Spin Doc­tor and the lat­est al­bum re­leases

The Weekend Australian - Review - - INSIDE - Iain Shed­den spin­doc@theaus­tralian.com.au

For­mer Sil­ver­chair front­man Daniel Johns, about to re­lease his de­but solo al­bum, Talk, af­ter fuss­ing over it for eight years, might be a lit­tle ap­pre­hen­sive about how his new work will be re­ceived on May 22. Fol­low­ing the re­lease of his song Aerial Love a few months ago, so­cial me­dia lit up with praise for his new neo-soul de­meanour, but hard­ened fans of his grungy Novo­cas­trian trio took um­brage. Chair trag­ics will most likely not be im­pressed with Talk, then, since it takes off in a few di­rec­tions, none of which could be con­sid­ered rock ‘n’ roll. Col­lab­o­ra­tions with Lorde pro­ducer Joel Lit­tle ( Aerial Love, Cool on Fire, Warm Hands), hip-hop gu­rus Styalz and M-Phazes ( Imag­i­na­tion, Chained, Faith­less) and the Pre­sets’ Ju­lian Hamil­ton ( By Your Side, Dis­solve) might give you some idea of what to ex­pect. Johns, mean­while, has been vo­cal about his lat­est in­car­na­tion and about the good old days he en­joyed with bassist Chris Joan­nou and drum­mer Ben Gil­lies in Sil­ver­chair. In an­nounc­ing the al­bum, Johns has said he ap­pre­ci­ates that it wouldn’t be for ev­ery­one. “I’ve al­ways felt like most peo­ple hate ev­ery­thing I do,” he says, “but thank­fully there’s al­ways been an en­thu­si­as­tic mi­nor­ity who seem to ‘get’ it. That’s fine with me. Any­thing that ap­peals to ev­ery­one tends to suck any­way.” He gets on a roll with “suck”, even in ref­er­ence to the Chair’s de­but al­bum Frogstomp, which, as­ton­ish­ingly, is now 20 years old and back in the charts thanks to a spe­cial an­niver­sary edi­tion. Johns again: “What’s funny is that when Sil­ver­chair re­leased Frogstomp most peo­ple went out of the way to tell me how much it sucked. Then when we made Dio­rama a few years later, ev­ery­one started telling me how I should go back to mak­ing Frogstomp. I guess now I’ll be told to go back and make Dio­rama again!” One sus­pects, given his thirst for rein­ven­tion, go­ing back is not an op­tion.

As men­tioned last week SD is at Canadian Mu­sic Week in Toronto, where the city has en­joyed (mostly) a heavy pres­ence of Aus­tralian tal­ent and in­dus­try bods. This af­ter­noon (Toronto time) a host of up-and-com­ing Aussie acts per­form to­gether un­der the um­brella of Sounds Australia, the in­dus­try body de­signed to pro­mote our mu­sic over­seas. In­cluded in the line up are New­cas­tle rock­ers Twin Lakes, Mel­bourne duo Sweet Jean, folk trou­ba­dour Dar­ren Han­lon and alt coun­try singer Caitlin Har­nett. Later to­day head­lin­ers in­clude the Psy­che­delic Furs and Faith No More.

This year’s Na­tional In­dige­nous Mu­sic Awards will be held in Dar­win on July 25. The line-up for the cer­e­mony at Dar­win’s Am­phithe­atre in­cludes Frank Yamma, B2M and the Painted Ladies, the last of which fea­tures Queens­land singer Luke Pea­cock and guests re­work­ing The Loner, the 1973 al­bum by Abo­rig­i­nal artist Vic Simms. Nom­i­na­tions for the awards are open un­til June 20 and you can find out more at nima.mu­sicnt.com.au.

Happy birth­day to Billy Joel, who is 66 to­day, and U2’s Bono, who turns 55 to­mor­row.

Daniel Johns ex­plores new di­rec­tions

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