Month: February 2020

Single release: ‘Benjamin’ by Kelly Brouhaha

KELLY BROUHAHA Benjamin Cover ArtLast year South Australian singer-songwriter and multi instrumentalist Kelly Brouhaha released a self-title album and, from it, the excellent single ‘40,000 Star Hotel’. Just in case you haven’t yet discovered Brouhaha’s work, her new single, ‘Benjamin’, will introduce you to an artist who has fantastic songwriting abilities as well as the voice to bring them to life.

‘Benjamin’ is the story of a boy who broke Brouhaha’s heart and stole her dog, prompting her to jump in a van to follow her dream of touring Australia full time. Brouhaha has indeed been traveling the wide brown land, as a solo artist and also as part of Beccy Cole’s Sisters of Twang and Aussie Road Crew. Brouhaha fits the definition of troubadour, in practice and spirit; she’s also an artist who puts her heart – her all – on the line to connect with listeners, and that’s what makes her music such a rewarding experience.

Listen on:

Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify


Single premiere: ‘Sold My Soul’ by Matthew Munro

Sold My Soul Artwork JPGMatthew Munro is a singer-songwriter from Bundaberg, Queensland, who is about to release his debut single, but the song is so good – so effective, so powerful, and so unsettling in that it burrows its way into your brain and under your skin – that it’s impossible to believe it’s his first.

‘Sold My Soul’, which has its premiere here today ahead of its official release on Monday, is, says Munro, ‘a look at all the things you think are important in life, like the good-looking girl, moving away from a small town, only to discover that the grass isn’t always greener. Sometimes it doesn’t go to plan and you just end up questioning life.’

Munro is a graduate of both the Junior and the Senior Academy of Country Music and has performed across at large events such as the Gympie Muster, Childers and Lighthouse festivals, and supported country music favourites such as Travis Collins, Adam Harvey, Carter & Carter and Brad Butcher. He worked with producer Matt Fell to create ‘Sold My Soul’, which is a bold, confident work that suggests that Munro shaped his musical identity well before he arrived in the studio, and brings to his audience a work that is ripe for recognition.

Listen on:

Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify

Single launch:

6 March, Oodies Cafe, Bundaberg, Qld



Single and video premiere: ‘Devil’s Drink’ by Camille Trail

CT Devil's Drink_Single_1500pxSinger-songwriter Camille Trail travelled from her home in Central Queensland to play at the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January, and so impressed the audience when she performed with her producer, Shane Nicholson, during his own show that she was offered a record deal with Compass Bros Records. But anyone who’s heard her debut single, ‘Humming Chain’, would not be surprised about that. Trail has been a musician since the age of eight and has dedicated herself to the craft of singing, playing and songwriting since.

Now Trail is releasing another outstanding single, ‘Devil’s Drink’, which has its premiere on this site today ahead of its official release tomorrow, along with the unforgettable video created by The Filmery. ‘Devil’s Drink’ was also produced by Nicholson. Says Trail, ‘I wrote “Devil’s Drink” around the idea of something following you – whether it’s a person or a fear – and no matter what you do, you just can’t shake it off. I struggle with anxiety so this links in with me dealing with the pressures it brings and trying to shake it all off. I hope the song connects because I feel that the message is universal – in one way or another maybe everyone has something they’re trying to outrun.’

The song is taken from Trail’s forthcoming debut album. Nicholson told the audience in Tamworth that Trail is the only artist he’s ever worked with who paid for a recording by selling a couple of bulls. No doubt it was worth it – for him, for Trail, and for the fans she is steadily gathering.

See Camille Trail live:

Friday 28 February – Red Lion Hotel – Rockhampton, QLD
Saturday 29 February – Red Lion Hotel – Rockhampton, QLD
Saturday 7 March – Red Lion Hotel – Rockhampton, QLD
Friday 27 March – Red Lion Hotel – Rockhampton, QLD
Saturday 28 March – Red Lion Hotel – Rockhampton, QLD
Sunday 29 March – Bushfire Fundraiser – Commercial Hotel – Biloela, QLD
Saturday 4 April – The Milk Factory – Brisbane, QLD (w/ Allison Forbes)
Friday 14 August – Great Keppel Island Hideaway – The Keppels, QLD
Saturday 15 August – Great Keppel Island Hideaway – The Keppels, QLD

Single release: ‘Broken Mind’ by Kate Hindle

unnamed-5West Australian singer-songwriter Kate Hindle is a graduate of the Junior and Senior Academy of Country Music, and a finalist in the 2016 Toyota Star Maker competition. She has shared stages with renowned country music artists such as Lee Kernaghan, Beccy Cole, Adam Harvey and Jayne Denham.

Hindle has released two singles, ‘Heart Bleed’ and ‘One Step Away’. Her latest is ‘Broken Mind’, an exploration of grief and pain in the wake of a relationship breakdown. Hindle’s voice is captivating, and adept at handling the story in this song, which at the start sounds as if it’s collection of sweet memories and quickly becomes something much darker, before light emerges in the way Hindle is singing: with strength and courage.

‘Broken Mind’ is out now through Social Family Records.

Listen on:

Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify

Album review: Bonedigger by Allison Forbes

34f3fe9da082416ba22216ffef685ceeAllison Forbes is well known to anyone who has been visiting the Tamworth Country Music Festival in recent years. Not only is Forbes one of the artists who plays at least once a day throughout the festival, she also organises shows that bring emerging artists, in particular, to audiences. Her distinctive voice is recognisable instantly, the sort of voice that gets described as ‘powerhouse’ because she’s such a strong singer – but Forbes’s new album, Bonedigger, also demonstrates just how complex it is. Forbes can belt it out, and that would be the easy thing to do on each and every song.

Perhaps it would even be easier for some listeners, because it might hold us at one remove from the honesty and emotion of the lyrics. But Forbes is far too honest a performer for that. These songs are about her, and she finds the right way to deliver them to us each and every time, and that means bringing us sadness and disappointment – and sometimes admonishment – where appropriate. Forbes has brought her whole self to this project, and in order to appreciate it we have to bring our whole selves too. The rewards for that are plentiful, though: the light and the dark of this album, and Forbes’s willingness to explore it all, is part of what makes it so interesting.

Bonedigger was produced by Shane Nicholson, of whom Forbes has said, ‘I’ve been around but I never had confidence in my music at all and Shane turned
that around for me and gave me belief … He understood the songs
so well and his musical genius is incredible. He could hear things in the song that I
couldn’t even hear.’ One of Nicholson’s great talents as a producer is in identifying what is great about the individual he is working with and bringing that out – in the case of Forbes, it is letting her not just be herself but encouraging her to be that completely. No editing of story or emotion to suit a notion of what a song should sound like. The result is an album that is a portrait of an artist in detail, rather than broad strokes. It’s a wonderful piece of work.

Listen on:

Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify

Buy direct from the artist:



Single release: ‘Pearl Shell Buttons’ by Rob Hirst and Jay O’Shea

1W0A8789While Rob Hirst and Jay O’Shea are about to release their first album together, each will be familiar to Australian audiences. Jay O’Shea is one half of the country music duo O’Shea (with husband Mark), who have had such great success in the US and here; Hirst is a member of legendary Australian band Midnight Oil. The pair first collaborated on a song in 2016 and have now released the first single from that forthcoming album.

The album is called The Lost and the Found and the single is ‘Pearl Shell Buttons’, a Wild West kind of song that makes the most of the blend of the two artists’ voices. If you’ve ever seen O’Shea sing live you’ll know how incredible her voice is, and while Hirst’s has quite a different timbre its presence makes this song almost a novel within the structure of a song – the dual narratives give it richness and intrigue. And there is almost a novel in Hirst and O’Shea’s story: Hirst is O’Shea’s birth father, something she found out in adulthood. Given how accomplished both are as musicians, a collaboration is not a surprise – but there was no guarantee it would turn out to be as successful as it is. The first fruit of that collaboration can be heard in ‘Pearl Shell Buttons’, with the album to follow on 28 February.



Listen on:

Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify

Preorder the album:

Album review: Open by Tanya Ryan

4PAN1TListening to any song, or collection of them, there’s usually one thing that stands out straightaway. In the case of Canadian singer-songwriter Tanya Ryan and her new album, Open, it’s her voice. Not just because it’s technically so good but because it’s strong and warm, inviting the listener into her songs while also letting you know that she’s going to make sure you’ll enjoy the experience. Authority is not a quality that is often ascribed to voices, but it’s an important one: it’s the quality that tells the listener they’re in really good hands, and it stems from an artist being confident not just in that voice but in their songs.

Ryan has good reason to be confident in the songs on this album. Stylistically they cover country rock, and pop, ballads and uptempo tracks. Lyrically Ryan examines different types of love: romantic, maternal, as well as love of self, and of ambitious pursuits. Ryan handles the range of styles and moods with that aforementioned authority and also with great tenderness. It’s the care taken by an artist who wants to do the best by the audience as well as by the songs.

Ryan has been developing these skills for quite some time. Originally from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, she wrote her first song at age seven, and kept singing, songwriting, and playing various instruments before moving to the Alberta Foothills. Once there, she won the Calgary Stampede’s Nashville North Star Contest in 2012 and was one of six artists chosen for the Canadian Country Music Association’s 2014 Discovery Program. That amount of dedication and experience to her craft is evident in these songs, some of which are gloriously uplifting and some of which will break your heart, in the best way (and in the case of the last track, ‘My Heart Song’, it’s both). Ryan is prepared to access her own emotions in order to help us access and understand ours – this is one of the roles and responsibilities of an artist, and it’s clear from Open that she takes that seriously, and has produced a seriously good album accordingly.

Listen on:

Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify

Album review: There in the Ochre by Luke O’Shea

91BeZwEOI6L._SS500_If you’ve seen singer-songwriter Luke O’Shea perform you’ll know he’s a very funny man with a good line in dry wit, and self-deprecation where appropriate. You’ll also know he’s able to balance telling funny stories with bringing heartfelt, intelligent songs to his audience. Last year he met his match in Lyn Bowtell, who is not only one of the most majestic performers in Australia, if not the world, but who manages the same balance as O’Shea. It’s therefore no surprise, or mystery, that Bowtell appears on three songs on O’Shea’s new album, There in the Ochre. What is perhaps a surprise is that with a presence as strong as Bowtell’s, the songs are firmly O’Shea’s. That’s because at this stage of his career, five albums in and with Golden Guitars behind him, O’Shea is a force – of nature, for good, however you’d like to phrase it.

There in the Ochre is described as a celebration of Australian history and stories, but it’s also a reckoning. The core of the album is ‘Happy Australia Day’, which features beloved singer-songwriter Kevin Bennett. O’Shea does not resile from the very difficult parts of our history, one of which is the date of the national day. His lyrics are as thoughtful, as always, and they’re also thought provoking. O’Shea is passionate and emotional in his song, and it’s a clue as to the range he explores on the rest of the album. O’Shea’s experience as a teacher no doubt informs how he writes a song like this, but the song is in no way heavy handed  because it comes from the heart and there is fire rather than zealotry behind it. O’Shea is a voice of conscience, and of consciousness.

Fundamentally, this an album about love: for country, for people, for close relationships (‘Firewood’, ‘Last Line on Your List’, ‘Where You Go’), for life. It’s an album about difficulties, too, but love and recognition and acknowledgement are woven through these (‘Coastal Town’, ‘Open Cut’). The outstanding Ashleigh Dallas appears, in addition to Bowtell and Bennett. There’s not a song on here that hasn’t been created with love and care, and it’s something the listener can detect immediately, and even more on repeat listenings, because that love and care is there for us. O’Shea the teacher is also a great communicator, and the best compliment we can pay him is the one he pays us: offering his time and attention, so that we can all be enriched by the experience.

It’s been three years since O’Shea’s last album and he’s clearly spent that time making sure that every single track on this album is worthy of being there. While that makes for an incredibly rich listening experience, that doesn’t meant it’s always easy – O’Shea challenges the listener to examine their own presumptions and expectations about all sorts of things, not just on the scale of our nation but our small, daily interactions with each other. If that means the songs lodge themselves in your head, making you think, making you feel, that won’t be a bad thing – There in the Ochre is a wonderful companion.

Buy the album from the artist:

Listen on:

Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify



Andrew Farriss AM on what makes a ‘Good Momma Bad’

Andrew-Farriss-Good-Momma-BadAt the start of this year Andrew Farriss was preparing to release a new single and play at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Then right in the middle of that festival came the announcement that he’s now Andrew Farriss AM – that is, he’s been made a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the performing arts. And while no one who knows anything about Farriss’s career as a member of and songwriter for INXS, as a producer for other artists and many other music-related roles besides, could dispute that he’s worthy of this honour, when asked about it laughs and says, ‘I was trying to work out at first what the “AM” meant. I thought it might’ve meant “average musician”!’

In all seriousness, though, Farris says, ‘I’m really, really thrilled and happy for my family too. I really dedicate the times and years that I spent running around previously and now. I’m doing the things I’ve done and they put up with me.’

He’s also very pleased ‘to see the other artists who also received that recognition, it was great for them … On a bigger scale it’s great to see Australia recognising its musicians and artists and creative people because in the world we live in today, those sorts of great artistic pursuits tend to travel around the world, especially in the internet era we’re in. So for Aussies to show that they’re proud of their Aussies is good for Australia, in my opinion.’

Continue reading “Andrew Farriss AM on what makes a ‘Good Momma Bad’”

Single release: ‘Everything’s Alright’ by Hello Jane

400x400bbHello Jane is the new project from Brisbane singer-songwriter Madeleine McCaw, born from a desire for simplicity when it comes to all things surrounding her music, from writing to recording and releasing. Simplicity can mean sparse, but in the case of Hello Jane’s debut single, ‘Everything’s Alright’, it means clarity and elegance, of meaning and execution.

‘Everything’s Alright’ is a delightful song, and that’s partly because McCaw has married the meaning of the lyrics with the way they’re delivered – when she sings ‘Everything will be just fine’, you believe her, and you also know that the act of listening to the song will actually help achieve that. Music is medicine, amongst other things, and this song is a tonic.

Listen on:

Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify

Live dates:

21st Feb – Foxy on Coolum (Sunshine Coast)

22nd Feb – Frankie’s Cafe (Woombye)

28th Feb – Studio 188 (Ipswich) – band show

14th March – Miami Marketta (Gold Coast)