Dear everyone, my name is Katie Dazzle and I love country music. Even writing that down in a sentence, just right now, I’m getting a little shock at my own bold statement, but I really don’t see why. I love words, I love lyrics, and I always make personal connections to songs that are able to tell a story, and that’s what country is all about.
Plus, in the wake of Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Laura Marling, Mumford & Sons et al., banners of alt-country and nu-folk have not only popped up, but firmly ensconced themselves in our musical psyche, with winning combinations of traditional instrumentation, modern melodies and a sprinkling of pop hooks. Banjos, cowboy boots and waistcoats complete the appeal.
I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on a selection of lilting country tunes from a new Sydney solo artist, boy outside. I’m loving everything about the 3-tracker demo, right down to the elegantly rustic cardboard wallet and typewriter font. A bit superficial I know, but it just seems to bring literal meaning to the term ‘care package’.
‘Devil In A Teacup’ rolls out first, and as boy outside, a.k.a. Aidan Cooney, an English lad who has recently relocated to sunnier climes, i.e. here, sings about leaving town but not necessarily saying goodbye, all I want to do is jump in the car and drive along a highway with the windows rolled all the way down.
Next up, ‘Last Valentine’ is moody and romantic and my favourite of the three. Cooney’s voice almost reminiscent of Antony Hegarty in it’s higher moments, and Springsteen in others. Plus it’s got violins, and I’m a sucker for the strings.
Finally, ‘Gypsy Moth’ is moodier still, the vocals are raw and tender, and the guitar is the star of this track, the melody beautiful and simple, plucked with a pleading honesty. It’s the kind of music that makes me want to lie on the grass, look at the stars and swig whiskey from a handsome man’s hip flask. Wander on over to boy outside’s Myspace for more info, and a couple of extra tracks for your ear’s listening pleasure.
I can only imagine what this music must sound like live, but I won’t have to imagine for too much longer! It’s all about the pop up right now, pop up bars, pop up clothing stores, pop up books (RULE!) and now pop up gigs.
Catch boy outside this Thursday Feb 25th at Sedition Gallery, 275 Victoria St in Darlinghurst, country style-ee from 7pm.
Best of all? It’s 100% FREE! See you there my neckerchief loving friends, I’ll be the girl at the bar swilling whiskey.
In mini-mix news, this country thing is contagious. So is the whiskey drinking. Here are a trio of other tunes I also like to drink whiskey too. Thanks must go to an old friend from Glasgow for getting me hooked on the stuff in the first place.
Jacksonville Skyline – Whiskeytown
Ryan Adam’s singing about looking for a vacancy he just isn’t able to find? Turn those neon lights to green already people, seriously!
Moonshiner – Uncle Tupelo
Before Wilco, there was Uncle Tupelo, and even though this traditional folkie tune has been covered by other luminaries like Dylan and Cat Power, this one is my *blasphemous shriek* fave.
The Piano Has Been Drinking – Tom Waits
I’m not sure how I feel about the video I found for this tune. It’s taken from an old episode of Fernwood Tonight (young Fred Willard!) and comes complete with audience laughter. Hmm… Tom’s voice is definitely at it’s raspy best though. Later alligators. x