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Aussie artists
Welcome to Living in the Land of Oz

Howzat! Archive - March 15th 2017

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KOH STAR
Sophie Koh is a great Australian story. Born in New Zealand to Chinese/Malaysian parents, she grew up in New Zealand and Singapore, moving to Australia when she was a teenager. All of that has shaped Sophie's fourth album, Book of Songs, a stunning mix of pop and classical music. "I wanted to write from the perspective of my ethnicity," says Sophie, who was inspired by a book called Women Poets of China. "It was such a moment of epiphany when I realised that the rhythm and simplicity of their prose was so similar to how I write my own lyrics. I had spent my earlier life not really acknowledging my ethnicity and it's now a breath of fresh air to put this at the centre." Sophie has also been inspired by one of her pop heroes - Madonna. "She now inspires me as a woman, not just as a creative," says Sophie, who quotes Madonna's 2016 Billboard "Women in Music" speech: "And finally, do not age. Because to age is a sin. You will be criticised, you will be vilified, and you will definitely not be played on the radio." Book of Songs sees Sophie reunited with producer J. Walker, who also worked on her second album, 2008's All Shook Up. "Everyone knows he's an incredible musician but his knowledge of Eastern music and studying Mandarin in China in his younger days really helped with the ethos of this album." Sophie had some strict rules in the studio, including using just three instruments - piano, cello and viola. "My brief to J. Walker was: 'No drums, no bass!'" Since her last album, 2012's Oh My Garden, Sophie has toured China, become a mum and played in Ben Lee's band. "I've learnt so much about stagecraft from Ben surrendering your fears, cutting out self-doubt, backing yourself 100 per cent on stage, and being colloquial and conversational with the audience." Sophie is launching Book of Songs at the Recital Centre on Saturday, 25 March.


BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
Midnight Oil to play at the AFL Grand Final?


STRAIGHT TO THE TOP
Silverchair's Straight Lines debuted at number one 10 years ago this week, seeing Silverchair become the first Aussie band to have three chart-topping singles since The Seekers and The Easybeats in the '60s.


HOT LINE
"Sometimes the days are short, sometimes the nights are long" - The Blackeyed Susans, Dream On.


CHART WATCH
No Aussie singles in the national Top 20.

Chameleon PNAU (number 22)
Adore AMY SHARK (26)
Call On Me STARLEY (33)

The Waifs slip from one to seven, as Ed Sheeran and Adele dominate the album chart.

Ironbark THE WAIFS (number seven)
When We Fall ALL OUR EXES LIVE IN TEXAS (eight, debut)
After Hours, Close To Dawn KINGSWOOD (10, debut)
Ripcord KEITH URBAN (15)
Everything Is Forgotten METHYL ETHEL (16, debut)
Flying Microtonal Banana KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD (21)
Dragonfly KASEY CHAMBERS (22)
Notion TASH SULTANA (23)
Remembrance VARIOUS ARTISTS (26, debut)
Postcards From The Shell House BUSBY MAROU (27)
The Wiggles Nursery Rhymes THE WIGGLES (31)
The Secret Daughter JESSICA MAUBOY (33)
The Best Of COLD CHISEL (34)
Bardo State HORRORSHOW (35)
The Very Very Best Of CROWDED HOUSE (36)
The Best Of THE WIGGLES (38)


HOWZAT! PLAYLIST
Tiger Not The Hare SOPHIE KOH
Rockstar City ALEX THE ASTRONAUT
I Only Hide HELEN SHANAHAN
Hurricane Stan CENTRAL RAIN
Shape & Line RAISED BY EAGLES

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