Thank Folk It’s Friday – 3rd May

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Our first ever New Music Monday featured new tracks from the last few weeks from the likes of Alana Wilkinson, Aldous Harding, Anna Smyrk, Bear’s Den, Citizen Of The World, Courtney Marie Andrews, Garrett Kato, Hussy Hicks, James Bennett, Joe Mungovan, John Smith, Justin Townes Earle, Kasey Chambers, Madison Violet, Ordinary Elephant, Radical Face, The Leisure Society. Listen and watch them here

Releases This Week

Georgia Spain
Trouble Isn’t Something You Can HoldGeorgia Spain
Bandcamp

Joy Williams
Front PorchJoy Williams
iTunes

Kim Churchill
I AmKim Churchill
iTunes

Little May
Blame My BodyLittle May
iTunes

Ordinary Elephant
HonestOrdinary Elephant
iTunes

Passenger
Sometimes It’s Something, Sometimes It’s Nothing at AllPassenger
iTunes

Peta Caswell
Peta Caswell & The Lost CausePeta Caswell & The Lost Cause
iTunes

Matt Ward
HeartlandMatt Ward
iTunes

Undress
UndressThe Felice Brothers
iTunes
Bandcamp

The Maes
The MaesThe Maes
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Drunken Piano Bar feat. Lachlan Bryan, Rose Zita Falko, Gretta Ziller, Brooke Russell, Dan Parsons, Pat Wilson, Mitch Power, Ben Mastwyk, Katie Bates, Julian Abrahams, Hana Brenecki

Drunken Piano Bar

Thursday 9th May – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

19-Twenty
Friday 10th May – Murrah Hall, Murrah, NSW

Áine Tyrrell
Friday 3rd May – Newport Bowling Club, Newport, VIC
Saturday 4th May – The Potato Shed, Drysdale, VIC
Sunday 5th May – Scrub Hill 1869, Newlyn, VIC
Friday 10th May – Pomonal Community Hall, Pomonal, VIC

Aisling Vaughan & Friends
Friday 10th May – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Anna Smyrk
Sunday 5th May – The Folk Studio, Armidale, NSW
Tuesday 7th May – Cambus Wallace, Gold Coast, QLD
Wednesday 8th May – Can You Keep a Secret?, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 9th May – City Sounds, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 10th May – Dusty Attic, Lismore, NSW

Archer
Friday 3rd May – The Guildford Family Hotel, Guildford, VIC
Saturday 4th May – The Gem Bar, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 5th May – Palais, Hepburn Springs, VIC
Thursday 9th May – Edinburgh Castle, Melbourne, VIC

Ash Bell and Sara Tindley
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – The Planting Festival, Woodfordia, QLD

Ashlea Reale & The Outlaws
Friday 3rd May – Fremantle Prison YHA, Perth, WA

Australian Celtic Festival
Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th May – Glen Innes, NSW

Backsliders
Friday 3rd May – Wollongong Town Hall, Wollongong, NSW

Baerami Bush Dance and Camp-Out
Saturday 4th May – Baerami Hall, Upper Hunter Valley, NSW

Ben Mastwyk
Thursday 9th May – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 10th May – Coburg RSL, Coburg, VIC

Benny Walker
Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May – Meatstock Sydney, Sydney Showground, Sydney, NSW

Big Sky Mountain w/ Dande and The Lion, The Villebillies
Thursday 9th May – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Bob Barford
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th May – Wintermoon Festival, Camerons Pocket, QLD

Bonnie Kay and the Bonafides
Friday 3rd May – The Unicorn Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 5th May – Botany View Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Burrows, Julia Johnson, Happy Axe
Sunday 5th May – Mt Stromlo Observatory, Canberra, ACT

Busby Marou
Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May – Meatstock Sydney, Sydney Showground, Sydney, NSW

Bush Gothic
Friday 3rd May – Selby Folk Club, Selby, VIC

Caitlin Harnett & The Pony Boys
Thursday 9th May – The Landsdowne, Sydney, NSW

Carl Pannuzzo
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – The Planting Festival, Woodfordia, QLD

Cash Savage and The Last Drinks
Saturday 4th May – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC

Chaika
Friday 3rd May – Wauchope Arts Hall, Wauchope, NSW
Saturday 4th May – House Concert, Byron Bay, NSW
Sunday 5th May – Brisbane Jazz Club, Brisbane, QLD

Citizen of the World w/ Slewfoot
Friday 3rd May – Lazybones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Claire Anne Taylor
Friday 3rd May – Sedgwick Hall, Sedgwick, VIC
Saturday 4th May – Sandy Point Community Centre, Sandy Point, VIC
Sunday 5th May – Newlyn, VIC
Thursday 9th May – Caldwell Hall, Caldwell, NSW
Friday 10th May – Pomonal Community Hall, Pomonal, VIC

Claude Hay
Friday 3rd May – Seaview Tavern, Woolgoolga, NSW
Saturday 4th May – Harrington Hotel, Harrington, NSW
Sunday 5th May – Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour, NSW

Colin Lillie
Friday 3rd May – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC
Saturday 4th May – The Cabaret Club, Ballarat, NSW
Friday 10th May – The Royal Hotel, Queenbeyan, NSW

Country Comes to Town feat. The Prairie Oysters, Rattlincane, Allan Caswell, The Weeping Willows
Saturday 4th May – Newport Bowls Club, Newport, VIC

Dan Sultan
Sunday 5th May – Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 9th May – Laycock Street Theatre, Gosford, NSW
Friday 10th May – The Conservatorium, Newcastle, NSW

Daniel Champagne
Friday 3rd May – Fyrefly, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 4th May – Town Hall, Yackandandah, VIC
Sunday 5th May – Phoenix Theatre, Cobden, VIC
Thursday 9th May – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC
Friday 10th May – Town Hall, Deans Marsh, VIC

Dean Lewis w/ Winterbourne
Monday 6th May – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 7th May – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Doc & The Delegates
Tuesday 7th May – The Underground, Newcastle, NSW

Drunken Piano Bar feat. Lachlan Bryan, Rose Zita Falko, Gretta Ziller, Brooke Russell, Dan Parsons, Pat Wilson, Mitch Power, Ben Mastwyk, Katie Bates, Julian Abrahams, Hana Brenecki
Thursday 9th May – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Dusty Ravens w/ Liz Martin Band
Sunday 5th May – Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Edgelarks
Friday 3rd May – Albany Arts Festival, Albany, WA

Flat Rock Boys
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – Northern Beaches Music Festival, North Narrabeen, NSW

Flats and Sharps
Saturday 4th May – Manjimup Hotel, Manjimup, WA
Tuesday 7th May – Ferntree Gully Bowling Club, Ferntree Gully, VIC
Wednesday 8th May – Caravan Music Club, Bentleigh East, VIC

FolkSwagon feat. Pan-Pacific Grand Prix, Rees Lucia, Indira Elias
Wednesday 8th May – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Fred Smith
Friday 3rd May – New Hall, Point Lonsdale, VIC
Saturday 4th May – Red Rock Regional Theatre and Gallery, Cororooke, VIC
Sunday 5th May – Old Gold Rush Pub, Steiglitz, VIC
Friday 10th May – House Concert, Boreen Point, QLD

Freya Josephine Hollick
Sunday 5th May – Palais, Hepburn Springs, VIC

Grigoryan Brothers
Wednesday 8th May – St Paul’s Anglican Church, Cooma, NSW
Thursday 9th May – Twyford Hall, Merimbula, NSW
Friday 10th May – St Peter’s Anglican College, Canberra, ACT

Grizzlee Train
Friday 3rd May – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD

Hayley Marsten
Sunday 5th May – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Hat Fitz & Cara
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – The Planting Festival, Woodfordia, QLD

Henry Wagons
Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May – Meatstock Sydney, Sydney Showground, Sydney, NSW

Honey
Sunday 5th May – Dromedary Hotel, Tilba, NSW

Honky Tonkin’ feat. King Arthur
Thursday 9th May – The Rook’s Return, Melbourne, VIC

Huckleberry Hastings
Friday 10th May – Gertrude & Alice Cafe Bookstore, Sydney, NSW

Illawarra Folk Club Presents: A Celebration of Pete Seeger’s 100th Birthday feat. Maurie Mulheron, The Lurkers, Sally Forth, Paul Spencer
Saturday 4th May – City Diggers, Wollongong, NSW

Irish Seisiún
Sunday 5th May – Croatian Wickham Sports Club, Newcastle, NSW

Jacob Diamond
Friday 3rd May – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 4th May – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Julia Johnson
Friday 3rd May – Finders Keepers Markets, Barangaroo Reserve, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 5th May – Mt Stromlo Observatory, Canberra, ACT

Kallidad
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th May – Wintermoon Festival, Camerons Pocket, QLD

Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – The Planting Festival, Woodfordia, QLD

Kyle Lionhart
Friday 3rd May – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 4th May – Torquay Hotel, Torquay, VIC
Sunday 5th May – God’s Kitchen, Mornington, VIC

Liam Gale & The Ponytails
Thursday 9th May – Slyfox, Sydney, NSW

Lily and King
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th May – Wintermoon Festival, Camerons Pocket, QLD

Little Georgia w/ Charm of Finches
Saturday 4th May – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Little Quirks
Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May – Meatstock Sydney, Sydney Showground, Sydney, NSW
Friday 10th May – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

Mal Webb
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – The Planting Festival, Woodfordia, QLD

Mandy Connell
Friday 10th May – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Mànran
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – The Planting Festival, Woodfordia, QLD

Mark Wilkinson
Friday 3rd May – The Rhythm Hut, Gosford, NSW
Saturday 4th May – Club York, Sydney, NSW
Friday 10th May – Soundlounge, Gold Coast, QLD

Matt Ward
Friday 3rd May – Stein’s Taphouse, Nuriootpa, SA
Saturday 4th May – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 5th May – The Gem Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Meatstock Sydney
Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May – Sydney Showground, Sydney, NSW

Medusa’s Wake, Shelley’s Murder Boys, The Bottlers
Saturday 4th May – The Welcome Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Melbourne Celtic Piping Session
Sunday 5th May – The Last Jar, Melbourne, VIC

Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission
Saturday 4th May – Railway Club, Darwin, NT
Thursday 9th May – Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC
Friday 10th May – Banyena Town Hall, Banyena, VIC

Mojo Juju
Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May – Meatstock Sydney, Sydney Showground, Sydney, NSW

Nat Henry
Sunday 5th May – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 10th May – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW

Nathan Power
Sunday 5th May – Daylesford Cider Company, Musk, VIC
Friday 10th May – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Nicola Hayes & Hélène Brunet
Friday 3rd May – Shedshaker Brewery, Castlemaine, VIC

Northern Beaches Music Festival
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – Narrabeen RSL, North Narrabeen, NSW

Penelope Swales
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – The Planting Festival, Woodfordia, QLD

Quinton Trembath
Saturday 4th May – The Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Rezza House Concert feat. Dan Howls
Sunday 5th May – House Concert, Reservoir, VIC

Rick Hart Trio
Sunday 5th May – Mitcham Social, Mitcham, VIC

Riley Pearce
Friday 3rd May – Secret Show, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 4th May – Secret Show, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 5th May – Secret Show, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 10h May – Secret Show, Melbourne, VIC

Rosie McDonald & Nigel Lever
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – Northern Beaches Music Festival, North Narrabeen, NSW

Round Mountain Girls
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th May – Wintermoon Festival, Camerons Pocket, QLD

Ruby Gill
Friday 10th May – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Russell Morris
Friday 3rd May – Freo Social, Fremantle, WA
Friday 10th May – Paddington RSL, Sydney, NSW

Sara Storer
Friday 3rd May – Macksville Ex-Services Club, Macksville, NSW
Saturday 4th May – Casino RSM Club, Casino, NSW
Friday 10th May – Hamilton Hotel, Brisbane, QLD

Sea Shanty Session
Wednesday 8th May – The Brother’s Public House, Melbourne, VIC

Sebastian Field
Friday 3rd May – The Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT

Shane Nicholson
Saturday 4th May – The Barn at Wombat Flat, Neales Flat, SA
Sunday 5th May – Trinity Sessions, Adelaide, SA

Shelley’s Murder Boys
Saturday 4th May – The Welcome Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 5th May – Galleria, Ettalong Beach, NSW

Slim Dime
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th May – Wintermoon Festival, Camerons Pocket, QLD

Smith & Jones
Friday 3rd May – The Agrestic Grocer, Orange, NSW

Songlines Singing Session
Sunday 5th May – The Australian Heritage Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Stu Tyrrell
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – Northern Beaches Music Festival, North Narrabeen, NSW

Sydney Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Get-Together
Saturday 4th May – Annandale Community Centre, Sydney, NSW

The BUg Weekly Tues New Farm Folk Night feat. The Swing Beans, 3 Miles From Texas
Tuesday 7th May – New Farm Bowls Club, Brisbane, QLD

The Djangologists
Wednesday 8th May – Jazz Behind the Green Door, Sydney, NSW

The Hillbilly Goats
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th May – Wintermoon Festival, Camerons Pocket, QLD
Friday 10th May – The Surf Club Palm Cove, Cairns, QLD

The Little Stevies
Friday 3rd May – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

The Long Johns, Whiskey Dram
Friday 10th May – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

The Maes
Wednesday 8th May – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Friday 10th May – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

The Ocelots
Friday 3rd May – NEA Gallery, Benalla, VIC
Saturday 4th May – The Old Church on the Hill, Quarry Hill, VIC
Sunday 5th May – Daylesford Cider Company, Musk, VIC
Friday 10th May – Duke of George, Fremantle, WA

The Pigs
Friday 10th May – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW

The Planting Festival
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – Woodfordia, QLD

The Royal High Jinx
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th May – Wintermoon Festival, Camerons Pocket, QLD

The Slipdixies
Sunday 5th May – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC

The Sweet Jelly Rolls
Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May – Meatstock Sydney, Sydney Showground, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 4th May – Yulli’s Brews, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 8th May – Different Drummer, Sydney, NSW

The Teskey Brothers
Thursday 9th May – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 10th May – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

The Trippy Hippy Band
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – Northern Beaches Music Festival, North Narrabeen, NSW

The Vegetable Plot
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – The Planting Festival, Woodfordia, QLD

This Way North
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th May – Wintermoon Festival, Camerons Pocket, QLD

Tiffany Eckhardt & Dave Steel
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th May – Wintermoon Festival, Camerons Pocket, QLD

Tiny Ruins w/ Ryan Downey
Friday 3rd May – Sound Doctor, Angelsea Hall, Angelsea, VIC
Saturday 4th May – Jive, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 8th May – UOW UniBar, Wollongong, NSW
Thursday 9th May – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Friday 10th May – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Totally Gourdgeous
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – The Planting Festival, Woodfordia, QLD

Tracy McNeil & The GoodLife w/ Georgia State Line
Sunday 5th May – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Traditional Graffiti
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – Northern Beaches Music Festival, North Narrabeen, NSW

Tullara
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – The Planting Festival, Woodfordia, QLD

Whoa Mule, Jess Dale, Daisy and the Space Leopards
Saturday 4th May – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

William Crighton
Friday 3rd May – Music on the Hill, Red Hill, VIC
Saturday 4th May – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Sunday 5th May – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC
Wednesday 8th May – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 9th May – Dusty Attic Music Lounge, Lismore, NSW
Friday 10th May – 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW

Wintermoon Festival
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th May – Camerons Pocket, QLD

Yirramboi Festival feat. Dan Sultan, Alice Skye, Kalaji
Sunday 5th May – Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“#41” – Dave Matthews Band

New Music Monday – 29th April

Aldous Harding
Image Courtesy of Aldous Harding

Welcome to the first edition of New Music Monday where we collect some of our favourite tracks and videos from the previous week for your listening pleasure. As this is the first one of these we’re reaching back a little further than just one week, with a collection of songs we’ve been obsessing over for the last month or so. Enjoy!

Alana Wilkinson – “Partner In Crime”

Australian folk singer Alana Wilkinson’s new single “Partner In Crime” perfectly captures the nostalgia of childhood as well as being a poignant tribute to a childhood friend who has sadly passed away.

“I needed to write a song that painted a picture of the colourful friendship we shared as kids,” Wilkinson explained. I think you’ll agree the result is something special.

Aldous Harding – “The Barrel”

Last Friday New Zealand bassed singer-songwriter Aldous Harding released her third album Designer which features this stunning track “The Barrel”. I can definitely hear the influence of Nick Drake in the finger-picked guitar and production of “The Barrel” and Harding’s vocals are mesmerising. Maybe my favourite song of hers to date.

Anna Smyrk – “Benjamin”

Victorian folk singer Anna Smyrk has been popping up on radar a lot over the last few months. I managed to catch a couple of songs at her recent National Folk Festival blackboard set and she’s just come off the back of a weekend at the St Alban’s Folk Festival.

Smyrk’s new single “Benjamin” is inspired by her travels to places like the Solomon Islands, Cambodia and the Philippines and features a really sweet backing track of guitar, mandolin, dobro and bass. The track will likely feature on an EP that Smyrk has planned for later in the year and she’s got a bunch of tour dates throughout the east coast in the coming weeks:

Wednesday 1st May – Scullion Sessions, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 5th May – The Folk Studio, Armidale, NSW
Tuesday 7th May – Cambus Wallace, Gold Coast, QLD
Wednesday 8th May – Can You Keep a Secret?, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 9th May – City Sounds, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 10th May – Dusty Attic, Lismore, NSW
Friday 14th June – Merri Creek Tavern, Melbourne, VIC

Bear’s Den – “Crow”

Another beautiful song and video, this time from UK favourites Bear’s Den.

“The song “Crow” was written in memory of my Mum’s boyfriend who lived with us growing up,” Bear’s Den lead singer Andrew Davie explained. “He was an awesome guy and somewhere between a father figure and a best friend to me growing up but unfortunately he passed away when I was 15. I wrote this song as I wanted to acknowledge how important and thankful I am to him for helping to raise me and my sister.”

This is taken from the band’s latest album So That You Might Hear Me, released last week, and is probably our favourite song from the release.

Citizen Of The World – “Deep Blue Eyes”

The evolution of Sydney’s Citizen Of The World continues with the release of their new track “Deep Blue Eyes”. A lot of the folk influences of their earlier work have been softened as the band moves towards a more expansive indie sound similar to the likes of Winterbourne, Dean Lewis or Vance Joy.

“Deep Blue Eyes” is taken from the band’s new EP Window To Your Mind which they’ll be launching this Friday 3rd May at Lazybones Lounge in Sydney,

Courtney Marie Andrews – “May Your Kindness Remain (Acoustic)”

Our favourite track of 2018 gets given the stripped back, acoustic treatment by US singer-songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews. While not being too far from the original, this version of “May Your Kindness Remain” does get to the essence of what makes this a great song – and so much of it is about Andrews’ amazing voice.

“May Your Kindness Remain” is one of four acoustic tracks Courtney Marie Andrews has released to celebrate the one year anniversary of her amazing album of the same name. The other tracks – “I Took You Up”, “Rough Around The Edges” and “Border” are available to stream and download in all the usual places.

Garrett Kato – “River Mouth (Live Forest Session)”

There’s something really special about this live video recording of Australian/Canadian singer-songwriter Garrett Kato’s latest single “River Mouth”. I’m a sucker for a finger-picked guitar and evocative lyrics to “River Mouth” is right up my alley. “River Mouth” is taken from Kato’s upcoming EP Distant Land which is due for release this coming May.

Hussy Hicks – “Get Ready”

Hussy Hicks channel their inner-Mavis Staples for this slice of soul infused magic. “Get Ready” is the Australian duo’s first release since their 2017 album On The Boundaries and dropped right before their recent performance at Bluesfest.

James Bennett – “Weird World”

Prolific roots singer-songwriter James Bennett has just dropped his new “Weird World” as a sneak peak into what we can expect from his upcoming third album This Time Tomorrow.

“The single Weird World is a song about the times we live in, how lucky we are just to be here and observing the show from the sidelines,” Bennett explained. “It’s an upbeat, cant get it outta your head kinda song.”

Joe Mungovan – “Lost Myself”

Kiama based singer-songwriter Joe Mungovan has really doubled down on the clean, expansive production for his latest single “Lost Myself”. The track was written after an extensive tour of Europe and Australia

“After I came back from touring overseas I rented a house in the bush and set up my studio for a few months,” Mungovan explain. “I was strumming on my dad’s old nylon string guitar that I took out there and “Lost Myself” sort of just fell out. It was the last song that I wrote whilst in that house and by then I had spent far too much time alone. I guess the song comes from a place of solitude and confusion. It is easy for me when I’m in that situation to live in my head and get lost in different thoughts and questions. That is the beauty but also the downside of isolation.”

John Smith – “Hummingbird”

Every time the new single, “Hummingbird”, from UK based folk singer John Smith has crossed my ears in the last few weeks I’ve sat up and paid attention. I don’t know what it is about this track – I think it’s absolutely stunning. Everything from Smith’s vocals to the simple arrangement it pitch pefect.

“Hummingbird” is taken from John Smith’s new album of the same name and is one of only a handful of originals amongst mainly traditionals on the record.

“The song itself is really the catalyst for the whole album,” Smith explained. “I didn’t want to give it a title that belonged to something someone else wrote 100 years ago. So when I sat down to write, “Hummingbird” came out of me really quickly, within an hour. It’s the rare song that tumbled out, and I was lucky to capture all the pieces. As soon as it arrived I thought, “This is the glue that’s gonna hold the whole thing together”.”

Justin Townes Earle – “Frightened by the Sound”

American singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle returns with “Frightened by the Sound”, a track that sounds like, well, a Justin Townes Earle song (and trust us, that’s a good thing). This is the latest taste of Earle’s upcoming album The Saint Of Lost Causes, due on the 24th May.

Kasey Chambers – “Hey Girl”

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of her debut album Kasey Chambers will be releasing a deluxe edition of The Captain on the 17th May complete with this recently unearthed track “Hey Girl”. I love this song for the nostalgia of classic Kasey Chambers.

Madison Violet – “Tell Me”

Canadian duo Madison Violet have gone deeply autobiographical on their new single and video “Tell Me”. The track details a time early in their career where they formed a band and became a couple – something they were advised to hide by some industry folk.

I think you’ll agree this is a pretty special track.

Ordinary Elephant – “Jenny & James”

Were you lucky enough to catch Ordinary Elephant when they toured Australia recently? Amazing, right?

The duo’s latest single “Jenny & James” tells the story of an interracial couple struggling to keep their relationship together with a society that doesn’t approve. It is taken from their album Honest which will be available this Friday 3rd May.

Radical Face – “Doubt”

Following the expansive folk songs of his The Family Tree three album project, Ben Cooper, AKA Radical Face has started to explore other parts of his sound. The latest single from Radical Face, “Doubt”, sparkles with eighties synths and a driving drum beat while still championing Cooper’s unique indie-folk vocal style. “Doubt” is taken from Radical Face’s latest album Therapy which was released last Friday.

The Leisure Society – “A Bird, A Bee, Humanity”

Ok, I’m a huge fan of English folk-rock band The Leisure Society, but I had absolutely no idea that they had a new record out (Arrivals & Departures for those playing at home). “A Bird, A Bee, Humanity” is their latest single and I doubt I’m the only one who things the opening refrain sounds very very like the theme for the Serial podcast. I’ll just leave that there.

Martin Simpson Announces New Album Trails & Tribulation

Martin Simpson
Image Courtesy of Martin Simpson

Legendary folk singer and guitarist Martin Simpson has announced plans to release his new album Trails & Tribulation on the 1st September.

The album, produced by Andy Bell, is Simpson’s 20th solo outing and featuring collaborations with Ben Nicholls, Toby Kearney, Nancy Kerr, Andy Cutting, John Smith, Helen Bell, Amy Newhouse-Smith and Molly Simpson.

Trails & Tribulation is a collection of traditional and contemporary songs and poems built around the theme of nature, travel and real life stories.

Check out the full track listing for Trails & Tribulation below along with Martin Simpson’s version of “Blues Run The Game”:

1. Blues Run The Game
2. Bones & Feathers
3. Thomas Drew
4. East Kentucky
5. Katherine Of Aragon Interlude
6. A Ballad For Katherine Of Aragon
7. Maps
8. St. James Hospital
9. Jasper’s/Dancing Shoes
10. Ridgeway
11. Rufford Park Poachers
12. Reynardine Interlude
13. Reynardine

Lisa Hannigan Announces VIVID Sideshows

Lisa Hannigan
Image Courtesy of Lisa Hannigan

Irish songstress and indie-folk favourite Lisa Hannigan has announced plans to extend her trip to Australia when she’s here for VIVID Live with shows planned in Perth, Melbourne, Angelsea and Brisbane in addition to Sydney.

Hannigan will touring her 2016 album At Swim and will be joined in all shows by John Smith. Check out the full list of shows below:

Tuesday 23rd May – Fly by Night, Perth, WA
Thursday 25th May – The Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 26th May – Angelsea Memorial Hall, Angelsea, VIC
Saturday 27th May – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Tuesday 30th May – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 2nd January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– The Gaelic Club in Sydney has some awesome Woodford sideshows coming up this month including appearances from Betty & Oswald, Black Market Tunes and The East Pointers. Details here

– Following his appearance at Woodford UK singer-songwriter John Smith will be making his way around the east coast for a string of dates. Details here

– Austro-Scottish celtic folk four-piece Black Market Tune will be touring throughout January. Details here

Tim Edey has a bunch of Woodford sideshows this January. Details here

– Trad four-piece Tolka announced their new album One House. Details here

Interviews

“And this led to a meeting with the just as lovely Deborah Suckling, the brains and organisational braun behind The Soldier’s Wife. Currently an irregularly performed concert, matching female singer-songwriters with ‘..the partners of Australian servicemen – both past and present – and putting the experience, emotions and lives of those women into song'” – Deborah Suckling chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“Mixing music, theatre, improv and audience participation, The Travelling Sisters fill that little caravan-y void where some punters might remember a couple of late night clowns used to perform out back of The Duck (the venue formerly known as The Duck and Shovel)”The Travelling Sisters chat to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“Andrew, like many folkies, wears many hats (some of them at the same time) and at Woodford he’s virtually juggling them. His supper club has two showings at Bill’s Bar every day, and Totally Gourdgeous are launching their new live DVD”Andrew Clermont chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“Bill and Joey were seated in the most salubrious of surrounds (on the slippery slope at the back of the gent’s toilets next to The Duck and The Travelling Sisters‘ caravan), chatting about performance spaces, and radio, and grass roots music development” – Joey Channon from Rabbit Radio chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“About 3.6 minutes later, David and Bill were outside the donga by the Spirit of Woodford office, standing variously on the wooden palets or in the mud, dodging dangerous ants the size of small cats, and speaking over the sound spill creeping up the hill from Bluestown, chatting about Paper Lions, music advocacy and the wondrous, wonderful Woodford” – David Cyrus MacDonald from Paper Lions chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“Bill Quinn stopped on his amble along the individually decorated paving bricks to chat with Aly de Groot about her workshops”Aly de Groot chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“John Smith is performing at Woodford Folk Festival, and at the time of writing has just finished his last show at The Duck. While that’s bad news for anyone on site who missed his gigs, or for anyone who got along and just wants to see more, the good news for John is that he can now find a shady tree and try to keep cool for the rest of the festival. “This weather is too hot for my blood!” he observed to the lunchtime crowd of Duck Eggs, as he referred to them, in a friendly way”John Smith chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

Blog

“Bill Quinn was sitting having his ritual cup of peppermint tea in Fine Earth Foods at Woodford Folk Festival when a postie came into the venue and started attempting to deliver letters. To people”Bill Quinn discovers The Lettering House at the Woodford Folk Festival. Read his piece here

“At probably my first Woodford Folk Festival, I got a treasured copy of the then very new The Next Turn album by Trouble in the Kitchen. As I set off down the D’Aguilar Highway on 3 January, processing eight days’ worth of festy wonderfullness, I was in an emotional, impressionable state, making listening to the 14 tracks all the more powerful”Bill Quinn details his love for Trouble in the Kitchen. Read more here

Bill Quinn captures the traditional Woodford Folk Festival three minutes of silence. Experience it here

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

John Smith

John Smith

UK folk singer John Smith has wrapped up an amazing New Year and is heading down the coast for his first ever Australian tour including shows at The Melbourne Folk Club (with Caitlin Harnett) and the Cygnet Folk Festival.

Saturday 3rd January – The Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 7th January -The Melbourne Folk Club @ Bella Union, Melbourne VIC
Thursday 8th January – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS

Gigs Next Week

Afenginn w/ Crooked Fiddle Band, Leroy Lee
Thursday 8th January – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Alela Diane
Thursday 8th January – City Recital Hall Angel Place, Sydney, NSW

Black Market Tune
Thursday 8th January – Jetty Cafe, Dennes Point, Bruny Island, TAS
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th – Cygnet Folk Festival, TAS

Brass Knuckle Brass Band
Saturday 3rd January – The Milk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 4th January – Bellingen, NSW

Cygnet Folk Festival
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th January – Cygnet, TAS

John Smith
Saturday 3rd January – The Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 7th January -The Melbourne Folk Club @ Bella Union, Melbourne VIC
Thursday 8th January – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS

Nariel Creek Festival
Saturday 27th December to Saturday 3rd January – Nariel Creek, VIC

Paper Lions
Friday 2nd January – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 3rd January – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 4th January – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Wednesday 7th January – The Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 8th January – Rad Bar, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 9th January – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Melbourne Folk Club feat. John Smith, Caitlin Harnett
Wednesday 7th January – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

The Melbourne Folk Club feat. The East Pointers, Tolka
Thursday 8th January – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

Tim Edey
Saturday 3rd January – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 7th January – Byron Theatre, Byron Bay, NSW
Thursday 8th January – Mountain Mummas, Sheffield, TAS
Friday 9th and Saturday 10th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, TAS

Friday Folk Flashback

“Auld Lang Syne” – Andrew Bird

Happy New Year folk fans! Here’s to a massive 2015!

The Woodford Files: John Smith (UK)

John Smith
Image Courtesy of John Smith

John Smith is performing at Woodford Folk Festival, and at the time of writing has just finished his last show at The Duck.

While that’s bad news for anyone on site who missed his gigs, or for anyone who got along and just wants to see more, the good news for John is that he can now find a shady tree and try to keep cool for the rest of the festival.

“This weather is too hot for my blood!” he observed to the lunchtime crowd of Duck Eggs, as he referred to them, in a friendly way.

While pumping up the nachos at The Chef’s Table and their other gastronomical delights.

Bill Quinn was phonetically challenged….

I’m sorry, I’ll read that again.

Bill Quinn was challenged in terms of phone access which left John with some extra time to enjoy the shade of the Coopers Bar, but they eventually caught up for a chat:

Gig dates for John Smith’s Australian tour:

Saturday 3rd January – The Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 7th January -The Melbourne Folk Club @ Bella Union, Melbourne VIC
Thursday 8th January – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS

John Smith’s First Ever Australian Tour

John Smith
Image Courtesy of John Smith

Acclaimed UK folk singer John Smith is in the country for his first ever tour of Australia. As well as appearing at the Woodford and Cygnet Folk Festivals, Smith will be bringing tunes from his latest album Great Lakes to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Check out the full list of dates below:

Saturday 27th December to Thursday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD
Saturday 3rd January – The Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 7th January -The Melbourne Folk Club @ Bella Union, Melbourne VIC
Thursday 8th January – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS

The Melbourne Folk Club Announces Summer Season

Melbourne Folk Club
Image Courtesy of The Melbourne Folk Club

The Melbourne Folk Club is one of the success stories of 2014 – bringing amazing folk music, both Australian and international, to a regular night right in the heart of Melbourne.

The night takes place at Bella Union in Melbourne’s inner-North, mostly on Wednesdays but sometimes throughout the week to accommodate touring artists. The Melbourne Folk Club this week announced its summer season and the lineup is looking as strong as ever.

Check out the full line up from January through to the end of March below:

Wednesday 7th January – John Smith (UK) + Caitlin Harnett
Thursday 8th January – Unplugged show w/ The East Pointers (Canada) + Tolka
Wednesday 14th January – David Francey (CAN) + James Kenyon + Lucy Wise
Wednesday 21st January – Oh Pep! + Open Swimmer
Wednesday 28th January – Darren Hanlon + Laura Jean + Single Twin
Wednesday 4th February – Jeff Lang + Emma Swift + Matt Langley
Wednesday 11th February – The Mae Trio + The Once (Canada)
Wednesday 18th February – Machine Translations + Broads
Wednesday 25th February – Shane Howard (Album Launch) + Skyscraper Stan
Wednesday 4th March – Ruth Moody & Band (Canada) + Scott Cook (Canada) + Nadia Reid (NZ)
Wednesday 11th March – Jordie Lane (In Conversation + Concert)
Wednesday 18th March – Breabach (Scotland) + Stray Hens
Wednesday 25th March – All Our Exes Live in Texas + Kim Richey (US)

Details of the New Solo Album From Steven James Adams

Steven James Adams
Image Courtesy of Steven James Adams

When I first saw the press around the new Steven James Adams solo album I initially ignored it because of the name – House Music. I get a lot of random emails from EDM, hip hop and R&B artists looking for promotion who have obviously have never looked at Timber and Steel and have probably just plucked our details out of Hype Machine.

But then a couple of collaborations on House Music, with Timber and Steel favourites Dan Mangan and Emily Barker, caught my eye and I had to dig a little bit further.

Steven James Adams is the ex-lead singer of London rock favourites The Broken Family Band and The Singing Adams and House Music is his first solo outing. The album features a bunch of collaborations with folkies including the aforementioned Dan Mangan and Emily Barker, along with John Smith, Justin Young (The Vaccines, Jay Jay Pistolet), Martin Green (Lau) and Inge Thomson, and is due for release on the 1st September.

The full track listing is below along with a stream of the first single “How We Get Through” featuring Dan Mangan:

1. Drinking From The River
2. How We Get Through
3. Man Down
4. Tears Of Happiness
5. A Singer In A Band
6. I Can Change
7. The Volunteer
8. Fall Off The Roof
9. Wandering Hands
10. Get Over Yourself

Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2013

Listening to Records

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

%d bloggers like this: