“…crows can be heard calling from outside the Callalla Bay Hall at poignant moments, cicadas starting up like a caucus of miniature jet planes, sticks and branches falling onto the roof tiles, these all add an incredible sense of space to the live tracks that you just couldn’t plan”
This Record is somewhere between the extremely lowfi live sound of my first release and the studio production of my last record. I wanted to strip it back and let the songs breath a bit and at the same time ensure they were also supported with a clean sonic production and, where it served the song, minimal backing vocals and instrumentation. Working closely with producer and independent musician Paul Greene on this record I think we succeeded. The first release, Falter, is the purest expression of that goal.
On the long drives back and forth from recording sessions between Sydney and the south coast there was plenty of time for reflection. Pauses between listening ensured that we came back again and again to the original point, to keep it real. In “A Pair of Dreamers” the songs have been captured beautifully in a simplicity that honours the lyrical content through a mixture of live takes in the old Callala Bay Hall and layered studio sessions amid bike rides, ocean swims and home cooked food.
In parts of the album spontaneous soundscapes have worked their way through in a most delightful way. Crows can be heard calling from outside the Hall at poignant moments, cicadas starting up like a caucus of miniature jet planes, sticks and branches falling onto the roof tiles. These all add an incredible sense of space to the live tracks that you just couldn’t plan.
While most of the album is built on these live takes, Lady Jean, Leaving Day and This Race were re-recorded back in the studio where we could explore the their full potential, really kick up the pace and create more rich layering. The result gives the album a great dynamic, bringing the listener through a landscape of really languorous simplicity (Falter) to a raucous hoedown (Leaving Day).
I think this album showcases the maturing not only of my songwriting but also that I feel more comfortable now in my own voice.
“A Lovely Record” William Bowden
The Album art is a story unto itself. With my heart set on a photograph that for me represents the years of joy spent with the late great “Cooper” the pooch, we two being the original “pair of dreamers”, friends rallied to help create the perfect painting to capture it. It ended up being such a joyful exercise, sort of a right of passage where simultaneously a small group including me entered a kind of communal meditation on in this one moment in time. With such different interpretations and all he brush strokes emulating the spirit of the beautiful Cooper, it was impossible to decide which one should make it onto the cover. Ultimately it was put to the popular vote. This was also a really fun and interactive part of the album cover creation process and each painting ended up with it’s own fan club.
Ultimately the painting done by Sharon Lees, who features in the foreground of the image along with the furry black shape that is Cooper, made it to the cover.
Hiske Weijers painting will feature on the back of the CD and Vinyl releases. I’ve always been a huge fan of Hiske’s painting so I’m stoked. The other artists were Meri Andric, an artist who originally arrived in Australia as a refugee from Bosnia now residing in Western Sydney, Rebecca Hamilton a multi talented artist/musician from band Asteriod Splash and myself.
All artists donated their work and the paintings will be framed and raffled at the Sydney launch event to raise money for the vinyl release. The Sydney launch will be at the Hollywood Hotel on August 29th.
Finally, the Graphic design, is done by my fantastically talented sister Willhemina Wahlin Braenchild Media
Falter is the song on the album with the least layering. It’s basically a live take that just landed so beautifully with the natural hall reverb we didn’t touch it. I wanted the clip to emulate that spaciousness.
Film Clip Credits;
Shadow puppets: I made these puppets myself and with the help and creative genius of Peter Fenwick they were brought to life and filmed in Red Dog Studio.
Human puppets; Thanks to the wonderful friends and their children who cast their shadows in order of appearance; Tandhi Irving and her little friend, Zoe Taylor and her friend and Andrijana Miler.
Lighting design by Nick Payne also a fantastic musician in his own right.
Hair and makeup by Marie Kyle from We Dream in Pictures.
The album is available now for pre-purchase with the full release scheduled for July 31st