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SUMMER ARRIVES EARLY
Amaya Laucirica's second album is called Early Summer (out
October 1 on Departed Sounds). Is that her favourite time
of year? "Oh yeah," Amaya says. "I'm over winter." Was this
the Difficult Second Album? "No, it was actually quite easy.
The songwriting process happened so quickly for this record,
I think the momentum of recording the songs quickly worked
in our favour." Early Summer follows Amaya's acclaimed debut,
2008's Sugar Lights. "Positive reactions to your record
are great and encouraging," she says. "But it didn't really
change anything. The next day, I just went back to my day
job. The feeling of being catapulted into stardom starts
to fade a bit when you're playing shows to 20 people again
after five years in the same city."
Amaya grew up in Millicent (population 5000) in South Australia,
not far from Dave Graney's hometown of Mount Gambier. Her
brother bought her a Cort Acoustic guitar when she was 15
and she's been playing ever since. She moved to Sydney before
settling in Melbourne. "We moved to Melbourne for the music,
absolutely," she explains. "We do have ideas of moving overseas,
but Melbourne is our home base for now."
Did Amaya's Picture At Hanging Rock fascination influence
the new album? "Well, I was reading the book while writing
the record, and I just loved the whole transcending vibe.
I like those kind of stories and albums that suck you in.
You have no idea where you're going, but you know you're
going to a good place. And I think that boosted my confidence
in writing the songs. It taps into something familiar, but
you decide in the end what you want to take from it."
Amaya reminds Howzat! of a young Chrissy Amphlett - she's
alluring, yet menacing. She laughs when she recounts a favourite
description of her sound. "My friend said that my new record
sounds like Cat Power meets Sylvia Plath. I thought that
was pretty funny." Amaya - who cites The Orbweavers, Gaslight
Radio and Lindsay Phillips as her current local faves -
recently supported Mark Lanegan on his Australian tour.
"It's tough to be the opening act," she says, "as people
don't know who you are and they just want Mark Lanegan.
At the same time, it's very liberating to play to that kind
of audience. Mark is also a great guy, really humble and
incredibly kind. I felt very fortunate to have toured with
such talented and nice musicians."
Amaya launches Early Summer at the Workers Club on Friday,
October 1 with special guest Princess One Point Five.
ALL YOU WANT IS A WEDDING RING
Congratulations to Stephen Cummings who got married last
Wednesday night. Stephen and his partner of more than two
decades, Kathleen, tied the knot atop a city building, in
front of just their two sons and another couple. Stephen
spent his honeymoon doing a gig at the Union Hotel in Brunswick.
WAGONS WHEELS ACROSS AMERICA
Henry Wagons' American blitz continues this week, with shows
in Chicago, Cincinnati, Minneapolis and New York. Henry
scored a rave at melophobe.com for his MusicfestNW gig in
Portland, Oregon. Jarrod Dunham called him "an Australian
country singer armed with golden country pipes, an ironic
moustache, and a bizarre and disarming sense of humor. Musically,
the Melbourne native is just good ol' country music, unlikely
only in that its genesis is in, that's right, Melbourne.
As a performer, though, dude is charismatic as fuck. Dances
around the stage like he's Mick Mars, except without a bunch
of frizzy-haired douchebag bandmates to back him up. In
fact, Wagons has more stage presence all by himself than
most full bands I've seen." Henry will be back in Australia
in time for his traditional Cup Eve show at the Northcote
BEST SECOND YEAR PLAYER
Tobias Cummings' wonderful new album is called A Trophy.
The cover features a stack of trophies. But none of them
belongs to Tobias. "I won a trophy for debating when I was
in Year 7," Tobias reveals. "Nothing after that though -
not much of a sportsman, I'm afraid. I had to rely on talented
friends for all of those trophies on the cover." Tobias'
debut, Join The Dots, scored an AMP nomination, but Tobias
is yet to win any music awards. "Always the bridesmaid and
never the bride," he laughs. "I figure if I keep scoring
nominations, the law of averages dictates that I'll win
Little Red Rock It into the Top 20.
Plans BIRDS OF TOKYO (number 17)
Rock It LITTLE RED (19)
Choose You STAN WALKER (22)
Freefallin' ZOE BADWI (24)
Love The Fall MICHAEL PAYNTER (28)
Revolution THE JOHN BUTLER TRIO (36)
Addicted BLISS N ESO (39)
Freak Tonight SCARLETT BELLE (40, debut)
And Little Red's acclaimed second album has a Top 5 debut
- entering ahead of the new Grinderman release.
Midnight Remember LITTLE RED (number five, debut)
Grinderman 2 GRINDERMAN (nine, debut)
Down The Way ANGUS & JULIA STONE (10)
Running On Air BLISS N ESO (11)
Rage And Ruin JIMMY BARNES (12)
Birds Of Tokyo BIRDS OF TOKYO (13)
I Believe You Liar WASHINGTON (14)
From The Inside Out STAN WALKER (22)
April Uprising THE JOHN BUTLER TRIO (23)
Golden Rule POWDERFINGER (27)
Theory Of Everything CHILDREN COLLIDE (28)
Immersion PENDULUM (32)
It's Gonna Be OK ADAM BRAND (38)
Conditions THE TEMPER TRAP (40)
Sun On My Face AMAYA LAUCIRICA
Wasted SKIPPING GIRL VINEGAR
Busy Bees TOBIAS CUMMINGS
Love Streams STEPHEN CUMMINGS
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