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Big Merino – Black Cockatoos Single and Video

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Big Merino – New Single – Black Cockatoos

The second single to be lifted from the current Surburban Wildlife album (MGM) is called Black Cockatoos. Released in a 3-track format, the lead song is accompanied by another album track “Sometimes” as well as a brand new, previously unreleased tune “A Day Without You” held over from the album sessions earlier this year.

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The stunning brand new video for “Black Cockatoos”(see pics)  shot by Director Alan Harca will be launched at the Black Cockatoos Launch at Django Bar Camelot on December 2, following a warm up show Sunday November 11 at the Botany View Hotel, Newtown.(this weekend)

For a sneak peak of the ‘look’ of the forthcoming video here’s the completed clip for B Side ‘Sometimes’ shot in the same space

Just click here or image below

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Formed a little over two years ago, Big Merino play original songs that blur the lines between rock, country, blues, roots, soul, funk and grunge, while occasionally making forays into lesser known genres such as New Orleans 2nd Line.

Citing their major influences as Glen Hansard, The Frames, Jackson Browne and The Rolling Stones, songwriters Alex Craig and Stuart Davis write socially and politically-charged songs that are sometimes gentle and nostalgic and at other times nothing less than a fierce cry for revolution.

Lead singer/guitarist Stuart Davis cut his teeth singing Gospel with Tony Backhouse in Cafe at the Gates of Salvation, and brings that soulful Gospel feel to everything he does. He is joined by Alex Craig on guitar, Peter Richardson on bass and Colin Sevitt on drums.

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The Suburban Wildlife album was recorded by Russell Pilling over three weeks at Damien Gerard Studios. Russell also remixed “Black Cockatoos” specially for this single release, adding some timpani tracks that weren’t on the album mix.

The album features guest performances from some of the cream of Australia’s musical talent including-
Living legend James Greening on trombone, souzaphone, euphonium, trombone, trumpet, flugelhorn and pocket cornet (the main feature of previously unreleased song ‘A Day Without You”)
Jonathan Zwartz - Double Bass
Johnny G - from Johnny G and the E-Types on piano, organ and accordion
Jess Ciampa - Australia’s most sought after percussionist
Michel Rose - pedal steel (The Catholics) and
finally a string quartet from the Sydney Chamber Orchestra. 

See TheMusic studio sessions article here. 

“Great songs, great songwriting and the best of it full of a real sincerity and commitment.”
Michael Smith – Rhythms

“‘Sometimes’ with its soaring backing vocals is one of the most powerful rock songs I’ve heard in many years. ‘Black Cockatoos’ with the string quartet and a brilliant guitar work by Alex Craig is destined to become an Australian classic.”

BIG MERINO
Black Cockatoos Single
Official Release All Digital Platforms via MGM
November 2 2018

Click below to download or stream.

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Jessie May Kitchen – NEW SINGLE “Teen Love”

Hot on the heels of her sparkling debut, “Coffee Shop”, comes Jessie May Kitchen’s second single, “Teen Love.” A jangly guitar-driven pop song, it’s a sweet ode to all the uncertainties in the early days of teenage romance.

The 17 year old singer-songwriter says her new single, “goes through the emotions of our day by day, week by week, forbidden puppy love. It is written about the previous relationship I was in, when the person I was dating wasn’t sure about what they wanted or who they were yet, so it was very confusing for me.”

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Jessie May says she knew very early how much she wanted a life in music: “I wanted to become a singer/songwriter when I was 5 years old. I remember seeing people singing on TV and thinking, “Hey! That’s me!” My parents told me I could be anything I wanted as a young girl, but like most families panicked in my high school years telling me I, “should find a plan B” or go for something, you know, is, “easy, safe or guaranteed money,” So, for a while I was lost and didn’t write for years, until one day in 2016, I realized that I’m happiest in songwriting and singing; that this is who I’m supposed to be. So, I picked up a guitar and was me again. My parents are much more supportive of me now that I’m older.
And even if it’s not the ‘safest’ road to travel, it sure is the sunniest.”

A new video for “Teen Love” is in production right now and will be released soon.

In the meantime, check out her previous video “Coffee Shop”(which premiered on Scenstr earlier this year) as well as all the links and release details below! 

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The song has already been added to Mood Media and Soundslikecafe networks and it’s being picked up by community radio stations all around the country.

The new single release features 3 versions of the song – the main track,  an acoustic-only version just like Jessie performs it live and an instrumental.

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Jessie May Kitchen – Teen Love (Foghorn/MGM)
Released October 12 All Digital Platforms

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Tailor Birds NEW ALBUM – Where Will We Go To Break Free From The Crows

Sophie Kinston is Tailor Birds.
Tailor Birds newest album is music that soothes the soul, warms the spirit, and ignites your passion.
Even though the content is 6 songs they are each a 7-10 minute ‘Piece’ forming an album length body of work. Following the success of the previous work ‘Stilts on the Water’ (a single 40 minute piece) this release explores further electro/folk/world territory with more instrumentation such as Piano and Flute added to the already lush soundscape. Recorded in various studios throughout Europe while on tour and mixed and mastered  at Damien Gerard Studios Sydney the sonic quality is exceptional.

In Sophie’s own words, “Tailor Birds combines electronic violin, live looping, foley art, percussion, and rich harmonised vocals, to create a sound like no other. A sound that is all about the vibe and positive energy, building an audience that is as diverse as much as it is one, you could say that Sophie is a traveling troubadour. She believes that music should not just be about playing one gig after another with just the music making an impact, but is also o about connecting people to something good again, in a world that is constantly changing. Music needs to inspire and placing Tailor Birds in a space that can do just that, it makes an impact greater than you could ever imagine.”

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“Faint echoes of Kate Bush here, Enya there  but really like neither and often much spookier”
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Michael Smith – Rhythms Magazine

Tailor Birds’ key influences are Sigur Ros, the Kronos Quartet, Bear’s Den, Chet Faker and more. 
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Tailor Birds is currently touring through Australia.

Friday October 26 – Miama Marketta, Miami QLD

Saturday October 27 – Storytellers Festival, Raymond Terrace, NSW

Saturday November 3 – The Sound Society, Rainforest Green, South Bank Parklands, Brisbane QLD

Sunday November 4 – Peregian Beach Markets, QLD

Saturday November 17 – Cooran Acoustic Night,  Cooran QLD

Tune into these radio stations this week to hear Sophie talk about her new album and the tour.  Click the station logos to listen live via their websites!

 BAY FM 99.9 Byron Bay – Arts Canvass show at 9am this Thursday November 1

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4ZZZ Melbourne – Goldilocks Folk show at 6pm this Saturday November 3

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Listen to the new Tailor Birds album at your favourite music site:

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Gareth Koch and Peter Bonner Hit Note Of Success

With their debut release Don’t Tempt Me coming out last month on Planet/MGM, this new Tasmanian Duo have been pleasantly surprised to find a warm welcome for their collaborative effort.
Both Local and National interviews from the ABC to Commercial and Community Radio have been ongoing as well as a noteworthy piece in the local newspaper.

“From the opening verse of their title track, Don’t Tempt Me, the seamless mix of Koch’s classical guitar and Bonner’s pop-rock vocal delivery manages to give listeners a glimpse into a songwriting partnership that takes in hundreds of years worth of influences.”
The Launceston Examiner (full article)

Community Radio Syndicated Show Aussie Music Weekly  were quick to jump on the case interviewing the guys for a forthcoming broadcast and featuring the EP in their new release section.

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Hear the interview

The Don’t Tempt Me EP has also been sent out to over 1000 Aussie Cafes via cafe music network Soundslikecafe and found an immediate popular fit with enough cafes to achieve a number 1 on their featured album charts.

Not a bad start for what started out as a side project!

The Tasmanian-based songwriting team of Gareth Koch and Peter Bonner draws inspiration from medieval music to post-modern psychedelia, with every imaginable influence in between.? Bonner and Koch have a strong and immediately recognisable musical identity, a new sound and aesthetic that comes with a fluid movement across genres. The result is an array of catchy pop tunes, soulful ballads, blues grooves and rock songs.

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Gareth: “Mine is an unusual musical trajectory. I play in the Australian Guitar Trio and also in a hard rock band. So these two audiences are quite different. One is there to listen, the other is there to dance and sort of listen! The songwriting partnership with Pete Bonner is a separate project again. A great creative outlet for me, a chance to allow a flow of ideas to take form without the need to ‘tailor’ in a specific way.”

Peter: “I think a crowd can expect a diverse music experience with rock, blues, classical, folk and pop flavours. I love a wide range for genres from the heavy rock sounds of Jethro Tull, the jazz/funk of Steely Dan, the country ballads of James Taylor through to the country/rock influences of Bonnie Raitt.”

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GARETH KOCH + PETER BONNER – DON’T TEMPT ME was expertly mixed at Damien Gerard Studios Sydney and superbly mastered by Grammy Award winning Wiliam Bowden. It is out now on Planet/MGM.

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John Kennedy Releases Second Best (Greatest Bits Vol 2)

A second “best of” compilation featuring key album tracks from 8 albums. 

Released on Foghorn Records October 2018.  

Distributed by MGM. Available on CD and digital. 

Released in 2001, John Kennedy’s Inner West album brought together the early vinyl singles and album selections from his bands JFK and the Cuban Crisis, Love Gone Wrong and the Honeymooners. That was his first “best of” collection. So, that makes this Kennedy’s Second Best of.  

Since the heady days in the 1980’s, topping the Australian independent music charts, Kennedy has released a number of albums on various labels in Europe and Australia. Whether it was lack of promotion or distribution, or his audience simply moving on that was the cause, those albums went largely unnoticed. Even those who have followed his music probably wouldn’t have known they existed. 

Now, with this Second Best compilation release, the key tracks from those albums are collected to show that the beat did indeed go on. It serves the purpose of giving these songs a new lease of life and hopefully points people back to those lost albums. 

An enthusiastic young music journalist once described John Kennedy as a humble genius. Kennedy is neither a genius nor particularly humble. The Sydney musician is the writer and performer of many fine songs, some of which have found a place in the hearts of music fans of the golden era of Australian independent music. 

Kennedy started his music career in Brisbane in the early ‘80’s with his band JFK and the Cuban Crisis. He moved to Sydney and after establishing itself on the indie music scene the band broke up leaving Kennedy to follow a solo career with his band vehicle, John Kennedy’s Love Gone Wrong. Despite numerous indie hits, commercial crossover proved to be elusive leading to his decision to leave Australia. Kennedy spent the ‘90’s living and playing music in Berlin, Hong Kong and London before returning to Sydney’s Inner West in 2000. He formed a new band, John Kennedy’s 68 Comeback Special and continues to perform and produce independent releases. 

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Launch show at the Petersham Bowling Club, 77 Brighton St, Petersham NSW 

From 8pm on Friday 19 October 

With guest support act, Terry Serio And The Half Truths 

Presales tickets available via Oztix$15 plus booking fee. 

Tickets to launch show: https://tickets.oztix.com.au/outlet/event/f357a005-2a7d-4c54-be68-57ad002036a6?Event=93934 

Or tickets at the door. 

(Shows in Melbourne in November and in Brisbane in December.) 

For more launch  information email: ellavis@yahoo.com.au 

 

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Diana Anaid – The Leaving Town Tour

Diana Anaid’s Leaving Home tour, presented by TheMusic, is now underway and the remaining dates are:

Nov Fri 2nd Nimbin, Nimbin Bush Theatre, NSWw/ Hannah & Cash, 7pm-9pm $10 https://nimbinbushtheatre.com/events

Nov Sat 3rd Bellingen, #5 Church StNSW 7.15-9pm $20 Tickets at the venue.

Nov Fri 9th-11th Airlie Beach, Airlie Beach Music Festival, QLD (Diana Anaid set 3pm Friday 9th) http://www.airliebeachfestivalofmusic.com.au/

Nov Thurs 15th Sydney, The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW w/Maxine E Kay 7-10.40pm $15 http://www.brassmonkley.com.au/

Nov Fri 16th Canberra, Smiths Alternative, ACT w/ Heya Gosper, 10pm-12 $15 Tickets at the venue

Nov Sat 17th Healesville Music Festival, VIC 3pm Uniting Church Womens Concert(solo unplugged) and 7pm main stage Monda Muse(duo) $90 https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=340366&

Dec Sat 8th, Brisbane, The Milk Factory, QLD w/Brendan the Bard and Candice Long  7.30-11pm Tickets at the venue

Diana Anaid

Her single, Leaving Town is the third track from the My Queen album and has a fantastic video to accompany it.

Click on the video link below to check it out at The Music website, or  you can also watch it at hellothematic.com.

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 Diana says, “The heartfelt music video by Northern Rivers artist Kerry Negus further highlights the emotive and courageous lyrical content of the album, focusing this time on climate change, the drought, corporate greed and personal inner peace. I am so humbled by the amazing creatives who have thrown their weight behind the new My Queen release, helping to make it one of my defining albums, emboldening and bolstering my personal and creative growth and inner strength.”

Leaving Town/My Queen Producer Steve James says,
“I’ve got a short list of 10 from the hundreds of records I have worked on, including The Screaming Jets, Monty Python, The Rutles, Toyah Wilcox, Weta, The Rumjacks and now My Queen has been added to that list. I would compare her to Alanis Morissette or Fiona Apple , more the attitude than the vocals.”

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The Leaving Town Single is OUT NOW on All Digital Platforms via MGM and features 3 intimate Acoustic Bonus Tracks “Better Girl”, “Into Your Heart”, “Leaving The Country” recorded earlier this year live in the studio for an Aussie Music Weekly Radio Special.

The Single is also available on CD as part of the current My Queen Full Length CD LP available at all good music stores.
Co-written with longtime guitarist Nathan Correy, produced and mixed by Aria Award-winning Steve James and mastered at Metropolis London, the album has earned high praise such as,
“Anaid’s luscious and rich vocals are tones for the soul. The excellent production and mastering makes this record stand out from the crowd.” (FVReviews August 2018)

“A gorgeous mixture of pop, indie rock, blues and folk…A timeless classic. My Queen possesses an intense array of color to it, proving Diana to be a master storyteller.” (Beach Sloth 2018)

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Fiona Joy (Hawkins) – New Album – Story of Ghosts

Fiona Joy (Hawkins) – New Album – Story of Ghosts

Having won many awards for her two previous solo piano albums, Fiona is destined to do the same with Story of Ghosts.

Fiona’s third solo piano album takes her fans on her journey of the past year of her life as she deals with a harrowing year in 2017 and makes no attempts to sugarcoat the emotional’s. The year included many friends and family members getting seriously sick, dying or going insane.!!

She bares it all over the course of these mostly grey-toned melancholy and vulnerable pieces, that draw on her classical background and impressionistic modern yet melodic composition.
‘There is a little madness in the music I write, it only pops out of the calmness momentarily, but enough to know that there is uncertainty in everything we hear, feel and experience. It’s much more classical and very connected to my roots” says Fiona .

“There’s a lot of emotion in it, that part was challenging. But when I get feedback from my fans that I’m touching their lives, and in some way making a difference, that makes it worthwhile.”
She uses the piano to weave interconnected tales with similar motifs – She opens the album with the uplifting and just whimsical enough “Song for Dunnie,” which she wrote for the funeral of Annette (Dunnie) Crossley, one of her best friends and business partner in her company Little Hartley Music. The lushly flowing piece represents a life full of vibrant brightness, good humour and joy.
“Story of Angels” moody hypnosis that leads to attempts to dance and then sudden dream-dashing stops into “Story of Ghosts” the deepest tale is told by the third story song. The contemplative “Story of Insanity” which alternates shards of light and night in a romp of anger tempered by gentle understanding. “Contemplating (Solo) which find Fiona deep in thought, seeking answers in the high notes as tension builds. “Blue Dream” whose high and low dynamics indicate mood swings that shift on a dime during crises. “The White Light” perhaps a place between worlds where high and low notes battle it out for our mortal hearts.
Fiona ‘s  choice to work with producer Cookie Marenco reflects Fiona’s appreciation for high quality audio. “Even CD quality is unsatisfying when you’ve heard DSD or SACD, especially when played on a high-end system” says Fiona.
Fans of FLOW, the recently launched hit new age group featuring Fiona, Will Ackerman, Lawrence Blatt and Jeff Oster, will recognise the closing track “Before the Light” as the beautifully rendered foundation of “Arrival,” the opening track on FLOW’s self-titled debut. In the FLOW version, the darker edges of the piece get subsumed into a lighter hearted grooving vibe. Here it’s allowed to flourish in the shadows, exploring the heavy mysteries of life’s pain that occur before the healing – and wondering along the way if it will ever come.

Fiona recalls asking Ackerman once “What would happen if I ever got happy? Would the creativity dry up?” – since she’s built her artistry and fan base on her incredible musical embrace of sadness.
“No, Fiona, you will just start writing happier music.” He said, surprised at the answer “Maybe down the road, I’ll make a few happy songs”.

But for now, especially on Story of Ghosts we can enjoy the musical beauty and grace that she shares while working through the obstacles to make peace with the sorrow life has thrown her.

 

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The Vegas Nerves – New Video Premiere on Scenestr – An Act of Faith

The Vegas Nerves Debut Album “An Act of Faith”

Update!; Vegas Nerves are on Air on Triple M 104.9 FM nationally at HOMEGROWN 8-10PM SUNDAY

Drops 3/8/18 and the title track and New Video Premieres on Scenestr. Today August 1

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After the success of their Single/ Video release “A List As Long As Your Arm” on the 5 of June. There are only good things coming to this Sydney based band, playing their music around the less salubrious parts of Sydney town.

They also have a radio interview lined up with Aussie Music Weekly playing on the air at the end of August.

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About; Did you ever make a wish that only brought you trouble? Well then here are the band for you because they know that feeling well. Did you tell a secret and find out everyone already knows? Then let The Vegas Nerves talk you down because they understand. Their work has been compared to a consultation with a psychiatrist who could well be crazier than you are. They can’t make too many promises but if you come out of your safe spaces you could learn something new. You might remember how to celebrate both the sublime and the ridiculous in the everyday and avoid listening to bores who are afraid and offended by their own shadows.

Upcoming shows:

The Vegas Nerves Playing with Ariane Campbell (also recorded at Damien Gerard Studios) Album Launch “TH/EF SHOT TO THE HEART” on the August 9th @ The Valve Bar Sydney 

The Vegas Nerves Playing with Ariane Campbell  on October 11th @ Leadbelly

keep up to date with gigs with Vegas Nerves @

(https://www.thevegasnerves.com/gigs)

(https://www.facebook.com/pg/The-Vegas-Nerves-1139475662785359/events/?ref=page_internal)

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Ivona Rose -New Album Review from Bernard Zuel

Ivona Rose

Update – 

Following her successful launch at Django bar in September Ivona now has a fine review from renown music journalist Bernard Zuel

Ivan is now planning some local shows on Sydney’s Central Coast – Stay Tuned.

About –

Raw, evocative, honest and uncompromisingly unique. Dreamy, eccentric melody marries poetic song writing and something brave is born. Hand carved like insignia on pavement, her tales of suburban life are as being lead through an enchanted garden, by a haunting hymn.

 Ivona  has just released her debut album “So Modern”.

The record has already garnered early Airplay on ABC Local and 2ser, and will be launched at Django bar September 13.

Produced with Brian Campeau at “The Plex” recording studio, it is a collection of 10 carefully selected and crafted songs. Featuring Zoe Hauptmann on Bass (Paul Kelly, Missy Higgins, King Curly), Evan Mannell on Drums (Sarah Belkner, The Alcohotlicks, Self Titled Artist), Emily Palethorpe on Cello (Sarah Blasko, Accent Strings), Casey Nicholson on Trumpet (Ngarukuruwala, The NEO, The Boom Band Krewe) and Brian Campeau on Guitars and Synth (Self Titled Artist, The Green Mohair Suits, Jimmy Swouse and the Angry Darts).  

Central Coast based Ivona Rose migrated to Australia, from Krakow Poland. Her passion for music arts was born at a primary school age.

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Whilst honing her craft as a singer songwriter, she has performed in Sydney, Melbourne & Regional NSW as part of Peats Ridge Music Festival, Tamworth Country Music Festival, Wharf 2 Loud at the Sydney Theatre Company and has performed at various venues, where there is a call for live acoustic music.

In 2006 she independently produced and released “SheHeIYouMeWe” her debut EP. It enjoyed strong CD  sales and air play on Sydney based, FBi Radio, 2SER, Bondi FM and local Melbourne radio stations.

In 2012 she won Songs on Stage Songwriters and Performers award, the prize money of which, helped her get back into studio and record the single “Hoopla”.  2013 she was finalist in Music Oz Awards Singer Songwriter category for the song and top 100 of the People’s Choice across all genre’s in the country. 

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QnA

Tell us about the moment you decided to become a singer? What did your family/friends have to say about it? 

For as long as I can remember I was writing poetry, singing and playing instruments. It was a natural progression that this nascent self expression would amount to a body of work that I am proud to share. My family and friends have aways been encouraging and supportive, saying I offer a very unique voice and musical quality, that is hard to pigeonhole.

What is the first record you bought and why?

It was Joni Mitchell “Hits and Misses” and it was a tape. Purchased to learn every word by heart. 

Favourite artists of all time?

I have to say Bjork. It’s a hard question to answer and it doesn’t necessarily mean that my music is in the same genre or that I am aiming for a pop sphere but the truth is own all her albums, admire her creativity and boldness and when I feel that I’m just a bit too weird for the word, I take solace in Bjork.

Fave food or drink and is there a story associated with that?

My favourite food is Pierogi because I am Polish but as I am gluten intolerant, so only allow the indulgence every now and then. 

You are backstage with Nick Cave what do you say?

 I say “My great ambition as a songwriter is to collaborate a duet with you. It would be an incredible murder story to sit alongside “Henry Lee” and “Where The Wild Roses Grow”. (I think I need to work on my approach here!) 

 “So Modern” the Title Track to the album

“If we live our lives as an avatar of ourselves, what are we giving up of our true self to uphold that image and where do we go from there as a society?” (Ivona Rose) So Modern questions the impact of technology, how we are using it and what we are losing as a society in the process. A dance between Autoharp, Guitar and Zoe Hauptmann’s expert Double Bass licks, take us to a time reminiscent of 60’s Go Go. “

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Jessie May Kitchen – QnA with Foghorn

Jessie May Kitchen is a 17 year old singer/songwriter who just released her debut single “Coffee Shop,” We got a chance to chat with Jessie about her start in the music industry and the new single.

Make sure to check out her self-produced video for “Coffee Shop” here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=HP_AUQL74F8

“I describe myself as confidently clumsy, confidently messy, confidently goofy, and confidently dreaming. I’ve never fit in with the crowd. I take this as a gift from life as uniqueness is good. Those adjectives are the best ways I can describe myself. I’m confidently clumsy. All ways have been – I can trip over air, knock and spill things like a champ! i’m confidently goofy – making other smile with my loud, silliness, and crazy shenanigans. I’m confidently messy – life’s too short to be perfect. My closet has three options. Clothes stained with dirt, stained with food, or stained with paint. I’m confidently dreaming – always. You can never dream too big or have too much imagination. I’ve been told my whole life I’ve got my ‘head int he clouds,’ people don’t realize that’s where you fly,” – Jessie May Kitchen

 

QnA with Jessie May Kitchen

Foghorn Records: Tell us about the moment you decided to become a singer/writer. What did your family have to say?
Jessie May Kitchen: I wanted to become a singer/songwriter when I was 5 years old. I remember seeign people singing on TV and thinking “Hey! That’s me,” My parents told me I could be anything I wanted as a young girl, but like most families panicked in my high school years telling me I “should find a plan B” or go for something, you know, is “easy, safe, or guaranteed money,” So, for a while i was lost and didn’t write for years. Until one day in 2016, I realized that I’m happiest in song writing and singing; that this is who I’m supposed to be. So, I picked up a guitar and was me again. My parents are much more supportive of me now that I’m older. And even if it’s not the “safest” road to travel, it sure is the sunniest.
FR: What inspired you to become an artist and whoa re your early influences?
JMK: I can’t remember a time that something had made me think, “ya know what? Let’s be an artist!” I always just was. I’ve forever created to express myself and because I love it. I did watch a lot of musical shows when I was small, such as The Wiggles, H.R Puff n Stuff, The Naked Brothers Band, and Hannah Montana, so I feel that probably influenced Younger Me.
FR: Tell us a little about your writing process. How does a song come along? What gets you going creatively?
JMK: I usually write songs about how I feel or my thoughts about life at the time. A good song comes from the heart. Sometimes I’ll be venting out a whole song. Other times I’ll be out and about busy when a lyric will come to be, so I crawl it down on a notepad or write it in my phone to put in a song later. I also write songs that are stories I’ve made up. I see or hear something I like then let my imagination run wild.
FR: Your bio mentions growing up in a split family. Tell us what went on there.
JMK: I grew up in a truggling split family: when my parents were together they would abuse each other drunk. My father’s an alcoholic and my mother’s a party girl. They would bash each other up, leaving blood on the wall and police at our door frequently. They split up when I was 9. Me and my mum has a rough relationship. We got into fist fights because I was a troubled child and missed my dad, so one day she dropped me off at his house to live. Living with my dad for 7 years wasn’t a piece of cake because of his alcoholism. My dad tried his best to look after me, he is a good parent enslaved by his addiction. Some nights I had to look after him as if he were a moody cild, other nights he would get abusive. At 16, I got tired of it and repaired my relationship with my mother to move in and help my other siblings. My oldest sister by then had also become a bit of an alcoholic, her depression alongside our parents’ genes caused her to lash out violently when drunk. This eventually led to me calling the police after she threatened to murder me, and I believed her as we’ve had very violent arguments in the past. The police put an AVO against her for a year. We have recently resolved our conflict and repaired our relationship. Still struggling, my siblings and I, often let on our own, help pay for groceries with the money they get in their part time jobs, whilst I busk in the small-town streets with my guitar and the songs I write for money. The hardships and challenges I’ve had to face can give the wrong impression, I love my family no matter what and appreciate all the positive things they have done for me. I wouldn’t trade places with anyone ever, despite how wild we are. It’s just the luck of the draw, some people are sheltered and some aren’t.
FR: What is the first record you bought and why?
JMK: My first record was the Spongebob Squarepants Soundtrack I bought at 9 years old because I was a big fan of the show. I still am!
FR: What current Australian acts inspire you and why? What international acts?
JMK: I’m really into Russel Morris as an Australian artist because I feel like I really connect with his music. The uplifting music he plays often brightens your mood. Having the power to change the way someone feels through music is real magic to me. As for internationally, I’ve always been inspired by Miley Cyrus because she used her platform to speak up about society’s issues and fights for change. I also admire how she puts 100% of her energy into her shows and spreads the message of acceptance through her music.
FR: Tell us a little bit about your music and what a crowd can expect at a live show?
JMK: My music fits into the pop rock, rootsy, indie categories. It’s a way I express myself through lyrics and melodies. Each song has its own message or story to tell. My songs, to me, are my ultimate way of being myself. My live shows include positive energy, because performing’s all about the entertainer and audience collectively having a good time. And honesty because a lot of my songs have my authentic emotions and thoughts put into them.
FR: Favourite artists of all time?
JMK: Bob Dylan is a favourite singer/songwriter I’m highly enthusiastic about, because the lyrics to his songs are so wise. The first time I listened to Blowing in the Wind I fell in love with his music. He is a true artist and poet, expressing his understandings on the world around him through the medium of song. Cat Stevens has always written amazing songs that I grew up listening to. He’ll always have a special place in my heart because I’d practice singing to Moon Shadow and Father and Son when I was quite young. Bob Seger is another of my favourite artists. I’m a big fan of his music. i listen to him on long road trips or early morning to start the day right.
FR:  Favourite film? Book? Place? Animal or pet and story is there is one?
JMK: My favourite film ever is The Greatest Showman because it’s inspiration, uplighting, and optimistic. It stand for everything I believe in, such as unity, the thrill of putting on a show, and celebrating differences. Plus, the soundtrack’s amazing! My favourite book series would be The Blood of Eden Trilogy by Julia Kagawa, it’s about a post-apocalyptic world overrun by vampires. My favourite place is high in a tree. I’ve always loved climbing trees because it makes me feel closer to nature and it’s nice to be up high, away from everything and everyone for a little while. Climbing is the closest thing humans have to flying. My favourite animals are bumble bees because they are cute, fluffy, yellow, and make me honey (which I drink in my cuppa tea every day).
FR:  Favourite food or drink?
JMK:  My favourite food is pancakes because they were the first thing I’d learnt to make as a 10 year old. They are so simple to make. I used to eat them at elast every day during school holidays whilst my dad was at work. They taste so good! Spread some butter, sprinkle some sugar and you’re in heaven! My favourite drink is tea. I can’t go a day without it! It warms your soul. The stronger the better. I double bag, even quadruple bag it. I first had a cuppa tea when I was 5 or 6 years old. It was at my next-door neighbour’s house. My little sister would waddle over there daily as a toddler by herself. A nice old lady with dementia, called Vi, lived next door and would let her in. If we couldn’t find Toot we knew she’d gone to visit Vi. I was sent to go fetch her back, when I got there they were drinking tea and having toast for breakfast. She offered me some and I loved it. Vi having dementia meant we would drink quite a LOT of tea at her house. You’d finish a pot and she’d forget we’d ever had any, so she’d ask, and to be cheeky we’d say we hadn’t to get more tea. Drinking teas probably somewhere in my blood anyway. My grandmother’s from Ireland – the number one tea drinking capital, and my dad’s from England – which comes a close second.
FR: You’re backstage with Miley Cyrus. What do you say?
JMK: “Hi! Oh my gosh, no way! NO. WAY. I’ve always been a MASSIVE fan of yours. Thank you so much for everything you’ve ever done. You and your music helped me growing up. Sorry if I’m over excited and too much of a fangirl, I just want you to know you have such a kind soul and help so many people in so many ways,”
FR: What’s the one thing you want/need that you think will make you a successful artists and why?
JMK: I want people to connect to my music. I’d love to attract my tribe of people because I feel we’d be a pretty fun, whacky bunch. I don’t feel I need anything to be a successful artist. The way I see it – there’s public eye successful which yes would be nice, or there’s success of the heart. Your success as an artist can’t be measured by anything or anyone else. THere’s no secret goals and lines you have to cross to become successful. As long as I can make others happy and create songs that I’m passionate about then I’m already successful.

 

JMK Pic 1

 

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