Tag Archives: album

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Gareth Koch Releases New Album ‘Ghost Stories’

In ‘Ghost Stories’, Gareth Koch creates an ethereal sound world, blending the aesthetic nuances of medieval chant with rock psychedelia. The mood of the album is defined by chiming cathedral-like textures, as if the monks themselves are playing guitars, percussion & lyres.

This record could perhaps be described as prog-rock, yet it effortlessly manages to be much more than that. The listener will discover the album’s unique identity & subtle references to music past & present. This is a refreshingly new recording which deftly sidesteps easy characterisation.

‘Ghost Stories’ could be seen as an evolution of Gareth’s duo albums ‘Songs From Another Life’ with Steve Kilbey , and ‘Music in the Afterlife’ with Martin Kennedy. While the previous albums might serve to shed light on the preoccupations of this one, it is very much a standalone & distinctive creation.

The titles & ambience of ‘Ghost Stories’ guide us on an otherworldy journey. We are led variously through imagined states of being to experience Catacombs, Unblessed Spirits, Longing & Redemption via this shimmering & beautifully crafted recording.

Recorded in and inspired by the mystery and wilderness of Tasmania.

Song Descriptions
Redemption
The first track from the album is uptempo and has a fully formed rhythm section underpinning the many layered trademark guitars. By no means his usual classical/world offering, although some elements remain. This song has a more rock orientation featuring electric guitars and big drums.

Old Church
A melodic and hypnotising bass line underpins this modern instrumental rock track. The drums are powerful and help to drive the tune along, while layered guitars and keys keep the interest even without vocals. His lead guitars offer a crisis section to the song before resolving into a fine outro section.

Dance Of The Unblessed Spirits
Another short and sweet frenetic full band instrumental rock piece with plenty of breakdowns that remind the listener of his classical roots. A fascinating piece of music by a master of his craft at the top of his game.

Benedictine
The title evokes a monkish, monastic vibe and from the beginning you can hear this in the piece. It’s not rock, it’s not classical but it is certainly superb instrumental guitar. This tune is a break from the first few on the album, dispensing with drums and sticking with guitars.

About Gareth Koch
Gareth Koch is an ARIA Award winning multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, guitar soloist, composer & songwriter.  He has recorded a sizeable repertory across multiple genres spanning works for classical guitar, flamenco, original compositions, arrangements, medieval projects, rock & songwriting. He has appeared at major festivals within Australia, Europe, Asia and North America.

Born in Milan, Gareth began his musical studies on piano and clarinet, and at age 12 was accepted into the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He received his Bachelor of Music degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music before winning  scholarships for advanced guitar study at The Royal Madrid Conservatorium & the Vienna Academy of Music. He holds a PhD in Music & has lectured in music across Australian & European universities.

In 2002 Gareth formed the first guitar supergroup with Karin Schaupp & The Grigoryan Brothers, Slava & Leonard.  Saffire – The Australian Guitar Quartet soared to #1 on the Classical Music Charts and even featured on ARIA  pop charts. The quartet released a total of 3 best-selling albums & was Australia’s biggest selling classical act for several years.

Gareth is involved with many cross genre projects & has released a succession of collaborative albums with Martin Kennedy & with ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Steve Kilbey (The Church). His recent release ‘The Guitar Player’ received a coveted 5 star review from The Sydney Morning Herald. Gareth’s current output has a strong rock bias with classical overtones & his writing is increasingly focussed on the ethereal nature of music.

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Reviews for Jack Nolan’s Album ‘Jindabyne’

Jack Nolan Released and Launched his New Album ‘Jindabyne’ earlier this month and
now the Reviews are in – here are a selection of some standouts and the links.
Recorded to tape in Nashville and with players like this theres no wonder folks are raving about it.
Producer guitarist Justin Weaver (The Chicks/Wynonna Judd), drummer Jimmy Paxson (Lindsey Buckingham/The Chicks/Ben Harper) and bassist Chris Autry (Josh Turner/Lee Anne Womack).

“As I’m listening through Jindabyne, I’m taken aback. It’s such a solid, mature, full-bodied album of unflinchingly well-written songs. He’s not fucking around.”
Coyote Music

“Perhaps the delay worked in Jindabyne’s favor as it’s rare to hear such a coherent and complete collection. It’s Jack Nolan’s finest moment yet.”
Curious For Music

[About the last track ‘All The Ships In The Ocean’]
“This one is also reflective of the recent pandemic…At one point he asks the question, “What’s a nation?/Does anyone know?” When the world gets all weird, some of the questions that, at one time would have had easy answers, start to get overly complicated.”

Skype Magazine

  ““Jindabyne” has a quiet grandeur, with Jack Nolan’s robust and assured voice telling tales from lives lived most fully.”
Beach Sloth

“As a true purveyor of Americana, Jack stays true to the staples of roots music while also taking the genre to a fresher perspective with his Aussie twist. Named after the New South Wales town of the same name, “JINDABYNE” feels familiar, yet nostalgic, as it truly bridges two distant sides of the world, as if there was no ocean between them!”
Ghost Blog

The Album
Jack Nolan’s JINDABYNE, released August 4

The same band assembled again to record, with no backing tracks, all but live to tape – and why wouldn’t you

The album’s title is lifted from the ever so sweet ‘Solo Sailor’ that lets us in on a journey. Other highlights include, the up-tempo ‘She Knew’ where nothing’s perfect, but she knew he loved her, and her knowing that will have to do for now, and the timeless finger picker, ‘All The Ships In The Ocean’.

Two years of stolen liberties has only hardened Jack’s resolve, to remain forever suspicious of rule makers and even more dedicated to his ongoing contribution to art, to song writing. JINDABYNE is a record for this year, where we are all staggering on after two years of madness, and we have all arrived back to that place we had drifted too far from, the simple things, love and reality, family, and community.

Based in Sydney, Australia, singer songwriter Jack Nolan has been performing and releasing music and albums since the mid 1990’s. Along with a six-album solo catalogue Jack also fronted The Kelly Gang, with Rick Grossman, bassist for The Divinyls and Hoodoo Gurus along with Midnight Oil drummer Rob Hirst and guitar player Martin Rotsey. Their 2004 album Looking for the Sun is still considered a hidden gem, with an incredible line-up of musicians that delivered passionate and energetic live shows of the time.

Within Nolan’s music, mysterious and shimmering chords unite his sound. Once quaintly described as ‘Darlinghurst Country’ his sound unites elements of folk, country, rock ‘n’ roll and ambient atmospheres fusing Nolan’s passion for intensely charged electric guitar and finger-picked acoustic guitar.

Of recent years, the critically acclaimed 2018 album ‘Our Waverley Star’ was followed by the equally impressive 2020 outing ‘Gabriel’. It was these two outings that cemented Nolan’s love of recording in Nashville, with guitarist/producer Justin Weaver (Dixie Chicks/Wynonna Judd). What started with a one-off phone call, developed into an alliance that Nolan describes as “arriving in town, in the northern winter, when everyone’s off the road, with my swag of songs to greet all the boys again to collaborate”.

Performing in & around the traps Jack’s Australian band includes Travis New (Andrew Farris/Imogen Clark) on guitar, Tim Samson (Christine Anu/Andrew Farris) on bass and long time drummer & Hamish Stuart (Don Walker/Ian Moss et al).

Jindabyne album is OUT NOW
Quay Records

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Jack Nolan Releases Album ‘Jindabyne’

Following his successful Album launch at The Clovelly Bowlo last night (August 3) the long delayed(see below) full length LP is now Out Today(August 4)

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Jack Nolan’s JINDABYNE, was so frustratingly delayed by that virus. This is an album that waited in the wings while lockdowns and rules ran their course. “March 2020 the world was turned on its axis and we all went into lockdown –suddenly there were no certainties in life; this created a sense of urgency in me, so I made a conscious decision not to waste the time and went to work writing JINDABYNE. As soon as I could post lockdown, I was booked and took off back to the US.”

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The same band assembled again to record, with no backing tracks, all but live to tape – and why wouldn’t you with personnel like producer guitarist Justin Weaver (The Chicks/Wynonna Judd), drummer Jimmy Paxson (Lindsey Buckingham/The Chicks/Ben Harper) and bassist Chris Autry (Josh Turner/Lee Anne Womack).

The album’s title is lifted from the ever so sweet ‘Solo Sailor’ that lets us in on a journey. Other highlights include, the up-tempo ‘She Knew’ where nothing’s perfect, but she knew he loved her, and her knowing that will have to do for now, and the timeless finger picker, ‘All The Ships In The Ocean’.

Two years of stolen liberties has only hardened Jack’s resolve, to remain forever suspicious of rule makers and even more dedicated to his ongoing contribution to art, to song writing. JINDABYNE is a record for this year, where we are all staggering on after two years of madness, and we have all arrived back to that place we had drifted too far from, the simple things, love and reality, family, and community.

Based in Sydney, Australia, singer songwriter Jack Nolan has been performing and releasing music and albums since the mid 1990’s. Along with a six-album solo catalogue Jack also fronted The Kelly Gang, with Rick Grossman, bassist for The Divinyls and Hoodoo Gurus along with Midnight Oil drummer Rob Hirst and guitar player Martin Rotsey. Their 2004 album Looking for the Sun is still considered a hidden gem, with an incredible line-up of musicians that delivered passionate and energetic live shows of the time.

Within Nolan’s music, mysterious and shimmering chords unite his sound. Once quaintly described as ‘Darlinghurst Country’ his sound unites elements of folk, country, rock ‘n’ roll and ambient atmospheres fusing Nolan’s passion for intensely charged electric guitar and finger-picked acoustic guitar.

Of recent years, the critically acclaimed 2018 album ‘Our Waverley Star’ was followed by the equally impressive 2020 outing ‘Gabriel’. It was these two outings that cemented Nolan’s love of recording in Nashville, with guitarist/producer Justin Weaver (Dixie Chicks/Wynonna Judd). What started with a one-off phone call, developed into an alliance that Nolan describes as “arriving in town, in the northern winter, when everyone’s off the road, with my swag of songs to greet all the boys again to collaborate”.

Performing in & around the traps Jack’s Australian band includes Travis New (Andrew Farris/Imogen Clark) on guitar, Tim Samson (Christine Anu/Andrew Farris) on bass and long time drummer & Hamish Stuart (Don Walker/Ian Moss et al).

Jindabyne album is OUT NOW
Quay Records

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Jessie-May K Releases Album ‘Rising Sun’

Jessie explains below how this first full length album is a triumph over childhood hardship – 

Since escaping, recovering and healing from some childhood traumas, I’m finally experiencing a life where I’m free to live & not just survive. My whole world has opened up! The sun has finally shone through, I can explore people and places freely and breathe life in! Something I never had the chance to do as a child.

The first 18 years of my life were focused on surviving constant anxiety. It bubbled in my chest and body, it was like I hadn’t a second to take a breath. After escaping this situation, my brain and body shut down for a year like never before. My mental health had never been worse. The physicality of my depression & trauma hit me like a tonne of bricks. My mind and body were completely and rightfully exhausted.

I’ve grown the most, tried the most and felt the most free than ever in my life. I’ve met friends who have shown me levels of kindness and support I’d never experienced before and who help me remember life is worth living. I’m at a stage in my life where I’m younger now, a phoenix, regenerated, a Rising Sun. I’m still eclectic as a creator, but with this album I feel like I’ve really found my sound and one that expresses who I am inside.

There are so many people I couldn’t have made this album without! Artists I’ve collaborated with such as Brandon Macmillan, Jordan Ellery and the extraordinarily talented Dave Hunt. My wonderful sound engineers who do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to these projects: Andrew Beck, Olivia RA, Murray Dilger & Russell Pilling and my Vocal Coach Joanne McMahon.

Jessie-May K is a young Singer, Songwriter, Director, Actor & Artist. Most successful as an internet personality, Jessie has released four singles and a collection of episodic works that accompanied their 5 track EP Zone Out (2020).

Originally trained in Musical Theatre, Jessie transferred to music when they were 16, teaching themselves guitar from YouTube to elevate their musical career, as they had been writing songs with lyrics and melody since they were 5 years old.

Jessie is passionate about social justice and activism, often releasing music about movements that are important to them, raising awareness and sharing donation links in the hopes it will make a difference. Jessie is Neurodivergent and was born with ASD, ADHD, OCD and developed PTSD as a result of their early hardships and extreme childhood trauma. Jessie believes that the world thrives on diversity and that benign individuality is something to be celebrated and not feared.

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Kalen Hogan Releases Debut Album ‘Isolation’

17-year-old Central Coast local, Kalen Hogan, releases his debut album ‘Isolation’.

Recorded at Damien Gerard Studios with producer Andrew Beck and Kayne Butler on drums, the album highlights this young musician’s talent for creating catchy melodies. Still in his last year at school the album has a youthful appeal. The thoughtful and sometimes melancholy lyrics highlight Kalen’s sensitivity to everyday events and life’s universal themes.

From the initial single born from the pandemic lockdowns, the songs transition through: relationships left behind; feeling alienated or lost; realising the finite time you have with those you love; and understanding your outlook is only relevant to your perspective.

The album ‘Isolation’ was initially created in a time of forced introspective thinking. Skilfully, the tracks are matched with some soul-searching guitar solos that echo the intensity of the lyrics.  Tracks like ‘Beliefs’ and ‘Not Even A Friend’ are songs that fight back with some big drums and up beat spicy guitar chords.

The dissonant harmonies and chord progressions on the album are a subtle nod to Kalen’s respect for the 1990’s Seattle Grunge scene. The album is alternative rock and with the purposeful lack of heavy distortion, the sound stays true to its indie roots.

Song Descriptions

It’s You

Kalen’s signature acoustic guitar and vocals begin this heartfelt mid-tempo tune which captivates the listener even more as the drums and bass kick in. The Aussie Jeff Buckley we think!!

Be With You

Electric guitar starts this Radiohead-ish tune from Kalen Hogan. The deceptively simple arrangement of guitar, drums and bass mask an excellent and highly coherent piece of song writing. Mid-tempo, hooky and engaging.

 Lost

A happy and more poppy number from Kalen on this mid-tempo tune. Hollow Coves spring to mind on this one and the bouncy rhythm track keeps everything moving along. Kalen’s falsetto comes to the fore on some backing vocals.

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About

Kalen Hogan debuted onto the local Central Coast music scene in late 2022. Having watched his musical uncle write and perform, Kalen started writing his own material at fifteen. Now in his final year of high school, Kalen is proudly launching his debut album ‘Isolation’ in May 2023.

Kalen says he is inspired by the 1990’s grunge movement, with a real reverence for bands like Nirvana, but describes himself as an alternative indie rock singer-songwriter. Kalen sings about the complexities of everyday life, with an open heart and keen observing eye. His pure vocal tone and moderately high pitch may reflect why some tracks have been compared to Thom Yorke from Radiohead and the late Jeff Buckley. Many of Kalen’s lyrical melodies build up to a decent falsetto and although still young, the emotion he brings to each song gives his music a youthful appeal.  Musically, Kalen incorporates a lot of dissonant harmonies into his spicy chord mix and in songs like ‘Be with You’ he produces some sweet but heart-breaking guitar solos.

Currently, Kalen is enjoying finalising a film clip for his recently released single ‘Stoned and Cold’ that previews on this album. Kalen says he enjoys all the creative aspects that come with releasing new music, including designing his singles and album cover.

Kalen has started to play at local venues like the Ocean View Beach Club, Sunken Monkey and Sounds on West, as well as a few private shows. Though focused on finishing Year 12 and showcasing his debut album, Kalen continues to write new material. Towards the end of the year, Kalen plans to start recording, once again at Damien Gerard Studios with producer Andrew Beck, for his 2024 projects.

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Fiona Joy Hawkins and Rebecca Daniel Release Album ‘To The Wind’

Fiona Joy Hawkins and Rebecca Daniel Present New Album
To The Wind

When Fiona and Rebecca flew to the USA from Australia, it was to tour and to record with producer Cookie Marenco. Fiona and Rebecca played to full houses in a series of iconic venues that would add a lustre to any artist resume: Carnegie Hall, Dizzys Jazz Club, The Moss Performing Arts Centre, The Hollywood Piano and topped by a live concert at Echoes for NPR.

With the tour done they moved to the studio. Producer, Cookie Marenco, known for her trademarked pristine recordings to DSD256, was ecstatic with the results. The now critically acclaimed “Heavenly Voices” is a testament to their virtuosity. The time on stage meant their skills were honed to a knife edge and “Heavenly Voices” became a heavenly recording.

‘Rather than stop recording, this duo decided to try something new – compose music on the spot and reimagine songs they had recorded in the past. They brought freshness to older pieces with piano, violin and voices. All recorded in one take, live in the studio,’ says Cookie.

“Heavenly Voices” was released globally in March 2021 with great success. With the world still shut down, Fiona, Rebecca and Cookie agreed that those stunning ‘one take’ sessions should be released. They have become the follow up – “To The Wind”.

Rebecca:
‘Personally, ‘The Void’ and ‘Blue Dream’ are two of my favourites to play. ‘My Hands Were Busy’ was initially going to be on the Lightness of Dark album, but we ran out of time. The song then became an integral part of the concerts, due to its moving and emotional connection with the audience. This collection brings a true “live” experience, presenting a concert performance with a studio quality sound. No tricks, just two musicians in a studio, recreating highlights from their concerts.’

About

Fiona Joy Hawkins is a classically trained pianist and singer inspired by Mendelssohn, Chopin and her Celtic heritage. Her song ‘Grace’ was on a GRAMMY ® winning album in 2014. In 2016, she won two categories of the Independent Music Awards. In Australia, she was an ARIA Finalist & MusicOZ Winner.

Rebecca Daniel studied violin and chamber music with Emanuel Hurwitz and the Amadeus String Quartet at The Royal Academy of Music. She was invited to move to Australia to join The Australian Chamber Orchestra, and was Orchestra Leader for Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera, The Sound of Music & Beauty and the Beast. She has recorded and performed with John Denver, Bread, James Galway and the Chieftains, Will Ackerman, Shirley Bassey, Barbra Streisand, Men at Work and INXS.

Both virtuosos, together Hawkins and Daniel make for an incomparable team.

‘To The Wind’ is OUT NOW on Blue Coast Records
Available on SACD and Digital

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The Mezcaltones Release New Album ‘Agavé Soirée’

Agavé Soirée is the fourth album release by The Mezcaltones. The Surf Country Tex-Mex theme continues with eight original tracks and one cover.
The album opens with “Matahari Mimi” setting a thumping surf/spy tone.
If I Could Make you See” is the first single from the album with a bluegrass meets 60’s Bakersfield twang.
Wouldn’t Last a Day” is a country blues duet co-written with Dani Young about the realisation that relationships can be worked out with a bit of give and take.
The next track is the bouncy optimistic “I Wanna Do it with You”; it will be the second single and has a cool groove with a fun feel that always goes well live.
Not Going Home” is a statement that a Mezcaltones gig is an all-in affair from the downbeat to the last note. Think Muddy Waters meets early Rolling Stones.
The Mezcaltones have reinvented Willie and Ray’s sombre “Seven Spanish Angels” to an up-tempo celebration wake song complete with mariachi trumpet.
Neralita delivers a powerful performance in her first lead vocal on a Mezcaltones album,
telling her man in no uncertain terms “If you think I’m just something to do… I got some News for You”.
Amity Isle” is the final track and bookends the album well with another instrumental that is at times frenetic before luring the listener into its cool and satisfying groove.

Song Descriptions

I Wanna Do It With You
Gotta love an up-tempo single that starts with the chorus. The Mezcaltones have scored bigtime with this catchy, upbeat, hooky tune. Plenty of guitar riffs, ooh aah backing vocals and snappy drums and bass on this full throttle Texmex track.

Seven Spanish Angels
Some true Texmex brass with a Los Lobos vibe, on this brilliant version of this classic Texan tune from the Mezcaltones. Sure to fill the dance floor and keep the radio vibes going. Up-tempo, full band backing and Col Porter’s distinctive vocals – another winner from the album.

Matahari Mimi
Another one of the duelling guitar instrumentals from The Mezcaltones. Up-tempo, hooky all the way and you could imagine the Shadows or Los Lobos having this tune in their set.

WHAT IS IT WITH THE MEZCALTONES?
Four guys dressed as cowboys and two women dressed like Spanish Mexican Señoritas that you might find in a Quentin Tarantino movie – two guitarists, a bassist, a drummer, a crazy front man and a beautiful dancer/percussionist.
Whilst their original songs have an alt country rockin’ blues flavour, the guitar tones also reach into the realms of 60’s surf instrumentals. With the band’s slick look and sharp costumes, THE MEZCALTONES are there to entertain.

THE MEZCALTONES comprise 6 experienced musicians who came together through their love of cool country rockin’ blues, and get down and get dirty Tex Mex sounds.

  • Don Juan – Texan Time Keeper with a Smooth Tequila Feel
  • Col Padre – Raspy Lead Vocals dripping with Desert Soul
  • El Shango – Lead Guitar possessed with tangy, psychedelic blues, magic finger licks
  • Lucre – Mezcaltonic Groovin’ Bass Sounds
  • Mimi – Spicy Seductress who shakes it like a Rattle Snake
  • Neralita – Queen of Southern Rhythm Strummin’
The Mezcaltones have previously played six Tamworth Country Festivals; Groundwater CMF; Sydney Blues & Roots Festival; Dashville Skyline Festival. Their previous album Mexican Hillbilly Surf Music debuted Top 10 in the Australian Blues & Roots charts.

The Mezcaltones ‘Agavé Soirée’ is Out Now via FOG/MGM

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John Kennedy Releases Album ‘John Kennedy and The New Originals’

John Kennedy’s new album project started in late 2020. Kennedy and his band were going to record two albums – one of new originals and a second volume of the Raining Treasure Australian indie covers series. The project started with a bang with Murray Cook having open heart surgery. That was followed by the second round of COVID lockdowns, so the band focussed on the simpler of the two – the Raining Treasure album.

By mid 2022, the band got the ball rolling again on the new originals album. With four songs in the can from the earlier sessions, “all” Kennedy needed to do was write eight new songs and record them before the deadline of Christmas 2022. No pressure.

Eight new originals were needed in six months. It was going to go down to the wire and as they were approaching the deadline, recording engineer Geoff Lee at Zen Studios had a heart attack. This put him out of action for four weeks before he came back to the studio part time.

The band persevered and with the help of Geoff and mix engineer Rusty, working remotely in Tasmania, they managed to get the project over the line.

Kennedy leaves Australia in June 2023 to live for an extended period in Spain. The album is probably the best collection of his original songs he has ever worked on. With band mates Peter Timmerman on drums, guitarist Murray Cook and bassist Phil Hall who has come into his own with arrangement ideas, additional instrumentation and co-production, Kennedy is working with the best band he’s ever played with. He is also singing better than he’s ever done. His talent has shone through, the perseverance has paid off and with this album Kennedy leaves the Australian indie music scene on a high.

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About John Kennedy

An enthusiastic young music journalist once described Sydney musician John Kennedy as a humble genius. Kennedy is neither a genius not particularly humble. He is the singer / songwriter of many classic Australian Indie songs that have found a place in the hearts of music lovers of a certain generation.

Kennedy started his music career in Brisbane with his first band JFK and the Cuban Crisis. A move to Sydney brought immediate independent success with his first release on Waterfront Records, the Careless Talk Costs Lives ep. It’s featured song ‘The Texan Thing’ became a JJJ radio hit. The band broke up in the mid-’80’s after the release of the prophetically titled ‘The End Of The Affair’ album and Kennedy went on to pursue a solo career with his band vehicle John Kennedy’s Love Gone Wrong. Numerous indie hits including ‘Miracle (in Marrickville)’, ‘King Street’ and ‘Big Country’ followed but commercial success remained elusive. In 1989, Kennedy chose to travel the world with his guitar living by the mantra: Have Songs, Will Travel.

After ten years of living, performing and recording in LA, Berlin, Hong Kong, Holland and London, Kennedy returned to Sydney in the 2000’s and formed John Kennedy’s 68 Comeback Special. With an ever-changing line up of musicians, he continued to release numerous albums before settling with a stable group of bandmates: original Love Gone Wrong drummer Peter Timmerman, ex-Red Wiggle Murray Cook on guitar and Phil Hall formerly of Sardine v, The Dropbears and The Lime Spiders on bass. With this new release, this line up has now morphed into John Kennedy And The New Originals.

The last five years have seen Kennedy busier than has he ever been with six album releases in six years. The release will be his last for the foreseeable future with Kennedy planning to leave Australia in June 2023 to live in Spain for an extended period.

Song Descriptions

Discover Me
This swinging and rocking single ‘Discover Me’ is full of life, fire and passion. An up-tempo tune that would give you no idea these guys have been recording since the 1990’s. Catchy backing vocals and guitar hooks and riffs – a power pop classic.

Girl Of My Dreams
An acoustic/electric start with some great backing vocals a la Roy Orbison, a very chilled out rhythm section and baking band slowly groove into this ballad. Some really tasteful guitar and vocal work on this one.

It’s Good To Be Here
A more up-tempo radio friendly power pop song that harkens back to his early work; hooks and riffs abound, think Hoodoo Gurus, The Church and Died Pretty. Classic indie rock from those days with a modern edge and production.

John Kennedy and The New Originals is out now 10th March 2023,
on Foghorn Records through MGM. 

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Gareth Koch & Martin Kennedy Release Album ‘Music In The Afterlife’

“Brian Eno meets Massive Attack and classical guitarist John Williams”

The idea of an afterlife has fired imaginations across cultures for millennia and is one of the earliest belief systems in recorded history. It is fascinating to consider that a type of identity or stream of consciousness might exist in the absence of the physical body.
In ‘Music In The Afterlife’, Gareth Koch & Martin Kennedy have created a sound world which seeks to convey a continued existence taking place in the spiritual realm, or otherworld. In mythology there are phases through which the consciousness passes before arriving at a reward in the afterlife. The Koch/Kennedy songs, or pieces, reflect imagined states in which the protagonist journeys through the stages of waiting, trance, drifting, resignation & Elysium.

In their debut collaboration Viennese-trained classical musician Gareth Koch & ambient music specialist Martin Kennedy have created a unique sound world. Their compositions weave acoustic & electronic realms into a seamless fabric in which medieval, folk & electronic influences are entwined. If this melange is beginning to sound like an unholy brew nothing could be further from the truth. The pieces are deft, intuitive & hypnotic, drawing the listener into a reflective & profound listening experience.

In what is termed classical music (perhaps more aptly described as western art music) the earliest notated plainchants of around CE930 were centred on spirituality & belief in the afterlife. From this point onwards classical music evolved with a connection to an otherworld or divine, often embracing various mythologies. Ambient music came of age in the twentieth century in the era of electronic synthesisers, but its origin’s date back to French classical music composer Erik Satie. Satie pioneered a genre of music which emphasised tone & atmosphere, providing the ideal sonic environment for contemplation & spiritual reflection.

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Celebrate Christmas with Gareth Koch’s Instrumental Guitar Album

Imagine timeless European Christmas music played instrumentally, as if upon a choir of lutes. Ancient & exquisite songs, deep within the human psyche, are now newly arranged by ARIA Award winning guitarist Gareth Koch. The interpretations reveal his signature blend of contemporary flair laced with medieval sensibilities.

The arrangements are both elegant & appealing, sidestepping any notion of commercialised Christmas clichés. Re-imagined as troubadour-like ballads or tender Austrian folk songs, each carol receives a unique treatment. The listener is invited into an array of soundworlds, ranging from the early medieval to English folk-revival.

The music of this album leads us away from the bustle of many modern realities. Instead, we are drawn into a gentler universe, filled with subtlety & nuance. In any year, at any time, this album presents a Christmas message we all need to hear.

Song Descriptions
Little Drummer Boy
This timeless mid-tempo classic Christmas carol is dealt with not just using multiple classical guitar parts but with hand percussion and rice shakers.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
A very old piece, dated to the 16th century and referred to in Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’. Gareth recreates the vocal melody perfectly and becomes a terrific hum along piece. Bass guitar rounds out the arrangement featuring multiple guitars: acoustic, nylon string and electric creating a lush sonic tapestry.

About Gareth Koch
Gareth Koch is an ARIA Award winning recording artist, guitar soloist, composer & songwriter. He has recorded a diverse repertory across multiple albums spanning works for classical guitar, flamenco, original compositions, arrangements, medieval projects & song writing.
Gareth is involved with many cross genre projects. Over the past two years he has released two collaborative albums with ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Steve Kilbey (The Church).

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