Our selection of the best new music across a range of genres from the week ending 8 November 2019.
Ali Barter’s album Hello, I’m Doing My Best is out now. After a run around the world with shows in London, Paris, Dublin and more Barter is back in Australia as this month’s The Music Cover Star, she’s got a triple j feature album under her belt and a fresh invite to SXSW. In the meantime, you can also check out her single ‘Big Ones’.
Dodging the pressures placed on us by work, school, our relationships and ourselves is a constant dance, and Barter uses her frank lyricism as fancy footwork to curve negative vibes on ‘Big Ones’. Of the track, Barter says “I wrote ‘Big Ones’ during a time when I was sorting through the stress of expectation. Expectations from the people I work with, people I live with and mainly the ones I was putting on myself. So the song is essentially about opinions.”
Directed by Courtney Brookes and shot in New York City, “The clip is about a disgruntled ice cream van worker who eventually snaps and runs away, which is something I want to do when the weight of expectation becomes too much. You gotta protect yourself, man!” says Barter.
In All Weather is a new collection of songs by writer, singer and musician Josienne Clarke. It’s an record with which she goes it alone; both musically, as this is her first solo record, and in her own life, laid bare and played out in the leave-it-all-behind-and-start-anew nature of the lyrics. “Learning to sail in all weather, the line from which the album title comes, is what we are all trying to do,” Josienne explains. “To right ourselves when things feel turbulent and uncertain. How to correct your course and stay true to the things you believe and need and let all the rest go.”
Fans of Clarke’s previous melancholic chamber folk duo will recognise her uniquely sorrowful and jewel-like vocal style. But these new songs were sung and played by Josienne in the manner they’ve always been written; emotionally raw, immediate and unvarnished. Gone are the duo’s grandiose arrangements; Josienne accompanies herself on pared-back acoustic and electric guitar throughout. She’s joined on the record by experimental piano prodigy Elliott Galvin, innovative jazz drummer Dave Hamblett, celebrated Scottish harpist Mary Ann Kennedy and guitarist/bassist Sonny Johns (best known for his work with Fatoumata Diawara & Polar Bear) who co-produced the record with Josienne at Watercolour Studios in Fort William, Scotland. The songs required little embellishment, they just needed to be heard as clearly as possible.
“These are not love songs, these are life songs; life lines to save me from sinking. Each one a hard-won lesson in how not to do things next time. It’s a manifesto of how to leave and how to change.”
Sunnyboys have juts released “Can’t You Stop”, their first recording of all new music since Comes As No Surprise, their swansong in 1984.
Recorded in 2018 at Airlock Studios Brisbane and mixed by in demand engineer Konstatine Kerstin, Can’t You Stop is a reworking of a song Jeremy Oxley recorded and released on the Waterfront label under the guise The Fisherman in 1986. In this revised version Can’t You Stop features an all new arrangement plus those glorious trademark Sunnyboys harmonies. You can stream the full-length version via Spotify or your preferred digital platform.
Moana, the creative project of artist Moana Mayatrix, have released their debut album In The Allure via Mysteria Maxima Music.
Since the group’s inception in 2013, countless words have been written about the avant garde art rock outfit, all edging around the idea that there is something otherworldly, verging on genuinely dangerous, about this act. Mayatrix was once described by Triple J’s Gemma Pike as one of Australia’s fiercest front women.
Combining the shamanic stream-of-consciousness poetry of peak-era Patti Smith with psychedelic melodies, heavy guitar licks, and propulsive rhythms, Moana doesn’t so much craft songs as pagan prayers set to the heartbeat of the world.
The Australian Chamber Orchestra presents its epic 2019 Season finale celebrating two of the Romantic era’s most beloved composers: Brahms & Dvořák. Led by Richard Tognetti and featuring Principal Cello Timo-Veikko Valve, the program includes Brahms’s expansive Double Concerto and Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony, as well as the Australian Premiere of Andrew Norman’s Gran Turismo. The event details are:
City Recital Hall
Saturday 16 November, 7pm
Tuesday 19 November, 8pm
Wednesday 20 November, 7pm
Friday 22 November, 1.30pm
Sydney Opera House
Sunday 17 November, 2pm
Other reviews you might enjoy:
David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television