IMOGEN CLARK – www.imogenclark.com.au:
In the last few years, Imogen Clark has been touted as one of the most promising songwriters in Australia. With a CMC nomination for New Oz Artist Of The Year in her back pocket, she’s on the cusp of converting those accolades into wider critical acclaim with the recent release of her debut album Love & Lovely Lies.
Capturing the pain and joy of entering adulthood, navigating the stormy waters of young love, the search for self-belief and finding one’s place in the world are all themes Imogen conveys with her richly melodic voice and lyrics. She has the ability to sound fragile and vulnerable and then, just as effectively, deliver lines that exude emotional strength with a deep and soulful resonance.
In late 2015, Imogen signed with Lost Highway Records/Universal Music (Shane Nicholson, Catherine Britt), recognition of how her songwriting has gained respect in the alt-country/Americana music field. Since her signing, Imogen has been recognised with major awards at the Australian Songwriters and Tamworth Songwriters Awards.
The album has enjoyed great success since its release, charting at #15 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter Chart, and #15 on the ARIA Chart for Australian Country Albums. The album’s first single Take Me For A Ride peaked at #1 on the iTunes Country Chart. The second single You’ll Only Break My Heart entered the Official Australian Airplay Country Top 20 at #14, taking into account radio stations right across Australia, as well as reaching #1 on the Country Music Channel chart.
The range and conviction throughout her songs is what has already drawn many to Imogen’s songwriting and continues to capture the hearts and minds of new fans as they discover Love & Lovely Lies.
LACHLAN BRYAN & THE WILDES – www.lachlanbryan.com:
Once in a blue Tasman moon, the damp backstreets of Melbourne produce a songsmith of singular integrity and vision; an artist who is readily able to articulate, in profoundest detail, our most familiar concerns – be they personal, generational, or universal.
The second studio outing from the re-branded Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes – their first with ABC Music – The Mountain is a landmark recording from one of the country’s most versatile collectives. An expansive offering, The Mountain is a lyrical and musical expression of resignation falling short of capitulation; of living with doubt without being enfeebled by it; of finding stillness in the face of the constant, pressing urge toward motion.
The Mountain builds on the tearaway success of the most recent Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes offering Black Coffee. That album debuted at the No. 12 spot on the ARIA Australian Albums Chart, peaking at No. 4 on the ARIA Country Chart and netting the group the 2014 Golden Guitar for Alternative Country Album of the Year, as well as The Age Music Victoria Award for Best Country Album, and the Australian Independent Music Award for Best Group.
At once ambitious and restrained, literary and irreverent, The Mountain is a genre-spanning document of Australian songwriting at its thrilling, heartbreaking, captivating best.
JENNY QUEEN – www.jennyqueen.com:
The power of the small town life has moved many songwriters to praise – both nostalgically and regretfully – its many foibles and its less than obvious joys.
The third album by the pride of Ohio, Sydney-based US country folk singer Jenny Queen takes the small town life through a song cycle that packs an emotional wallop. Like many great country albums before it, it comes with swings, roundabouts and sucker punches. You can feel the pulse of its powerful themes of loss, redemption, and abuse and – yes – love.
This album, sung by an American girl, played and produced by Australians, gives us some clue to the simpatico nature of our two cultures, and our shared small town experiences. No matter where you grew up, no matter what the roots of your raising, Jenny Queen’s Small Town Misfits is a record to hit you where you live.
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