Tag Archives: ausmade

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Montana Release EP ‘Nearer’ (2024 Remaster)

Montana was formed in Sydney in 1998 by Paul Scott, Ken Stewart, Steve Melville and Michelle Margherita. They began playing at friend’s parties and around the Sydney inner-city indie circuit, sharing the bill with Mr Blonde, The John Reed Club, Youth Group and 78 Saab.

Within a few months they had booked time at Damien Gerard Studios to begin work with legendary in-house engineer Russell Pilling, the tracks recorded including the debut single ‘Koolest Band’, formed part of their debut EP.

Koolest Band received significant airplay on independent stations across Australia and national broadcaster JJJ put the song on high rotation. Interest from US labels resulted in the band playing shows in Los Angeles, including a spot at the Whiskey a Go Go and at SXSW.

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Following the release of Koolest Band EP and another year of constant gigging in Australia and the US, the three piece (Michelle Margherita, Steve Melville and Paul Scott) felt confident enough in the studio to stretch out sonically. Tracks for the follow up were recorded at Velvet Sounds studio under Pitt Street in the heart of Sydney.

There were many talented people involved in the recording of the Nearer EP, but special mention must be made of Tony Wall and Adrian Grigorieff who tracked most of the songs and the late, great Craig Porteils who mixed them. The EP sold out its first pressing in less than a week, causing a few headaches for their small indie label Velvet Lounge and debuted at number 9 in the indie charts.

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Gareth Koch Releases Single ‘Song For George Harrison’

The second in Gareth’s dedication series and with a stunning review already live thanks to Big Take Over magazine in NYC.

“The song itself is a lustrous jaunt. clocking in around three and half minutes, the instrumental piece is acoustic, with strumming guitars and lithe bass keeping the beat. ” David Browne HERE

 The inspiration for Song for George Harrison was to channel and imagine the spirit of George and infuse Beatles DNA into the compositional process. The mood is an informal jam vibe, as if the studio producers are absent, but microphones are left on with tape rolling while George plays and improvises with friends.

 Gareth opens the track with George’s beloved instrument, the ukulele, supported by a keyboard mellotron sound subtly referencing a partial Beatles tune. The sitar Gareth plays is a vintage Sri Lankan instrument, played in reverse in some of the mixes, as a tribute to the spirit of experimentation of the 1960’s Abbey Rd Studios.

 The three mixes reference the evolution of 60’s mixing technology, with the Spectre Mix taking a deep dive into the massive and live ‘Wall of Sound’ aesthetic, faithfully recreated with period correct vintage studio and live equipment from the Beatles’ heyday.

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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Kalen Hogan Releases New Single ‘Right There’

‘Right There’ is a song about not knowing what you’ve got, until it’s almost ending or gone. Lyrically, the song highlights the tendency of people to lose focus on the passing of time in life and take for granted their surroundings and the people in them.  When writing the music, Kalen said the echo in the guitar created the sound of wistful yearning and encouraged his lyrics that followed.

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About Kalen

Kalen Hogan debuted onto the local Central Coast music scene in late 2022.  At age 17, Kalen proudly launched his debut album ‘Isolation’ in May of the following year. Keen to kick off the new year with new music, Kalen went into Damien Gerard studios to start work on a collection of new material. He released ‘On The Phone’ in April and has continued working on the other songs to keep a steady stream of new material coming out through the rest of 2024.

Kalen says he is inspired by the 1990’s grunge movement, with a real reverence for bands like Nirvana and describes himself as an alternative indie rock singer song writer. Kalen sings about the complexities of everyday life, with an open heart and keen observing eye. His pure vocal tone, with a moderately high pitch, may reflect why some tracks have been compared to Thom Yorke from Radiohead and the late Jeff Buckley.

You can catch Kalen live at various venues and events across the coast. ‘Right There’ is dropping on all the popular streaming platforms this June and stayed tuned for more singles throughout the year.

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Kaiyah Mercedes Releases Album ‘Trying To Hate You’

With songs that resonate beyond their years, Kaiyah Mercedes brings you her sophomore album ‘Trying To Hate You’, a sonic and cinematic exploration of unrequited love and heartbreak. At the crossroads of creativity and self-discovery, the 18 year old LGBTQIA+ artist brings vibrant hues of indie pop through her authentic voice, while connecting with listeners to find solace in her melodies and truth in their lyrics.

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Diagnosed with autism and ADHD at the age of 15, Kaiyah uses her songwriting to translate the world around them and draws sonic inspiration from an eclectic array of influences – from the introspective lyricism of Phoebe Bridgers to the infectious melodies of Soccer Mommy.

Music Video for ‘The End.’

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Music Video for ‘Trying To Hate You’

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Extra Time Scores Again at International Film Festivals

Extra Time, Brendan McNamara’s collaboration project, brings together premium artists on his newest labor of love, Songs With Long Titles. 

The first two singles, Where Is The Light, and the current release The Girl Who Rules The Sea are available now alongside the album release.

Both singles have been brought to life by inspiring video clips, with both achieving high view numbers on YouTube and also capturing the attention of international reviewers.

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Where Is The Light, released in January 2024, features animation by renowned Sydney-based Brazilian artist Gabriel Gareso. The video has been officially selected for Lift Off International Film Festivals in Berlin, Tokyo, Austin, and Manchester, while also making the official selection for the Richmond International Film Festival (RIFF), one of the Mid-Atlantic’s largest and most sought after international competitive festivals, and AniMate, the Australian International Animation Film Festival, now in it’s fifth year.

 The video for Extra Time’s newest single, The Girl Who Rules The Sea, is brought to life through live drone and underwater footage shot by Leonard Clifford and Chris Flaxman, and motion art by renowned French artist Veronita Va, who brought to life McNamara’s concept of a Piet Mondrian artwork, drawing the eye to the ‘girl who rules the sea’ as she swims through the crystal blue waters of Bondi Beach.

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Recent quotes:

“The soft jazz undertones add a calming element that is similar of peaceful beach days spent taking in the grandeur of the ocean and the peace that it provides after the chaos. More than just a song,”The Girl Who Rules The Sea’ is a love letter to Bondi Beach and an ode to the unsung heroes who have a profound effect on our lives.” - Skylight Webzine

“Extra Time stands as a testament to the power of genuine musical craftsmanship in an era dominated by digital enhancements. Renowned for its cinematic and harmonically rich compositions, the project blends intricate musical narratives with authentic performances.” - Fenomen Magazine

“The romantic track from Extra Time is a wonderful combination of light, airy music and deep, but at the same time light text that can fill everyone’s heart with a feeling of freedom. The melody is full of tenderness and emotions, giving an exhaustible opportunity to dissolve in it again and again. Music that comes from the very depths of the soul” -nagamag.com

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The vinyl release of Songs With Long Titles is available now – a beautiful gatefold presentation released globally on Foghorn Records, recorded and mixed at one of the industry’s leading spaces, Damien Gerard Studios at West Gosford, featuring a veritable who’s who of Sydney Session Musicians including Amanda Easton and Serena Jennings on sublime female backing vocals, Tim Firth on Drums, Brett Hirst Bass Guitar, Aaron Blakey Keyboards, Peter Koopman Acoustic and Electric Guitar, plus Horns and Strings all engineered and mixed by ex-LA engineer Andrew Beck and mastered by Grammy Award Winner William Bowden.

Watch The Music Video for The Girl Who Rules The Sea

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CB Ghost Releases Single ‘Hold Down Hymn’

Three days before hitting Damien Gerard Studios to record his album CB extended a poem he had been working on into a song with instrumentation and a chorus. An ode to the ocean, a ballad only a true surfer could write.

In order to embrace the inevitable ‘hold-down’ surfers encounter, CB Ghost wrote a Celtic hymn to sing to himself, to keep him calm, under a wave, at the ocean’s mercy.

CB Ghost: ‘The ocean is a mighty teacher, and the song reflects surfing’s hazards as much as life’s. Sometimes you get beat down, nothing you can do about it, just roll with it and resurface.

This song has become my secret weapon to calm my mind when I’m in the ocean’s belly. I use it to count down from 10, but get to zero, still under, next stage, panic! Now I have Hold Down Hymn to keep me company, it works amazing’.

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CB Ghost is a songwriter with an honest simple folk-rock style that captures the essence of a complicated existence with singalong tunes and poetic lyrics and sometimes a banger beat.  CB Ghost has emerged from a close-nit coastal surfing village in Australia. His background provides him with a deep connection to toe tapping Celtic, country and straight-ahead heartfelt rock music mixed with salt water from the ocean.

A former pro surfer, CB Ghost is driven, bold and dedicated to his evolving sound and a deep love of blue-collar folk stories and sensibility – and most importantly playing live to crowds who love to drink, dance, sing and have fun.

Having recently toured Northern NSW and Queensland with Sydney band Pinky Ring, The Ghost is finding his feet live and now incorporating a full band at most shows (his solo shows are still a must see for that intimate intensity). His first single ‘Hollywood Hills’ was a wee glimpse into what’s to come.

The second single ‘Hold Down Hymn’ takes you to places you never want to go (namely under waves at the bottom of the ocean), lyrically, spooky and totally relatable. With its oceanic tempo the song sends you adrift with its simple melodic ambience and features a guitar solo that soothes the soul. The video clip, shot under the ocean is a visual accompaniment that adds to the salty surfers tale of near drowning.

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Gareth Koch Releases Album ‘French Medieval Journey’

A new style of song, whose themes were love and myth, rose to prominence in 11th-century Europe. The songs of the French Trouveres in particular dominated medieval music in Europe. These songs were performed by roaming scholars and footloose clerics who thronged the roads of the Middle Ages.

In French Medieval Journey, Gareth’s aim has been to create a new body of music for guitar, based on music from the 12th and 13th centuries. One of the recurring themes in French Medieval music is the recounting of myths and legends.

In setting this music for guitar the French trouvere melodies are used as a point of departure. The compositions however are completely original, yet retain the flavour and ambience of French medieval music. Gareth: ‘I have sought to reanimate some of the myths and legends in musical terms, leaving the imagery and symbolism to the discretion of the listener. Through the medium of music the listener is invited into a medieval dreamscape or otherworld.’

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.

Stream / download here

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BEC TAYLOR & THE LYREBIRDS “LIMBS & ALL” OUT NOW ON VINYL

Limbs & All, the second album by Bec Taylor and the Lyrebirds is now available on vinyl through Foghorn Records,  direct from the band at live shows, and Bandcamp - https://bectaylorandthelyrebirds.bandcamp.com/album/limbs-all

“A masterpiece of the folk-pop genre” – Sonic Realms Germany - https://sonicrealms.de/musik/alternative-indie/bec-taylor-and-the-lyrebirds-begeistern-mit-vielfaeltiger-und-tiefgruendiger-musik-auf-zweitem-album-limbs-all-audio-alternative-folk-pop-folk/

“Limbs & All” is chock full of moody alt-country and folk-pop gems that touch on loss, grief and joy. ‘Limbs & All’ is a collaborative album which features all five of the Lyrebirds on every song, weaving together a gentle americana-folk sound palette with acoustic and pedal-steel guitars, drums, bass, mandolin, keyboards, banjo and the Lyrebirds’ signature vocal harmonies.

Bec wrote the lion’s share of the songs while pregnant and nursing her first baby, and her sense of inner turmoil throughout the album is palpable. Whether it’s the darkly rhythmic and poetic ‘Wormhole’ or the elated but hesitant ‘Whisky’, this album is subtler and broodier than The Lyrebirds’ previous album, featuring connecting themes across songs. One example is the musical connection weaved into tracks ‘Photograph’ and ‘Goner’, referencing their sister-song origins, beginning as one song but evolving as two separate songs.

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All recording and mixing was done by Louis Montgomery with some additional mixing on ‘Photograph’ by Marshall Cullen at Damien Gerard Studios, NSW. The album was mastered by Andrew Edgson at Studios 301.

Hidden treasures of the Canberra music scene, Bec Taylor and the Lyrebirds are a five-piece alt-folk-pop band. Described as Canberra’s Seeker-Lover-Keeper, their unique harmony-laden sound combines with “charming melodies and lyrics brimming with heart” (Scenstr).

REVIEWS OF Vinyl LP “LIMBS & ALL”

“Bec Taylor and the Lyrebirds have firmly established themselves as torchbearers of the alt-folk-pop genre, crafting a sound that is as timeless as it is timely.”

- Jamsphere – https://jamsphere.com/newreleases/discovering-emotional-landscapes-inside-bec-taylor-and-the-lyrebirds-limbs-all#google_vignette

“”Limbs & All” is a must-listen-to for fans of alt-folk-pop and anyone who appreciates music that touches the heart.” – Planet Singer - https://www.planetsinger.net/discovering-the-enchanting-sounds-of-bec-taylor-and-the-lyrebirds-with-their-brilliant-new-album-limbs-and-all/

“Bec’s voice is so special..it soothes like aloe on a cut.” – Indie Band Guru (NYC) - https://indiebandguru.com/bec-taylor-and-the-lyrebirds-limbs-and-all/

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 UPCOMING LIVE DATES

SATURDAY JUNE 29th TOMAKIN, NSW – Smokey Dan’s, 12pm with Jason Recliner

BEC TAYLOR & THE LYREBIRDS are…

Bec Taylor – vocals, acoustic guitar, mandolin, Hammond organ, felt-muted piano, percussion
Sam McNair – vocals, acoustic guitar, banjo
Sophie Chapman – vocals, bass guitar
Grahame Thompson – drums, cello
Hannah Beasley – vocals, wurlitzer piano
Matt Dixon – pedal steel guitar
Jacqui Bradley and Donal Baylor – violins

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BLJ Releases Single ‘Make You Feel My Love’

This is the song that got Burger Legs Joe ft Andi started. He’d been doing some guitar samples for the Dance Around and Be Stupid EP, and as thanks, I said pick a song and we’ll record it. He chose Make You Feel My Love by Bob Dylan. I hadn’t heard it before, so I was a blank page. I recorded Andi singing with his guitar and arranged the song out from there.

We had so much fun doing it that we just had to do more. It’s a beautiful song, with such heart-felt lyrics. I was surprised when I heard the original later and discovered where we’d taken the song to. I think Andi’s dreamy vocals work so well, and the instrumentation makes for an absorbing, romantic, ballad groove. Well, I hope you feel that. Relax and soak up the romance.

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The avatar of an unidentified Music Producer, Burger Legs Joe is on a mission to restomod (restore and modernise) outstanding retro songs for your grooving pleasure. Treasuring the essence of what makes each track so fabulous, they’re re-energized to a modern perspective; weaving rhythms and melodies in BLJ’s distinctive ear grabbing style, that lingers in your head, and puts beats in your feet.

Mesmerised by the voice of friend and vocalist Andi Bracken; together they have set out on a journey to blow the dust off some of the great songs of the past.

Burger Legs Joe says – “The way Andi ‘owns’ the song is amazing. You just instantly accept the new version. Fond memories of the original seem to disappear in that moment.  The inspiration of Andi’s vocals on a song I love makes it so much easier for me.  The arrangements just seem to regenerate around them, naturally building to a butt kicking finale that elevates the song and Andi’s voice.”

 Bangers to ballads, and anything in between, Burger Legs Joe featuring Andi’s tracks are infused in reimagined retro joy and romance.

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Paul Scott Releases New Single ‘Old People On Drugs’

‘Old People on Drugs’ is the first track from a new collection of songs from Scott and Melville exploring the tones and textures of eighties electronic pop.  Lyrically it rummages through the hazy interworld of various ‘drugs’, from pharmacy to propaganda, prescribed, self-medicated or addicted that suffuse the soul as the animal vigour fades.

Older adults engaging in recreational drug use can be a complex and overlooked phenomenon often resulting in addiction.  As people age, their social circles shrink, leading to feelings of isolation or boredom.  Dumb ideas can be addictive too…So that’s what I think, but really, I’d rather not say anything – Paul Scott.

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Paul Scott began his career in music, writing and playing bass in angular NZ group Pop Mechanix. Despite court cases, a revolving cast of singers and multiple record labels, their single ‘Jumping Out A Window’ became a staple of New Zealand pop culture.

Relocating to Australia, Paul formed Montana with Ken Stewart (Mr Blonde), Michelle Margherita and Steve Melville. Their first release featured ‘Koolest Band’ which received national airplay and high rotation on JJJ. A brief tour of the USA and a performance at SXSW, led to ‘Koolest Band’ being included in the Hollywood movie ‘You Drive Me Crazy’. The subsequent album ‘Bubblegum Love’ was released in Australia, Spain, France and the USA.

Scott has since played bass for various Australian acts, playing everywhere from community halls and malls in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to the Sydney Opera House. Teaming up with Steve Melville (ex Mr Blonde and Montana) Paul and Steve have established a studio production relationship, playing on each other’s tracks (Stewart and Melville, The Likes of You) and coproducing The Insufferable Paul Scott’s well received 2021 album ‘Tea and Medals’ (which Melville also mixed).

Their most recent project is a closer collaboration with Melville adding drums, percussion and keyboards to Scott’s voice, guitar and bass, a line up very close in sound and feel to their youthful unit ‘Montana’. “I was looking for the kind of pop thrill I used to get from great Aussie indie bands such as The Falling Joys, Smudge, The Hummingbirds, pop thrills… you know?” says Scott.  An album has been completed and tracks will be released over the next few months on Foghorn, home to most of their releases to date.

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