New Music: Tom Clay ‘Sanctuary’

It’s often said that music is therapeutic and that it can heal even the most painful of wounds. For Tom Clay, such thoughts ring especially true. Growing up in Hampshire in the UK, he was at first drawn to the bright lights of LA, where he moved aged 20 in the hopes of launching a successful acting career. It was there he met the girl who would later become his wife and subsequently change his life forever. Sadly, tragedy struck just as Clay was making a name for himself on the live music circuit, and the death of his wife inspired him to turn his thoughts into powerful and emotive songs. The result is his debut album Sanctuary, due out next month. Continue reading New Music: Tom Clay ‘Sanctuary’

Special Interview: HOLY HOLY

theaussieword.com catches up with Oscar Dawson from HOLY HOLY.

Give us an introduction. How did it all begin? What had you first interested in music?

Queen. Queen had me first interested in music. Then my parents bought me a guitar. They probably assumed I’d turf it aside, but once I got over the initial hurdle (‘what does this thing do?’), it swiftly became an obsession.

What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?11951644_752300324915169_957196799749549895_o

It’s hard to tell these days. Sometimes it’s hunger; sometimes it’s sadness. Sometimes it’s the need to escape. I think it’s important to have something outside of yourself to drive you forward; something immaterial. So, thinking about it that way, music is like a companion, and songs are like conversations. Most of the time, maintaining that relationship is enough.

What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?

To never stop moving forward. Not sure if that counts as a goal, in so far as that it’s ever-changing.

What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?

Yes. We are touring through January, within Australia. Sydney; Melbourne; Brisbane; Newcastle; Adelaide and Perth. In support of our latest single ‘A Heroine’. Then, toward the middle of the year, we’re doing some shows with Vance Joy. They’ll be massive shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. He tends to sell a lot of tickets. After that – I’d like to get back overseas again.

Success, what is the secret to it?

The biggest secret is that there isn’t a secret. No magic route there. Some people hit gold on their first outing; others toil for years. Some people are naturally gifted; others less so. Most successful people work hard. A lot of successful people fail a bit too. I have had plenty of failed attempts, and I’m always aware that there probably won’t ever be a moment where I’ll sit back and smell the roses. With that in mind, in a sense, there is no success; just movement.

What has been your biggest career highlight?

Hard to say. I haven’t really thought about that too much. Selling out our recent show in London was pretty cool.

Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?

 To take the question in its stricter sense, it’s hard to answer. I don’t generally find the bigger stars inspiring. Not to say I don’t think they have something to offer – in many cases, they do. I suppose I do have a soft spot for Sia. She is one of the bigger names who I have a lot of respect for. She seems to be a strong writer and has an incredible voice.

Any new projects in the pipeline?

Always. Both Tim and I work away at other things – he runs a festival in Tasmania named ‘A Festival Called Panama’. I work in production and song-writing. I do a bunch of music with my partner, Ali Barter. We have a new single coming out soon, and an album to follow next year. Also I work with Ben Wright Smith, an artist local to Melbourne. A single coming out for him too. Aside from that, I try to write with different people. It’s always enjoyable seeing what other people bring to the process. Everyone’s different. It’s a wonderful thing.

The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?

If only I could plan it. I’d like to spend some more time collaborating with different artists. Writing more. I’d like to score a few feature-length films over the next couple of years. Spending some more time writing overseas would be grand. Continuing the never-ending project that is ‘building my studio (man cave)’ is another desire.

Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.

Fave Aussie musical artists – Nick Cave, Kevin Parker.

The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?

I feel great about certain things, and not so great about others. Overall, however, I don’t really think about the industry in any one specific way. It’s so varied, for starters, and either way, I can’t exert a great deal of influence over it. Most of the influence is wielded by the desires of the music listening public, which is a great thing. For example; streaming. I am pro-streaming. I love streaming. It’s great. It’s convenient. Sure – we don’t earn heaps from it, but if it was more expensive, people wouldn’t do it, and then we would earn even less. In any case, I don’t really think of my band as a profit-making entity (not that I’d be opposed to it). I try to earn money other ways, and use that to feed the things I really love doing.

HOLY HOLY ‘A HEROINE’ AUSTRALIAN TOUR

FRI 15 JAN | OXFORD ART FACTORY, SYDNEY NSW

SAT 16 JAN |THE CAMBRIDGE HOTEL, NEWCASTLE NSW

THU 21 JAN | THE ROSEMOUNT, PERTH WA

FRI 22 JAN | FAT CONTROLLER, ADELAIDE SA

FRI 29 JAN | CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE VIC

SAT 30 JAN | THE TRIFFID, BRISBANE QLD

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New Music: The 1975 ‘UGH!’

Taken from their new album I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it, The 1975 have released the video to the R&B flickered, ‘UGH!’. Directed by Adam Powell, the visually arresting video is formed from The 1975’s current live production; juxtaposing the song’s lyrical content against fluorescent hues, whilst both silhouetting and enhancing the band’s brilliant, proudly ostentatious, technicolour return. Continue reading New Music: The 1975 ‘UGH!’

New Music: Ivy Nations ‘You Are The Centre Of Me’

Whether is was before or after Ivy Nations decided they were going to mix guitar driven hooks with honey sweet melodies and pulsating indie electronic beats that they booked a very early gig in which the owner of the coffee shop/library/anti-rock n roll and/or fun establishment politely insisted they stop making that noise and get off stage is unknown. What is known is that only a fool would ask that music this good stop. It seems they thought Joan Baez and James Taylor were coming to duet on some Bread covers, or something.   Continue reading New Music: Ivy Nations ‘You Are The Centre Of Me’