Month: June 2019

Tania Kernaghan on her new single, ‘Better Worn In’

Tania-Kernaghan-Better-Worn-In.jpgTania Kernaghan has been in constant musical motion, it seems, since the release of her first album, December Moon, in the 1990s. She is a fixture of the Australian country music scene but that doesn’t mean she’s rusted on – rather, it means she’s ‘better worn in’, as her latest single attests. It’s a tribute to feeling comfortable in your own skin, and it was a great pleasure to talk to Tania about it recently. Then again, it’s always a pleasure talking to Tania as she’s thoughtful, interesting and passionate about her music, and the many other elements of her life.

 

Congratulations on the new single. It’s wonderful to have new music from you. Is it the first single from a forthcoming album or is it a standalone release?

It actually is from an album, and my plan this year is to drop out new singles for radio and video clips and then they’ll go towards a body of work for a full album for next year.

Is that a way you’ve done it before, where you’ve recorded singles and then gone on to put them on an album or normally do you record the whole album and then do the singles?

In the past I’ve done the whole albums and then we drop out singles. But I think there’s no real formula anymore these days with music. I think people’s attention span is pretty small as far as they get new music and then it’s kind of old after a week or two. So I think people just want to be having something new all the time and doing it this way I’ll be able to bring out more music more regularly. So it’s a little bit different to what I’ve done in the past, but I think that it’ll be a good, positive way to go.

And seeing you on Instagram, you’re great at building excitement around the single. You were talking about the song and then talking about the video a lot and doing little snippets. You’ve obviously learned to use social media really well to get that message out that you have new music.

That’s really great you say that because I think I’m a tech nerd when it comes to social media. I’m pretty hopeless with stuff like that. I put it out there and I think, Is that really bad?Or, Is that too self-promoting?Or, Is that kind of naff?So it’s a bit nerdy, the way I do my social media stuff, but then again it’s kind of who I am. And that’s the whole thing about the ‘Better Worn In’ song and this time in my life. That’s about embracing who you are and being comfortable in your own skin and this is how it is, guys. And I think the more real you can be – and I hate using the word ‘authentic’ all the time, but the more real you can be, the better it is in the long run.

The refrain of the song is that ‘life’s like your best pair of boots, better worn in’. But I’m wondering if you had times in life when you didn’t feel like your boots fit comfortably, shall we say?

Oh, absolutely. Especially when I was younger. You know, I was so worried about are they high enough, are they square enough, are they shiny enough, are they cool enough and are they the right colour? You drive yourself crazy when you’re younger worrying about what everybody else thinks. Trying to be as good as the next person or just trying to be better. And if only you could go back and say, ‘Just don’t try so hard. Just chill and relax and enjoy every moment.’ Gosh, I would do it differently. But I suppose without all of those experiences, without those uncomfortable feelings and those twists and turns that you take in life, it wouldn’t have gotten me to where I am today. And where I am right now, I don’t look back and have regrets. There are things I probably would have done a little bit differently, but what the heck, I’m pretty happy about it all at the end of the day.

Continue reading “Tania Kernaghan on her new single, ‘Better Worn In’”

Single release: ‘Devil’s Road’ by The Weeping Willows

unnamed (2).jpgWhat happens when you have an album full of really great songs? If you’re The Weeping Willows, it means you are able to keep releasing really great singles. The fifth and final single from The Weeping Willows’ second album, Before Darkness Comes A-Callin’, is ‘Devil’s Road’. Co-written with Lachlan Bryan – and with a video directed by him – ‘Devil’s Road’ is a classic country song of temptation and the futility of resisting it.

Hopefully the mention of this being the final single from the album means that the band’s members, Laura Coates and Andrew Wrigglesworth, are thinking of creating a new album … not because the current one is tired, but because hungry fans always want more! In the meantime, you can watch the video for ‘Devil’s Road’ below and catch The Weeping Willows on tour:

‘Devil’s Road Test Tour’ Dates:
Sat 6 July: Union Hotel*, Brunswick, VIC
Sun 7 July: House Concert**, Sassafras, VIC
Tue 9 July: Smith’s Alternative*, Canberra, ACT
Wed 10 July: FolkSwagon Cafe/Lounge*, Sydney, NSW
Thu 11 July: The Junk Bar*, Brisbane, QLD
Fri 12 July: 63 First Ave*, Sawtell, NSW
Sat 13 July: City Sider Diner* during ‘Hats Off To Country’, Tamworth, NSW

* With Great Aunt

** With Dave Diprose

 

 

Listen on:

Apple Music | Soundcloud

 

www.theweepingwillows.com.au

Single release: ‘Direction’ by Chloe Christine

unnamed.jpgOne of the results of the continued commitment to professional development by the Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) and members of the industry is that artists of all stages have access to education and mentors, via the CMAA Academy. Artists in country music can emerge at any age; it just so happens that the existence of the Junior Academy means that artists in their teens are appearing with terrific songs, excellent performance skills and professional attitudes to their work (country music in Australia produces few amateurs, it seems, even if they’re in their teens).

Singer-songwriter Chloe Christine is sixteen years of age. At the age of fourteen she was one of twenty students picked from Australia and New Zealand to attend the CMAA Junior Academy. The next year she released her debut single ‘No One Cares’, and it reached number 8 on the iTunes Country Music charts and number 5 on the My Country Australia charts.

Chloe has been taking singing lessons since she was five, and started teaching herself guitar at eleven years of age. Now she performs regularly at pubs, clubs, festivals and other shows. She’s also released a new single, ‘Direction’, and given her pedigree it is not a surprise that it’s a great song, an accomplished country-pop track that takes its lyrical inspiration from her school life.

Chloe Christine is an example of what makes Australian country music so exciting and vibrant: she’s young but already a professional, releasing music that stands with any in the genre, and showing that a new generation of artists can mix and meld seamlessly with those who have been performing for many years. No doubt she has set herself a high bar at a young age, but there’s also no doubt she has what it takes to keep meeting that bar, and vaulting over it.

Listen to ‘Direction’ on:

Apple MusicSoundcloud | Spotify

chloechristinemusic.com.au

Single release: ‘Honey’ by Magpie Diaries

Magpie.jpgDashville is a name familiar to many Australian music aficionados – primarily as a festival that features the best of alt-country and other artists. Matt ‘Magpie’ Johnston is a co-founder of Dashville, and he’s also a singer-songwriter under the moniker Magpie Diaries.

Sanctuary is the debut album from Magpie Diaries, released in 2018, and it’s been supported by tour dates around the country. The latest single from the album is ‘Honey’, and Magpie wrote it after he passed an elderly man selling honey by the side of the road outside of Singleton, New South Wales. Magpie says that the man looked happy – ‘It got me thinking that this elderly man could be me one day.’

That happiness has influenced the writing and the recording of this delightful song, which is actually a love song wrapped around a message of sustainable living. If that sounds improbable, well, just listen. The key to it all is honey.

 

Sanctuary is out now.

Apple Music | Spotify

Magpie Diaries is on tour:

Magpie Diaries .png

magpiediaries.com

Single release: ‘More’ by Cassidy-Rae

MORE Single Artwork.jpgCassidy-Rae is a Sydney-born-and-bred singer-songwriter who already has extensive experience, appearing at various festivals and studying at the CMAA Academy in  Tamworth. She released an EP, Wanted, in 2015 and is currently performing on board Carnival Cruise Lines.

Upon release Cassidy-Rae’s new single, ‘More’, debuted at number 3 on the iTunes Country Music chart. It is a towering country-pop achievement, made exceptional by Cassidy-Rae’s voice. She says that the intention of the song, and its video, is to show ‘that we are beautiful on both the inside and out. People’s words may not have a physical impact, but they can change how we view ourselves internally. More is a message we need to hear.’

The song was recorded with Michael Carpenter, who is the producer behind a lot of great Australian country-pop and country-rock, and as Cassidy-Rae has just completed her degree in Music and Arts, Industries and Management, let’s hope she has a bit more time to create more new music like this.

 

 

Apple Music | Spotify

www.cassidy-rae.com

Single release: ‘Better or Worse’ by Gareth Leach

Gareth Leach.jpgSinger-songwriter Gareth Leach released his debut album Death & Taxes in 2018, and for those who haven’t yet heard it, new single ‘Better or Worse’ is a great introduction to Leach’s unstinting lyrics and heartfelt vocals, and his country/alt-rock sound. The song was a TSA Awards Semi-finalist ‘Best Alt-Country Song’ this year and, as Leach says, it’s about ‘dealing with living with your own high expectations of “what this life is supposed to be”.’

The song has what Leach calls an ‘outlaw guitar riff’, and that riff not only sets up the mood of the song but calls in the listener. That riff led Leach to go in search of a lyric that could suit it, and in his notebook he found something he’d written a month or so earlier: Tell me is it getting better or is it getting worse? 

If the vocals sound like they’re coming from an authentic place, it’s because, as each Leach says, they come from ‘a very real and personal conversation that I was, and continue having with myself. For me in my own songwriting, music can either act as therapy or bring issues to light that I am not consciously aware of until writing it down.’

Watch the video for ‘Better or Worse’ below:

 

Death & Taxes is out now.

Apple Music | Spotify

www.garethleach.com

 

Album review: Halfway Home by Morning by Matt Andersen

71ay4hcxUWL._SY355_.jpgCanadian singer-songwriter Matt Andersen has long had a voice that sounded like it belonged to someone far older, saturated in life’s experiences and prepared to share them. Since Andersen is now up to his tenth album, perhaps he and his voice are travelling in tandem – and on Halfway Home by Morning they certainly sound like a comfortably united pair.

Andersen’s sound is soul and blues and rock and Americana, and his voice handles all of those genres effortlessly, as well as being one of those voices that sounds as though it comes straight from the past, present and future. Halfway Home by Morning is 13 songs of emotion, honesty and connection, with each line made more heartfelt by the delivery of it – by Andersen and the outstanding band and backing singers who appear with him.

The album was recorded live in Nashville, and that energy gives the songs a warmth that could have been lost if each track had been recorded individually. It also seems to give it an air of celebration – not that the songs are all celebratory (Andersen does a very fine ballad), but as if you’re at an hour-long party with the best possible entertainment.

Andersen and his band are constantly on the move – no Australian dates have been announced in the near future, but should he make his way back to these shores, Halfway Home by Morning suggests it would a performance absolutely worth taking in.

Halfway Home by Morning is out now on True North Records via MGM.

Apple Music | Spotify

www.stubbyfingers.ca