Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sirens of Sydney Review

"Just had a listen to Rozzie Chia's latest release Something Beautiful, which is the last in the far. Ms Chia has released a series of original recordings as individual songs over the past few weeks. Damaged, I Can Be Happy Today, Sonic Boom, Don't You Remember Me, Dancing in 1968 and Something Beautiful.

Rozzie has a beautiful melancholy about her. With lyrics from Damaged such as "I don't weep or rage, I don't move on. I don't make love anymore, I watch TV....I just don't deserve anyone", Rozzie has exposed the most vulnerable of emotions and the plight of being human.

Her style overall is very much like Sheryl Crow from the late 90s, but she has thrown in an out of character electronic "Don't You Remember Me" and an electronic pop blues "Sonic Boom". Both additions have her distinctive sleepy velvety vocals which tie them in well with the rest of the collection.

Rozzie also wrote most of her releases, and recorded and performed them on her own. A talented lady."

Available now at iTunes.

Sirens of Sydney rating ★★★★

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The 6th digital release. That was unexpected!

So I made a song each week for five weeks, and I've been taking a break for a few weeks since then. But on the way to the train station to meet her father on Friday, my daughter was grooving away in the car playing drums to my songs and said that she wanted another song written over the weekend. I guess children just get accustomed to routine...? Who am I to protest?

I have happily obliged, and like a donkey jumping through a ring of flames at a circus, I have delved again into the deepest recesses of my suffering to write an honest new tune for you to download to your little computation machines.

Having spent years listening with fascination to artists like Beck, Nick Cave, Belle & Sebastian, Patti Smith, Ricki Lee Jones, PJ Harvey, Kurt Cobain..... I'm kinda intrigued with the art of the "non-singing" vocal delivery. You know. The sound of someone who just says a massive "fuck you" to the conventions of "proper" singing and just expresses themselves. As a trained singer who has earned her stripes on big stages singing the most technically-challenging songs, on radio ads and so on, I absolutely love to relax the rules when singing my own songs. To me it's not about showing off your range or showing off your training. What's the flippin' point of singing like that? Where's the connection? When I listen back to something and think to myself, "that sounds like a session singer", I go back and do another take that sounds more human. I think that throwing away the strict training is far more expressive and opens up the singer to show their emotions and their vulnerability. When I'm paid to sing like a showpony, I will sing like a showpony. But for my own stuff, my priority is to relate and to connect via songcraft and lyrics. As you've probably worked out by now, I have an almost sado-masochistic urge to think of those who will find it cathartic to hear the song, ignore my fears, and bare myself completely.

And run across cricket fields during test matches.

Just joking.


The song is called "Something Beautiful", it's absolutely about my life as it stands; it was a little painful to write, to be honest. But this is all part of the process of being a brutally-honest artist of any discipline.

I hope you enjoy it. :-)

Again, you can pay the minimum $1.10 for the track, or if you're feeling particularly legendary, you can pay more than that to help keep the music machine well-oiled! If you download today before midnight (Sunday July 17) and provide your email address in the download process, you will receive a bonus FREE track; a little acoustic song that is previously unreleased.


Get out there, enjoy your Sunday, be honest, be happy, be cool.

~ Chia

Friday, July 1, 2011

Winterfest, and the Humbletones.

Arguing about the setlist with Andy. [Photo by Bruce Pryor]

Well, last night was bloody fantastic. The Bundanoon Winterfest lasts for a coupla weeks with all sorts of events, and was last night opened with a street party. This happens every year, and last year I was unfortunately too unwell with my neurological issues to be able to attend. Winterfest 2011 is a different story; I'm fit as a fiddle, and it was my first Winterfest street party. I also happened to be honoured with the role of entertaining the crowd with Andy Gordon, Mark Dabin, and a Highland drummer I had the pleasure of working with for the first time; Dave Helman.

What a wonderful atmosphere, and how lovely to see so many children enjoying a festive event at night in a safe environment. Congratulations to the Winterfest organisers and the Bundanoon community for running such a gorgeous event.

As for my news, I have some exciting stuff coming up; I'll be off to Brisbane for a little spell, and upon my return I'll be launching into the role of producer for the Humbletones' second album. The Humbletones' principal songwriter, Mark Dabin, is a soul of such charming purity, despite those struggles we all have that tempt us to become embittered and hard-hearted towards others. Or even worse, full of excuses for our weaker moments and inability to change or acknowledge the things we really want in this life.

I admire Mark for the courage he has had to remain a sensitive, considerate human being, full of openness, empathy and demonstrated love for his fellow humans, in the face of what can at times be a cruel existence. The difficulty for a lot of us lies in making the choice between either finding peace with our pasts and our mistakes, or indulging in a sort of masochistic and repetitive re-evaluation.

Some people love to read self-help books, or punch their personal trainer once a week, all the while chanting some kind of mantra about how much negative energy they're harbouring and how much of a victim they've been. Or perhaps they spend years pointing the finger at everyone else.

Other people just move on.

Some people see hindsight as a painful clutch of scars - perhaps even as a crush-zone of excuses for their knee-jerk behaviours - others see these traumatic memories as wonderful opportunities to grow. Mark Dabin is one of the latter.

Dabin's songs are a wonderful reflection of this component of his character. This is a human being who writes from life. Nothing this guy writes is superfluous or without heartfelt meaning. It is my pleasure to be working with this gifted songwriter and guitarist on what will be my first official production credit.

For more info on the Humbletones, check out the website.