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Howzat! Archive - February 3rd 2010

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Her dad hung out with Bon Scott. Her mum, known as Mouse, is a textile artist who's worked on movies such as Moulin Rouge, Mission Impossible and Muriel's Wedding. And Loene Carmen was on the big screen when we first got to know her, playing Freya in the coming-of-age classic The Year My Voice Break. But Loene has carved a career as a musician. Her fourth album, It Walks Like Love, was released late last year (through Inertia), and it's too great to fall between the cracks. Loene's sound has been called sultry, smokin', suggestive, seductive, sensual and smouldering. She's also been described as "like a female Australian Bill Callahan she sits in a magical, rarefied space, somewhere between Tom Waits and Dolly Parton". Asked how she would describe her sound, Loene smiles and says: "Wordy. Funnier than you might first think." It Walks Like Love features contributions from Loene's dad, Peter Head - who played in Adelaide prog blues band Headband, who supported the Stones and Elton John - and Loene's daughter, Holiday Sidewinder from Bridezilla. "It was lovely having them on the album," Loene says. "I plan to do more of it, I'm in awe of both of their talents." Loene loves her music. Asked to list her three favourite Australian songwriters, she provides 14: Tex Perkins ("I love his humour, braggadocio, dirt, beauty, brutality, vulnerability, elegant turn of phrase, a suggestive raised eyebrow and no fear of telling it like it is"), Ian Rilen and Cathy Green ("songs that are simple, tough and tender and conjure up the road and darkened rooms"), Rowland S Howard, Paul Kelly, Don Walker, Gareth Liddiard, Jed Kurzel, Joel Silbersher, Kim Salmon, Louis Tillett, Spencer P Jones, Conrad Standish, Ron Peno the list goes on." Howzat! caught up with Loene as she gets set to return to Melbourne. She's playing on Sunday, February 21 at the Toff.

Being the "daughter of a wild rock 'n' roller" was a music career inevitable?
"Not at all, especially the fact that I certainly never harboured any illusions about music being a path to wealth and fame! However, my father did nurture an incredible love of music in me and I can't really imagine being anything else."

A favourite description of your music?
"Soft chaos."

A comparison that's surprised you?
"Occasionally, my songs are described as 'heartbroken' or 'bitter', which I find odd, as all of my songs are celebrations of love in some strange form or another. I'm not very interested in exploring heartbreak or bitterness."

"'I'm tougher than leather and softer than suede'" ... is that a line about yourself?
"Guilty, your honour."

Do you prefer music to movies?

Are there similarities between making music and acting?
"Both require a certain leap of faith and blind belief in what you're doing in order for it to connect with other people. And they're both just about getting a story or a feeling across when it comes down to it. The thing I love most about making music is that I'm responsible for the whole package - I can make any choice I want for the best way to get my point across, whereas when I'm acting I'm responsible for trying my hardest to fulfill someone else's vision, which I also really enjoy, but it's a pretty different scenario; all care, no responsibility. But I've racked up a lot more recorded music time than screen time; acting is pretty rare for me these days."

So, this year's number one song in the Triple J Hottest 100 comes from UK band Mumford & Sons. Howzat! has only one question: Triple J are all over this song, yet they don't play Wagons?!

It's great to hear a young band filled with ambition. Sydney's Tokenview have delivered a grand debut with Patience At Sea (through Inertia). In particular, the single, What Can I Do, is a gem. Epic, cinematic rock.

The title-track of Vanessa Amorosi's new album arrives at 29. Meanwhile, Sia and Neighbours star Sam Clark score their first Top 40 hits. And The Temper Trap return to the Top 20 with a song that The Sydney Morning Herald's Bernard Zuel calls "Kids In The Kitchen-like".

Black Box STAN WALKER (number 10)
Art Of Love GUY SEBASTIAN (11)
Sweet Disposition THE TEMPER TRAP (19)
One Way Road JOHN BUTLER TRIO (21)
According To You ORIANTHI (26)
Hazardous VANESSA AMOROSI (29, debut)
You've Changed SIA (31)
Like It Like That GUY SEBASTIAN (36)
Caught In The Crowd KATE MILLER-HEIDKE (38)
Broken SAM CLARK (39)

Following their Tamworth success, The McClymonts' second album lands at number two.

Wrapped Up Good THE McCLYMONTS (number two, debut)
Conditions THE TEMPER TRAP (16)
Introducing STAN WALKER (19)
Walking On A Dream EMPIRE OF THE SUN (20)
Golden Rule POWDERFINGER (21)
As Day Follows Night SARAH BLASKO (23)
Bran Nue Dae SOUNDTRACK (29, debut)
Like It Like That GUY SEBASTIAN (32)
Summer THE SUNNY COWGIRLS (33, debut)
Hazardous VANESSA AMOROSI (38)
Been Waiting JESSICA MAUBOY (40)

Will You Shine? PERRY KEYES
The Gambler WAGONS

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