Interview: An Afternoon with Mélanie Pain

Melanie Pain
Image Courtesy of Mélanie Pain

On a most beautiful and sun drenched Parisian afternoon in Le Marais, Janine Estoesta met with Mélanie Pain (a front woman for Nouvelle Vague) to discuss her latest album and recent tours. Pain already reaching critical acclaim for her new album and her work as a solo artist, talks of her past work both as her own and with her previous collective.

Janine Estoesta: So, Bye Bye Manchester – you released it last year?

Mélanie Pain: In Australia, yes. It was the first release and I don’t know, it always happens. It was like when I released my first album, I am very close to my producer in Australia and he’s really quick to release things. I send him the album and he says, ‘yeah, it’s OK, I’ll release it in six months.’ And, it’s different timing in Europe, it takes more time and I’m recording more songs and you know, tour a little bit before releasing the album. So, it’s kind of – I release my album one year ago and the same album will be released in France and the UK and in Canada in September. One year apart. In between, it was released in Germany and in Asia.

JE: What is your fan base like in Asia?

MP: It’s good, like, I’m doing really good, but every time I play in Singapore I’ve got a bit of follow up and, I don’t know. It’s just people that like French music and these big events and I really like going there. They’re really receptive to the culture.

JE: So, you’ve kind of just been touring this year – it’s kind of like huge blocks isn’t it?

MP: Yep. I’ve been touring non-stop ever since last November, I think. So, I’ve been in Australia in January – great tour – and then, I’ve been to Singapore and then to England and then I don’t really remember. It’s just – I’ve been touring a lot. And, I’ve been to the US for five weeks with Nouvelle Vague. So, on the road non-stop.

JE: So, you’re collaboration with Ed Harcourt. Amazing. How did that come about – did you guys just want to work together?

MP: I’m a big fan of him and I think he didn’t know me (laughs). I’m a really big fan and I just sent him a message on Facebook like, ‘hey. Here I am, I really love your work, I’m in Manchester writing my new album, I don’t know. Maybe, I can come to London and we can meet and we can work together?’ And, he instantly asked me if I wanted to come and spend three days in his studio in London. So, I went there, I didn’t know him, so he picked me up at the Metro station. It was really weird, like, I went from Manchester to London and I got out of the Metro to wait and thought, ‘is this really him? Maybe it’s a joke, maybe it’s a Facebook – maybe, it’s a trick or something.’ I was waiting and suddenly I just saw this guy, all tattoos everywhere, big sunglasses, on a bike and he said, ‘hey! Are you the French girl?’ (laughs) OK, so that’s the real one. And, we’ve been working in his studio for three days and we wrote three songs and we did a duet called “Black Widow” and I invited him to sing with me at a jazz cafe in London in April and we keep kind of trying to work together. He invited me back in a pub to do a support of one gig and he comes to south of France for holidays so we’re probably going to try and meet there. It’s amazing how Facebook – I still can’t believe I just messaged him on Facebook and then meet the real person out of the Metro, he picked me up and then straight to his studio. And, he is a genius. He is a genius.

JE: He is. You guys really compliment each other really well. Was there anyone else that you wanted to collaborate with?

MP: Yeah, I wrote all the songs and then I asked this guy called Albin de la Simone who is kind of getting big in France now. And, he helped me find the sound of the album and everything, he just produced it. I’m really happy to work with him, he’s really famous in France too. He’s a kind of genius as well (laughs). But, on this album, Ed Harcourt was the only one that I wanted to work with as a vocalist because I really wanted “Bye Bye Manchester” to really be my kind of baby. The first album was written with a lot of people, with a lot of “featurings” on it and this one was really more, ‘OK, I’m going to be in a bedroom and write all the songs myself,’ and Ed Harcourt was the exception (laughs). But, I really wanted it to be all personal, because I’ve been working with Nouvelle Vague for ten years, my first album I worked with five or six different people. So, this time was like, ‘OK, this is my album, this is me.’

JE: So, that’s why Bye Bye Manchester sounds so different to “My Name” – with all those influences from other people, is this album definitely Mélanie Pain?

MP: Well, “My Name” is really different. It was two completely different processes. You know, I wasn’t a singer ten years ago. Then, this guy from Nouvelle Vague – I sung a demo for my boyfriend who was looking for a singer for his project, he was a musician. I was always surrounded by musicians, but never really take a mic or played an instrument. And, I recorded this demo and he gave this demo to everyone saying, ‘listen to this track, I’m looking for a female singer.’ And, the guy that was doing Nouvelle Vague at this point called him and said, ‘who’s that girl that was singing on your demo?’ And, he said, ‘oh, that’s my girlfriend! But, she’s not a singer.’ Then, he said, ‘but, I like her voice, can she come?’ That’s how I became a singer, this guy just liked my voice. I came and I recorded the first Nouvelle Vague album with him and then six months later, he called me and said, ‘OK, there’s one gig in Paris, do you want to do it?’ and, I said, ‘yes!’ And then, six months later he said, ‘OK, there’s a tour in America, do you want to do it?’ and I said ‘yes.’ You know, I began like this and while I was touring with Nouvelle Vague people were come with songs for me saying ‘why don’t you sing my song?’ That’s how “My Name” was created. People were coming to me with great songs and I loved it, I wanted to sing it. Then I asked, ‘can I change the words? Can I write my own lyrics?’ and that’s why I think “My Name” is really, lots of musical references because all the people were coming and saying, ‘oh, I see you doing folk, kind of sixties style,’ it was hard with “My Name” to keep a musical direction. It was kind of, I just sang all the songs that I really liked and I wrote two or three songs on the album at the end. But, it was not really, you know – compared to “Bye Bye Manchester” it was so different. I went to Manchester and didn’t listen to any music and I played with my little keyboards and played with what I can, which is nothing – because, I’m not a musician. I kind of found my sounds and my way of writing, just by myself, without any reference or musical knowledge (laughs). It was really on instinct, I was like, ‘OK, that’s what I want to sing.’ Because, I was frustrated at the end of “My Name,” to sing other people’s lyrics and other people’s songs. I need to sing something that is deep inside me, and I’ve been doing that with Nouvelle Vague for years, so I was ready now. I don’t know, I think in the future, I think “Bye Bye Manchester” is the first stone in my career as a writer and singer. Because, it’s the first time I really own all the songs. So, we’ll see how it goes, but I’m really proud (laughs). It’s hard for me to sing my first album songs live and everything.

JE: So, that’s why there were that three year hiatus between My Name and Bye Bye Manchester?

MP: Well, I had a baby as well. Took me a bit more than a year (laughs) and then it took me a big year to get really confident about my writing, because it was hard. And, I kept touring all the way during this period. It was hard for me, that’s why I really felt the need to go into one place without anyone, just in my bedroom with the stuff I bring from Paris and that’s it – I got to write. Ten or fifteen songs and just go. That’s how I did it because it was so hard to be on tour, have a baby, come back, be on tour again and find time in between stuff to just concentrate on writing songs. I think I just had really high expectations. Everything I wrote for six months, I just threw in the bin and thought, “you’re never going to be a writer.” Yeah, I lost faith at some point. I don’t know, I wrote one song, I wrote “7 ou 8 fois” and that’s what I want to do, I found a base that I can build on.

JE: So, what’s the kind of story behind Bye Bye Manchester?

MP: I realised when I was writing all the songs, they were about going somewhere else. Start a new life, kind of this sort of stuff. I called my album Bye Bye Manchester because Manchester is really a city where people are so proud to be Manchurians, you know, Manchester people. They are really proud. Everyone wants to go out, they want to leave Manchester because, the weather is shitty, maybe it’s too strong of an identity city, and sometimes you really feel like you just have to go away and that’s why all the things in my head were gathering in Manchester. And, that’s why I called it “Bye Bye Manchester” because you have to say “bye, bye” to everything you know to kind of, of course, a bit later come back and be strong about where you are and everything. Every song is about this fantasy to go away and you only want to go away because you will be able to come back. So, the song “7 ou 8 fois” it means “seven or eight times I tried to do this, I tried to,” I tried to just move on. It’s this eighth time it worked and I can kind of come back to it. So, it’s kind of this feeling that, deeply, you want to go, but in fact, you don’t want to go – you just want to be happy where you are. I don’t know. Manchester was great for this – my dream was to go into Manchester and write an album. Because, I am a big fan of Morrissey and The Smiths and all these new wave – Joy Division and Buzzcocks – everything down there. To write good music, you have to be English and live in Manchester or Liverpool. And, it’s all about this ambiguity all the time, you know? Why do you want to leave? Why are you really sick of where you are? All the songs are talking about this, and I don’t know. I just realised that I completely said goodbye to my other life, becoming a singer and the fact that it was really important for me to do that and I didn’t know. The fact of deciding this strengthened everything else, so voila. It was all about these feelings. But, it was not really conscious, I really wrote all these songs and at the end I said, “Oh, my God. They’re all talking about-” This song called “Ailleurs” is meaning “Somewhere else” and “Bye Bye Manchester” obviously, “Je Laisse Tomber” means “I quit everything.” And, all these lyrics, they were all talking about the same thing and how important it was for me to take all these big decisions in my life. I was living in South of France and decided to go to Paris, then in Paris, I decided to quit all my work and everything and become a singer and then when I was a singer, I decided to write my own songs. And, all of these decisions are not enough. I have to change to recreate my life and everything. So, that’s it.

Becoming and singer and writing my own lyrics and own songs was really important to me. I needed to find my way of communicating with these people that were coming to my concerts, so I was, “OK, I have to be true, I don’t want to sing other people’s songs all the time.” So, yeah.

JE: And, that’s obviously how it was in the beginning with Nouvelle Vague?

MP: Yes. I really learnt everything with Nouvelle Vague, I’ve been doing with them a thousand shows, I think. And, everything I know, all the confidence I have on stage is from this experience. As well as all the traveling I did with them, we were traveling all the time everywhere. It was really important. I never traveled before Nouvelle Vague and then suddenly, I was never in Paris. The first five years, when it was really successful, I was just flying everywhere and that really opened my mind about what I really liked. I didn’t want to stay in the same place, I really liked to meet people and be in danger all the time in different environment and different cultural challenges and stuff like this. So, yeah, I think this was really the big impasse for me, to travel and to make my own stuff. So, it’s good.

JE: Bye Bye Manchester really blew my mind away, it was so different. But, now it makes sense, because it’s really you. Which is another thing because you’ve always been this strong female and feminine presence in music. Having major influences like Smiths and Joy Division, would you say that that’s where you’ve gotten your stage presence from?

MP: I don’t know. What was amazing for me, going on stage for the first time in my life, with Nouvelle Vague ten years ago – it’s going to be ten years next year. I never went on stage in my whole life, I never did theatres or anything. And, when I was on stage, it was really natural. I just had to sing the songs and talk to people and make them laugh and just tell them how I feel. I was like, “oh, my god, it’s quite simple.” Like, for me, it was kind of – I was very shy at the point, I wasn’t the person that I am now. I had this strength that I didn’t know about. I could go on stage and be completely comfortable and look in the eyes of the audience and try and see what they want. I was completely okay with them being bored or super happy, or talking, I’m really interested in that. I really like when I sing a song to see, ‘oh, this one is bored, this one is happy (laughs).’ I really like that, I’m not scared if they don’t like me or, shit, I’m not dressed up or whatever. I don’t really think about it, I’m just sharing this unique moment with people and it’s unique. I do a lot of shows, this day is Tuesday and it’s ten-fifteen and this guy is yawning, it’s unique and I’m never going to live that again. I’m like this and I don’t know about having any role model of artists, I just like people that come on stage and you can really see their personality and they are themselves, they’re not building a character or whatever. Oh well, they’re building a character but it’s actually them, but kind of, a stronger version of them. I’m a big fan of Nick Cave and PJ Harvey, all these guys they just go on stage and you just want to look at them. And, you’re like, ‘I just want to go and have a beer with them afterward,’ I don’t like people coming on stage and you just don’t know who they are. I don’t know, I really like people where you can really feel their personalities. And, I realised that I could do that, that I can actually do that and be exactly the same. I really remember when I was having my baby, I was touring with him – he was like two months old – and, I was just breastfeeding backstage and just giving the baby to my sister and just going on stage and I was exactly the same person. People were saying, ‘Don’t you need some time to be -?’ and, I was like no, I don’t want to be another person. Like, if I could go on stage with my baby on my breast then I would go. Because, for me music is – well, I’m not this kind of artist where I just want to hide, I just want to be myself.

JE: Now, do you have any underground or unsigned musicians that you’re really interested in, at the moment?

MP: Well, I have a lot of friends that are doing a lot of interesting stuff. They’re all kind of getting signed. Well, there’s not this kind of “signing” event anymore. Like, they’re all releasing their stuff, even if they’re doing it by themselves. I really like this band called Team Ghost, electro stuff. I don’t know, there’s a lot of stuff that I know and like, but underground… I don’t know if it exists anymore. Suddenly, they have a website and they’re all over Facebook and YouTube. I remember I went to a Ben Harper show when he released his first album and I don’t know if he was even big in America at the time, but we were like ten in the venue and all sitting down with Ben Harper in the middle. Oh, my god, this was really underground. And, one year later…

JE: Do you prefer doing smaller and more intimate shows as appose to bigger venues?

MP: I like both, in fact. I’m not such a fan of big venues. Even with Nouvelle Vague when we do big venues. Just in terms of space, it’s a really long way to see the peoples faces and you’re like, ‘what is that?’ So, I’m more into small shows and I don’t know, Sydney Festival was in Town Hall and it’s a beautiful, beautiful venue with one thousand people. This is the biggest that I can kind of like, more than this is just ridiculous. In Paris, I do this little club, I did two shows and then I’m going to do three around September, October and November in this small like two hundred sitting little theatre. And, I really like that, people really listen and you feel you have time. You have your time and your space. Really intimate, I like it.

JE: So, I know that you’re still with Nouvelle Vague but, do you miss that constant group setting?

MP: Mmm… Not for the moment. I like being by myself and kind of controlling everything and it’s faster and quicker and more rewarding (laughs). No, more the moment I just miss the fun with Nouvelle Vague. It’s great conditions and when you tour it’s always a lot of people, it’s always really easy. It’s a bit more complicated with my shows., you really have to try and you really have to set up everything. It’s less comfortable and it’s a lot of work and a lot of energy but, really, I feel so happy when I just tour by myself. I can still do both though and get my balance with the collective and the solo. We’ll see. I’m still amazed that Nouvelle Vague is still touring so much.

JE: Um. So, what’s your take on chocolate milkshakes?

MP: (laughs) If ever I taste a good one, I’ll be happy! I don’t know, it’s always so artificial to me. I want someone to make one for me with real stuff, real chocolate, real milk, real ice-cream. But, I love fruit, so if it’s good, I love it!

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 3rd August

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Roland K Smith & The Sinners are launching their debut album Breaking Hearts and Saving Souls with a month long Wednesday night residency at The Sandringham Hotel in Sydney. Special guests throughout the month include Billygoat & The Mongrels, Handsome Young Strangers, CJ Shaw & The Blow Ins, The Green Mohair Suits, Emma Swift and many many more. Details here.

– The first single from Leroy Lee’s upcoming Arcadia EP, the Nick Drake-esque “Window Sill” was released and we really dig it. Leroy Lee will be launching his EP on the 9th August at FBi Social in Sydney. Details here.

– Following a successful performance at Splendour over the weekend Missy Higgins has announced another national tour this summer with Gurrumul and Emma Louise in support. Details here.

– We fell in love with Sydney musician Mammals who released his gorgeous single “Carried” earlier this month. Details here.

– Sydney six-piece Little Bastard have announced a Thursday night residency at the Oxford Art Factory’s Gallery Bar throughout August and they’re bringing a bunch of friends with them. Details here.

– Folk music legend Billy Bragg will be visiting our shores in October and November for a series of two part shows – the first half celebrating Woody Guthrie, the second half covering Bragg’s own material. Details here.

– Adelaide folky Vorn Doolette gave Timber and Steel an exclusive stream of his brand new album The Further Adventures of Vorn Doolette. Details here.

– The newly christened Fanny Lumsden & the Thrillseekers released a wonderfully country video for their new single “Firing Line”, shot in Lumsden’s home town of Tallimba. Details here.

Nick Cave latest foray into film, Lawless, will feature a bluegrass and country soundtrack featuring Cave and Warren Ellis as The Bootleggers along with music from Emmylou Harris, Mark Lanegan, Liela Moss (The Duke Spirit) and Ralph Stanley. Details here.

– Sydney duo Jep&Dep released their official debut single “The Fall of the Leaves Never Cease” with a moody black and white video. Details here.

Ben and the Sea released their latest single “Snow” which we managed to get a stream of. Details here.

Chugg Entertainment have revealed a shortlist of 20 Australian towns where Mumford and Sons’ Gentlemen of the Road event might take place as well as a competition to guess the correct one. Details here.

Rob Young, the author of the outstanding book Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain’s Visionary Music which chronicles the rise of Brittish folk music from the 19th century to today, has put together a companion soundtrack double album featuring the likes of Bert Jansch, Fairport Convention, Tim Hart & Maddy Prior, John Martyn, Richard Thompson, Steeleye Span, David Bowie, Nick Drake and many many more. Details here.

Grizzly Bear revealed the latest track from their upcoming album Shields, titled “Yet Again”. The band will be in Australia this November for Harvest. Details here.

– Australian/Swedish duo Nick and Liesl have announced a series of East Coast dates including their first shows in Sydney and Canberra for over a year. Details here.

Cordial Factory are everywhere at the moment and with good reason – they produce some gorgeous folk music. Their new track “What Did You Ask For” has just had its video released and we love it. Details here.

Releases This Week

Breaking Hearts and Saving Souls
Breaking Hearts and Saving SoulsRoland K Smith & The Sinners
iTunes

Hollywood
HollywoodThe Falls
iTunes

Further Adventures
The Further Adventures of Vorn DooletteVorn Doolette
Official Site

Timber and Steel Presents

Whitaker
Whitaker (with Roscoe James Irwin and Blue Sun)
Sunday 4th August – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Bellyache Ben and the Steamgrass Boys and The Green Mohair Suits
Sunday 5th August – The Annandale Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Cordial Factory with The Former Love and Secondhand Heart
Wednesday 8th August – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, QLD

Dan and Hannah Acfield
Saturday 4th August – Empress Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Darwin Festival
9th to 26th August – Darwin, NT

Jinja Safari
Wednesday 8th August – Astor Theatre, Perth, WA
Thursday 9th August – Uni Bar, Adelaide, SA
Friday 10th August – The Hi-fi, Melbourne, VIC

Katie Noonan and Karin Schaupp
Saturday 4th August – Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Townsville, QLD

Lanie Lane
Friday 10th August – Stones of the Yarra Valley, Coldstream, VIC

Leroy Lee (with Sui Zhen and Eli Wolfe)
Thursday 9th August – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW

Little Bastard (with Papa Pilko & the Bin Rats and Jack Dawson)
Thursday 9th August – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

MoFo feat. The Leichhardt International Ukestra and Stephen O’Hern
Friday 10th August – The Gaelic Club (Upstairs), Sydney, NSW

Nick and Liesl
Friday 10th August – Catharsis at The J Theatre – Noosa, QLD

Punch Brothers
Monday 6th August – Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 8th August – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Friday 10th August – Adelaide International Guitar Festival, Adelaide, SA

Roland K Smith & The Sinners with Billygoat & The Mongrels and The Ramalamas
Wednesday 8th August – Sandringham Hotel, Sydney, NSW

The AU Review 4th Birthday Party (Fanny Lumsden, Winter People)
Saturday 3rd August – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

The Beautiful Girls
Friday 3rd August – Magnums Hotel, Airlie Beach, QLD
Saturday 4th August – Dalrymple Hotel, Townsville, QLD
Sunday 5th August – Brothers Leagues, Cairns, QLD
Friday 10th August – Coolum Civic Centre, Coolum, QLD

The Falls
Saturday 4th August – The Empress Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 5th August – Pure Pop Records, Melbourne, VIC

The Good Ship
Friday 3rd August – Great Northern, Newcastle NSW
Saturday 4th August – Good God Small Club, Sydney, NSW

The Rescue Ships
Friday 3rd August – The Front Bar, Canberra, ACT

Friday Folk Flashback

“Rye Whiskey” – Punch Brothers

With three Australia shows in the coming week (Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide) we’re officially dubbing this Punch Brothers Week. This was the song that first turned us onto the band and we’ve never looked back since. If you’re lucky enough to have tickets to one of the Punch Brothers gigs we’ll see you there!

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis Score Film Lawless Feat. Music From Emmylou Harris, Ralph Stanley and More

Lawless

Australian musical icon Nick Cave is taking the next step in his film career with the writing credit on the upcoming John Hillcoat film Lawless which stars Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain and Gary Oldman. This will be Cave’s first writing credit since the 2005 Australian “western” The Proposition.

And just to show how truly talented he is Cave is teaming with longtime collaborator Warren Ellis (The Dirty Three) to produce the music for Lawless. The pair have formed a new band for the project named The Bootleggers who will play country and bluegrass music to mimic the film’s 1931 rural Virginia setting.

Joining Cave and Ellis on a number of tracks will be a rotating cast of guest vocalists including Emmylou Harris, Mark Lanegan, Liela Moss (The Duke Spirit) and Ralph Stanley.

Lawless is set to be released on the 1st November in Australia. Check out the track listing for the soundtrack and the official trailer below:

1. “Fire and Brimstone” – The Bootleggers feat. Mark Lanegan
2. “Burnin’ Hell” – The Bootleggers feat. Nick Cave
3. “Sure ‘Nuff Yes I Do” – Ralph Stanley
4. “Fire in the Blood” – The Bootleggers feat. Emmylou Harris
5. “White Light/White Heat” – The Bootleggers feat. Mark Lanegan
6. “Cosmonaut” – The Bootleggers feat. Emmylou Harris
7. “Fire in the Blood”/”Snake Song” – Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Emmylou Harris and Ralph Stanley
8. “Aim Towards the Sky” – The Bootleggers feat. Liela Moss and Emmylou Harris
9. “Fire in the Blood” – The Bootleggers feat. Emmylou Harris
10. “Fire and Brimstone” – Ralph Stanley
11. “Sure ‘Nuff Yes I Do” – The Bootleggers feat. Mark Lanegan
12. “White Light/White Heat” – Ralph Stanley
13. “End Crawl” – Nick Cave and Warren Ellis
14. “Midnight Run” – Willie Nelson

All Star Cast for The Sydney Opera House’s “The Ship Song Project”

The Ship Song Project
Image Courtesy of The Daily Telegraph

To celebrate and promote Sydney’s most iconic building the Sydney Opera House have put together an all star cast of Australian musicians and artists (including a hefty portion of Timber and Steel favourites) to record Nick Cave’s classic track “The Ship Song” as part of the The Ship Song Project. Neil Finn, Kev Carmody, Sarah Blasko, Angus and Julia Stone, Paul Kelly, Martha Wainwright and Katie Noonan are just some of the artists that have contributed to the song which you can watch here:

Theshipsongproject.com (which links through to the project’s YouTube page) has a mass of interviews around the making of the track and a full length documentary is in the works. You can watch an insightful making of video below:

Review: The Wild Frontier, “Until The Day Breathes”

The Wild Frontier
Image courtesy of The Wild Frontier

When reviewing an album, one can attempt to do so via a couple of methods: have a few listens, and write a reflection of first impressions; or, sit on it for a while. Have a listen now and then, let the songs mature, and fit in with what’s going on around you, until suddenly a hook takes hold, and there’s no going back.

The latter is where we’ve found ourselves regarding The Wild Frontier’s Until The Day Breaths. To catch yourself singing a song, sans music, whilst going about your day… you have no choice but to go back and revisit an album. The culprit is “The Thing I’ve Been”, a cruising song reminiscent of Dave Graney’s cool swoon, the opaque tone of The National, and the wine red velvet depth of a Nick Cave ballad. Throughout the album, The Wild Frontier’s sound and song writing has been likened to that of Lambchop, Tom Waits, Johnny Cash, Beach House, Arcade Fire, and the afore mentioned Nick Cave.

In fact, it would be easy to rest solely upon the Nick Cave contrasts of Christopher Mayes’ vocals throughout this album, if it weren’t for the diversity of his, and the voices featured on Until The Day Breathes. From the opening track, “For You”, we are greeted by the gorgeous voice of pianist Philippa Vaughan… fitting comparisons, without any exaggeration, include Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star), Jennifer Charles (Elysian Fields), and Martha Wainwright. It’s the sort of voice that makes you put a song on repeat just to hear again.

From the ethereal, to the apocalyptic imagery of “The Heavens Are on Fire”, and the banjo driven, Johnny Cash/June Carter inspired “My Friend Called Tom”; Christopher and Philippa share vocals on the album, with the occasional addition of guitarist and co-founder David Mackie adding a subtle and understated element to the vocal trio. Teamed with Stephen Mansfield on bass, and Leon Spencer on drums, this Sydney based five piece have produced a rich, complete collection of earthy, dramatic, and passionate songs about darkness and light.

Having released their album in October 2010, the momentum of this album has been steadily growing both locally and overseas.

Catch The Wild Frontier live:

Friday 15th April, 9pm @ Melt (12 Kellet St, Kings Cross), opening for James The Grey, along with PJ Wolf & band.

Grinderman Announce Second Album

Grinderman
Image Courtesy of triple j

Grinderman, the side project of Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Martyn P. Casey and Jim Sclavunos, have announced they will be releasing their second album this year. Due on the 13th September, the album has the rather unceremonious title of Grinderman 2. The first single “Heathen Child” is due to hit shelves on the 30th August.

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