For the past few years, I have been working on my second album – Astral Debris.
I have been saving money, losing money, saving money again.
I have been taking chances, chasing my tail, lying awake at night, lying to myself.
I have been laying down arms, making gun-shy attempts at vulnerability, dipping in my toe, dipping in and out of self-doubt and self-assurance, diving in headfirst, reeling at the sting of adrenaline, making some good decisions, mostly making no decisions, stumbling around in the dark, flicking at random switches,
Hoping, hoping, hoping
Writing, writing, writing.
I am nail-bitingly close to confirming a producer for Astral Debris, and am thus in preparation for an album ‘pozible’ campaign, hopefully involving some of you fine folk in the album-making process. Despite the months of being uncomfortable with this level of vulnerability, I am actually feeling really positive about making this next step.
But something that I’ve really missed over the past 9-months of preparation, planing, and research is the electric, ECSTATIC feeling of playing on stage with my BAND!
So, on Sunday 16 March, I’m putting on a headline show at The Toff In Town – to present to you an album’s worth of songs, fully-realised by a 6-piece ensemble of formidably talented musicians – drums, bass, guitar, strings, and a variety of delectable miscellaneous clatter and clamour.
I am filled with a kind of shaken-up-fizzy-drink nervousness and fluorescent joy that only a band show can generate in me. I don’t think I need to tell you how much I am looking forward to this gig.
But… Do you want to hear something really weird?
Way back in 2011, while I was still writing and demoing Astral Debris, I was offered some work overseas, and was lucky enough to travel around Europe for a month with mischievous 2-year-old. I found myself in Paris with a night off, so I decided to head towards the seedy part of town, in search of an open-mic to sing in, or a table-top to dance on. And who would I meet, while adrift and frolicking through the Parisian springtime, but Australian-born, Berlin-based Phia.
Now, what I need to explain here is, Phia and I are both from Melbourne. We’ve both worked with the same graphic designer. We’ve played the same venues, and collaborated with the same bands, window-shopped in the same boutiques, probably even peed in the same alleyways. But we’d never *actually* met… Until we literally bumped into each other, trying to get through the door of a tiny, hole-in-the-wall nightclub in Paris.
This serendipitous encounter on the other side of the planet lead to an evening of impromptu performances, random late-night discussions with a travelling American dominatrix, a red wine hangover of apocalyptic proportions, and finally – the promise to play together again, whenever Fortune would next have us in the same town, at the same time.
Well, Fortune has a long memory as far as promises made in Paris are concerned.
Three years on, Phia is back home for a visit, Astral Debis is written and ready to be brought forth into existence, and WHO ARE WE TO DISOBEY THE COSMIC ALIGNMENT OF STARS? I am delighted to announce that Phia will be joining the bill for a duo set with her collaborator and synth-pop producer Josh Teicher.
If you don’t know Phia – just imagine the experimental playfulness of tUnE-yArDs, crossed with the bittersweet wit of Regina Spektor, wrapped in the handmade charm of Zooey Dechenal. Originally a classically trained pianist, Phia artfully channels her now-trademark Kalimba through a loop-pedal, layering it with sublime vocals and badass beatboxing to create her hypnotic, pop-folk-tronica. Her new single ‘Do You Ever?’ has been gathering serious notoriety in the European DIY folk scene, being picked up by radio in Norway and France, and clocking over 22,000 SoundCloud plays since its independent release in October.
Jimmy Tait (aka Sara Retallick) will open the night with an intimate solo set, taking us to a Picnic at Hanging Rock with her dark and dreamy, Australian Gothic songs.
In short, it’s going to be something very special. And I think you should come.
Don’t argue with Fortune - she has a long memory.
Sunday 16 March
The Toff In Town
7:30pm – 10:30pm
Tickets $10 presale, or $15 on the door