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AMERICANA SUNDAY SESSIONS W/ KATIE BRIANNA & ANDREW SWIFT (FREE EVENT)

May 7, 2017 @ 2:00 pm

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Our Beer Garden is open for food and drinks from 12noon.

Every Sunday lovers of Folk, Country, Rhythm & Blues, Blues and Rock and Roll will be presented with some of the most respected artists around. This will all be happening in relaxed surrounds of the Triffid garden with a brand new menu for the foodies and plenty of other musical and beverage surprises.

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Katie Brianna

Over the course of our lives we arrive at a long series of junctures, forks in the road that form natural grammar, the punctuation that tells us when to stop, breathe and take stock. Some paths we seek, while others find us. For songwriter Katie Brianna, the making of her gorgeous second album was a deliberate step down a bright new creative direction.

The choice was a simple one. Wallow in self-pity or seek triumph. Victim or the Heroine is the latter. “As I went through the process, it became a little clearer to me what the album was about and the place I’m at in my life and career,” Katie says. “Sometimes I’m confident, other times not so much.”

The name of the record is borne of a lyric from the lilting slow-burner ‘Thicker Skin’ (“Do I play the victim or the heroine?”). Katie deliberated over the right name for the record but kept returning to that question. “In the end that line rang true to me,” says the acclaimed songwriter. “I could sit here playing the victim, whinging about my life, but that ‘poor me’ attitude wasn’t doing me any favours. So that’s where the heroine comes into it. I have to step up. Nobody’s going to do life for me.”

It seems a lifetime ago that Katie Brianna released her debut EP in 2005, and was swiftly plucked from obscurity by the legendary Paul Kelly to record vocals on the track ‘Jindabyne Fair’, which appeared on his soundtrack to the critically acclaimed Australian film Jindabyne. In 2013 and 2014, overseas venues beckoned and Katie headed to Nashville to perform at the Americana Festival.

The distance Katie has travelled, personally and creatively, is evident in the nuanced adult tension of Victim or the Heroine. Mature and restrained, the collection of songs is elegant and serene, firmly rooted in the push and pull of modern womanhood.

When writing material for the album, Katie painted with a broader sonic palette, demonstrating there was more to her musical essence than the country folk sound of her 2013 debut Dark Side of the Morning. Despite the indelible influence of country music, there was a wider range of colours at the songwriter’s disposal. The result is an eclectic collection that unfolds with each listen, blooming in the radiance of Katie’s honeyed voice.

“I think this album shows that my music is evolving, and that I am evolving as a songwriter,” Katie says. “That my influences are expanding.”

The resulting album is a songbook of light and shade, woven with fatalism and introspection. From the dreamy ebb of ‘Thorn in Your Side’, to the sublime pop of ‘Chemical Lies’ and ‘King’, the songs are imbrued with restless reflection; an aching soul on her sofa with guitar in hand, sinking beneath affectations and owning up to her idiosyncrasies.

One of the record’s highlights is ‘Birmingham’, written in the English city from which it takes its name, a sensuous track laced with yearning and loneliness. “I think this one gets a little Fleetwood Mac in terms of production, and it’s a bit different from stuff I’ve done before’, Katie says. “I started writing this when I was on my first big overseas adventure with my sister to the UK and Europe. We were in Birmingham, so that name kind of stuck, even though there is no reference to it in the song. I think she had gone up to the hotel room and I stayed at the bar to be sad and was missing my husband. In the lyrics I talk about the places that I’ve heard about in songs, songs that he introduced me to. I mention Basingstoke which I had heard in a Robyn Hitchcock song and I thought it was pretty cool when we went through there on the train, and it made me miss him more”.

Katie enlisted award-winning songwriter and producer Shane Nicholson

and recorded Victim or the Heroine at his Central Coast studio, with a few extra days at Sydney’s Love Hz. The studio band featured bassist Matt Fell, drummer Josh Schuberth and guitarist Glen Hannah, with Nicholson working his magic as a multi-instrumentalist.

“I wanted Victim or the Heroine to be more of a polished production, with more of a pop influence,” Katie explains. “There was never going to be any escaping the fact that a lot of my early influences were country – and still are – and I do have a bit of an inbuilt twang in my voice, so I wanted to keep that element in it too. That’s why Shane was the perfect producer. He understands both worlds, and where I was coming from.”

There’s ultimately a sense of intimacy that permeates Victim or the Heroine, the majority of the songs written on the couch in Katie’s Marrickville apartment, a space that moonlights as lounge, office and music room. The musician explores her life in each track, ruminating on love and relationships, sometimes infusing them with the experiences of those around her.

“I really feel like I’ve taken some great steps with my songwriting. That it’s matured,” says Katie. “I think I’ve come a long way as a singer too and am a lot more sure of where I stand musically and who I am – as clichéd as that sounds.”

Cliché or no, one thing feels certain: Katie’s decision to forge ahead was the right one.

Andrew Swift

Hailing from the outer south east of Melbourne comes fire-faced singer-songwriter Andrew Swift. With his alt country/americana stylings and the release of his latest single ‘Sound The Alarm’, Swift has spring-boarded into Australia’s country music scene over the past two years. ̈Swift’s love for country music is a more recent romance, however his passion for songwriting & performing started when he formed pop rock band, Race The Fray, in 2000 with high school friends.

After releasing 3 EPs, several east coast tours, rotation on NOVA and a performance as the house band on ROVE Live, Swift parted ways with his long time friends to pursue a solo career creating the opportunity to step up from backing vocals to lead. ̈Finding his musical feet as a solo artist did not come easily. Swift’s first release was an over produced EP which failed to capture the true essence of a live performance.

Determined to find a sound that Swift could call his own he travelled to El Paso, Texas to work with producer Jim Ward for the recording of his debut album ‘The Way We Were Raised’. During these sessions the first hints of country/americana started to come through in Swift’s music. ̈It wasn’t until 2015 when Swift was filling in as a co-host for Casey Radio’s broadcast from Tamworth Country Music Festival that he truly realised his musical home is with country music. After hearing the tales and performances from 70 artists over 5 days, Swift could see that he needed to be a part of this family that is the Australian country music industry. ̈Going all in, Swift released ‘Sound The Alarm’ to the country scene which popped its head into the Australian Country Radio Charts at number 20, reached number 4 on 98.9FMs Australian Top 20 songs while the film clip has been played on CMC’s Alt Country program. ‘Sound The Alarm’ was also listed as a semi-finalist in the

Tamworth Songwriters Association Awards in 2016 as was Swift’s love song duet ‘Hand In Hand’.

Having a desire to satisfy his restless heart, Swift has been constantly performing around the country and abroad including shows with Shane Nicholson, Adam Eckersley Band, Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes, Andrew Strong (The Commitments), Harmony James and a regional Victorian tour with americana songstress Gretta Ziller to name a few. Not to mention a tour of the ‘House of Blues’ venues across America in 2015 and performances at The Man From Snowy River Festival, Aireys Inlet Music Festival, Hats Off To Country Festival and the Gympie Music Muster in 2016.

While being on the road Swift has been writing and co-writing, working towards the release of a new album for release in 2017.

“A powerful, soulful voice with a seemingly huge range, that sets him apart from his contemporaries” – Lachlan Bryan, Mint Magazine

“Swift really has a great gift for depicting time and place in his lyrics and the emotions that go with them. This is a man with a very positive and exciting musical career ahead of him.” – Neil Evans tonedeaf.com.au

 

 

May 7, 2017 @ 2:00 pm

Purchase securely through
Our Beer Garden is open for food and drinks from 12noon.