Watch The New Vance Joy Video “We’re Going Home” Plus Details of Upcoming Album

Vance Joy
Image Courtesy of Vance Joy

Vance Joy this week released his epic new, banjo driven single and video “We’re Going Home”. The track is the latest helping from Vance Joy’s upcoming album Nation of Two which is due for release on the 23rd February.

“We’re Going Home” is a typical Vance Joy anthem with a cinematic video directed by previous Vance Joy collaborator Mimi Cave – check it out here:

Nation of Two is set to feature 13 new tracks from Vance Joy.

Nation of Two describes a perfectly self-contained couple; their world beginning and ending at the bed they share, the car they ride in, or any other place where they’re together,” Vance Joy explained. “The idea that their love for each other gives them their bearings; a point of reference that makes sense of life.”

The full track listing for Nation of Two is below:

1. Call If You Need Me
2. Lay It On Me
3. We’re Going Home
4. Saturday Sun
5. Take Your Time
6. I’m With You
7. Like Gold
8. Alone With Me
9. Crashing Into You
10. One Of These Days
11. Little Boy
12. Bonnie & Clyde
13. Where We Start

Husky Announce Intimate Walking In Your Sleep Tour

Husky
Image Courtesy of Husky

Melbourne indie-folkers Husky are planning a string of intimate shows this April following the release of their latest single “Walking In Your Sleep”.

The track is taken from Husky’s highly successful 2017 album Punchbuzz which we picked as one of our favourites from last year.

“”Walking in Your Sleep” is a song I wrote during a period of intense dreaming brought on by the meticulous recording of my dreams,” frontman Husky Gawenda explained. “I became obsessed with the possibilities of the dream realm – lucid dreaming, self-exploration, unlocking the unconscious – and how that would affect my waking life and perhaps more so, my writing. The more I slipped in and out of this dream realm, the less I knew the difference between dream and reality and the more they mirrored each other. If I listen back to the song now, I hear an exploration of longing that in my waking life I was trying to escape, but was wrestling with every night in my sleep.”

Husky will be hitting the road this April with shows planned in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Fremantle – check out the full dates plus a stream of “Walking In Your Sleep” below:

Friday 13th April – The Tote, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 14th April – The Landsdowne, Sydney, NSW
Friday 20th April – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 21st April – Mojos, Fremantle, WA

The Low Anthem Announce New Album The Salt Doll Went To Measure The Depth Of The Sea

The Low Anthem
Image Courtesy of The Low Anthem

Indie-folk favourites The Low Anthem have announced plans to release their brand new album The Salt Doll Went To Measure The Depth Of The Sea on the 23rd February.

The concept album was birthed following a tour van crash which wiped out band member Jeff Prystowsky for several weeks and wreaking a bunch of of the band’s gear and instruments.

“One second you’re dozing off in the passenger seat on the way to a gig, and the next, there’s fire and hell flames and black smoke and your face is bleeding and you can’t see, and you can’t process information, and you think it’s all over,” Prystowsky explained.

The Salt Doll Went To Measure The Depth Of The Sea is in part inspired by John Cage’s biography Where The Heart Beats, by Kay Larsen. Ben Knox Miller from the band became transfixed by the salt doll fable he came across in the book which tells the story of a doll that wants to know itself, and what it’s made of. A teacher tells it, “salt comes from the ocean,” so it goes to the sea. When the doll puts its toe in, it knows something, but loses its toe. Then it puts its foot in, knows even more but loses its foot … and so on, until it’s completely dissolved, never to return to the shore.

The Salt Doll Went To Measure The Depth Of The Sea is a concept album with a story arc weaving through the songs like a constellation,” Jeff Prystowsky said. “It’s an underwater circular journey to the bottom of the sea following the salt doll who, attempting to measure the sea (and thus, know its true origins), in the end, becomes part of it. Along the way this non-human, conscious chemical compound, encounters all kinds of fantastical oceanic things.”

Below is a track listing for The Salt Doll Went To Measure The Depth Of The Sea along with a really sweet album trailer:

1. Bone of Sailor, Bone of Bird
2. River Brine
3. Give My Body Back
4. Drowsy Dowsing Dolls
5. The Krill Whistle Their Fight Song
6. Toowee Toowee
7. Coral Crescent
8. Dotwav
9. Cy Twombly By Campfire
10. Gondwanaland
11. To Get Over Only One Side
12. Final Transmission From The Diving Umbrella

Review: Falls Festival Byron Bay, Part 2 – The Main Event

Photos by Stuart Bucknell Photography

The Falls Festival is increasingly trying to be everything to everyone, stretching across the East Coast and now hopping to the West, it’s a broad canvas to wash but we are still always delighted to spot some more folkier acts gracing the main line up. After checking out The Grove and finding some great local folk acts, it’s always nice to see what acts are gaining the attention of festival organisers and audiences alike. Falls Festival Byron Bay had a nice little selection to tide over the inner folky.

We’re going to start with the big guns. Not necessarily Folk, but the storytelling style and lyricism of Darryl Braithwaite’s glorious return certainly deserves a mention, as well as the sheer nostalgia of it all. We have to admit, when we first saw Braithwaite on the line up, we had to take a second look, then embraced the choice in all it’s glory. The veteran looked really happy on stage, and the crowd were going absolutely nuts, though we’re not sure how many of them were actually born in time for Braithwaite’s hey day. A true performer, he introduced his band with great humour and cracked open the set with an old favourite, “Rise”, with its rich with harmonica and the bulging crowd at front of stage clapped along enthusiastically. Braithwaite delivers a very different speed and sound to the rest of the festival but a joyful, rousing set, perfect for a celebration like New Years Eve.

Not pausing to breath, he and the band rolled straight in to “Not Too Late” then joked about doing ‘that song’ right then and being along with questioning the age of ever person in the audience.

It was a rollicking time as “Howzat”, “As The Days Go By” and “One Summer” made the most of their big synth moments, entire amphitheatre singalongs, rousing the crowd into a euphoric haze. And then those tell tale chords rang out across the crowd and sheer joy erupted for the entire amphitheatre to sing out every lyric of “The Horses”. A sentimental win, right there.

Continuing with the not-really-folk-but-we-want-to-include-them bandwagon are the wicked lyricists and activists Camp Cope. We couldn’t even get in to the tent it was so overflowing with eager punters before their set even began. But from their first syllables on stage, acknowledging the stolen land that the festival was on, imploring their audience to clean up and pick up after themselves, and calling out the atrocious behaviour and assaults at another Falls site, we knew Camp Cope were a whole other kind of band.

“Jet Fuel Can’t Melt Steel Beams” lashed out in the hot afternoon and the crowd went crazy, begging for more from the rapidly rising outfit. Their spirited performance, strong vocals and confident engaging performance drew comparisons the likes of Courtney Barnett meets The Smith Street Band. Definitely an act worth catching live. They have also taken heat after their call for events like Fall Festival to have a more diverse line up. We noted similar inequalities at Bluesfest last year and look forward to watching the industry and scene continue to evolve to better represent all musicians.

We had to dash from Camp Cope’s set to catch Julia Jacklin. A significant change to catch her tranquil vocals, soft as caramel, oozing out from the stage, sweetening the audience up immediately with dreamy tones of “Lead Light”. The anthemic ballad “Cold Caller” filled the space with catchy riffs and made the audience move together.

From emotive choruses, to beautiful moments of quiet among the electricity of the band, Jacklin had it all going on. Her rendition of folk song “Wonderland” showcased the solace of her voice accompanied by only her electric guitar, and the vibrato timbre to her voice had an enchanting effect on the audience. We’re looking forward to hearing more from Jacklin soon.

The much anticipated set from Fleet Foxes delivered a mix of old and new tracks to an albeit smaller than anticipated crowd. The weather, the relentless humidity and the hangovers from the previous night probably all had a lot to do with it. But the crowd that did arrive, were happily ensconced in the all too familiar Indi folk twists and turns of Fleet Foxes.

The glorious harmonies of “Grown Ocean” washed forth from the stage as the digital back drop changed continuously, carrying their songs visually through sunrises, abstract colours, and emotive pulses. Flowing from one song in to the next, “White Winter Hymnal” transfixed the amphitheatre, followed swiftly with rich red, bright backdrop and emphatic calling opening of “Ragged Wood”. A mix of old and new was on the set list, and once the final notes of “Your Protector” rung across the field, the newer transidentel tracks moved over the crowd in an ocean of sounds, trills, and unbridled experimental cohesion.

In stark contrast to the inclement weather and oppressive grey skies, the monumental crowd for homegrown favourites Angus & Julia Stone were bright and cheerful in the Valley Stage’s amphitheatre, in spite of the gloom. Their set was a graceful mix of both new and old, with the familiar trumpet solo of “Private Lawns” to the cool, calming choruses of “Chateau” echoing across the grounds.

“My House Your House” had a mass, emphatic singalong in the amphitheatre only to be outshone by “Big Jet Plane”, the song everyone had been waiting for. The hit track, delivered in a relaxed and melodic fashion, had everyone is enraptured in spite of the steady rain. The enormous, spirit lifting cheers at it’s finish heralded the true love for our homegrown Angus & Julia Stone. To finish off a set, virtual flurries and soft white snowflakes overwhelmed the backdrop and the soothing, feminine refrains of current hit “Snow” were a perfect counterpoint to the humid, rainy northern NSW climate. A hallmark performance cementing the place of the folk, indie and alt genres at one Australia’s most loved music events, The Falls Festival.

You can check out all of our Falls Festival photos on our Facebook Page, and read Part 1 of our Falls Festival Review featuring great acts from The Grove stages.

Review: The Beautiful Girls

Photos by Stuart Bucknell Photography

The Beautiful Girls, Animal Ventura & Mesmeriser
The Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 16th December, 2017

In the sweltering Sydney summer, the ice cool reprieve of The Metro Theatre’s ample air conditioning was a welcome starter to an evening that promised rays of Morning Sun.

To start the night off, the swaggering, lackadaisical tunes of Mesmeriser, the likes of which you’d expect to hear wafting across the sand dunes late on a summers day, set the tone early. Their chilled beach rock vibe with solid melodies with smooth vocals made them a natural match for The Beautiful Girls 15 Year Learn Yourself / Morning Sun Anniversary tour. A confident, solid set jam packed with tracks to warm up the growing crowd.

Taking a slight turn away from the beach feel, the funky vibe of Animal Ventura got the crowd moving. I love watching musicians use looping pedals well, and watching Aragones use one with a drum pad make a rich loop was nothing to sniff at. His vibrant guitar and vocals gave a contemporary feel to an indie singer songwriter sensibility. His musical treatment gives an uplifting feel to his sound, with vocal stylings reminiscent some of my favourite Jamie Callum tracks.

Just watching him build the loop for ‘Jungle’ was entrancing and then the delicate acoustic guitar danced over the basey loop giving it all a lightness and colourfulness. His vocals shifted to a more sultry tone trickling over the intricacies if the music below it. Transitioning again for the next song, in to a reggae beat demonstrating a stylistic breadth without skipping a beat, brought up comparisons to the likes Xavier Rudd’s rhythm heavy tracks.

So we know that back in 2012, The Beautiful Girls called it a day. Only it’s worth marking special anniversaries so seeing them for a 15th Anniversary was a fun affair for all.

Kicking off the set with title track ‘Morning Sun’ a more electric undertone to the indie acoustic sensibilities lifted the lyrics to a higher level of clarity and connection with the enraptured audience. From the outset, it was all confidence and cool, with the now large crowd rocking along and singing the choruses. Although it’s been a while between tours, their instrumentals lets them groove and connect with each other with subdued showmanship.

Upping the tempo with a heavy drum intro and setting the scene for a party vibe, ’10:10′ had the crowd going while showcasing their great indie rock solos. The rockier party sound continued with ‘Don’t Wait’ with the lyrics punctuated, rapping across The Metro in a fiery staccato. Even though the trio have been away from the stage for a while, they are still great at connecting with each other through their instruments, tone and staging, and translate that harmony to the crowd with gusto. So much so, that when it came to ‘#1 Style’, they had the crowd exploding with anticipation.

Of course, the crowd were there to hear some of their favourites how we remember them, so as McHugh switched to his acoustic, we knew some nostalgia was nigh. With a beautiful deep resonating riff the crowd recognised ‘Lose Yourself’ and the great showcase unleashed vocal styles reaching into higher registers, then rumbling along along below.

Familiar opening chords, to the crowds delight, announced a rousing rendition of ‘Dela’ and had a Paul Kelly-esque storytelling sensibility and the crowd eloquently singing along, and when ‘Periscopes’ arrived the crowd visibly swelled to greet an old favourite with crystal clarity to each lyric sung. To keep the momentum going, ‘Let’s Take The Long Way Home’ treated the audience to an impromptu harmonica replacement as McHugh had forgotten to bring his instrument and instead the crowd were urged to freestyle their own rendition of some jazz harmonica. Hilarity ensued.

And of course, and The Beautiful Girls gig could never be complete without ‘Music’ taking over the entire space, with the crowd singing word for word and McHugh hoping he can pull off some kind of 1980s hip hop over the eager audience singing.

It was clear they were delighted to be back on home turf, hailing from the northern beaches of Sydney. The production and planning for their show was evident, with striking lighting and great performances across the board. It was clear that even though the years have passed, they are still very comfortable and at home on stage. The Beautiful Girls continue to be a great band to see. The show demonstrated the great variety to their style, built out of years of experiences and recent space to grow their back catalogue to a new maturity. It was a night transporting us all to the tropics and a more reggae come Caribbean tone to their current musicality.

The whole show hangs together cohesively with common tones and styles echoing through all three acts, but with enough diversity between them to allow each act to feel fresh and different. For a bit of nostalgia, a guaranteed dance and every opportunity to sing along, you can still catch The Beautiful Girls on their 15th Anniversary Learn Yourself/ Morning Sun tour. If you’re looking for a fun, chilled vibe with a side serve of summer, this is the tour for you.

For more photos of the show, see Stuart Bucknell Photography‘s Timber and Steel Facebook Album.

You can catch The Beautiful Girls on tour at:

Thur 28 DecWoodford Folk Festival, Woodfordia QLD – TICKETS
Thur 4 JanMiami Marketta, Miami QLD – TICKETS
Fri 5 JanThe Northern, Byron Bay NSW – TICKETS
Sat 6 JanThe Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour NSW – TICKETS
Sun 7 JanCambridge Hotel, Newcastle NSW – TICKETS
Thur 11 JanVilla Noosa, Sunshine Coast QLD – TICKETS
Fri 12 JanThe Zoo, Brisbane QLD – TICKETS
Fri 19 JanWesternport Hotel, San Remo  VIC – TICKETS RSVP
Sat 20 Jan – Corner Hotel, Richmond VIC – TICKETS
Sun 21 Jan – Grand Hotel, Mornington VIC – TICKETS

Listen to the New Sufjan Stevens Single “Tonya Harding”

Sufjan
Image Courtesy of Sufjan Stevens

Sujan Stevens has surprised everyone with the release of “Tonya Harding”, a tribute to the former US figure skater. To accompany the release Stevens penned a small piece detailing why he wrote the song:

“I’ve been trying to write a Tonya Harding song since I first saw her skate at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in 1991,” Sufjan Stevens explained. “She’s a complicated subject for a song partly because the hard facts of her life are so strange, disputable, heroic, unprecedented, and indelibly American. She was one of the greatest figure skaters of her time, and the first American woman to perform a triple axle in an international competition. She was an unlikely skating star, having been raised working class in Portland, Oregon. Being a poor outsider, her rise to fame in the skating rink was seen, by some, as a blemish on a sport that favored sophistication and style. Tonya’s skating technique was feisty, fierce, and full of athleticism, and her flamboyant outfits were often hand-made by her mother (who was abusive and overbearing). (They couldn’t afford Vera Wang.) And then there was the Nancy Kerrigan incident. In January 1994, Tonya’s then-boyfriend Jeff Gillooly hired an assailant, Shane Stant, to break fellow figure skater Nancy Kerrigan’s leg at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Cobo Arena in Detroit, so that she would be unable to compete at the upcoming Winter Olympics. The after-math of the attack was recorded on camera and ultimately set off a media frenzy (and an FBI investigation). Gillooly and Stan were eventually found guilty, and Tonya pleaded guilty to hindering the prosecution, and was subsequently banned for life from the U.S. Figure Skating Association. Nancy Kerrigan recovered from her injury and won a silver medal at the Winter Olympics. Tonya Harding finished eighth.

“But that’s not even half the story. When Tonya and Gillooly got married, they filmed themselves having sex on their wedding night and produced one of the first-ever celebrity sex tapes (which they sold to Penthouse for $200,000 each). Tonya also had a brief career as a boxer, and is most famous for her bout with former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones (whose sexual harassment suit against Bill Clinton precipitated his impeachment in 1998). Tonya was also (very briefly) in a band called the Golden Blades (they were allegedly booed off the stage during their first and only performance). She also raced vintage automobiles (setting a record by driving a Ford Model A over 97 miles per hours on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah). And in 1996 Tonya used mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to revive an 81-year-old woman who collapsed at a bar in Portland while playing video poker. That’s a lot to accomplish before the age of 30!

“Tonya Harding’s dramatic rise and fall was fiercely followed by the media, and she very quickly became the brunt of jokes, the subject of tabloid headlines and public outcry. She was a reality TV star before such a thing even existed. But she was also simply un-categorical: American’s sweetheart with a dark twist. But I believe this is what made her so interesting, and a true American hero. In the face of outrage and defeat, Tonya bolstered shameless resolve and succeeded again and again with all manners of re-invention and self-determination. Tonya shines bright in the pantheon of American history simply because she never stopped trying her hardest. She fought classism, sexism, physical abuse and public rebuke to become an incomparable American legend.

“I admit, early drafts of this song contained more than a few puns, punch lines and light-hearted jabs—sex tapes and celebrity boxing make for an entertaining narrative arc. But the more I edited, and the more I meditated, and the more I considered the wholeness of the person of Tonya Harding, I began to feel a conviction to write something with dignity and grace, to pull back the ridiculous tabloid fodder and take stock of the real story of this strange and magnificent America hero. At the end of the day, Tonya Harding was just an ordinary woman with extraordinary talent and a tireless work ethic who set out to do her very best. She did that and more. I hope the same can be said of us all.”

Listen to “Tonya Harding” here:

Watch the New Sufjan Stevens Video “The Greatest Gift”

Sufjan
Image Courtesy of Sufjan Stevens

A couple of weeks ago Sufjan Stevens released his mixtape of outtakes, remixes and demos, The Greatest Gift, featuring a bunch of unheard gems from his 2016 album Carrie & Lowell.

The title track of the mixtape also happens to be one of the most striking songs and is Sufjan Stevens’ new single. “The Greatest Gift” features a video directed by Sufjan Stevens himself – check it out below:

The Head and The Heart Announce Melbourne Headline Show

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

Anyone hoping to catch a headline show from American folk rockers The Head and The Heart when they’re in the country for Sydney City Limits better be prepared to find their way to Melbourne.

The band has only announced a single sideshow, appearing at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne on the 1st March. If The Head and The Heart are top of your list to go and see I’d recommend getting on top of tickets to this show ASAP as it’s bound to sell out soon.

Both Australian dates for The Head and The Heart are below:

Saturday 24th February – Sydney City Limits, Centennial Park, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 1st March – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Angus & Julia Stone Add More Dates to 2018 Tour

Angus and Julia Stone
Image Courtesy of Angus & Julia Stone

If you were a little disappointed when Angus & Julia Stone only announced three dates for their 2018 tour (and to be honest, we thought it was light on) then never fear – the brother-sister duo have just added a whole bunch more shows throughout May.

Of course if you have tickets to the Falls Festival you’ll get to see Angus & Julia Stone much earlier than May. The full list of upcoming dates for the duo are below:

Saturday 30th December – Falls Festival, Marion Bay, TAS
Sunday 31st December – Falls Festival, Lorne, VIC
Tuesday 2nd January – Falls Festival, Byron Bay, NSW
Saturday 6th January – Falls Festival, Fremantle, WA
Saturday 28th April – Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 29th May – Pilbeam Theatre, Rockhampton, QLD
Tuesday 1st May – Entertainment Centre, MacKay, QLD
Wednesday 2nd May – Entertainment Centre, Townsville, QLD
Friday 4th May – Munro Martin Parklands, Cairns, QLD
Saturday 5th May – Ski Club, Darwin, NT
Wednesday 9th May – Anitas Theatre, Thirroul, NSW
Thursday 10th May – UC Refectory, Canberra, ACT
Friday 11th May – Civic Theatre, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 12th May – Horden Pavilion, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 17th May – Ulumbarra, Bendigo, VIC
Friday 18th May – Costa Hall, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 19th May – Festival Hall, Melblourne, VIC
Tuesday 22nd May – Odeon, Hobart, TAS
Wednesday 23rd May – Princess Theatre, Launceston, TAS
Friday 25th May – Flinders University Plaza, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 26th May – Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA

Watch the New Julia Johnson Video “Melissa”

Julia Johnson
Image Courtesy of Julia Johnson

When Sydney based singer-songwriter Julia Johnson started revealing her new solo sound earlier this year I got pretty excited. I feel like Johnson has grown as an artist since moving away from The Deep Sea Sirens, allowing her to explore an array of different musical textures without lowing her indie-folk sensibilities.

“Melissa” was released earlier this year and now Julia Johnson has revealed the mesmerising new video directed by Shane Parsons. Check it out here:

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