Monday, October 13, 2008


Atmospheric, innovative and emotional. Brisbane based, Tom Cooney’s uniquely addictive tunes live and breathe at the heart of all these things.

This young and accomplished folk artist is fast becoming the one to watch in the Oz music scene. After quitting his job and focusing solely on his music career two years ago Cooney has achieved an extraordinary amount. The release of a mini album Hold Me Down, live performances including appearances at Homebake and Splendour in the grass as well as supports slots with the likes of Fionn Regan and M. Ward and the continuing reinvention of self made record label, El Nino El Nino which he shares with two of his closest friends.

But the most substantial and exciting accomplishment is the final release of his debut full length album, Presque Vu. The results of which are near hauntingly beautiful collection of songs which leave the listener certain in the knowledge that by merely listening to these tracks they are becoming part of something bother larger and contradicting more intimate then themselves.

The album is full of honest simplicity. The calmingly serene melodies take hold from the first instance, their appeal frightingly fierce.

The stand out tracks include ‘Mountains In The Sky’, Giulia’, ‘Beneath The Wheel’, ‘The Rivers The Same’ and the memorably spare closer ‘Silence’.

Tom Cooney’s acoustic genius would no doubt appeal to fans of artists such as Fionn Regan, Sondre Lerche, I Am Kloot and Ryan Adams. Presque Vu is an album the likes of which have not necessarily been missing from the Australian scene of late but are definitely leaning towards the rare side. Cooney has managed to debut with a record that not only manages to showcase his abilities as a songwriter in a smart and accessible way but also cements him as someone to watch for. This is only the beginning of what’s sure to be an incredible journey and I for one am looking forward to tagging along for the ride.

BY Lesley Rickman

Friday, October 3, 2008


After two years Melbourne based indie-rock four piece, the Vandas are back and they bring with them their first full length release aptly titled, Slow Burn.

It's the kind of album that warms with time, becoming familiar and comfortable. And unlike their previous EP's, In The Morning and Didn't Come Here To Be Alone, Slow Burn has a definitive rock sound. Leaving out the country and pop sensibilities that were such a staple of their former sound.

The result is a mature and winning record that works well to showcase what exactly The Vandas are all about and gives a definite feeling that they haven't quite completed the journey which will lead them to where they want to be.

I mean that in the most positive of senses. It's not so much that they're not at the top of their game it's just that they've left room to continue to evolve and grow.

Listening to Slow Burn is an honest and rewarding experience. It's difficult not to be overwhelmed with the feeling that here's a band who are clearly loving what they're doing and are going to continue to surprise and entertain.

The standout tracks include the first single 'Know it All' as well as ''Warm At Night', 'Three Steps Ahead', 'See Me 'Round' and the title track, 'Slow Burn'.

If you''ve yet to hear the familiar comfort of The Vandas sound then I'd more then recommend giving Slow Burn a spin. The album as a whole has a distinctively 70's rock sound but with a modern edge. Not for the electro fans amongst us but if you're looking for a band that you just know would sound even better with the warm crackle that vinyl brings then The Vandas are definitely your best bet.