So Modern (Foghorn)
Reviewed by John Shand
Pick of the week 17-11-18
You hear the assortment of musical influences remotely, as if they are in the next room. In the foreground is a voice as both a singer and songwriter that sounds like no one else. Perhaps partly it is Ivona? Rose’s Polish background adding a layer of sepia-tinted Euro nostalgia to the folk and pop elements. But, more than that, it is a sense of clarity about how to burrow down to the authenticity of her own songs, so nothing sounds forced, even when they have been quite elaborately arranged and produced (the production being by Rose and Brian Campeau?, with the latter also playing guitar and synthisizers?). The songs are certainly not uniformly strong, but the title track, for instance, grabs you by the throat on the first listening, and sinks into your marrow the more you hear it, the music carrying faint echoes of Kate Bush while the lyrics lament the impact of modern gadgetry on our humanity. The textures are unique, too, with Rose’s piano, autoharp or melodica and Campeau’s? contributions coloured here and there by cello or trumpet, and underpinned by the authoritative and groovy rhythm section of Zoe Hauptmann? and Evan Mannell. JOHN SHAND
Humourous, up-beat, catchy, power/pop/psychedelic/rock … the Melbourne one-man-band The Jimmy C opens a can of earworms that burrow deep and leave you smiling.
The Jimmy C is Jamie Coghill, a self-taught multi-instrumentalist who loves the music of the late 60’s and early 70’s. Some know Jamie as the drummer from Luxedo, Fez Perez and The Devilrock Four, others know him from his own music as The Jimmy C. He records everything at home in his spare room.
Songs For The Species is a humorous collection of songs whose creator says is sonically influenced by Super Furry Animals, The Kinks, Jellyfish, Supergrass, ELO, Pugwash, Beach Boys and The Beatles.
The album opener is Everybody Shits. “Imagine Jellyfish playing your favourite up-beat 70s sitcom theme,” Coghill enthuses. “[It’s] a bouncy pop song reminding us, “It doesn’t matter how cute you are, you still have an asshole.””
Another album highlight is the jangly Foot In My Mouth, “an ode to those of us who never fail to say the wrong thing every time we speak.” Coghill describes the song as, ” a slow plodding rocker with up-beat choruses and a chaotic split personality ending.”
Alt-country meets sunny pop in the harmony-filled “ASAPples”, which rides on some, “silly modern-life influenced lyrics” – the inspiration of texting, emojis and our technology-filled lives.
Born Without A Brain is where the drummer makes fun of drummers. “They’re my people!”, Coghill protests. Power pop guitars, lush Beach Boys harmonies and upbeat vibes makes this track a catchy and enjoyable album standout.
Songs For The Species is out now on Foghorn/MGM.
Watch the video for “Baby Blue Sky” here:
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 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
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.
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.
The Vegas Nerves Playing with Ariane Campbell on October 11th @ Leadbelly
keep up to date with gigs with Vegas Nerves @
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.
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.
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.
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. “
The Vegas Nerves
- New Single from forthcoming album -
A List As Long As Your Arm
The Vegas Nerves are a four-piece band boasting the Latin beats of Alejo Alvarez, the rhythmic bass of Cameron McWilliams, the steadfast guitar of Jürgen Joader and the solid words and voice of Stephen Greenacre. Playing their music around the less salubrious parts of Sydney town.
Did you ever make a wish that only brought you trouble? Did you tell a secret and find out everyone already knows? Well then The Vegas Nerves are the band for you because they know that feeling well. 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.
The Vegas Nerves are releasing their debut album An Act Of Faith in August and are looking forward to getting as many people as humanly possible to hear it. Some fools may confuse telling the truth with pessimism, others know that only honesty can really set you free.
Questions for the frontman Stephen Greenacre
Q. Tell us about the moment you decided to become a singer/writer/band? What did your family/friends have to say about it?
A. I can’t remember ever not wanting to do this but wouldn’t dream of telling my family or friends.
Q.Who are your early influences?
A.Cole Porter and Jilted John.
Q.What is the first record you bought and why?
A.”So” by Peter Gabriel. Why? Because I’m an idiot.
Q.What current/new Artists/Bands inspire you and why?
A.DMAs, Jen Cloher, Just A Number, John Grant, The Arctic Monkeys, Royal Blood.
Q.Tell us a little about your writing process, how does a song come along? What gets you going creatively?
A.I’m always writing in my head which makes travelling by public transport a problem as I’m always getting off in the wrong places. I fall in love about 16 times a day which is good for the creative juices but nothing else.
Checkout the video on the right hand pane
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