has played a major part in the trio, Eskimo Joe
, as front man and songwriter as well as a member of the four-piece collective Basement Birds and, on a non-music front, as a campaigner for Oxfam's "Close The Gap" campaign.
Eskimo Joe climbed steadily into the hearts of Australians from the day triple j first spun "Sweater" on their airwaves. The band's clever pop creations were infectious -- scoring them a spot at Homebake and sending their first album, Girl
, up the charts to bring home a Gold plaque, kicking off what has been a massive career.
Touring, and simply time, brought maturity and a change to Eskimo Joe. Kav was at the centre of this change, writing about his personal experiences and reflecting them in his clever turn of phrase and canny melodies on A Song Is A City
. Songs such as "Life Is Better With You", "Smoke" and crowd favourite "From The Sea" created a new reality for the band and its members.
It was Black Fingernails, Red Wine
that truly brought the trio international recognition. With numerous accolades at home, they embarked on a journey through the US and onward to Europe. In the US, their live shows drew loads of attention from punters and media, "How Does It Feel" ended up in a pivotal scene in the first season of US hit series Gossip Girl and the body of work was considered 'Album of the Year' by SFist.
Word travelled to European shores giving the band a signing in Germany for Central Europe, Belgium and Holland ahead of their fourth album -- titled Inshalla
. A different record in sound and style to the previous outing, but a top number debut on the ARIA national album chart and its lead single a huge success as the most performed work on radio in the country.
During the rigorous touring through Black Fingernails, Red Wine
, Kav also crafted pop folk songs with his mates Steve Parkin, Kevin Mitchell and Josh Pyke. The collaboration was really only intended to be a bit of fun and a reprieve from their public works, however, things took off quickly for them. Adopting the name Basement Birds, the four-piece released a series of digital singles and EPs culminating in an album, accepted invitations from festivals, toured the country successfully then quietly stepped back into their major projects less than a few months later. However, for Kav this was the first time he had showed the punters the versatility of his song-writing.
At this point Kav also started intensive work on Dirt Diamond Productions, the indie record label he shares with fellow EJ band members with his focus being on the development and song-writing of upcoming acts in Perth. His first direct signing being the young, enigmatic local star, Kathryn Rollins who has recently completed an EP with Kav at the helm. Josh Pyke
is one of Australia's premier singer/songwriters. Known for his ability to weave intelligent lyrics with warm melodies and quirky song structures, Pyke is a modern-day storyteller whose unique and evocative use of both words and music places him in a league of his own.
Pyke's breakthrough single was Middle of the Hill
, a paean to suburban childhood that struck a chord and catapulted him into the limelight. The track made it to #19 on triple j's 2005 Hottest 100 countdown and appeared on his debut release, a mini album entitled Feeding The Wolves
Pyke followed up Feeding The Wolves
with the 2007 release of his debut album Memories & Dust
which hit the ARIA chart at #4. The Gold record, hailed a "classic" by The Daily Telegraph and "world-class" by The Age, was acclaimed by critics and fans alike. It took out three ARIA Awards, was nominated for a J Award and yielded the singles Memories & Dust, Lines On Palms, Fed And Watered, Sew My Name
and Forever Song
Its 2008 follow-up was Chimney's Afire
, an album that equaled the success of its predecessor and firmly established Pyke at the forefront of music in Australia. Chimney's Afire
debuted at #3 on the ARIA chart, won an ARIA Award and has also achieved Gold sales. Its singles received airplay across the country, and the guitar boat created for Pyke's Make You Happy
video was broadcast all over the world. After co-producing his debut album with renowned producer Wayne Connolly, Pyke went it alone on Chimney's Afire
, recording and producing the bulk of the album himself.
Following the release of Chimney's Afire
, a lot of changes took place in his life -- he started playing in a band again after eight years as a solo artist and he became a father for the first time. Much of the material for ONLY SPARROWS
was written before either of these major changes took place, so by the time it came to really thinking about his third record, he felt a little removed from his solo career, and an element of self-doubt began to creep in to his craft. It was then he decided to head to New York to clear his head do some "writing and walking and thinking".
That renewed enthusiasm for songwriting manifests itself on ONLY SPARROWS
, an album full to bursting with the sound of an artist who has adopted a new approach to not only his music, but life in general. The notion that we're all a part of something bigger than ourselves colours the record, from the lyrics and music right through to the album title and artwork by James Hancock. Kevin Mitchell
Quoted as being "one of our premier singer-songwriters", which is a sentiment echoed by many media outlets, radio, industry, peers and fans alike -- Kevin Mitchell has grown up in the Australian music spotlight.
Forming what would become a seminal Australian band in Jebediah
, at age 16 and after a series of band competition dates, the four-piece outfit secured a spot on the massive Summersault Festival after only 13 shows. Within a year of this festival Jebediah had gone from a tiny band out of Perth, Western Australia to a household name. They penetrated the radio and TV waves with their unique punk sound, featuring Kevin's distinct voice and larrikin style video clips, solidifying them as the fun loving darlings of the Australian music industry and gracing stages with major international acts. The band's debut album sold double platinum in Australia and was released in New Zealand and Japan to critical acclaim. The massive success saw them nominated for an ARIA Award, given tour supports for Australian and international heavyweights such as Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, Silverchair and You Am I and an invitation for them to tour and release their second album in the US. As a young Aussie band in a big US market they took it on strong, played nearly 200 shows in a short period and wound up releasing a split EP with influential American band Jimmy Eat World. During this time, Kev and peers started their own independent record label, Redline Records which sought out and released other noteworthy Australian musicians such as Gyroscope in their first ever EP release and Blueline Medic.
Unbeknownst to many, the pop punk lead singer was also busy writing pure pop tunes with a country tinge; exuding the stories of growing up in suburban Australia. As Jebediah was busy racing up the charts and going gold and, soon after, platinum, the seeds of what would become Kevin's solo project, Bob Evans
, had sprouted. After 4 studio albums, numerous nominations, awards and accolades and 9 years of touring the world putting Australian punk on the map with Jebediah, it was time to take a punt on these solo creations.
Bob Evans' debut album may have quietly slipped into the marketplace while Kevin was still busy with Jebediah but it didn't go completely unnoticed. A record label and devoted fans caught wind of the wonder of these heart-warming tunes and with that starting support, it wasn't until the second album, Suburban Songbook
, that Kevin truly landed rewards of glowing praise and elevated his existing recognition as a top songwriter. The genuine storytelling of his timeless tunes, which span across the three Bob Evans albums, the latter two having been recorded in Nashville with Brad Jones (Sheryl Crow, Josh Rouse), rewarded him with numerous accolades including an ARIA Award and Rolling Stone "Man of the Year". In addition, he has had the wonderful opportunity to play with and/or tour with acclaimed musicians such as Crowded House, Keith Urban, The Black Keys and Powderfinger to name a few. While Kevin relocated to Melbourne during this time, the success of Bob Evans carried overseas to South Africa, the UK and particularly Spain where a song was chosen for a well-known brand advertisement.
The much loved larrikin that he is, Kevin was invited to host Triple J's morning show for two weeks while Zan Rowe headed to SXSW. Keeping the audience of the national youth broadcaster entertained was a dream come true and a grand time for Kevin. Listeners loved his time there and repeatedly ask for him to return to the airwaves. However, it is not time for a radio career just yet. In another example of his wide range of writing talent, Kevin quickly became busy in an all-Australian collective called Basement Birds
. The band, oft dubbed a 'supergroup', also includes Kav Temperley (Eskimo Joe), Josh Pyke, Steve Parkin (Autopilot). Basement Birds was intended to be a small, fun project however it grew to a rather large and successful Australian tour including festivals and a full self-titled album, Triple J Like A Version, an ARIA nomination and a slew of hungry fans.
A brand new Jebediah album, Kosciuszko
, kept Kevin very busy recently. Undertaking a massive 6-month Australian touring schedule filled with sold out shows, Kosciuszko
hit home with both diehard fans and new listeners. The album debuted at #6 in the ARIA Charts, was Triple J Album of the Week, nominated for an ARIA Award, scored in the Triple J Hottest 100 with the single "She's Like A Comet", which also went as high as #1 in the radio charts for weeks, went Gold in sales and took home a WAMi. In addition, the band took up invitations to play the NRL Grand Final, Splendour in the Grass, Hamish & Andy's last broadcast and more.
During the last few years, Kevin has also started to dabble in co-writing, having penned a few songs with up-and-coming Aussie artists including indie-pop songstress Lisa Mitchell (who shares that same surname but unrelated) and, more recently, budding pop-country starlet Kirsty Akers, who was recently nominated for a CMAA. He hopes to continue these collaborations in between other projects.
There is a wealth of opportunity on the horizon for Kevin Mitchell. With 15 years of touring, recording and writing under his belt already, this is still the beginning of many more years of writing and performing to come. Holly Throsby
Following 2008's internationally acclaimed A Loud Call
, Sydney-born and -bred artist Holly Throsby headed to a 19th century church in the NSW Southern Highlands with long-time collaborator, Tony Dupe to record her fourth long player, Team
. Set amidst teams of wooden instruments -- cello, violin, upright bass, piano, pump organ and nylon string guitar - the album presents its own little universe of cascading songs: explorations of companionship, separation, and the natural world.`
This set in motion the busiest period of Throsby's career when in January 2010 with a troupe of musicians & friends, Holly recorded her first ever children's album, See!
Inspired by childlike logic, the natural world, and old musical favourites like Nilsson's The Point!
and Yellow Submarine
, Holly wrote a collection of original songs which are brought to vivid life by a technicolour collage of sound effects and children's voices.
Along with Holly's long time band, The Hello Tigers
, grown-up special guests who lend their voices and talents include Darren Hanlon, J. Walker, Jack Ladder and Margaret Throsby.
The result is a very unique kind of children's album: a wild, wondrous & inquisitive collection of naïve pop songs made especially for children & their families.
After a great year of collaborations in 2011, including Seeker Lover Keeper
& 'They Will Have Their Way', as well as releasing the ARIA-nominated children's album See!
, Holly released Team
internationally in November to critical acclaim (4 star reviews in London's The Sunday Times & The Daily Mirror and 8/10 from the UK's inimitable Drowned In Sound) and headed off for a successful tour of Europe before capping off a busy 24 months with a final round of touring. Not one to rest on her laurels, Holly is now concentrating on touring See!
and writing new material for a 2013 album release. Patience Hodgson
Effervescent front woman of Aussie favourites The Grates
, Patience Hodgson has cemented herself as one of Australia's most loved lead vocalists through her abrasive and relentless onstage antics. From Bat Girl outfits and gravity-defying stage dives, Patience is one force to be reckoned with. The Grates' 2011 album Secret Rituals
was crowned triple j's Feature Album of The Week, garnered 4.5 star reviews in Rolling Stone and saw Patience grace the cover of Triple J Magazine, and has previously been the covergirl of Yen Magazine twice over, as well as Rolling Stone and every street paper the country has on offer. Amongst her musical accolades (Two top ten ARIA albums and numerous nominations for ARIAs, J Awards and The Amp) she was crowned Yen's inaugural Young Woman Of The Year in 2008 and regularly makes podcasts ('The Minutes' and 'You're Welcome') with comedian Melinda Buttle where they do everything from helping generation Y with their problems to chatting with some of Australia's biggest music, radio and comedy stars.