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BETWEEN THE DARKNESS AND THE DAWN
"Share with me," Lauren Bruce sings on her debut album,
Before The Dust Settles, "'cause I wanna share with you."
Lauren's songs lure you with a gentle, poetic grace. But
her hooks hit you unexpectedly. Just when you have her pegged
as fragile and delicate, she strikes you with a sassy chorus.
Before The Dust Settles is the best debut album I've heard
The back-story is a bewdy: a young singer-songwriter from
Nambucca Heads lands in London, seeking fame and fortune.
She ends up cold and lonely, but just as she's planning
to return home, she meets another Australian musician, Matt
Whytcross, who invites her to record at his house - an old
church in Lincolnshire, about two hours from London. The
nearest town is a place called Boston, which inspired Elton
John's Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting. "And nothing
has changed," Matt laughs. "It's the Moe of England." Lauren
plans to record a song or two. Three months later, she has
finished an album, ready to be mastered at Abbey Road Studios.
"It was exciting and scary," Lauren reflects on the recording.
"The songs were so fresh and emotional and then I was stuck
with them in such an isolated place. I really had to face
why I'd created them."
The title, Before The Dust Settles, was suggested by Eli
Stowe, who recorded and mixed the album. "It was about everything
being so up in the air and transient and emotional," Lauren
explains. "It was a period of change, but it's during those
times that magic happens; it's when creativity flourishes.
Using that vulnerability and uncertainty to capture something
that's beautiful and real." The album features a homesickness
song called Pickin' Bones. "It was right in the middle of
a really cold winter in London," Lauren recalls, "I was
trying to write a happy song, so I was strumming away on
E for about 20 minutes. I just wanted home and family and
I wanted to feel the summer vibe of Australia. And all I
could see were grumpy people on the Tube." Music was Lauren's
salvation. "I've got my iPod," she sings, defiantly. "I
didn't have any money, but I knew that as long as I had
my music, I could get through." Lauren now calls Melbourne
home. "Everybody in London told me to go to Melbourne,"
she smiles. "It's so cultural and the music scene is so
great. And it's also got the four seasons that I love."
Before The Dust Settles (out now on iTunes and CD Baby through
Gumption Music) heralds the arrival of a remarkable new
talent. Lauren could be music's second greatest Bruce. As
she sings at the start of the album, "The sun's coming up
on my dreams."
Fresh from launching his new best-of, The Story So Far,
Hunters & Collectors' Jack Howard is adding his trumpet
to The Break, the "supergroup" featuring Rob, Jim and Martin
from Midnight Oil, and the Violent Femmes' Brian Ritchie.
Coincidentally, Jack was once mistaken for Peter Garrett
while on tour in the US (he was also wrongly recognised
as Right Said Fred). The Break's cosmic new album will be
out in March.
As Year 12 students celebrate schoolies, Abbey Stone is
promoting her debut single. For Everything is a poignant
piece of piano pop, reflecting on 13 years of sharing school
with friends and people you barely get to know. "We made
it through," Abbey declares. Abbey has just finished her
VCE exams at Northcote High, where she debuted the song
at school assembly. "It was so nice to get to perform the
song for everyone it was written about," she says. "It's
a cliché, but the song wrote itself. I was sitting at the
piano, looking at a photo of me and one of my best friends.
I realised that our lives were going to be so different
next year." Abbey - who turned 18 this month - has wanted
to be a singer ever since hearing Aerosmith's I Don't Want
To Miss A Thing when she was four. She grew up in Fitzroy,
and her grandmother would often get her to sing for fellow
tram travellers. "I guess they were my first gigs," Abbey
laughs. Her school's career counsellor recently called,
concerned that Abbey hadn't applied for any university courses.
But Abbey plans to make music her life. And For Everything
shows that she's got the goods.
Still no homegrown hits in the Top 10.
Heartless SAMANTHA JADE (number 12, debut)
Battle Scars GUY SEBASTIAN (15)
Party Bass BOMBS AWAY (27)
Rock Star REECE MASTIN (29)
Wish You Were Here DELTA GOODREM (33)
Get Along GUY SEBASTIAN (34, debut)
Take It Home JOHNNY RUFFO (35)
Boom Boom JUSTICE CREW (36)
Clair de Lune FLIGHT FACILITIES (38, debut)
Flume floods the charts, landing at two.
Flume FLUME (number two, debut)
Armageddon GUY SEBASTIAN (five)
Child Of The Universe DELTA GOODREM (13)
Beautiful Nightmare REECE MASTIN (17)
Essential Oils MIDNIGHT OIL (24)
Atlas PARKWAY DRIVE (26)
The Rubens THE RUBENS (33)
Beautiful Noise LEE KERNAGHAN (35)
Into My Garden LAUREN BRUCE
Let Me Live JACK HOWARD
For Everything ABBEY STONE
Broken Heart Attack BEKI COLADA
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