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Howzat! Archive - July 31st 2013

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It's just what we need - a summer song in winter. Suffering from the winter blues? Check out Susy Blue and her sparkling new single, Wish In My Dish ( More infectious than the flu, it is, as Susy says, "a happy celebration of being young and free a kooky stream of consciousness flow". Was it as much fun to record as it sounds? "Yes," Susy exclaims, "we started with stomps and handclaps how can you go wrong?" Producer Shane O'Mara then added clinking jewellery and flute key slaps. "And we even recorded his crazy little dogs barking." The song's catchy title is simply the start of the fun. "It was just a random stream of consciousness ramble," Susy says. "I was doing FAWM (February Album Writing Month), an internet forum where you write/upload a demo of a new song every two days. I was writing in my garden and there were all these dandelions floating in the air. I think one landed on a dog bowl near the pond. I've always blown on them and made a wish, so to have so many floating through the beautiful summery air made me feel happy and hopeful."

Wish In My Dish is from Susy Blue's forthcoming second album, which follows 2011's Curly Girl. The difficult second album? "No difficulties at all," Susy smiles. Shane, she says, is "hilarious", adding, "I was so determined to maintain control over our first album but, after working with Shane, I think it's way better to have another person, provided that they're great and you like them and trust their taste."

So what's Susy's all-time favourite "happy" song? "Oh, that's a tough question, can I have two? Over the last couple of years, it's been Little Joy's Brand New Start; more long-term, The Specials' A Message to You, Rudy." And her favourite sad song? "Many Tori Amos songs guided me through my sullen adolescence, the most rainy day one being Horses off Boys for Pele." Susy Blue is also a band. "It refers to me as well as the band," she explains. "Susan Hull is my real - and boring - name." As Susan Hull, she studied classical flute at the Queensland Conservatorium, where she was inspired by Emma Dean, Jackie Marshal and Katie Noonan. "I was terrified by the prospect of singing publicly, let alone something as personal as a song I had written," Susy says. "These amazing ladies had amazing voices, personas, stage presence, wrote great songs and totally did their own thing - a huge inspiration."

Susy was blonde, but now she's a brunette. Do blondes have more fun? "I suppose I was younger with blonde hair and definitely wilder, but I think I can only blame my lack of wisdom and responsibility for that rather than my hair! Though there's not much more wisdom or responsibility going on now - I can't even commit to getting a dog, which would make me insanely happy, or a part-time job." Susy was part of the FReeZA Central mentoring program. "It was great," she says. "My mentor was Suzannah Espie, who is a legend, so it was a privilege to have her support. And I made some great friends and contacts." Susy also has plenty of supportive fans, including her mum, who sold a Susy Blue CD to her dentist. So what's been Susy's favourite description of the Susy Blue sound? "Songs full of light and flight, that are free, fun and on the fringe, yet nestled in pop overtones." Yep, that sums it up nicely. Susy Blue launches Wish In My Dish with a special afternoon show at the Workers Club on Sunday, 11 August.

The remarkable Ron S. Peno celebrated his birthday last Friday with the release of the third Darling Downs album, In The Days When The World Was Wide, which he launched the following night with Kim Salmon at the Toff. It was a stunning showcase of one of the year's finest albums. The consensus seems to be four-and-a-half stars, with the record already receiving that rating in The Age, The Weekend Australian and Stack. "The Darling Downs' world is vast and fertile," Patrick Emery wrote in The Age, while Peter Lalor stated in The Weekend Australian: "Hell, it's all good and verging on an Australian classic."

Vance Joy hits the Top 10.

Riptide VANCE JOY (number 10)
Parachute TIMOMATIC (13)
Resolution MATT CORBY (14)
Fire Starter SAMANTHA JADE (18)
To The End Of The Earth JESSICA MAUBOY (22, debut)
Sheppard EP SHEPPARD (27)
Act Yo Age BLISS N ESO (34)

Karnivool debut at number one - just four months after Ian Kenny's other band, Birds of Tokyo, topped the charts.

Asymmetry KARNIVOOL (number one, debut)
Circus In The Sky BLISS N ESO (three)
More Than A Dream HARRISON CRAIG (four)
A Time For Us LUKE KENNEDY (10)
The Great Country Songbook TROY CASSAR-DALEY & ADAM HARVEY (12)
This Music CELIA PAVEY (18)
Sharkmouth RUSSELL MORRIS (21)
Departures BERNARD FANNING (22)
Glorious Ruins HILLSONG LIVE (28)
The Beginning And The End Of Everything JOSH PYKE (30)
Ice On The Dune EMPIRE OF THE SUN (32)
As The Crow Flies DANNY ROSS (40)

Wish In My Dish SUSY BLUE
Everything Is Everything MAJOR CHORD

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