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Howzat! Archive - August 29th 2012

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Some bands get very good very quickly. Take Love Migrate. They played their first gig last year, at the Grace Darling. This year, they played at the Boogie Festival, and now they're launching their wonderful new single, Making This Hard, at the Toff on Thursday. The title is not a double entendre. Love Migrate are a serious band. There's lots of pondering and wondering, contemplating life's Big Questions. Yep, they're serious. And they're seriously good.

"I think loss is the main theme of my songwriting," singer Eddie Alexander tells Howzat!, "or at least it's quite prominent on the record we've just finished. Most of the tracks are a reflection of a particular event or mindset I've experienced. I look forward to writing more in anticipation of something, to provide a bit more optimism in the songs. Who knows, the next record might have a few three-minute, hand-clapping bangers."

Love Migrate evolved from a band called Goodnight Owl. Their sound is atmospheric pop. Eddie overheard two guys at a gig arguing whether they were too psychedelic to be called folk music. "I think that's a pretty good description," he says.

"All of our wounds come from our first love" is a line that leaps out of Making This Hard. Who were Eddie's first musical loves? "I never really had a lot of music posters on my wall growing up," he reveals. "My room was plastered with skateboarding posters and there wasn't much space for anything else. I grew up in a house with constant rotations of Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter, Paul Kelly, The Black Sorrows and The Warumpi Band. I probably didn't realise it at the time, but I think each of these artists has had a profound impact on my songwriting and overall love of music." Asked to nominate his three favourite local songwriters, Eddie lists Paul Kelly, Gareth Liddiard and David McComb. "Peter Combe was also a genius back in the '90s," he adds. "I still fix the fence with sticky tape, which is maybe why it's full of white ants." Indeed, Love Migrate's debut album (out 12 October) is called Plagued Are All My Thoughts, Like White Ants In The Fence.

Fight the power! St Kilda's Pure Pop Records is engaged in an ongoing battle with the council and has been forced to soundproof its courtyard. To help the campaign, punters can "buy a brick". Head to for more info.

The new book Songs About You ($21.95, South Publishing) confirms one of Australian music's best-kept secrets: Hap Hayward is one of our finest lyricists. The book gathers Hap's lyrics "from The Dead Salesmen to Underminers and lots of stuff in-between". He starts the book with a line from Loudon Wainwright III's So Many Songs: "It's taken me so long to finally see, my songs about you are all about me." Loudon was a big influence. "There was John Lennon as a kid, and Morrissey really blew me away as a teenager," Hap says. "Loudon gave me the confidence to write about really personal things when I hit my 20s, but really it was hearing Paul Kelly's Post album. Hearing Adelaide and From St Kilda To Kings Cross was extraordinary to me because I actually knew the places he was talking about. And he wore his heart on his sleeve, but in a really cool, understated way." Hap launches Songs About You at Readings in Carlton on Wednesday, 12 September.

As The Go-Betweens release a new compilation album, Quiet Heart, Penny Hewson has declared they are her biggest influence. What's Penny's favourite Go-Betweens album? "Spring Hill Fair. It was so unbelievable to me that an Australian band had made such a record at that time. Their songwriting, their sound, the absolute self-confidence to do their own thing, and yet still with such an innocence. It was an alluring taste of things to come, plus it has those GoB's classics - Part Company, Draining The Pool For You and my absolute all-time fave, Bachelor Kisses." Penny launches her new album, It's An Endless Desire, at the Empress on Friday, with The Dead Salesmen duo and Jeremy Gronow.

Guy Sebastian has had as many number one singles in Australia as ABBA.

Battle Scars GUY SEBASTIAN (number one)
Boom Boom JUSTICE CREW (two)
When The Lights Go Out HAVANA BROWN (19)
Dancing With A Broken Heart DELTA GOODREM (23)
Run Alone 360 (24)
Everyone's Waiting MISSY HIGGINS (31)

The Sapphires soundtrack spends a second week on top.

The Sapphires soundtrack (number one)
Fear & Freedom RICKI-LEE (seven, debut)
The Ol' Razzle Dazzle MISSY HIGGINS (nine)
My Journey KARISE EDEN (10)
Spirit Bird XAVIER RUDD (17)
There Will Be Love ADAM BRAND (19)
Drinking From The Sun HILLTOP HOODS (21)
Broken Brights ANGUS STONE (23)
The Story So Far KEITH URBAN (24)
Falling & Flying 360 (26)
A Is For Alpine ALPINE (35)

Making This Hard LOVE MIGRATE
This One's For You PENNY HEWSON

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