Crowded House – Sweet Tooth

Crowded House have today revealed the video for forthcoming single ‘Sweet Tooth’, the melodic and instantly memorable new track lifted from their award-winning album Dreamers Are Waiting.

The video footage was shot in between shows in NZ and later disintegrated by Liam Finn using a free video filter created by Irish visual artist David O’Reilly. Neil Finn then reassembled the footage into this swirling, psychedelic sugar rush.

“I wanted to have pictures that represented the giddy euphoria of eating sweets when you are a kid, a kind of sensory overload that resembles a drug experience,” Neil Finn said. Watch HERE.

Dreamers Are Waiting recently picked up the ARIA Award for Best Adult Contemporary album, and has been nominated for Best Record at the Sailor Jerry Rolling Stone Awards 2022, which will be held in Sydney on March 30.

PRAISE FOR DREAMERS ARE WAITING:

” … these 12 tracks enlarge the band’s considerable legacy … Finn’s minor-key melodies remain a trademark, as demonstrated by the bittersweet Deeper Down, and his ability to encompass a chaotic world through the way two people intimately relate to one another is tender and inspiring. These songs aren’t anthems, they’re insinuative, and they open up in fascinating ways.” 4 stars, Craig Mathieson, Spectrum, Sydney Morning Herald

“For all the ornate hooks and tidy lyrical phrases on display here, it’s that effortless dynamism that keeps these songs so fascinating … Now as much as ever before, Finn and co. focus their surplus of ideas into an accessible package that’s equally quirky and classic.” Doug Wallen, The Australian

” … from the lilting opening strains of Bad Times Good, it’s clear we’re firmly back in Crowded House territory. There are the playful harmonies and sublime guitar outro of the jaunty To the Island, while Sweet Tooth is similarly infectious. The Trump phenomenon compelled Finn to make a rare foray into politics with Whatever You Want, which has shades of his Seven Worlds Collide project. Meanwhile, Real Life Woman is an ode to his Fleetwood Mac bandmate Stevie Nicks. The album is front-loaded with the most accessible tunes, the others promise to reveal themselves with time.” 4 stars, John O’Brien, Courier Mail

Man charged over alleged armed robbery – Merewether

A man has been charged following investigations into an alleged armed robbery at Newcastle last week.

About 4pm on Sunday (16 January 2022), a man entered a service station on Llewellyn Street, Merewether.

He allegedly approached a 28-year-old female staff member from behind and threatened her with a knife.

The man demanded cash and cigarettes from a second employee – a 40-year-old man – before he fled the scene heading south on Glebe Road towards Elliott Street.

Officers attached to Newcastle City Police District established a crime scene and commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Following inquiries, police attended a home on Davis Avenue, Wallsend, and arrested a 33-year-old man about 9.30am yesterday (Thursday 20 January 2022).

He was taken to Newcastle Police Station and charged with robbery armed with an offensive weapon. He was also charged with an outstanding warrant for an unrelated offence.

The man was refused bail and appeared at Newcastle Local Court the same day, where he was formally bail refused to reappear at the same court on Thursday 17 March 2022.

Elvis Costello – The Boy Named If

Elvis Costello and The Imposters release, ‘The Boy Named If,’ a new album of urgent, immediate songs with bright melodies, guitar solos that sting and a quick step to the rhythm.

Costello tells us, “The full title of this record is ‘The Boy Named If (And Other Children’s Stories).’ ‘IF,’ is a nickname for your imaginary friend; your secret self, the one who knows everything you deny, the one you blame for the shattered crockery and the hearts you break, even your own. You can hear more about this ‘Boy’ in a song of the same name,”

Speaking of the lyrical content of the record, Costello added, “Once upon a time, when I didn’t know what a kiss could do and didn’t even dare to caress, the way ahead was a mystery; a departing from that magic state called innocence for the pain that leads to pleasure and all that jazz.”

“Don’t get me started about the guilt and shame and all those other useless possessions that you must throw overboard before you set sail with your dreamboat (and a runcible spoon),” remarked Elvis.

‘The Boy Named If,’ – Produced by Sebastian Krys & Elvis Costello – is a collection of thirteen snapshots, “That take us from the last days of a bewildered boyhood to that mortifying moment when you are told to stop acting like a child – which for most men (and perhaps a few gals too) can be any time in the next fifty years,” as Costello put it.

Costello added, “Whatever you take out of these tales, I wrote them for you and to make the life of these songs a little less lonely, if you should care to dive in a little deeper.”

“I started ‘The Boy Named If’ with just an electric guitar, some sharps and flats, high heels and lowdowns, with five songs in bright major keys and carried on to write a whole new record for The Imposters to play,” Costello said.

Speaking of recording sessions, Costello said, “The initial rhythm section for this record was my guitar and Pete Thomas’ Gretsch drums, recorded down in Bonaparte Rooms West. Our Imposter pal of 20 years standing, Davey Faragher soon dialed in his Fender bass and vocals while we awaited dispatches from France.”

“If the record sounded swell as a trio, Steve Nieve’s organ was the icing on the cake, the cherry and the little silver balls,” Elvis added.

Since being forced to cut short a U.K. tour after a triumphant Hammersmith Apollo appearance in March 2020, Elvis Costello has released the album, ‘Hey Clockface’ and the subsequent French language E.P., ‘La Face de Pendule à Coucou’ – featuring the voices of Iggy Pop and Isabelle Adjani.

In the last twelve months, Costello has also completed “How To Play Guitar & Y,” a comedic, “Words & Music” production for audible.com, and released the lavish vinyl box-set edition of the 1979 album, “Armed Forces” containing facsimiles of his original lyrical notebooks bound as pulp novels and comic books.

Speaking of re-fashioning a record, Costello said, “Pete, Steve and myself started out playing rocking pop music in another century. This year, ‘This Year’s Model’ came back to surprise us in another tongue. That edition is called, ‘Spanish Model.'”

Costello said, “Both that album and ‘The Boy Named If’ are records that are happening right now and if you want to draw a line between them, go right ahead.”

“Sometimes I sit and write things down, the rest of the time I play guitar in a rock and roll band. I love my family. I really love everybody, especially the people I can’t stand, even those who trespass against us and there are a lot of them.” “Yer pal. Elvis Costello”

Hoodoo Gurus – Carry On

Hoodoo Gurus have had a busy year and they have one last single up their sleeves before 2021 is done – Carry On – released on all streaming services, online music retailers and vinyl (yes, a 7″ vinyl single!!!) today. Carry On was written just before COVID-19 came over the horizon but the song’s theme of pushing forward through difficulties became even more resonant during the long lockdowns. Carry On is an anthem celebrating resilience and tenacity. Damn the torpedoes!

The band have also created a confronting, emotionally-charged video for the song, paying tribute to frontline medical workers. At times we forget that the superhuman work these people do on our behalf can come at a great personal price. Chris Herd, the director of the video for Carry On, cast actual nurses in the leading roles for the clip, grounding the drama in a sense of lived reality. This is also the first Hoodoo Gurus video in which the band itself doesn’t appear, though lead singer Dave Faulkner has a cameo in a minor supporting role.

About the song itself, Dave Faulkner, explains, “Carry On wasn’t written about the pandemic but the song has certainly been useful in helping me get through it: just remember to keep your head down and do your best. That’s a philosophy that we in the Hoodoo Gurus have always lived by.

“As for the video, I have a sister-in-law who is a career nurse as well as a nephew and niece who are following in her footsteps – one a nurse, the other a paramedic – and I have always marveled at their ability to handle the terrible stress of working in such a demanding environment. But they do, turning up to work each day with optimism despite the terrors they face. It is the spirit of people like them that I wanted to honour in my song and the video that goes with it.”

All systems are go for the band’s rescheduled 40th Anniversary Tour with The Dandy Warhols around Australia in April 2022, presented by Frontier Touring. Show openers on the 40th Anniversary Tour have been announced today and opening proceedings in Sydney will be The Buoys, Even in Adelaide and Melbourne and Rinehearts in Perth.

Hoodoo Gurus are also appearing on the postponed Red Hot Summer dates with Jimmy Barnes, Jon Stevens, Diesel and Chris Cheney commencing in January 2022.

Carry On is out today on all streaming services and 7″ vinyl today on Big Time Records through EMI Music.

Sting – For Her Love

17-time Grammy Award winning musician Sting’s new album, The Bridge, is available now via A&M/Interscope/Cherrytree Records and features the opening rock salvo, “Rushing Water” as well as the upbeat, whistle-driven earworm, “If It’s Love.”

The Bridge – Sting’s 15th studio album – showcases his prolific and diverse songwriting prowess. To explore the album, please visit the newly created interactive hub: http://thebridge.sting.com

Representing various stages and styles from throughout his career and drawing inspiration from genres including rock n’ roll, jazz, classical music and folk, the eclectic album features Sting’s quintessential sound. Written and recorded over the last year in lockdown, a coterie of trusted musicians beamed into his studio remotely including Dominic Miller (guitar), Josh Freese (drums), Branford Marsalis (saxophone), Manu Katché (drums), Martin Kierszenbaum (keyboards), Fred Renaudin (synthesizer) and backing vocalists Melissa Musique, Gene Noble, Jo Lawry and Laila Biali.

All songs on The Bridge are produced by Sting and Martin Kierszenbaum, except “Loving You” produced by Sting, Maya Jane Coles and Martin Kierszenbaum. The album was mixed by Robert Orton, engineered by Donal Hodgson and Tony Lake, and mastered by Gene Grimaldi at Oasis Mastering.

Fans can also get an intimate glimpse into the musician’s everyday life as he prepared to launch the new album on his weekly web TV series, ‘On the Bridge.’

Storm & Stone – Fire & Smoke

Internationally recognised sibling trio Storm & Stone return with their new single ‘Fire & Smoke’. It follows on from their previous release ‘Town That Made Me’, which received extensive national airplay in Australia, garnering airplay in the US on stations including iHeart Radio Network, along with a billboard in New York’s Times Square.

Pitchfork Music describes the trio as having “finely crafted melodies, lush harmonies and a gorgeous chorus paired with heartfelt lyrics … with a laid-back country feel”. ‘Fire & Smoke’ brings these elements to the fore. It is a wistful, reflective song brimming with sweetness and light.

The track was a collaboration between Auriel, August, and Hallelujah, although the initial impetus came from Auriel, during a time of personal turmoil. August explains: “Auriel wrote it from a really personal space. It’s about a relationship that you know deep down isn’t right for you both, but because you truly love each other, you both choose to stay, even though your relationship is burning down around you. Every time I hear Hal sing it, I just tear up. It just hits me in the gut because it so perfectly sums up being in that place for me, and what I watched her go through.”

As with ‘Town That Made Me’, Storm & Stone once again teamed up with producer Matt ‘Xiro’ Fioravanti (Kwame, Phil Phresh, Jesswar, Rissa, Bread Club and Kymie) to produce ‘Fire & Smoke’. It was recorded at A Sharp Recording Studio in Riverwood, and Kiln Studios in St Peters, Sydney. The track also features local musicians Luke Herbert (Drums), Dominic Cabusi (Bass), Nikos Harpoulos- Smallman (Keys), Rosie Jackson (Backing Vocals and backing vocal arrangements), Lucia Neville (Backing Vocals), James Audet (Backing Vocals) and Liam Whelan (Backing Vocals).

The video for ‘Fire & Smoke’ was produced by Thomas Crnkovic of Cranky Dog Productions. Crnkovic who commented “Fire & Smoke is a song you hear and can’t help but feel a sense of impending, inescapable tragedy. For me, it was a feeling of being in a relationship, feeling deeply in love, but knowing that it’s not going to work out. That’s what I wanted to capture. It’s the story of adultery, of the pain of knowing what the other person has done and the melancholic nostalgia for how things used to be. And yet, despite all that, despite being in the house as it’s burning down around you, it’s still hard to say goodbye. It was a beautifully potent song to work with.”

As Sunburnt Country have stated “Storm & Stone are a band whose members are in sync with each other. And while sibling harmonies may come fairly naturally, it’s clear that the siblings are accomplished singers, and that’s what gives the track its sweet power”. ‘Fire & Smoke’ is a single that showcases these talented siblings at their best, and it shows they have a bright future creating trailblazing music ahead of them.

The Engagement – Wonderland

Melbourne band, The Engagement have returned with their second single of 2021. ‘Wonderland’ is a pop/synth track touching on themes of escape and desire and marks a fresh sound for the now established band.

With their previous single ‘Heaven So Close’ getting picked up by MTV and reaching number 4 on the Triple J unearthed charts, the band look to build on the momentum with another timely track.

Collaborating with NYC based producer Brent Kolatalo – who has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry – the band have managed to capture all the qualities of the catchy and meaningful electro-pop that has allowed their previous singles to garner close to a million streams on Spotify.

‘Wonderland’ is now available on all streaming platforms worldwide followed by the release of their music and lyric videos.

ABBA – Voyage

ABBA, one of the most successful pop groups of all time, will release their new studio album Voyage on Friday 5th November, their first album in nearly 40 years with more tickets for their concert ABBA Voyage on sale now.

Details of Voyage were announced early September, along with ABBA Voyage, the revolutionary new concert that will see Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid performing digitally with a live 10-piece band, in a purpose-built ‘ABBA arena’ at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London from 27th May 2022.

Following the announcement of the brand-new album, ABBA broke Universal’s record making it the fastest ever pre-order of all time in the UK in just three days with over 80K copies. The concert sold over 250K tickets in the first three days of going on sale and will see the digital versions of ABBA perform a set jam-packed with some of their greatest hits and much-loved songs, along with new tracks ‘I Still Have Faith in You’ and ‘Don’t Shut Me Down’.

The band commented at the time: “It’s been a while since we made music together. Almost 40 years, actually. We took a break in the spring of 1982 and now we’ve decided it’s time to end it. They say it’s foolhardy to wait more than 40 years between albums, so we’ve recorded a follow-up to “The Visitors”. To tell the truth, the main inspiration to record again comes from our involvement in creating the strangest and most spectacular concert you could ever dream of. We’re going to be able to sit back in an audience and watch our digital selves perform our songs on a stage in a custom-built arena in London next spring. Weird and wonderful!”

Voyage will be ABBA’s first studio album since The Visitors, which was released 30th November 1981, hitting the #1 spot in the UK, Sweden and five other countries. The album was one of the earliest albums in history to be pressed on CD format. Voyage also comes nearly five decades after the band’s debut album Ring Ring, released in 1973.

As with all previous ABBA studio albums, Voyage was written and produced by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, their arrangements and lyrics complemented through the unmistakable and timeless vocals of Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. Much of the programming and mixing was undertaken by Benny, with the album also featuring the Stockholm Concert Orchestra.

The new album saw the four members of ABBA head back into Benny’s studio Riksmixningsverket in Stockholm over a four-year period to record the ten songs that feature on the album. These include ‘I Still Have Faith In You’, and ‘Don’t Shut Me Down’, the first two songs to be recorded in these new sessions.

About the album release, Benny Andersson says: “We knew if there was a show, we would need a couple of new songs to go with it…When we got into the studio after 39 years it was like no time had passed…we had a great time. I speak to Frida and Agnetha, and know they’re extremely happy having done this.”

Anni-Frid Lyngstad continues: “Those first sessions back in 2018 were such fun and when Benny called and asked if I’d consider singing some more, I jumped at it! And what songs!! My respect and love go out to these exceptionally talented, truly genius songwriters! Such joy it was to work with the group again. I am so happy with what we have made, and I dearly hope our fans feel the same.”

Agnetha Fältskog adds: “When we got back together in the studio, I had no idea what to expect…But Benny’s recording studio is such a friendly and safe environment, and before I knew it I was really enjoying myself! I can hardly believe that finally, the moment has come to share this with the world!”

Björn Ulvaeus ends: “…So now we have ten songs – a whole album, called Voyage – because it’s been a voyage, into uncharted territory…There must be something with the combination of Frida and Agnetha that makes that unique sound – when they started singing, it was ABBA.”

Steve Williams – Shelter Me

Steve Williams came to prominence as the lead guitarist in the 80’s pop group Wa Wa Nee, who had top 5 hits and ARIA Nominations in Australia and chart action in Europe and the USA. Following Wa Wa Nee’s breakup Steve worked with prominent local artists, James Freud and Richard Clapton, before relocating to Europe.

In London, Steve built a successful career as a session guitarist working with Jon Lord from Deep Purple, Ray Parker Jr, Real Life and many more. He returned to Australia in 2005 and continued session and production work including musical theatre and television appearances playing with The Choir Boys, Matt Finish and others.

The Surry Road album was recorded in Steve’s Melbourne studio. Steve co-wrote all the tracks with musicians that he has worked with over his many years of touring and recording. Tracks feature guest vocals from Pat Powell (Melbourne Ska Orchestra and many more) and other well-known vocalists such as: John Kenny (Rockmelons), Tim Watson (Taxiride), Vince Contarino, Terry Slesser (UK) Louise Person as well up-coming Melbourne singer Nic MC.

The songs were co written with a host of writers including Mark Gable (Choriboys), Scott Smith and many of the singers above.

With the worldwide release of Surrey Road marking off this long span of writing and recording, Steve’s new album for 2022 is already underway with a much more personalized and singular approach.