Limited edition CD’s are available now
Research says that the arts are good for our mental health, but what does an artist do when they no longer find joy in their chosen field? Three years ago, local artist Claire Atkins signed up for her first music lesson as a form of therapy to recover from a broken heart.
‘I was dealing with a whole bunch of grief. My dad and two close friends died suddenly and in quick succession, and it paralysed me, creatively speaking.
‘Music kept suggesting itself, which was strange because I couldn’t play an instrument! I was quietly terrified by that, and so I started small with the uke,’ she said.
According to Claire, weekly ukulele lessons resuscitated her creativity, and unexpectedly inspired her to write and record her soon-to-be-released debut EP.
Under the tutelage of local singer-songwriter Kathryn Jones, Claire learnt to play the ukulele, and within 12 months was writing and performing her own songs. In 2019, with her teacher’s encouragement, she sent her songs to producer and sound engineer Paul Pilsneniks, renowned for recording artists Angus & Julia Stone, Powderfinger and Silverchair.
‘Hearing Claire’s demos I felt that these beautiful tunes would really shine with some additional instrumentation and production, so we brought together some amazing local players to guest on her songs.
‘What we ended up with is her stunning debut EP Eternal Return. Any music-listening aficionado should keep an ear out for this body of work in early 2020,’ Paul said.
The album’s title track was inspired by Nietzsche’s philosophy of eternal return that proposes the universe and everything within it has been recurring and will continue to recur in the same pattern infinitely. Claire says reliving heartbreak is not an attractive prospect, but she’s also confident of music’s power to transform hardship into something unexpected and beautiful.
‘In a strange way, I’m grateful for life’s challenging times, and if it wasn’t for them, I may never have strummed a chord or written a lyric. That difficult period drove me to music and it saved me. And it’s my best work,’ she said.
Claire’s unique vocal style has been likened to Natalie Merchant and Julia Stone, and her story-driven songs played on ukulele are supported by a stunning line-up of guest artists including, John Hoffman, Martha Baartz, and Angie Hudson.
Limited edition CD’s are available now from eternalreturn.com.au and in local music stores.
Byron Brewery | Friday 28 Feb
California’s shimmering psych-folk melody-makers Allah-Las have unveiled their full run of Australian tour dates for 2020, following from the October announcement of their slot on Brisbane’s impressive Nine Lives Festival. This time around, Allah-Las will be touring their acclaimed fourth LP, LAHS, released October 2019 via Mexican Summer. Widely noted as the band’s most thoughtful and evolved work to date, LAHS conjures the luscious allure of a breezy Los Angeles summer with an irresistible slice of surreal psychedelic meanderings, which unfolds into a sound so palpable you can virtually taste the salt water on your tongue.
Friday 28 February at the Byron Brewery. Tickets from byronbaybrewery.com.au
Catch the original party-with-a-conscience in the best– sounding shed on a soul-soaring Saturday night.
Curious – Cosmic Osmosis will be held on 11 January. Featuring DJs Phil Perry (Full Circle UK) Lux Velada, Dale Stephen and Lord Sut with She J from Tijuana Cartel live on percussion.
Tickets are on sale now: $15 early bird, $20 general and $25 late release. Tix at cunningstunts.com.au
House Concert | Sunday | $25 | 7pm
It’s not often you get to hear world class music in your home. Chaika melds the dexterity of jazz, the craft of classical and the earthiness of folk. The ARIA nominated ensemble draw on vast influences to create superb genre-blending music that transcends labels. On Sunday this renowned ensemble will be returning to Ocean Shores for a special intimate and acoustic house concert. Described as ‘spine-tingling’ (–Rhythms) and ‘extraordinary’ (–Fine Music FM), the Sydney-based sextet have released their highly-anticipated third album Arrow, recorded and produced by ARIA award-winning team, Bob Scott and Llew Kiek, and nominated for Best World Music Album 2019 at the ARIA awards.
Spaces are limited and should be reserved through the facebook event or by contacting 0401 432 892. Entry is by a $25 donation at the door and delicious chai tea will be provided. For more info, music and trailer go to www.chaikaband.com and www.facebook/chaikaband. Sunday, 7pm.
Friday | Hotel Great Northern
Following several singles and two EP releases, The Stained Daisies have finally recorded their first full length album. The tracks were laid in their very own warehouse in Brunswick, Melbourne, and The Stained Daisies are dropping the first single from it early in 2020.
Titled Sit Long in The Silence, this track is a lengthier, slow burner compared to their previous three or four singles. It is a song that began as an exercise in imagining and reflecting on self-doubt.
‘This one acknowledges the necessity to beat the self-doubting self into submission,’ says Daniel Tuite of The Stained Daisies.
The band are primed for a busy 2020 with an east coast tour already booked in January to promote the new single, a residency locked-in for every Sunday in March at The Tote Hotel in Melbourne, and an album tour in the works for mid year.
They’re playing at the Hotel Great Northern on Friday.
Evensong – Sacred music concert
Jaspers Corner | Saturday | $30/$35
Start the year with an enchanted sacred sound journey in the gorgeous little church at Jasper Corner in Federal with Carmella Baynie, Yantra De Vilder, Konrad Ball and Blair Greenberg on Saturday.
This unique experience will touch hearts as the beautiful vocal harmonies and melodies of sacred sounds and mantras reconnect you to the still, silent presence of your Divine nature. Carmella and Yantra are kindred souls who are devoted to the exploration of sacred music. Their unique concerts are an opportunity to be immersed in music from ancient lineages including Latin, Gregorian, Sanskrit and Aramaic. They will also be joined by Konrad and Blair who will add soulful bass and enchanting percussion to the mix for a delightful, enriching evening.
Whether you come to chant, meditate or to bathe in the music that will be flowing through the venue, you will walk away feeling uplifted, joyful and nourished. Tickets are available from stickytickets.com.au or at the door, $30/$35.
Kingscliff Beach Hotel | Saturday 4 January
The Growlers return to our golden coast this summer for what will be their biggest ever run of Australian and New Zealand shows. The fourteen-date tour, which celebrates the release of the band’s sixth studio album Natural Affair is destined to be a travelling circus of mayhem and madness.
The Growlers bring to the stage a critique of the artifice of social media with a slinky beat and a synthetic, G-funk soundscape. ‘I’ve avoided social media all my life,’ says singer Brooks Nielsen, who – despite his massive popularity on Instagram – doesn’t have any personal social media accounts. ‘It doesn’t look attractive, it doesn’t make people happy, but they’re in some weird purgatory where they’re just stuck in their phones all the time.’
The Growlers play Kingscliff Beach Hotel on Saturday.
Tix from lovepolice.com.au/the-growlers-2020
Kathryn Jones’ Lazy Sundays on the Deck, with The Curly Cousins.
Ocean Shores Country Club | Sunday 1–4pm | Free entry
Yet again, Kathryn Jones throws a twist on your Lazy Sundays.
Join Kathryn and her band at the Ocean Shores Country Club this Sunday on the back deck as she plays host to multi award-winning children’s act The Curly Cousins, whilst adding the sheer pleasure and uniqueness of patting an alpaca, courtesy of Erwin Alpacas.
The Curly Cousins present family friendly, fun filled children’s music, capturing the imagination of everyone who is young at heart! Sunshine, Coco and Miss B delight and inspire audiences with their trademark harmonies, humour, multi-instrumental talents and playful audience interactions. Drawing on traditions from calypso through to country, The Curly Cousins deliver uplifting arrangements of classic songs and originals that celebrate a love of the outdoors, and explore friendships, feelings and fun through theatrical interplay.
Kick off at 1pm with Kath, Curly Cousins 2pm (50 min show) and alpaca patting throughout. If you want to eat at the club’s Thai restaurant, Spice it Up, bookings are recommended. Call 6626 7700.