Music bios, Album liner notes, PR materials for bands, I’ve done it all!
For nine years, I have written many music and entertainment articles. A sample of those can be found here.
Here I have included biographies and press releases I have written for Remedy Music, Mushroom Group and Dark Horse Records, as well as independent acts.
RIVAL FIRE BIOGRAPHY
BAND BIO 2013
Emotionally powerful, with rousing synths bolstered with drums and guitar, Rival Fire produce lofty and energetic tracks with a brooding and mysterious edge. Take Rival Fire’s new single Memories, the simple tale of love and loss takes a conceptual turn, pleading with the listener “Don’t let the memories fade away.”
Another element to the creation of the song is the gift of memory – how we place them in boxes, in reality and in our minds. Something as nonchalant as scent or word can provoke a cascade of memories. The video clip for Memories echoes this, as the Rival Fire alter-ego, who represents a chameleon of emotions – laments the loss of a loved one and each box that spills from his mouth is a moment once shared.
As for Rival Fire, if there is one memory that united their collective mindset, it was loss – the experience of losing those close to them. Their exploration may be treading more in the shadows, but as their alter-ego suggests, there are moments of fragmented light.
The collective also cite sepia-tainted photographs, and stories involving historical figures with dashes of mystique and wonder, which inspire lyrical concepts and filter gently into the songs.
Shying away from convention, Rival Fire create more than just music. They wanted music, song writing and art to be one unified project. Formed in Melbourne a year ago, the creative collective combining Rob Farnham, Tim Smyth and Matt D’Arcy began recording in LA earlier this year, before continuing in an isolated two-bedroom house on a 3000-acre property in regional Victoria with no reception and no email. Fleshing out the sounds independently in their own home studios, it became a mashing of minds, as they drew from each of their different experiences with a fresh sound that inspires them all equally.
Adopting the notion of excitement and energy through their music, the collective want listeners to feel the emotion threaded through their music. The sound may be menacing, but at the core, there is more than one emotion attached to a sound or song. What resulted from their union was the dark rock heart of Memories and Let It Go, forming their first release and paving the way for a debut album, to be recorded with producer Mark Needham (The Killers, Fleetwood Mac) in early 2014.
Memories is available on iTunes from December 13, 2013.
THE CANING BAND BIOGRAPHY
2013 ALBUM RELEASE
The Caning screams the heavier spectrum of classic rock straight from the 1970s right into your ears. Championing the revival of a genre and the essence of a generation, the band’s self-titled debut album is packed with electrifying guitar licks, ‘70s-inflected sounds, crunchy bass and aggressive, gnawing edges. Put simply, it’s sweaty, passionate, gritty and blistering, with guitar solos from “the ninth dimension”.
The Melbourne band – which comprises Trevor Mynard (drums), Tony Silber (guitar), Austin Dunmore (guitar/vocals), and Gavin Katers (bass) – spent three months of intense pre-production before holing up in Melbourne’s Sing Sing Studios with legendary producer Tim Gilles (Anthrax, The Misfits, 36 Crazy Fists) for 12 days knocking out their musical vision guided by Gilles’ expert ear.
Gilles went so far as to say the band sounded like they’d stepped out of a time machine from sometime in 1972: honest, real, raw with nothing synthetic and no samples.
“It’s about getting the sound that comes out of vinyl records,” explains Katers.
“Tim hears crystal clear what we’re representing and he did an incredible job of bringing a lot of the band’s values out in the recording in ways we didn’t anticipate or think were possible to do, like the guitar sounds and the way he approached the mix and song arrangements,” adds Dunmore, who is also the band’s main lyricist. “Tim doesn’t make bad albums. He doesn’t allow bad albums to get made.”
As an introduction to The Caning, this album is authentic as rock’s roots have always been. Take Vincent Crane, a “sprawling, prog-rock creature” which was reined in by Gilles’ skilful production, perfected on the third day of tracking. Gilles even lends his keyboard talents on this song – one of two tracks he lent his keys skills to.
Then there’s New Sun, with its fierce rock bite, but also an intriguing back story: It was written in a dream, with the working title of Apologies to Beethoven. “I had a dream that Beethoven had written a song for me. I could hear the song in my dream and it was amazing – and it wasn’t classical, it was rock. I was thinking in my dream, I have to remember this.
“Later in the dream however, I realised I’d forgotten this song Beethoven had given to me, and I madly started writing a song in my dream to make up for the one I’d lost. That one I woke up with. And I spent the next six hours transcribing it.”
Hinging on an old-school vibe, Twisting The Knife was the last to be included on the record, which was written in 15 minutes by Dunmore while he was standing on a train platform one morning, two weeks before the start of the recording sessions. The song arrangement was quickly developed by the band to become one of their favourite numbers.
The Caning was mixed by Tim Gilles at Big Blue Meenie Studios in the same room as Nirvana’s Nevermind, Jeff Buckley’s Grace and INXS’s Kick.
The album is available on now on iTunes and by pre-order at thecaningrock.com.
PARIS WELLS ALBUM BIOGRAPHY
2010 ALBUM VARIOUS SMALL FIRES
MUSHROOM GROUP/ ILLUSIVE
Paris Wells returns with a beautiful, electic and audacious sophomore album that will kick you in the balls.
“I’ve given everything away this time. Every single emotion I could possibly have. It’s an evolution of my own personal sound, no time for radio jacking,” Paris Wells says about Various Small Fires.
On her sophomore release, Various Small Fires, Paris explores some racy and bold territory. Her music reflects her free spirit – a notion tackled with the album, which flirts with alternative pop and electro-soul – and each song connects flawlessly through the theme/title taken from pop artist Ed Ruscha’s intriguing 1964 book Various Small Fires and Milk.
It’s a long way from her 2008 debut Keep It, where in the same year, Paris won the International Songwriting Contest. The next year, she took out APRA’s Professional Development Award. Two years on from the album’s release, she now sells out national tours through little more than word of mouth, and has appeared at festivals like Big Day Out, Good Vibrations, Falls Festival and MS Fest. Not to mention her performance at the historic Sound Relief concert ewith label-mates Bliss N Eso.
Various Small Fires is a daring combination of fierce electro-soul sounds with lashings of seductive beats, created by vintage instruments and modern synthesizers. “I love electronic music. My passion for electronic and beat music is equal to my passion for vintage sounds and instruments,” explains Paris. “The ideas are really clear, sonically and lyrically.” Paris travelled to the US in ‘09 and began work on the record. She visited New York, and immersed in the sounds of America’s Deep South in New Orleans, Atlanta and Washington. She returned to Melbourne, built a new studio and set to work.
Nothing is sugar-coated or contrived on Various Small Fires; the songs have rough edges with a gritty, real feel, but they still glow. The catchy Through And Through is softened by Paris’ sensual vocals, and then there’s the cheeky jazz-infused Let’s Get It Started. Goldie, with its sly references to bondage. The addictive beats of Jenny, which is about Paris’ evil alter-ego, add a buoyant, fresh overlay on this quirky tune. Believe In Me is a hushed, mid-tempo track that displays Paris’ engaging voice. But it’s the haunting title track that Paris really connects to. “That tune for me is closest to Ruscha’s work as we made it musically minimalist. What I love about Ed is he makes his art bold in the foreground so it draws you into the content in the background… I wanted my record to be like that.”
Very few artists hold the ability to simultaneously confront and seduce the listener. Various Small Fires is the musical equivalent of a French kiss at gunpoint.
Various Small Fires is out through Illusive on now.
PARIS WELLS MEDIA RELEASE
2010 SINGLE THROUGH AND THROUGH
MUSHROOM GROUP/ ILLUSIVE
Through and Through
Lead single from the soul singer’s new album Various Small Fires
Straight-talking Paris Wells tells it like it is. The Melbourne soul singer made a mark with her dynamic debut record Keep It in 2008, where she wasn’t shy to express herself with her provocative lyrics, and an undulating combination of vintage soul sounds and modern electro beats.
Now Paris is back with Through and Through, the lead single from her forthcoming second album, Various Small Fires. Exploring a new sonic landscape for Paris, Through and Through is a fierce bite of electro-soul. The sensual up-beat track starts off with a heavy bass before Paris’ sultry vocals break through the layers of strings and pulsating beats with the attitude only she could possess.
Inspired by Pop artist Ed Ruscha’s 1964 book Various Small Fires and Milk, Various Small Fires was recorded in Melbourne and mixed in LA by Chris Lord-Alge.
Various Small Fires is out through Illusive in October.
pariswells.com.au | myspace.com/pariswells | pariswellsmusic.blogspot.com
TEX PERKINS AND THE DARK HORSES
ALBUM TOUR PRESS RELEASE JULY 2011
There seems to be an air of mystery about Tex Perkins – you never know what he will do next. He’s known to many as the frontman of The Cruel Sea and The Beasts of Bourbon, to others as the star of The Man In Black, as one third of Tex Don & Charlie, one half of TnT, or as the conductor of the Bumhead Orchestra… But after 8 years, Tex Perkins has reunited with The Dark Horses on their new self-titled album.
A sweet, mellow album with moments of wicked darkness, Tex Perkins & The Dark Horses aptly captures memories and emotions with a subtle sense of menace. It shows intimacy and depth – Perkins’ gravel-tinged vocals and poetic reveries are wrapped in a late-night haze.
The songwriting union of Perkins and long-time collaborator Murray Paterson, which began more than 10 years ago, has continued to grow on this record. It’s a mature and much-anticipated follow-up to 2003’s Sweet Nothing.
Along with Perkins, The Dark Horses have masterfully carved out the songs, sculpting the sounds and adding the fine finishing touches, adding a well-rounded and mesmerising dimension to the grit-embracing mood on the record.
Joining Perkins on tour are fellow band mates – Charlie Owen, Joel Silbersher and two new members, bassist Steve Hadley and drummer Gus Agars – who will bring the warmth of the melodies and the evocative, haunting lyrics to life on stage in intimate performances.
Tex Perkins & The Dark Horses are on tour throughout July.