Our selection of the best new music across a range of genres from the week ending 25 October 2019.
Brisbane-based singer-songwriter Jordan Merrick has released his debut album Night Music (listen here). After teasing the album with three singles, Merrick ventures through blues, folk, rock, country and elements of vaudeville. Recorded and produced by the Aria-winning Steven Schram (Paul Kelly, The Cat Empire), the album seeks to capture Merrick’s rawest emotions as each track moves between feelings and stories that explore and exude happiness and love to loneliness, despair and sorrow. Merrick states:
“The title ‘Night Music’ is a play off the Mozart song Eine Kleine Nachtmusik which translates to ‘A Little Night Music’. I’ve always felt drawn to classical for its ability to tell stories through the raw emotion of music. ‘Night Music’ serves as a way to explore contrasting mediums and tell stories that are different in nature, yet linked in their human, vulnerable nature.”
German-American musician Michael Lane has just released his album Traveling Son. The record portrays the story of a 6 year old boy who travelled 7,000 miles together with his mother, to a place that never immersed him as his home. The album includes songs that are both written and composed by two other musicians who in their own way share intimate parts of themselves in the music, making Travelling Son a shared vision of what self fragility is.
Lane knows many sides of life. While fighting as a US Army soldier in Iraq and later in Afghanistan as a 20-year-old, and to take an sharp turn for music, he has already been able to grasp both extremes of human life: separation from war and unity in music. “As a soldier I witnessed the cruel absurdity of the war. It is inconceivable to me what must happen in other people to make such conditions possible. After that it was clear to me that I had to find a way in my own way to do something against this madness. Music was my key. It connects people to each other and I want to contribute to that.”
Having thrilled fans across Europe and the US – including a recent appearance at Glastonbury – London five-piece neo-jazz outfit Ezra Collective have turned their attention to the Southern Hemisphere. The London darlings have announced their first run of appearances in Australia and New Zealand this March, presented by Astral People & Handsome Tours.
Alongside slots at Golden Plains (VIC), Womadelaide (Adelaide) and Womad New Zealand, the band will be playing special headline shows in Sydney and Melbourne. They’ll be at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne on 6 March and Oxford Art Factory in Sydney on 12 March 2020. Tickets are on sale now.
Having just wrapped up their biggest headline tour of the UK and Europe, Press Club have now dropped ‘Separate Houses’, the latest single to come from their second album Wasted Energy. Tracked live at Woodstock Studio, Melbourne and mixed by the band themselves in their studio underneath Melbourne’s Westgate bridge, Wasted Energy was independently released in August, landing at #4 in the AIR Album chart and #15 on the ARIA Australian Album chart.
In keeping with their self-made ethos, the band filmed the music video for ‘Separate Houses’ while on their recent tour of Europe. Directed and produced by the band’s guitarist, Greg Rietwyk, the clip was shot across locations in Scotland, England and continental Europe – Press Club made the most of their idyllic surrounds.
After a successful run of east coast dates back in August celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the On The Quiet tour, Augie March are hitting the road again due to the overwhelming response to the shows. Throughout December, the band will be hitting Melbourne, Perth, Castlemaine and Adelaide.
“We love playing this style of show, the songs get their due but there’s little, if any loss of power, it’s just a different kind. Renewable is perhaps the best way to describe it. And we’ll look to generate more of it in the coming years alongside our traditional set ups.”
Dates and venues are:
Thursday 12 December – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne VIC
Friday 13 December – Freo Social, Perth WA
Friday 20 December – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine VIC
Sunday 22 December – The Gov, Adelaide SA
All tickets are $45 + bf and are on sale now via augiemarch.com/tour
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David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television