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Aussie artists
Welcome to Living in the Land of Oz

Howzat! Archive - September 24th 2014

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LIVING IN THE LAND OF OZ
If she's not already, Missy Higgins will one day be as revered as Paul Kelly. Everything she does is quality; she hasn't had one career misstep in the decade since her debut single, Scar, topped the charts. So now she releases a covers album has she run out of ideas? Missy's manager, John Watson, suggested the covers concept when she was battling writer's block between her second and third albums. OZ has ended up as Missy's fourth album, featuring covers of songs by Paul Kelly, Perry Keyes, Something For Kate, Divinyls, Icehouse, Neil Murray, The Drones, Dan Sultan, The Angels, Slim Dusty, The Blackeyed Susans, Don Walker and The Go-Betweens. There is also a book accompanying the album. Missy baulked at an autobiography, explaining, "I'm not sure anyone would be that interested I've had a pretty safe life. No ghettos in my childhood, just private schools, wholesome parents and jazz lessons." Instead, Missy wrote a collection of essays, giving an insight into the album. She writes endearingly and honestly about inspiration, identity, feminism, fandom, depression and love. Musically, OZ works because this is not "Missy sings the hits". She jokes that the subtitle for the album could have been: Songs I Liked And Reckoned I Could Sing Well, And Stuff. This is Missy as a fan. She confesses she wrote a letter to Paul Dempsey when she was 17, and she urges people to check out Perry Keyes - "it's rare to find a lyricist this good". Doing an album of local songs makes sense for an artist who has always been defiantly Australian. Missy recounts how the English producer of her first album suggested toning down her Aussie accent, because some listeners might find it "distracting". Missy took great offence - "How dare anyone think that me singing in my own accent is distracting? I'm not fucking American! Anyway, the accent became stronger out of sheer spite." Not enough local artists do enough to promote Australian music (how often, for example, do you see an Aussie song as the RocKwiz duet?). "Not only is there so much Australian music out there that I'd never heard before," Missy says, "but there's so much good Australian music out there." This is an album and book that gives so much. Missy Higgins is a great artist.


RUSTY NEVER SLEEPS
As well as rocking the Espy on Friday nights in September, Electric Mary's Rusty Brown has become a premiership coach, leading the Macleod Eagles Under 13s to glory. Electric Mary are also running a Pozible campaign to help them get to Europe in November.


LOVERS LANE
Howzat! is loving Davey Lane's debut solo album, Atonally Young, which will be out on 3 Oct. It's a cosmic classic! Davey has also been writing about his favourite records at his Facebook page, including offerings from Sun God Replica, Todd Rundgren and Supergrass.


HOT LINE
"Winter is passing, I wonder what's to come?" - Luluc, Winter Is Passing.


CHART WATCH
Nathaniel leaps from 22 to five.

Freaks TIMMY TRUMPET (number three)
Live Louder NATHANIEL (five)
Black Widow IGGY AZALEA (23)
Amnesia 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER (24)
Come Home With Me GUY SEBASTIAN (33)
Geronimo SHEPPARD (34)
Que Sera JUSTICE CREW (36)
Chandelier SIA (37)

Megan Washington's second album lands at number five.

30:30 Hindsight JIMMY BARNES (number four)
There There MEGAN WASHINGTON (five, debut)
Dream Your Life Away VANCE JOY (six)
Walking Under Stars HILLTOP HOODS (nine)
Angus & Julia Stone ANGUS & JULIA STONE (13)
Bittersweet KASEY CHAMBERS (14)
5 Seconds Of Summer 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER (17)
Microscopic Wars KINGSWOOD (18)
The Very Best INXS (23)
The New Classic IGGY AZALEA (26)
1000 Forms Of Fear SIA (29)
Utopia 360 (32)
Burnt Letters TAYLOR HENDERSON (33)
Let The Ocean Take Me THE AMITY AFFLICTION (35)
Built On Glass CHET FAKER (37)
Nothin' But Trouble THE WOLFE BROTHERS (39)
Bombs Away SHEPPARD (40)


HOWZAT! PLAYLIST
NYE MISSY HIGGINS
Komarov DAVEY LANE
This Living LAUREN GLEZER
Already Gone ELECTRIC MARY
Winter Is Passing LULUC

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