Dew Process is pleased to welcome The John Steel Singers to the fold. With their exciting debut album “Tangalooma” ready to unfurl in November, The John Steel Singers are poised to become one of the bands of the year. Having already gained kudos as the inaugural triple j unearthed award winners for their Scott Horscroft produced EP, “The John Steel Singers: In Colour”, the six-piece continues to pack a punch.
Inspired by Queensland’s beautiful bay area, “Tangalooma” enlisted the skills of the gentleman of indie-pop, Robert Forster of The Go-Betweens to take the production reigns. The John Steel Singers have a long history with the Brisbane purveyors of pop music The Go Betweens.
“I first visited Tangalooma when I was three and I vividly remember seeing all of these huge rusted ships sitting out in this pristine tropical paradise. It seemed very otherworldly, so much so when I was older I actually wasn’t sure that such a place even existed or if I had dreamt it up in my younger days. It’s also located in Queensland on Moreton Island not far from Brisbane which was very important to us as we wanted to make a Brisbane/Queensland album. It really does seem to sum up the album and its themes in a visual sense,” says singer Tim Morrisey of the album title.
One night at Rics Bar, the great, late Grant McLennan bailed up frontman Tim Morrissey in the toilet after they had played one of their very first gigs and told them he thought they were really good. Tim, shy in the presence of greatness, remained silent and modest, awe-struck by what had just taken place. A few weeks later, Grant McLennan sadly passed away and Tim never got to say all the things that later ran through his head. However, Robert Forster picked up the mantle of championing these young Brisjanglions to become their producer. It’s a dream come true for the band to be working with their musical heroes.
“Working with Robert was exactly as one might expect when working with their songwriting idol and mentor, surreal, brilliant and endlessly entertaining. He's a true gentleman and a source of much inspiration to everybody. And he makes a mean pesto pasta. And he still writes incredible songs,” says songwriter Scott Bromiley of the opportunity of work with one half of the The Go-Betweens.
For Forster, it appears the respect is mutual, saying “The highest compliment I can pay The John Steel Singers is that they are an adventurous pop group. They are sonic adventurers who also know how to write a good tune. They are lovely people, they will make at least six great albums, and ”Tangalooma” is their first.”
With six members traversing across instruments like explorers, The John Steel Singers bring another dimension to the indie pop aesthetic with an accomplished brass section on trombone and trumpet. “Tangalooma” maintains John Steel’s unique sense of indie rock, whilst bringing that unique dance-a-long joyous pop that has been their trademark on hits such as ‘Evolution’, ‘Rainbow Kraut’ and ‘The Masochist’.
“As for the making of the record, a lot of the focus was on working out live arrangements (the bulk of the material had been written much earlier) so we could have a fairly live feel in the recordings. Compared to previous recordings, it was surprising how much of the recorded material on the album was largely the band playing together in a room. There was an attempt to unite each song's lyric with a theme, loosely based on Ernest Becker's ideas and writings. I'll leave that up to the listener to interpret. Or not,” jokes Bromiley.
Once all the tracks were together, The John Steel Singers sent their album to Nicholas Vernhes for mixing. His credits include Deerhunter, Dirty Projectors, Animal Collective and The Fiery Furnaces. He was a perfect fit for the sound that The John Steel Singers were looking to achieve.
“Finally, Nicolas was hugely important in the process of getting what we'd recorded, which in its unmixed state sounded a bit flat and loose, to sound layered and dynamic, taking our recorded sounds into beautiful sonic depths. No lie. And he was incredibly warm and accommodating to boot,” says Bromiley.
“So all in all I think we were pretty damn blessed to have two great men helping us along. And I can say that honestly we're quite proud of the record we made.”
Joining labelmates Yves Klein Blue, The Grates, Mumford & Sons, Sarah Blasko and many more on Dew Process, The John Steel Singers have finally settled at their spiritual home. Dew Process is very pleased to welcome a band of such integrity, talent and fun to our ever-growing roster.
"If there is still a space in this world for a creative, forward thinking, pop collective it will be occupied by The John Steel Singers for years to come. Their sound is as interesting and diverse as the band members themselves and this album is certainly a milestone for the Brisbane music scene and Robert Forster and the guys should rejoice in their efforts. Dew Process are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them," says Managing Director of Dew Process, Paul Piticco.
“Tangalooma” is due out on November 5th, 2010 through Dew Process.
Bernard Fanning offers up ‘GROW AROUND YOU’ lifted from his latest #1 album Departures. Berneard and his band will be stopping by the Fotty Show AFL Grand Final show on Thursday 26th September for a special televised headline-performance.
Returning in a wall of shimmering synth and hook-laden guitars, Guineafowl delivers a partnering video for new single ‘Little Death (Make It Rain)’ and announces details of a special EP launch night taking over Sydney’s Club 77 on Thursday 10th October