Van Walker

VAN WALKER 'SPIRIT WORLD'

I remember every word you said / Or I remember what I misinterpreted / But I remember, how could I forget
Now you're gone, I think I'll lose my mind / Dead and gone, I study evil all the time / I miss you, baby, but I can't bare saying goodbye
So come on in and close the door / Don't stand out in the cold no more / I been waiting oh so long / To have you back where you belong
Close to me, close enough to smell / Close to me, and further from this hell / I love you, baby.... Baby, can't you tell?

 

‘Spirit World’ is the spellbinding lead single from Van Walker’s first solo album in a decade and reminds us once again why he's regarded as one of the finest songwriters in the land by many of his peers and leading critics. From the forthcoming album, "Ghosting", the track is a haunted, mysterious composition - as vulnerable as it is mercurial. Someone is missing someone, and dabbling in the dark arts as a means to bring them back, dead or alive!

The song, like much of the album, is stark and brutally honest, with just bass and fingerstyle acoustic guitar, plus the added spark of Australia's most revered roots musician and no stranger to disturbed folk himself, guitar wizard Jeff Lang, weaving his magic on Dobro between the enchanted lyric of reverie and sorcery. ‘Spirit World’ is released with two B-Side singles ‘Crystal Ball’ and ‘I Gotta Worry’. Check out the video for ‘Spirit World’ below - click on the image.

Purchase ‘Spirit World’ HERE

ABOUT VAN WALKER

Van Walker is a Tasmanian native who's prolific songwriting productivity has seen him described by Rhythms Magazine as “A devoted songwriter…Walker is a much revered, almost cult figure locally.”  Having written over 500 songs across many genres, realising 6 full length albums between 2008 & 2010, a selection of which the Fuse Music Group released in 2012 on the ‘Underneath the Radar’ compilation, prompting Beat Magazine to quip: “If Bob Dylan was born 20 years later and grew up fraternising in Collingwood bars, he would sound like this,” and Mess & Noise to state: "Literary vigour and scathing social commentary, if there is any justice in this world, Underneath the Radar will provoke a radical awareness & appreciation of Van Walker’s songwriting talents."

Since then Walker has been busy touring nationally and internationally, writing and releasing two albums with the power pop outfit The Livingstone Daisies (2013, PBS FM’s Album of the Year) (2014 4.5 Stars The AGE EG) with Liz Stringer, his brother Callan, and Michael Barclay (Paul Kelly), recording ‘Heartbrokers VOL.10’ with Jeff Lang, Ezra Lee & Ash Davies; forming the three piece blues-boogie outfit Goatpiss Gasoline; while also writing and performing as a member of the critically acclaimed Vandemonian Lags stage production.

It’s been a long time, a decade in fact, since Van Walker released an album under his own name.  Thankfully, that’s about to change with the release of "Ghosting", slated for release in August, 2020.  A work of stark beauty and bracingly and sometimes painful honesty, "Ghosting" is a mature cathartic collection of songs welcoming audiences into an intimate, warm-hearted and ultimately redeeming musical journey.

 

‘Spirit world’ Liner Notes:

Words and Music © Van Walker l Van Walker - guitars and vocals l Jeff Lang – Dobro, bass and backing vocals

 

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Lucille

LUCILLE 'Kerikeri'

When will the sky be as blue
As blue as it was then when we were up in Kerikeri

Driving up highway one / Winding road towards the sun / Row of skinny legs across the back /
Leave the road use the beach / Pass sunken cars on nature’s street / Ninety miles of freedom in my eyes

'Kerikeri' (out Feb 7) is the lead single from Melbourne based singer-songwriter Lucille’s upcoming debut LP “Come On, Fly”, which will be released on March 27. 'Kerikeri' is about nostalgia and that magical time in childhood where, even if just for a fleeting moment, things felt whole and full of light-heartedness and wonder.

It’s a country song, but not in the way you may imagine – it is country rhythmically, but the vocals and harmonies are unexpected and don't fit the country mould. Instead, there’s almost a jazz-pop feel to the harmonies, with the organic boot stomping and loose, raw guitar sounds creating a relaxed holiday jam feel. The lyric video for 'Kerikeri' features the imaginative imagery we’ve come to expect from Lucille (see previous singles 'The Killing Season' & 'Best Of Me') and captures the sense of wonder and beauty that her childhood holiday haunt holds in the songwriter’s heart. Check it out below.

 

'Kerikeri' is in Northland, the tip of NZ’s North Island, where the weather is warmer than in Lucille’s childhood home of New Plymouth, and it was her family’s perfect holiday destination. As Lucille explains: "Kerikeri is a bit of a gateway to that whole Northland area. There's Ninety Mile Beach which is a national highway. Anyone can use it as a road. If your car breaks down though, by the time you get back to it, it has probably sunk into the sand. When I was a kid, spotting the sunken cars was part of the fun. In the eighties, breaking down was part of travel…at least my family’s cars. There are lots of mandarin orchards up there. Pipis are clam shellfish that live in the tide zone, at low tide you hunt them by spotting their bubbles and you dig them out, or use a pipi harvester which is basically a suction pipe. They are delicious. You go fishing. You eat the fish fresh that day, on a fire on the beach.”

“All in all it is a paradise and looking back to how I felt as a child it was all sunlight. I'm sure most of us have that special place we can think of. It's like a feeling where over time you feel like your vision has dulled, and you can't see the colours like you saw them back then. There was yellow sand, and blue sky like I can't see it now. That is what it feels like anyway.” 

“I call Australia home, but going to NZ also feels like going home. Everything is very familiar to me every time I go back and I have childhood memories from all over the country. I am a dual NZ/Australian citizen.”  


Liner Notes:

Words and Music © Lucille l Vocals – Lucille | Drums - Jonathan Wright | Bass - Mitch Cairns | Acoustic Guitars - Shannon Bourne, Mitch Cairns | Hammond - Dan Biederman | Backing Vocals - Olivia Nathan, Lucille | Piano - Mitch Cairns | Percussion - Jono Wright, Mitch Cairns, Lucille

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Sara O’Connor

SARA O'CONNOR - 'AIN'T HOME' | 'UPSIDE'

“Dark All Day” is the brand-new album from Sydney singer-songwriter Sara O’Connor. The songs on this eight-track release capture a variety of life experiences and observations of her travels through the Arctic and Antarctic. Once again O’Connor has assembled the impressive co-writing team of Phil Stack (Thirsty Merc) and Terresa Marie Allen, from her EP “Rollin’” that was released earlier this year.

FOCUS TRACKS:
‘Ain’t Home’ (Allen/O’Connor/Stack) – is all about the endless search for feeling connected. After travelling the earth looking for it, Sara has come to realise home is a feeling not a destination. Following her extensive travels and stepping foot on all seven continents looking for where she feels most connected, the songstress is very happy to say that home is definitely here, in Australia and she couldn’t be happier with that! As Sara sings, “sometimes where you start is really where you’re bound”.

‘Upside’ (O’Connor/Stack) – this song was inspired while suffering from road rage one afternoon. Sara remembers muttering words that she wouldn’t want anyone to overhear. This made her think back to when she was a little girl and in a grumpy mood, her Mum would say things like “if the wind changes your face will stay like that” and “turn your frown upside down”. The song is meant to be a fun and uplifting ditty and from the first few bars you can’t help but smile.

The cover artwork for “Dark All Day” was created by Archibald Prize winning artist Wendy Sharpe. Sara, Wendy and her partner Bernard Ollis, met onboard a ship bound for the North Pole. During that journey Wendy and Bernard painted constantly, while Sara stood by in awe, but she was also creating… new music for this album.
Apart from the album artwork there is another magnificent link between Wendy and the album. On the back of the ship one afternoon, Wendy and Sara chatted about what it must be like living in the Arctic during winter when there is 24 hours of darkness. They talked about what it must do to your psyche when it’s dark all day and all night. That moment was the beginning of the title track on the album; ‘Dark All Day’. After that conversation with Wendy, Sara went back to her cabin and wrote the song.

More info about Sara O’Connor:
• A vocalist fronting jazz outfits for 20 years and has performed all over Australia
• Performed at Australian iconic venues including The Enmore Theatre in Sydney, The Tivoli in Brisbane and Melbourne’s Forum Theatre
• Introduced to the genre by her country-loving partner Ben Soutter and to the industry by none other than Melinda Schneider
• Introduced by a mutual musical friend, Melinda took the time to chat long-distance with Sara while at the G’Day USA party in Los Angeles. Sara has high praise for the Golden Guitar winning artist insisting, “I don’t think Melinda realises that she mentored me in that one conversation”.

"DARK ALL DAY" IS OUT NOW | AVAILABLE FROM ALL DIGITAL/STREAMING PLATFORMS

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Brendan McMahon

Brendan McMahon - Only Highs.mp3

BRENDAN MCMAHON 'ONLY HIGHS'

Little darling only highs no more lows
And the hard times - let’s decide that they go
Is this the moment I really hope so
Little darling only highs no more lows

From the delicate opening melody to the searing guitar solo and soaring two-part vocals, ‘Only Highs’ the 2nd single from singer songwriter Brendan McMahon’s forthcoming album "In The Moment", shines. The song tells the story of those moments in a relationship that are powerful enough to alter its course. It’s a heartfelt appeal for starting over and embracing new beginnings. While the initial inspiration was the author’s relationship with his daughter, it’s a song that everyone who has experienced the highs and lows of love and friendship can relate to. Hit below to watch the ‘Only Highs' music video.

 ‘Only Highs’ is the first duet Brendan has ever recorded and features the warm, sweet vocals of Amber Ferraro, who leads Melbourne disco-house band Honey. But it’s not the first time Brendan and Amber have worked together; Amber has provided backing vocals on three of Brendan’s albums. Brendan remembers their time in the studio: “The thought came to me to have Amber sing the lead on one of the lines of the third chorus, she did such an amazing job that I asked if she would sing the whole chorus. Totally a spur of the moment decision that ended up taking the song to a whole new level!”

‘Only Highs’ follows on from first single ‘I Am’ that was released back in May - the alternative country-rock track’s associated video is nearing 8000 views on YouTube. That track found support on ABC Radio’s Saturday Night Country, ABC Country, Good Morning Country, CRN’s Dirt Music and many other outlets around the nation. You can check out the clip for ‘I Am’ here: https://bit.ly/2YBCFrp

Both singles will appear on Brendan’s full-length release “In The Moment” coming in November.

‘Only Highs’ will be available on all major platforms from Tuesday August 13th.

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Laura-Therese Davis

Laura Therese Davis - Rather Live In The Country.mp3

LAURA-THERESE DAVIS WOULD ‘RATHER LIVE IN THE COUNTRY’

For her second single, Laura-Therese Davis proudly admits she’d ‘Rather Live In The Country’. While Laura-Therese grew up in Sydney, she moved to Maclean in the NSW Northern Rivers region in 2015 and she’s never felt more at home. A recent return to the big smoke, purely for career opportunities, has only reinforced this.

The horse-loving singer-songwriter penned ‘Rather Live In The Country’ as a calling back to living on the land. While she’s experienced life in both the city and the country, Laura-Therese believes there’s no better feeling than waking up to a clear sky and a green field with horses. “I have to be in the city a lot for recording and performing but it never feels the same. I literally feel a calling back to the country; I know that’s where I belong”.

The self-taught guitarist who’s been performing since she was just four years old continues, “It’s not always easy to live on the land, so luxury is an analogy for all the mod cons of city vs country living”.

The new single begins with a crisp acoustic guitar to remind us of the simplicity of the country. With a fun, bold, catchy chorus that everyone can sing along to, the upbeat track makes you want to tap your cowboy boots and keep dancing into spring and summer. ‘Rather Live In The Country’ features fellow musician and good friend Mal Eastick - Australia’s premier blues-rock guitarist, who initially found fame in 1970s’ award-winning country-rock band Stars. This is an anthem for all country folk to be proud of where they’re from.

"Champagne and caviar, these things are not for me
Can’t keep a horse in a penthouse, it needs an open field" 

Laura-Therese Davis ‘Rather Live In The Country’, 2018

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Mat Black

Mat Black - Diamond Mine.mp3

Mat Black

Mat Black 'Diamond Mine'

Co-written with Golden Guitar winner Lachlan Bryan, 'Diamond Mine' is the first single from alt-country singer-songwriter Mat Black’s debut LP "Trucker Hats & Heart Attacks". Drawing heavily on a deep connection with Southern Rock and that 'dirt-in-your-ears' sound, the song is a gritty account of the oft-faced disappointments associated with the music world.

"I blew in late last night... my heart was heavy and my pockets light."

The opening line of the track conjures images of disappointment and the fact that the singer's chosen path in life is, more often than not, not a lucrative one. The song goes on to list a number of sacrifices that artists make when trying to reach their goals - or find that treasure at the end of all the hard work.

"There must be sixteen different ways to say, that you ain't gonna buy today"

Sometimes all we need is a 'thanks but no thanks' from media, venues, labels, peers.... instead the repeated silences can weigh us down after a while. Yet we head back time and again to the 'Diamond Mine' that is trying to 'make it' in the music industry. Dirty guitars and a screaming harmonica solo punctuate this track, giving it a definite country-rock feel. This is a song for lovers of Neil Young, Steve Earle and Drive-By Truckers.

The single will be released June 29 on all major platforms, with a Melbourne launch show booked in for the same afternoon at The Old Bar, Fitzroy with special guests Duncan Phillips and Katie Bates. Entry is free, music kicks off from 2.30pm.

“Trucker Hats & Heart Attacks” will be released September 13.

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Brendan McMahon

Brendan McMahon - I Am.mp3

BRENDAN MCMAHON 'I AM'

When you listen to Brendan McMahon’s music you gain a strong sense of the man behind the songs. An inveterate traveller and astute observer, possessed of an enquiring and open mind - these are just some of his personality traits that shine through.

A talented musician and songwriter with over 20 years’ experience, McMahon is not afraid to defy expectation – his music is eclectic, adventurous and blessed with a ‘limitless fluidity’. Having visited over 50 unique and varied countries over the last decade, McMahon’s travel experiences; specifically his observations of history, cultures, people, architecture and nature are at the root of his creativity and songwriting. These themes feature prominently throughout his upcoming LP "In The Moment", due for release in late 2019.

‘I Am’, the first single from ‘In The Moment’ serves as a fitting introduction if you haven’t come across Brendan McMahon previously. This alternative country rock track (out May 28) was ignited from a childhood memory of a failed attempt to run away from the safety and warmth of his childhood home – complete with Huckleberry Finn style pack on a stick - “on my way to a brand new life, nothing to hold me, I just might take a chance” – the adventure might have been thwarted by the cold, dark, windy, rainy night beyond his bedroom window but the urge to travel and explore had been well and truly lit.

Check out the video for ‘I Am’ HERE

‘I Am’ will be available on all major platforms from Tuesday 28th May.

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Jade Gibson

Jade Gibson - Start Again.mp3

JADE GIBSON 'START AGAIN'

1st single, ‘The Great Unknown’ debuted at #1 on iTunes Country Top Songs chart
‘The Great Unknown’ single debuted at #31 on iTunes Overall chart
“The Great Unknown” EP released on Friday April 12th
“The Great Unknown” EP debuted at #2 on iTunes Country Top Songs chart
“The Great Unknown” EP debuted at #10 on the iTunes Overall Chart
2nd single ‘Start Again’ at radio today - April 17th, 2019
‘Start Again’ music video now showing on the Country Music Channel WATCH HERE

‘Start Again’ is an autobiographical track about a personal relationship. Written with good friend Taylor Foley in September 2018 while Jade was living in Nashville, post break-up. A tearjerker, expressing a desperate feeling of not wanting to move on and instead feeling a spark and wanting to start again. A personal favourite as it's one of Jade's most honest songs to date.

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Arun O’Connor

Arun O'Connor - Following The Line.mp3

ARUN O'CONNOR 'FOLLOWING THE LINE'

NEW ZEALAND GOLD GUITAR WINNER RELEASES DEBUT SINGLE

Hailing from Invercargill, near the southern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, Arun (pronounced Aaron) O’Connor was born into a musical family. The youngest of four brothers who have all followed in dad’s drumming footsteps, he instead deciding on the guitar, for his musical weapon of choice. Dad played for many celebrated local acts including NZ icon Tom Sharplin.

The singer-songwriter has been playing in bands since he was 15 years old and by the end of 2016, was working in music full-time, despite initially pursuing a career in the automotive trade. When Arun isn’t working on his own music you can find him fulfilling guitar duties for some of New Zealand’s finest, most notably often-dubbed ‘Queen Of Country’ Jody Direen – including a recent tour of their homeland and Australia.

In 2018 Arun seemed to dominate the NZ Gold Guitar Awards – he was awarded in “New Country”, “NZ Song” and “Male Vocal Solo” categories plus the big one, "Overall Senior". Having tried his luck at the NZ prestigious awards a few times before it was Arun’s performance of Chris Stapleton’s ‘Tennessee Whiskey’ that snared the big trophy haul. Arun insists choosing this particular song was no-brainer for him, "I just love it, Chris Stapleton sings it like it's an old country song but makes it new”. This philosophy can be heard in Arun’s original music.

In September that same year, as part of the awards’ prize package, Arun travelled to Nashville, TN and recorded his debut single. An original tune, written by the NZ native, ‘Following The Line’ is a song about pursuing what you truly want in life. It is about not doing something because that’s what is expected of you. After observing some friends in rough situations like bad relationships or jobs, who had decided it was the easy option to stay. The song celebrates breaking out of the easy life and doing what you love. Even if that, is the hardest thing to do.

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Sara O’Connor

Sara O'Connor - Sleepwalking.mp3

SARA O’CONNOR ‘SLEEPWALKING’

Sara O’Connor, a new face to Australian country music was introduced to the genre by her country-loving partner Ben Soutter and to the industry by none other than Melinda Schneider. Introduced by a mutual musical friend, Melinda took the time to chat long-distance with Sara while at the G’Day USA party in Los Angeles. Sara has high praise for the Golden Guitar winning artist insisting, “I don’t think Melinda realises that she mentored me in that one conversation”.

Sara has an impressive musical CV – a vocalist fronting jazz outfits for 20 years she has performed all over Australia including at The Enmore Theatre in Sydney, The Tivoli in Brisbane and Melbourne’s Forum Theatre. Covering artists from Billie Holliday to Blondie, Sara was intrigued when her band’s double-bass player suggested she check out the Texan Swing genre. She loved it so much and with the almost-encyclopaedic country music knowledge of partner Ben, Sara made the very comfortable move to country music.

The Sydney based artist has now recorded a four-track EP titled “Rollin’”. Sara’s stories are shared with lyricist, Terresa Marie Allen – the pair met on a ship in Antarctica, where they were helping raise money for "Love Your Sister" – the charity created by actor Sam Johnson. The tracks were then developed by the pair along with Peter Bailey (composer, arranger, producer and active jazz musician) and the EP’s producer Phil Stack (ARIA award winning bass player for Thirsty Merc).

‘Sleepwalking’ the first single from the EP recalls a period in Sara’s life when she was regularly performing across the country in front of huge audiences at casinos and convention centres. The problem was she felt she had fallen into a routine with the act and was creatively uninspired. Sara was performing but it was almost like she was ‘sleepwalking’ through the activity. Realising there are lots of things we all do in life where we feel that way; shopping, attending meetings, feeding the kids, paying the bills etc. Sara appreciated that everyone can relate to this from time to time. Hence the chorus “I’m upright, I’m talking, but I’m only sleepwalking”.

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