Perth trio The Holy Smoke is made up of highly accomplished individuals: Rose Parker has toured extensively throughout Australia, USA and Canada as one half of the Velvet Janes, supporting artists including Arlo Guthrie, Ani DiFranco, Luka Bloom and The Black Sorrows; Delilah Rose is a 2018 WAM Award nominee, 2019 ISC Songwriting Comp nominee and 2019 WA Country Music Award winner, and Karlee Rae is a top graduate from WAAPA, is in her 20th year of vocal and piano coaching, has toured internationally and recorded multiple albums and EPs.
Together, these artists create beautiful harmonies – as contained in their latest single, ‘Cross That River’. The song is, says Delilah Rose, ‘about putting down our screens and tuning into the people and nature around you. Let’s relish in this moment because
all we ever truly have is right now.’ It is a toe-tapping, uplifting song to carry you into the weekend – and if you’re in Perth and would like to experience the joys of The Holy Smoke in person, you can do that on 18 May at Golden Days at Freo Social.
Listen to ‘Cross That River’ on:
Apple Music | iTunes
Singer-songwriter Jasmin Bade hails from Melbourne but after graduating from The
Conservatorium of Music at The University of Tasmania she moved to Nashville in 2018, having dreamt of doing just that since she was six years old.
‘I’m Fine’ may be Bade’s first release but her musical education isn’t hard to detect: she has a warm, well-developed voice (and great enunciation) and the song has a tight country-pop structure with a clear message. The song’s title comes from the protagonist insisting ‘I’m fine, I’m fine’, even when she’s not. Bade says that she hopes the song allows listeners to feel that they aren’t alone in their emotions and that mental health is a topic that needs to be discussed.
Listen to ‘I’m Fine’ on:
Apple Music | iTunes | Soundcloud | Spotify
Victorian singer-songwriter Simon Imrei has been a touring member for several bands, including Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes, and last year released his sophomore album The Sum of Scenes to great acclaim. His new single, ‘Stand Still’, is taken from a forthcoming EP. The first thing to say about it is that it is oh, so easy to listen to – and that is a very enthusiastic compliment. When a song is easy to listen to it invariably means that its creator and everyone who’s had their hands on it, including the singer, the musicians, the producer and sound engineer, have wanted to make sure that the listener has a great experience. But that intention starts with the creator, who, in this case, is also the singer.
‘Stand Still’ is a song about heading down the coast with someone, living out of an old suitcase and, basically, taking the time to stand still. The execution of the song reflects the meaning of the lyrics – it feels laidback, almost cosy, like an invitation to be still. That’s no doubt why it’s so easy to keep it playing in a loop – each listen perpetuates those feelings.
Listen to ‘Stand Still’ on:
Apple Music | iTunes | Soundcloud | Spotify
Imrei will be launching the single with his acoustic band at the Merri Creek Tavern in Melbourne’s Northcote on Saturday 18 May, with special guests Louie & The Pride. Tickets are on sale now from the venue website: www.merricreektavern.com.au
It has been noted elsewhere on this website that singer-songwriter Fanny Lumsden has many strings to her proverbial bow. She also has a few accolades to acknowledge her prowess with said bow: her latest (second) album Real Class Act debuted at number 1 on the ARIA Country chart (the only independent release to do so in 2017); it was the AIR Independent Country Album of the Year 2018, nominated for ARIA Country Album of the Year, 4 Golden Guitars and 3 CMC Awards.
One of those strings is that Lumsden – and her partner in art and life, Dan Stanley Freeman – make videos for her songs, and they do this so well that the video for ‘Elastic Waistband‘, a single from Real Class Act, won a Golden Guitar. Now Lumsden and Freeman have produced a worthy successor, and a great piece of entertainment in its own right, with the creation of a clip for Lumsden’s latest single, ‘Pretty Little Fools’. Filmed at the local pool in Ungarie, New South Wales, the video documents a small-town rivalry in the form of a synchronised swimming competition. And that description makes it sound altogether too serious, so you’ll have to watch it for yourself:
Later in the year Lumsden and her band will embark on one of her renowned Country Halls Tours – the dates are too numerous to list here but you can find them on her website.
Apple Music | Artist’s website | iTunes | Spotify
The website of South Australian singer-songwriter Kelly Brouhaha states that she ‘spends most of the year around a campfire, travelling in her 1992 Toyota Hiace Van called ‘Pamela Vanderson’. That last piece of information is a clue: namely, it reveals that Brouhaha has a well-developed sense of humour and language. The mention of a campfire is also a clue, because it relates to Brouhaha’s work, which involves a lot of travelling the country playing music, sometimes in the company of Beccy Cole and Libby O’Donovan, and that experience, and Brouhaha’s way with words, leads to the creation of a cracking good song in the form of her new single, ‘40,000 Star Hotel’. The 40 000 stars of the title are not from the Michelin guide but the southern sky, and this robust, appealing song gives us a sense of Brouhaha’s life on the road. It was co-written with Aleyce Simmonds and produced by Shane Nicholson.
This is the first single from Brouhaha’s forthcoming self-titled album, which will be released in June. You can pre-order the album from the artist at www.kellybrouhaha.com.au
Listen to ‘40,000 Star Hotel’ on:
Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify
June 7 Cooee Arthouse, Aldinga
June 8 The Wheaty, Adelaide
June 12 Pistol Pete’s, Geelong
June 15 The Old Church On The Hill, Bendigo
June 16 The Wesley Anne, Melbourne
June 26 Lizotte’s, Newcastle
June 28 The Manly Fig, Sydney
June 30 Flow Bar, Old Bar
July 6 The Junk Bar, Brisbane
July 27 Sol Bar, Maroochydoore
There’s a strong lineage of what might be called ‘Australiana’ songs that are high on sentiment and full of nationally recognisable details, including The Seekers’ ‘I Am Australian’ and the recent ‘Our Backyard’ by Amber Lawrence and Travis Collins. (Despite its title, Peter Allen’s ‘I Still Call Australia Home’ isn’t one of these because it’s about his longing for home rather than being a song about Australia.)
Acclaimed singer-songwriter Matt Scullion has created a wonderful addition to this lineage with ‘Aussie As’, with the video making its premiere here today. Scullion – who also writes songs with other Australian country music artists – has a contemporary vision of what constitutes being ‘Aussie as’ that is as much about our cultural diversity as it is about other, longer-lasting Australianisms. His crisp songwriting – done in tandem with Paul Grierson of Simply Bushed – brings recognisable elements such as nippers on the beach and a footy on the roof into the context of an Australian culture that is changing just as its population does.
Watch the video below:
The song was recorded by Shane Nicholson with the extraordinary Lyn Bowtell on backing vocals. No doubt ‘Aussie As’ will find many fans who will cherish it – and some of those fans will discover the song when Scullion plays it live, as he will do on the following dates:
Sunday 12th May – Edgeworth Bowling Club – Newcastle – NSW
Thursday 16th May – Wickham Park Hotel – Newcastle – NSW
Friday 17th May – Harmonie German Club – Canberra – ACT (w/ Drew McAlister)
Saturday 18th May – Tourist Hotel – Queanbeyan – ACT
Wednesday 5th June – The Scullion Sessions – Stag & Hunter Hotel – Newcastle – NSW
Saturday 8th June – Smoke in Broke – McNamara Park – Broke – NSW
Wednesday 3rd July – The Scullion Sessions – Stag & Hunter Hotel – Newcastle – NSW
Saturday 13th July – Hats Off To Country Music Festival – Tamworth – NSW
Australian politics have been bloody over the past few years – if not literally, then almost. That, no doubt, is why ‘The Killing Season’ was chosen as the title of an ABC TV series documenting the last ALP government. That series, in turn, has provided the inspiration for a single of the same name by Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Lucille.
In this bluesy, swampy, swirling tune Lucille captures the mood of those killing-season politics – particularly apt as Australians head for a federal election on 18 May. There is intrigue in this song – in Lucille’s voice, the music and the lyrics – that suggests that there is far more to discover from this artist, and that it will be very, very interesting when it arrives.
Lucille was born in Berlin and raised in Germany, the UK, New Zealand and Australia, and on folk, gospel and classical music. Lucille and her three siblings would sing, play instruments and perform songs in four-part harmonies – which is why this single, although a debut, does not at all sound like the work of a beginner.
Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify