Single release: ‘Speechless’ by Kora Naughton

unnamed-6.jpgLast year singer-songwriter Kora Naughton released her debut album at the age of eighteen. This year she has completed high school – and managed to create another album, working with producers Rod Motby and Shane Nicholson. Naughton has now released ‘Speechless’, the first single from that new album. It’s a song about writing a song – which is not as ‘meta’ as it sounds. Rather, it’s a song about the work of songwriting and an insight to the creative process, married with an infectious country pop sound.

Says Naughton of the song’s creation, ‘I was sitting around in my lounge room and I had this melody that I really wanted to use stuck in my head but I had a bit of writers’ block, so as a joke, I literally wrote about having a catchy tune and a melody and no words to go with it and it ended up being the first verse!’

Given Naughton’s work rate, it’s no surprise that her writers’ block lasted only long enough to inspire her to write a song … and ‘Speechless’ is not only a great song but an upbeat tune for the summer months.

Listen on:

Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify

See Kora Naughton live:

Sat 21st Dec – Woonona Bulli RSL, Wollongong NSW 8:30PM
Sun 22nd Dec – Appin Hotel, Appin NSW 2PM
Sat 18th Jan – Imperial Brew House Red Door Cafe, Tamworth NSW 10AM
Mon 20th Jan – Songwriters In The Round, Services Club, Tamworth NSW 9AM
Mon 20th Jan – Rebel Country Showcase The Albert Hotel, Tamworth NSW 5PM
(with Darlinghurst, Chloe Styler, D Henry Fenton & Zac and George)
Mon 20th Jan – Imperial Brew House Red Door Cafe, Tamworth NSW 6PM
Tues 21st Jan – Hungry Jacks Stage, Tamworth NSW 1PM
Tues 21st Jan – James Blundell & Friends, Moonshiners, Tamworth NSW 7PM
(with Andrew Farriss, Catherine Britt, Andrew Swift, Kristy Cox, Chloe Styler, Darlinghurst & more)
Wed 22nd Jan – The Atrium, Tamworth NSW 2PM
Wed 22nd Jan – Imperial Brew House Red Door Cafe, Tamworth NSW 7:30PM
Thurs 23rd Jan – Ben Ransom & Friends, Wests Diggers, Tamworth NSW 7PM
Fri 24th Jan – The Atrium, Tamworth NSW 2PM
Fri 24th Jan – Hungry Jacks Stage, Tamworth NSW 5:30PM
Fri 31st Jan – Dandaloo Hotel, Dapto NSW 8PM

Single premiere: ‘Blue Light’ by August River Band

Single Artwork 2.jpgSometimes when you hear a really driving, punchy drum beat you do not expect to hear a violin right alongside it and weaving in and out of it, making it sound as though they should never be apart. Add a guitar track that enhances both of those instruments and you have August River Band, a three-piece band from Brisbane consisting of Eev Ferreira, Lil Burrows, and Gerard Kerr.

Their new single, ‘Blue Light’ – which has its premiere on this site today ahead of general release tomorrow – is a reflection on the contemporary habit of spending far more time looking at a screen than at each other. Lead singer Eev Ferreira implores us to look up from the blue light of that screen and connect with others. It’s a love song not to a person but to human connection, a plea, in some ways, to not forget that we’re not machines.

Drummer Gerard Kerr is a veteran performer from Brisbane bands such as RadioStomp and Snatch, while Ferreira and vioinist Lil Burrows are both South African expats. Burrows performed as a violinist in the South African National Youth Orchestra and played with several artists whilst moving around Australia, finding Eev once settled in Brisbane. As August River Band they have distinctive, powerful sound that has already won over audiences in their home town and at festivals around the country.

Listen on:

Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify


Single release: ‘Polka Dot Dress’ by Katie Bates

unnamed-5.jpgKatie Bates is a Melbourne-based singer-songwriter who is twenty years of age and has been performing live for over a decade and writing songs from the age of eleven – which explains why this may be a single from a debut album (forthcoming) but sounds like a sophisticated piece of music and lyric.

Bates is inspired by the music of the classic and alternative country artists from the 1960s and 70s, and she has found a home in Melbourne’s dynamic alt-country/Americana scene, performing as a backing vocalist and occasional opening act for artists such as Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes and Ben Mastwyk, as well as opening for Andrew Swift, Kristen Lee Morris, Tracy McNeil and Suzannah Espie.

‘Polka Dot Dress’ is sultry, intriguing and provocative, with a sound that turns satisfyingly, defiantly snarling, evoking another of Bates’s influences: PJ Harvey. The song was produced by Lachlan Bryan and Damian Cafarella and features Patrick Wilson from Georgia State Line on drums, Tom Brooks on guitar and Cafarella on bass.

The song is available from Social Family Records.

Listen on:
Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify

Single release: ‘I Still Close My Eyes (and See Your Face)’ by Brooke Taylor

std_30465.jpgBrooke Taylor is a singer, songwriter and guitarist from Melbourne whose style has influences from folk, rock and country. Over the past few months she’s played shows and festivals around Australia, including St Kilda Music Festival, Adelaide Fringe Festival, The Taste Of Tassie and Swagger Music Festival. In 2017 she released her debut EP Two and in 2018 the single ‘Your Side of Our Bed’.

Taylor’s latest release is the single ‘I Still Close My Eyes (and See Your Face)’ and, in short, it’s a cracker. Taylor has a beautiful deep tone to her voice that conveys warmth as well as hard-won wisdom, and the longing and loss in this song are completely plausible because you can hear them in that voice. What’s also plausible is a sense of picking herself up and carrying on, acknowledging that loss and learning to live with it.

Musically this is one for those who love classic country that sounds like it’s being sung in a dark bar to that one person in the corner who really needs to hear it. Taylor has the gift   of communication and she uses it so well in this song.

Taylor will launch the single on Friday 15 November at the Fyrefly in St Kilda, Melbourne, with support from Hana and Jessie-Lee’s Bad Habits.

Listen on:

Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify


Christie Lamb talks about her new album, Broken Lines

Broken Lines Christie Lamb.jpgSydney-based singer-songwriter Christie Lamb has been busy for most of this year, playing with Lee Kernaghan on his Backroad Nation tour. But she’s found time to write and record an outstanding new album, Broken Lines, her third.

The title song is serious in tone, but the album embraces a range of moods and experiences.

Lamb says the song was chosen to go first because it ‘was one of those songs that built in intensity and I thought, Let’s ease everyone in with something, but I still wanted an uptempo track to kick in and get everyone excited about the album. And this song has both those elements. It starts off nice and cruisey and then it kicks in by the chorus. And it’s also the song that kind of sums up the whole album – it’s about this journey that this girl is on. She’s following those broken lines. And I think if you’re looking through all the tracks on the album, there’s definitely a journey of heartbreak and love and loss of a loved one. And the party tracks … It definitely encompasses a whole journey.’

After the first listen it’s clear that the songs on the album form a cycle, with the first three songs quite reflective, giving the impression that Lamb – or the songs’ narrators – have gone through quite a bit in order to get to the place where they can be more upbeat. The fourth track is previous single ‘Hot Hot Kiss’, and its placement suggests that Lamb has gotten through the muck to get to the fun. Lamb agrees that the sense of a song cycle is there on purpose.

‘I’ve had this album eighteen months in the making and it’s finally out. And then I had my own revelations that I didn’t even realise that I did, with ‘Fix This Broken Heart’ being track six and it’s all about the heartbreak and trying to heal. And then I thought, Oh, track seven’s kind of the answer to that. How do you get over heartbreak? Oh, let’s just move on and not waste any more time. Just do it in five minutes. And I didn’t even realise that I did that. So it was interesting finding all these little quirks that I happened to do with the track listing. But yes, this album has definitely got that flow. It’s got that set-up of here’s a few things that I’ve gone through, but let’s not dwell on it and let’s have some fun.’

Continue reading “Christie Lamb talks about her new album, Broken Lines”

The McClymonts have an acoustic end to the year

37841033_10155962005964751_5077388051022.jpgThe McClymonts are one of the most popular acts in Australian country music, and for longtime fans like me the reasons why are many, and consistent, but they can be distilled to this: they excel in the studio and on stage. This year they started their live appearances with an acoustic show at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, where they played the biggest room in town, the TRECC, and filled the space with their incredible harmonies. And hearing those harmonies was a powerful motivation for creating the show in the first place and now continuing in the same vein with their One Acoustic Night tour, with dates below:

15 November            Mulgrave, VIC                    Village Green Hotel

16 November            Wonthaggi, VIC                 Workmens Club

29 November            Dubbo, NSW                       Dubbo RSL Memorial Club

30 November            Wentworthville, NSW     Wenty Leagues Club

6 December               Young, NSW                       Young Services Club

7 December               Bargo, NSW                        Bargo Sports Club

Continue reading “The McClymonts have an acoustic end to the year”

November playlist

Continuing a new tradition, this is my November Spotify playlist featuring recent single releases plus a handful of not exactly golden oldies but slightly older songs that are worth bringing to your attention. Track listing below.

Darlinghurst – ‘So Long So Long’

Cassidy Rae – ‘Throwback’

Sophia Chesworth – ‘One Way Ticket’

Andy Golledge – ‘Run to the River’

Archie Roach – ‘Tell Me Why’

El Cosgrove – ‘Honey’

Tanya Ransom – ‘Armour’

Mama Kin Spender – ‘What’s Wrong with Me?’

Kimberley Bowden – ‘Can’t Stop Livin’ It’

Taylor Moss – ‘Let Me Be’

Jeff Gibson – ‘Hole in My Heart’

Fanny Lumsden – ‘Peed in the Pool’

Lyn Bowtell – ‘Beautiful Liar’

The McClymonts – ‘This Ain’t Over’

Hayley Marsten – ‘Red Wine, White Dress’

Troy Cassar-Daley – ‘Getaway Car’

Kasey Chambers – ‘Southern Kind of Life’