This Way North Announce Sass The Patriarchy February Residency

This Way North
Image Courtesy of This Way North

Melbourne duo This Way North have announced a Wednesday night residency at the Northcote Social Club throughout February titled Sass the Patriarchy.

The night will be about about positive action, the creation of opportunity for women, and a chance to show support for the amazing women in our community of artists. Each Wednesday night This Way North will be joined by a guest artist to play a set as well as a special guest host to lead discussions with the artists and audiences about the past, present and bright future of women in the music industry.

“These short and intimate discussions will centre around the artists experiences in the industry, and importantly the strategies and resources available that might improve the music environment for women both now and in the future,” explains the Sass The Patriarchy press release. “We’ll cover issues such as equal representation on festival line ups (and all line-ups), how to include more women into industry roles such as sound engineers, producers, radio hosts and managers, and continuing the efforts to make places of work and play, safe and inclusive.”

The guest artists for the residency include Bitch Diesel, Sal Kimber and the Rollin’ Wheel, Hollie Joyce and The Twoks. If you want to see some amazing live music and contribute to a positive, fun and informative night make sure you get down to one of these shows. The full schedule for Sass The Patriarchy is below:

Wednesday 7th February – Bitch Diesel
Wednesday 14th February – Sal Kimber and the Rollin’ Wheel
Wednesday 21st February – Hollie Joyce
Wednesday 28th February – The Twoks

The Kyneton Music Festival Announces First Round of Artists

Cash Savage
Image Courtesy of Cash Savage & The Last Drinks

The Kyneton Music Festival, help in Kyneton an hours drive north of Melbourne, have just revealed the first round of artists for 2017 and as expected there’s plenty for Timber and Steel readers to get excited about.

The first lineup announcement includes Cash Savage & The Last Drinks (above), Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Loose Tooth, Flowertruck, Karl S. Williams, Freya Josephine Hollick, The Cactus Channel, Dan Kelly Dream Band, Sugar Fed Leopards, Fountaineer, Dan Parsons, The Twoks, The Wardens, Hollow Everdaze, Mightiest Of Guns and The Outdoor Type with many more to be announced.

The Kyneton Music Festival is help on the 20th and 21st October in St. Pauls Park, Kyneton, with shows also taking place in Major Tom’s and The Bluestone Theatre. For more information including how to get your hands on tickets check out the official web site here.

The Mullum Music Festival Announces Full Lineup

Image Courtesy of The Mullum Music Festival

Having already announced the first ten artists for their 10 year anniversary the Mullum Music Festival has this week revealed its full 2017 lineup, and boy are you going to be excited.

As always the festival includes more a bunch of folk, roots, Americana and acoustic artists including the likes of Marlon Williams, Frazey Ford, Lindi Ortega, Harry James Angus, Z-Star Delta, Tinpan Orange, The Teskey Brothers, Mama Kin Spender, All Our Exes Live in Texas, Vance Gilbert, Liz Stringer, Suzannah Espie, Wallis Bird, Áine Tyrrell, The East Pointers, Irish Mythen, Loren Kate, Hussy Hicks, Lucie Thorne & Hamish Stuart, Sara Tindley, Sal Kimber & the Rollin’ Wheel, The Twoks, Angie Hudson, Rebecca Ireland, Cecilia Brandolini, Domini Forster, Heartworn Highway, Jimmy Dowling, Low Down Riders, Queen Porter Stomp and many more.

The Mullum Music Festival takes place in Mullumbimby, NSW from the 16th to the 19th November. Fore more information including how to get your hands on tickets check out the official site here. The full list of artists for 2017 is below:

Jon Cleary & The Monster Gentlemen (us), Marlon Williams (NZ), Frazey Ford (CAN), Lindi Ortega (CAN), Harry James Angus, Too Many Zooz (US), Jazz Party, Z-Star Delta (UK), Tinpan Orange, Gabriel Garzon-Montano (USA), OKA, The Teskey Brothers, Mama Kin Spender, All Our Exes Live in Texas, Small Halls feat. Vance Gilbert (US) and Liz Stringer, Suzannah Espie, Wallis Bird (IRE), Ron Artis II (USA), Áine Tyrrell (IRE), Sex On Toast, The East Pointers (CAN), Irish Mythen (IRE/CAN), King Tide, Ladyslug, Brian Nankervis, Mandy Nolan, Joel Salom, Dustyesky, Gabriel Otu Orchestra (GH), Moussa Diakite and Wassado (Mali/AU), Ollie McGill Trio, Greg Sheehan, Loren Kate, The Coconut Kids, Jojo Smith, Hussy Hicks, Lucie Thorne & Hamish Stuart, Scott Cook (CAN) Sara Tindley, Sal Kimber & the Rollin Wheel, Charles Maimarosia (Sol Is) His Merry Men, The Twoks, Angie Hudson, Rebecca Ireland, Ethno Folk Orchestra, Cecilia Brandolini, Domini Forster, Heartworn Highway, Jimmy Dowling, Levingstone, Low Down Riders, Mandy Hawkes, Megan And The Vegans, Palm Wine Ambassadors, Queen Porter Stomp, Raku One O’Gaia, Sal Wonder, Shanteya and Jo The Lion and the Leaves, Tin Can String Band, Titan Sky, Ukulele Death Squad, Vesica Pisces, Welcome To Country, The Biggest Little Town Choir, Roundabout Theatre, Amazing Drumming Monkeys, Spaghetti Circus, Bollywood Sisters, The Magic Bus, Workshops

Folk Music on the 2016 Bello Winter Music Festival Lineup

Willie Watson
Image Courtesy of Willie Watson

After a massively successful debut last year the Bello Winter Music festival returns this July and once again the lineup is full of folky and rootsy goodness.

First of all, if you haven’t heard, the headliner this year is the fantastic Willie Watson. Watson, who was a founding member of Old Crow Medicine Show, was recently in the country as part of the Dave Rawlings Machine but will return this time around in solo mode. And we’ve also heard he’ll be a part of the Gram Parsons Project event at the festival with a bunch of other artists.

Other folk leaning artists on the Bello Winter Music lineup include Jeff Lang, Jaaleekaay, Joshua Hedley, Bobby Alu, Sahara Beck, Yirrmal, The Twoks, Miss Eileen & King Lear, All Our Exes Live in Texas, William Crighton, Inga Liljestrom, Merryn Jeann, Loren Kate, Raised By Eagles, Sweet Jean, Green Mohair Suits, Aine Tyrrell, The Mid North, Brian Campeau, Claire Anne Taylor, Tullara Connors, Madeline Leman and The Desert Swells, Diamond Duck and many many more.

The Bello Winter Music festival takes place in Bellingen, NSW from the 7th to 10th July. Check out the offical web site for more details.

The full lineup is as follows:

Willie Watson (USA), Jeff Lang, Kylie Auldist, Tijuana Cartel, Mojo Juju, L-FRESH The LION, Jaaleekaay (W Afr/Aus), Joshua Hedley (USA), Jazz Party, Bullhorn, Allensworth (US), Tora, Bobby Alu (solo), Sahara Beck, Yirrmal, TEK TEK Ensemble, King Tide, Majiwa (KEN), The Twoks, Miss Eileen & King Lear, All Our Exes Live in Texas, William Crighton, Inga Liljestrom, The Seven Ups, Desmond Cheese, New Venusians, Merryn Jeann, Loren Kate, Gyan, Jo Jo Smith, Raised By Eagles, Sweet Jean, Greg Sheehan, Brian Nankervis, Liam Power, Joel Salom, Mandy Nolan, Mae Wilde, Green Mohair Suits, Aine Terrell, The Grand Magoozi, The Mid North, Ilona Harker, Bunya, Brian Campeau, Claire Anne Taylor, Tullara Connors, Madeline Leman and The Desert Swells, Diamond Duck, Baby Blue, Levingstone, Noam Blat, Drama King, Then Joelene, STAV, The Brothers, The Spangled Drongos, Kaya Boom’s Love Songs, Fish on Fire, Tim Porter, Siobhan Corcoran, Honey & Knives, Horns on Helium, Bellingen Afrobeat Ensemble, The Cassettes, How Deep is Your Love?, Bollywood Sisters, The Amazing Drumming Monkeys, Roundabout Theatre, The BlueSkillet Rover Van, Tales & Songs

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 10th July


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Melbourne’s Oh Pep! have announced a new EP and released their new single “The Race”. Details here

– Americana singer-songwriter Jason Isbell will release his new album Something More Than Free next week. Details here

– Sydney singer-songwriter Tom Stephens released his rocky new single “What Lies in the Difference”. Details here

– Melbourne duo The Twoks released their new video “Doona”. Details here

– Irish singer-songwriter Glen Hansard announced details of his upcoming solo album Didn’t He Ramble. Details here

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats have confirmed details of their self-titled debut album. Details here

– Norway based Australian singer-songwriter BURROWING released his new video “Senorita”. Details here

– Singer-songwriter Helen Shanahan released her new video “Across The Sea”. Details here

– The legendary CW Stoneking has announced tour dates for this October and November. Details here

– Australian psych-folk band Immigrant Union announced a national tour and released their latest video “War Is Peace”. Details here

– Melbourne quintet Perch Creek released their new single “Mama Sings” and announced a national tour for September. Details here

Stevie & The Sleepers released their new video “To The Sea”. Details here

HOWQUA released his new video “Her”. Details here

Releases This Week

Fault LinesMcrobin

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

The Twoks

The Twoks

Melbourne duo The Twoks will launch their amazing new split single “Doona”/”Happy Endings” at The Gasometer Hotel in Melbourne this Thursday.

Thursday 16th July – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Alison Ferrier and Jed Rowe
Friday 10th July – Wauchope Arts, Wauchope NSW
Saturday 11th July – McCrossin Mill, Uralla NSW
Sunday 12th July – The Junkyard, Maitland NSW

Bearded Gypsy Band and Lovers Electric
Friday 10th July – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA

Fraser A. Gorman
Friday 10th July – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 11th July – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 16th July – Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Friday 17th July – Gasometer, Melbourne, VIC

Helen Shanahan
Sunday 12th July – Caves House, Yallingup, WA
Tuesday 14th July – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Friday 17th July – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Friday 10th July – RAD Bar, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 11th July – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 15th July – The Rails, Byron Bay, NSW
Thursday 16th July – The Bearded Lady, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 17th July – Solbar (Front Bar), Maroochydore, QLD

Lacey Cole & the Lazy Colts
Thursday 16th July – Moonshine Cider and Rum Bar, Manly, NSW

Michael David Thomas
Thursday 16th July – The Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Owen Campbell
Friday 10th July – The Homestead, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 11th July – Red Hot Music, Devonport, TAS
Sunday 12th July – Davey’s Hotel, Frankston, VIC
Tuesday 14th July – Yarra Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 17th July – Commercial Hotel, Milton, NSW

The Twoks
Thursday 16th July – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Tom Stephens
Saturday 11th July – Penny Black, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 12th July – 303, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 16th July – Whole Lotta Love, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 17th July – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Erin Go Bragh” – Dick Gaughan

Proof that traditional music is relevant centuries after it’s written, “Erin Go Bragh” tells the story of a Highland Scot from Argyle who is mistaken for an Irishman by the police in Edinburgh and is persecuted. What I love about this song is the fact the Scotsman basically says “I’m not Irish, but it shouldn’t matter even if I was”. Change the nationalities in “Erin Go Bragh” and you could very quickly apply the story and the sentiment to the modern day, such is the timelessness of folk music.

Watch the New Video from The Twoks, “Doona”

The Twoks
Image Courtesy of The Twoks

Violin and Drum led duo The Twoks have just released their new split single “Doona”/”Happy Endings” with the former also getting the music video treatment. The Twoks have long been live favourites in their hometown of Melbourne (and beyond) and these tracks are another triumph – check out the video for “Doona” below:

And if you’re keen to hear part two of the split single “Happy Endings” is available via the duo’s Bandcamp:

The Twoks will be putting on a very special at The Gasometer Hotel in Melbourne on the 16th July where they will be performing with a string quartet. For more information check out the official Facebook event here.

The Mullum Music Festival Announces 2014 Lineup

Harry James Angus
Image Courtesy of Harry James Angus

The other big festival announcement this week comes from our friends at The Mullum Music Festival. Held in Mullumbimby in northern New South Wales from the 20th to the 23rd November, the Mullum Music Festival has a reputation as one of the best events on the calendar.

The headliners this year are The Church, but it’s the rest of the lineup that we’re excited about.

Firstly none other than Cat Empire frontman and singer-songwriter Harry James Angus (above) has been announced as the festival patron, taking over from Mama Kin.

“Every year Mullum Music Festival shows me wonderful artists I haven’t seen before, and the artists that I have seen before doing things they don’t usually do – playing in the street parade, spinning out spontaneous collaborations, singing with the local choir. I’m proud to be the patron of a festival that does such a great job getting its artists out of the industry and into the community, where music belongs,” Harry James Angus said of the role.

And then secondly there’s a lineup that boasts a bunch of Timber and Steel favourites including Husky, Kim Churchill, Frank Yamma, Bobby Alu, Marlon Williams, Liz Stringer, Siskin River, The Mae Trio, The Twoks, Starboard Cannons, The Mid North, Tracy McNeil, The Yearlings and many more.

For more information on the Mullum Music Festival including how to get your hands on tickets check out the official site here. The full lineup of artists is below:

The Church, Hurray For the Riff Raff (US), Harry James Angus Band, Saskwatch, Husky, The Bombay Royale, Mia Dyson, Nai Palm, Kim Churchill, Bongeziwe Mabandla (SA), Bustamento, Nahko (US), Dubmarine, Darren Percival, Frank Yamma, Fourplay String Quartet, Bobby Alu, Andy Brown (Can), Del Barber (Can), Marlon Williams (NZ), Suzannah Espie, Mojo Juju & T Bone, C.R.Avery (Can), Holy Holy, Baby et Lulu, Kristy Lee (US), Declan Kelly & The Rising Sun, Bullhorn, Jordan Rakei, Liz Stringer, Sara Tindley, Wild Marmalade feat. Paul George, Gabriel and Cecilia, Jackie Marshall, Melotonins, Siskin River, Tora, The Mae Trio, Archer, Hussy Hicks, Mario Martini, Louie and Patrick, The Twoks, Starboard Cannons, The Mid North, Tracy McNeil & The Goodlife, Laura Targett, Walrus and the Carpenter, SistaGurl, Potato Potato, Mr Cassidy, The Yearlings, Warren Earl Band, Tim Stokes, Hue Blanes, Guy Kachel, The Buckleys, Ilona Harker and her Occasional Gentlemen, Asha Jefferies, Weatherless, Miss Amber & Stukulele, Three Little Sisters, Comedians: Mandy Nolan, Ellen Briggs, Greg Sullivan, Mark McConville, Paul McMahon, Fiona McGary, Nick Penn, Mario Queen of the Circus, Spaghetti Circus, St John’s Singers, Northern Rivers Ukulele Orchestra, Fiddlestrings, Mae Wildes Rock Quiz, a c.a.s.e for adaptation, The Bollywood Sisters, The Cassettes, The Mix Tape Crew, Byron Youth theatre, The Biggest Little Town Choir, Dustyesky Male Choir, Mullumbimby High showcase and many more.

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
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)
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
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
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.

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.

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
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)
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.

Port Fairy Second Announcement

Port Fairy
Image Courtesy of Port Fairy

Another festival to announce their lineup over the weekend was Port Fairy, who released their second round of artists on Sunday night. Joining an already packed lineup are the likes of Breabach, Damien Dempsey, Love Over Gold, Hanggai, Mama Kin, Oh Pep!, Sásta, Shane Nicholson, Tolka, Totally Gourdgeous, The Twoks and many many more.

The Port Fairy Folk Festival takes place in Port Fairy, Victoria from the 7th to 10th March. For more information check out the official site here. The full second lineup announcement is below:

International: Breabach (Scotland), Damien Dempsey (Ireland), Love Over Gold (USA), The Good Lovelies (Canada), Hanggai (Mongolia), The Jammin’ Divas (USA)

National: Bruce Mathiske, Claymore, Cole & Van Dijk, Deborah Conway & Willy Zygier, John Patrick & The Keepers, Mama Kin, Nick Charles, Oh Pep!, Rapskallion, Saoirse, Sammy J, Sásta, Shane Nicholson, Suzette Herft & The Heartstrings, Tolka, Totally Gourdgeous, Tom Richardson, The Twoks, Yirrmal And The Yolngu Boys.

The Woodford Folk Festival Announce 2013 Lineup

Woodford Folk Festival
Image Courtesy of The Woodford Folk Festival

Over the weekend The Woodford Folk Festival revealed its 2013 program and it’s pretty darn impressive. With over 500 artists announced in 28 venues over six days Woodford 2013 is arguably Australia’s biggest and most diverse folk festival.

The festival doesn’t really have headliners as such but we’ve spotted a bunch of international and Australian Timber and Steel favourites including Bearded Gypsy Band, Beth Orton, Buffalo Tales, Busby Marou, Castlecomer, Clare Bowditch, Darren Hanlon, Jordie Lane, Rose Cousins, Matt Corby, Sam Amidon, The Crooked Fiddle Band, The Quarry Mountain Dead Rats, The Twoks, Andrew Winton, Claude Hay, Hat Fitz & Cara, Whitetop Mountaineers, Andrew Clermont, Andy Irvine, Spooky Men’s Chorale, Thelma Plum and many many more.

The Woodford Folk Festival takes place from the 27th December to 1st January. Tickets are available now – for more information including the full program visit the official site here.

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