years in the game, they have just released one of their best records ever. The songs, the execution, the sheer power, the consistent disregard for trends. Best band that ever was.

Hell Breaks LooseThe Weeping Willows
Shane NicholsonHell Breaks Loose
The combination of skilfully crafted songs and his soul-soothing voice place Shane Nicholson in the world-class league of singer-songwriters. To us, “Hell Breaks Loose” is Song of the Year and we challenge you to stay dry-eyed throughout “Single Fathers”, “Secondhand Man” and “Hermannsburg”.

PassengerThe Once
PassengerWhispers II
Passenger is a songwriting king. There are songs on this record that will kick you in the guts, make you question your very own choices of the heart, make you remember all the feelings that you stopped allowing yourself and all in the most positive way. AND he is donating ALL of the album sales to UNICEF in a quest to help end painful hunger in Liberia. What? He’s unreal. Just sayin’.

RadiusThe Brouhaha
Allen StoneRadius
The lead single “Freedom” hooked me in. Live video on top of Capitol records, so much soul, so much vibe. Love love love 🙂

The MiraculousMusketeer
Anna Von HausswolffThe Miraculous
I had the pleasure of watching Anna play the pipe organ at the Town Hall in Sydney early in the year. I also had the pleasure of exploring and playing music in her home country of Sweden, in their summer months. So, when she dropped this album I couldn’t help but fall back into that vivid northern world. I guess that makes me a little biased, but The Miraculous is probably the most well crafted piece of music I have heard all year. I would call it gothic folk rock. It is unique and moving and Anna’s voice will open your soul.

Deeper SouthRosie McDonald (RAPT, Folklore)
Shane HowardDeeper South
So many great albums out this year, but the one that stays with me, like a prayer shawl, is Deeper South by Shane Howard with Ewan Baker and John Hudson. I have huge respect for Shane. His music, poetry, philosophy and voice now seem to have been honed by the elements, love and love lost, empathy with others and his own life struggles. There is no preaching, no soap box, just wry observations of love, despite the struggles and realities of living. The first track, the windswept evocative “Deeper South”, got under my skin and recently when all the news was so dire, I’ve played it like a psalm. I can come back and back to it and each time is moves and calms me. The album has celtic, jazz and folk influences and the other musicians, Ewan on fiddle and mando, and John on beautifully played guitar, complement the songs exquisitely along with guest performers. Live, the experience is just as meaningful but this crowd sourced and lovingly packaged album, like a small hard cover book, is a true work of brilliance and worthy of a place in any collection.

Kendrick LamarMatthew Black (The Bottlers)
Kendrick LamarTo Pimp A Butterfly
Kendrick Lamar takes to his expansive african-americana scrapbook with a cleverly glinted and winking poet’s eye view of everyday life based subject matter with 2015’s To Pimp a Butterfly. 

Swaggering back into beat poetesque lyricism mixed with gritty urban, jazz draped drawls he looks at today’s America and further into tommorow’s American influenced world from the perspective of a young black man still fighting the battles his radical forebearers fought. Casting aside industry pushed gangster rap stereotypes this illuminating stew all cooks down into what very well could be classified as the next leap in the evolution of hip hop music.

Universal ThemesGeorgia Fair
Sun Kil MoonUniversal Themes
Because my girlfriend hates it and “Birds of Films” is so beautiful.

courtney barnettLauren Moore (Pepperjack)
Courtney BarnettSometimes I Sit and Think And Sometimes I Just Sit
Courtney Barnett is undeniably a force in the Australian music industry. She has the complexity and aloofness of an aging rock star but with the level headed intellect of a philosopher. The elaborately titled Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit showcases her signature lyrical witticisms and deadpan vocal style but also brings some unexpected angst. It’s refreshing and relatable. Barnett has something to say and the world is listening. I can’t wait to hear more.

Bird Under WaterTom West
Arooj AftabBird Under Water
Bird Under Water is a beautifully serene and lush record by Brooklyn Based Arooj Aftab. I have found myself getting lost time and time again in her complex, haunting melodies and flawless vocals, often splendidly layered and harmonised. The songs feel skilfully composed and even after repeated listens I still get a thrill out of the many unexpected turns and instrumental surprises. I can’t recommend this record highly enough.

Weight of the WorldGeorge Jackson (One Up, Two Down, The Company, Chris Henry & The Hardcore Grass, Buffalo Nickel)
10 String SymphonyWeight Of The World
Nashville based 10 String Symphony released a great full length album this October which has been on high rotation for me since. The 5-string fiddle/banjo duo consists of Rachel Baiman and Christian Sedelmyer who are both fantastic and acclaimed fiddlers, though interestingly this album is strongly song-centric. The minimal instrumentation and vocal arrangements are super interesting to listen to, they’ve come up with some really interesting solutions to creating a full sound with just the two voices and two fiddles (or one fiddle and one banjo) to work with.

Carly Rae JepsonImogen Bel
Carly Rae JepsenE-mo-tion
I was definitely a sucker for Jepsen’s huge hit “Call Me Maybe” but it seemed as though she was headed for one hit wonder territory after that. Not the case! This album is full of fun and catchy hook-filled tunes with production that makes me feel like I’m dancing under a mirror ball on prom night in 1985. It’s full of the energy and naivety of a first crush, and it’s a lot of fun to get swept away in the drama of it all. Best tracks: “E-mo-tion”, “All That”, “Run Away With Me”.

Cold SummersFraser A Gorman
CrepesCold Summers
Tim Karmouche’s songwriting is some of the most exciting music I’ve heard lately. He retains a classic style akin to the Beatles/John Lennon but it’s contemporary, exciting, lyrically interesting pop music at its best.

Loren KateKris Morris
Loren KateTil Night Meet’s The Sun.
Loren is an amazing story teller and the EP captures the honesty and fragility of what she does perfectly. It’s a heartbreaker but there’s hope and love in there. It’s really something.

Blessing and CursingMandy Connell (Mandy Connell, Stray Hens)
Jimmy DowlingBlessing and Cursing
Co-produced by Matt Walker, with harmonies from Lucie Thorne. Simple instrumentation, very Aussie writing style, with stark images of our industrial landscape mixed with the light and space of the countryside. His best realisation yet.

Mother's Not Feeling Herself TodayLes Thomas
Suzannah EspieMother’s Not Feeling Herself Today
Suzannah Espie’s courageous album Mother’s Not Feeling Herself Today tops my list because it shows how music and songwriting can express topics that are usually too taboo to speak about. The honesty and generosity she shares about getting through post-natal depression and early motherhood is extremely rare and beautiful, and for that reason I hope these songs can be heard everywhere. Yes, it’s pretty heavy, but it’s also done in a supremely artful and moving way that would no doubt help countless people to process these under-acknowledged challenges and hardships.

Dick DiverDarren Hanlon
Dick DiverMelbourne, Florida
Boisterous, erudite, effortlessly nostalgic. All four songwriters share an aesthetic of detailed suburban minutiae and find poetry, humour and melancholy in the commonplace. This album feels like such an important beacon of light in Australian music at the moment, so therefore it’s criminal that they don’t play live more.

Tomorrow is my TurnSam Lee
Rhiannon GiddensTomorrow Is My Turn
This is more than a covers album – Rhiannon has taken some classic American song book standards and also lesser known blues and old time songs and crafted the most elegant dynamic and rich album that keeps so much of the original’s flare but represents these songs as though they were brand new and freshly forged. A true pioneer and gifted singer and musician coming into her own.

Brandie carlileFanny Lumsden
Brandi CarlileFirewatcher’s Daughter and Kacey MusgravesPageant Material
Just bloody great music. Purely honest to themselves in their songwriting and production and vocal delivery. Sassy, Classy and smart assy.

Skull n BonesThe Dead Maggies
So we marched through the woodlands to meet up ’round a campfire, and decide on the best album of 2015. After a few gallons of rum we decided that there was nothing good released in 2015. In fact we draw our inspiration from 1830s Tasmanian bushranger music, so we don’t listen to modern stuff. We can however give you a couple of tips for 2016… The Australian Beefweek Show (Newcastle pub-rock-cow-punk yobs) and Dominic Francis Grief Ensemble (Hobart, deep-intelligent-folk-rock), check them both out when they release albums next year. Now, where did I leave that rum…

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 4th September

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Imogen Clark announced her new EP Love & Lovely Lies along with a launch show in October. Details here

– This Sunday’s Heartbreaker Sessions in Sydney will feature Darren Cross and William Crighton. Details here

Sam Amidon released an album of home recordings titled Home Alone Inside My Head. Details here

– Sydney roots trio Eddie Boyd and The Phatapillars released their new video “A Lover And A Fool”. Details here

– We premiered the new video from Ayleen O’Hanlon, “Send Me Spinning”. Details here

– Adelaide band The Timbers have released their new single “All I’ve Got Time For” and have announced a national tour. Details here

The Weeping Willows will be hosting Americana Hayride in Melbourne at the end of October featuring Bill Chambers, Justin Bernasconi, Cat Canteri and Dan Waters, Bill Jackson. Details here

– We premiered the new video from Brisbane’s Youngsmith, “Wither”. Details here

– The September Live ‘n’ Lounging will feature The Bollands, The Campervan Dancers, Kay Proudlove and Huckleberry Hastings. Details here

– Blues rockers The Snowdroppers head out on a national tour from today. Details here

Aldous Harding released her new video “Stop Your Tears”. Details here

Blog

– We contributed to the September mixtape from Americana Australia along with Post To Wire and Unpaved. Take a listen here

Releases This Week

Heath Cullen
OutsidersHeath Cullen
Bandcamp

Packwood
VernalPackwood
Bandcamp

Suzannah Espie
Mothers Not Feeling Herself TodaySuzannah Espie
Bandcamp

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Ayleen O’Hanlon w/ Tobias Hengeveld, Georgia Spain

Ayleen O'Hanlon

The stunning Ayleen O’Hanlon will officially launch her brand new album Blend and Spill with a show at The Toff in Town this Sunday. O’Hanlon’s been winning a lot of fans recently and this show is the perfect way to see what all the fuss is about.

Sunday 6th September – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Aldous Harding
Friday 11th September – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Ash Grunwald
Thursday 10th September – The Rosemount Hotel, Nth Perth, WA
Friday 11th September – Divers Tavern, Broome, WA

Ayleen O’Hanlon
Sunday 6th September – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

Eddie Boyd & The Phatapillars
Friday 4th September – Lennox Point Hotel, Lennox Head, NSW
Saturday 5th September – The Rails, Byron Bay, NSW
Sunday 6th September – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 11th September – Helm Bar, Mooloolabah, QLD

Falls
Tuesday 8th September – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Fanny Lumsden
Thursday 10th September – Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley, QLD

Folk By The Sea
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th September – Kiama, NSW

Folkswagon feat. The Bollands, The Campervan Dancers, Big Strong Brute
Wednesday 9th September – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Heartbreaker Sessions feat. Darren Cross, William Crighton
Sunday 6th September – Freda’s, Sydney, NSW

Immigrant Union
Friday 4th September – David Bowie Late Nights @ ACMI, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 5th September – The Grand Poobah, Hobart, TAS

Jess Ribeiro
Friday 4th September – Red Rattler, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 5th September – Phoenix Bar, Canberra, ACT
Friday 11th September – Trinity, Adelaide, SA

John Flanagan and Liz Frencham
Friday 4th September – The Front, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 5th September – The Stables, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 6th September – Acoustic Sunday @ The Silver Shed, Millthorpe, NSW
Thursday 10th September – Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Friday 11th September – Courthouse Cultural Centre, Auburn SA

Mark Lucas
Wednesday 9th September – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Mary Chapin Carpenter w/ Tift Merritt
Friday 4th September – National Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 5th September – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC

Neurum Creek Music Festival
Friday 11th to Sunday 13th September – Neurum Creek Bush Retreat, QLD

Perch Creek
Friday 4th September – Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 5th September – Mojos, Fremantle, WA
Sunday 6th September – Mojos, Fremantle, WA
Friday 11th September – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Pierce Brothers
Friday 4th September – Arnhem Club, Nhulunbuy, NT
Saturday 5th September – Arnhem Club, Nhulunbuy, NT

Redland Spring Festival
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th September – Cleveland, QLD

Sian Evans
Sunday 6th September – Carnival on Collins, Cairns, QLD

The Buck Loner Revue
Sunday 6th September – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

The Mae Trio
Friday 11th September – Hotel Blue, Katoomba, NSW

The Snowdroppers
Friday 4th September – Transit Bar, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 5th September – Wickham Park Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 10th September – Bigsound, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 11th September – Helm Bar, Mooloolaba, QLD

The Timbers
Friday 4th and Saturday 5th September – Folk By The Sea, Kiama, NSW

The Waifs
Thursday 10th September – Goldfields Arts Centre, Kalgoorlie, WA

Tom West
Friday 4th September – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 5th September – Cootha Classic, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 6th September – The Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Tuesday 8th September – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Wirrina Bluegrass and Acoustic Roots Festival
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th September – Wirrina Cove, SA

Xavier Rudd & The United Nations
Friday 4th September – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 5th September – Waves, Wollongong, NSW
Sunday 6th September – UC Refectory, Canberra, ACT
Friday 11th September – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Summer Before the War” – Fairport Convention

When I was a child our family went to the UK and Ireland for an extended three month holiday, much of which was spent in the car driving from place to place. Our soundtrack for that trip was a tape of Fairport Convention’s 1988 album Red and Gold. The album itself is over-produced in that 80s let’s-put-synths-on-everything kind of way but the songs are pretty special. Red and Gold always make me think of Summer in England.

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