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You and I, we’re as close as a slow dance

3 May

Dearhearts,

I am finally here. At this moment. It feels a little like taking acid because I’ve wanted it so long that it’s become quietly surreal. It’s unimportant why it took so long, just that it’s done. I’m really happy about it.

After a year of dreaming about sounds and visual inspiration, mixing, discussing the artwork on Skype, researching online sales options and various phonecalls to the pressing plant; after failing to find out why GEMA (Germany’s APRA) wants to charge me to make my own record; after all the fun bits – recording in Italy, the photoshoot, the production notes and songwriting, my lovely rootsy songs, products of my work since 2002, are finally in shareable form. I would describe it as Alt.Country Folk and will say that it was inspired by Martha Wainwright, Neko Case, Patsy Cline and Wanda Jackson amongst others.

Tomorrow, my first solo album ‘Close as a Slow Dance’ (through A Headful of Bees) goes live into the world on CD Baby and Bandcamp with pretty digipack CDs to follow next week.

 

Please, have a listen to the album on Soundcloud, share with friends, buy it if you haven’t already pre-ordered (IndieGoGo funders, rejoice – they come, and with it, further gifts!). Curiously, ‘gift’ auf Deutsch means ‘poison’, but no poison here.

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THANK YOUS
There are many, many people to thank for inspiring, working on or funding ‘Close as a Slow Dance’. Some to start, Mark Steiner for the connections and confidence, Henry Hugo for his production, thoughtful arrangements, contacts and generosity, Marcelo and Toto in Buenos Aires for the final sound, Mum for her good wishes, support and rent assistance, Damian Stephens (design), Jan Bechberger (photos) and Elizabeth Delfs (styling) for the lovely artwork you’re seeing, Susanne at Interdisc who shows such care for her clients’ CDs, Sascha, Dam, Justin and Darren for inspiring the songs, Michelle, Nicho, Chez, Naz and Lena – my Council of Ladies who always counsel courage, and those who, knowingly or not, gave a well-timed wise word to inspire this album – David Creese, Julitha Ryan, Sean Simmons and Bron Henderson, Andreas Lautwein, Cameron Wilson, Eric Eckhart, Matthew Barker, Ola Karlsson, Ben Revi, Jen Hval, Sean M. Whelan, Emilie Zoey Baker and Guy Dale. And the musicians who were so kind and surprised me with what the songs could be: Fabio Gallarati, Stefano Caldonazzo, Paolo Zangara, Vicki Brown, Henry Hugo, Leigh Ivin and Julitha Ryan.

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SHOWS
I’m doing two album launches, a club show at Heroes in Neukölln on International Star Wars Day – Friday May the Fourth – and a special Sofa Salon house concert/birthday fest at my place on Friday 11 May. Email berlinsofasalon [aet] gmail.com for reservations.

Plus I’m doing house concerts and club gigs across Germany and France through late May and June and a whole heap of Summer gigs. If you would like to host me for a house concert, email waspsummer [aet] gmail.com. Those folk who bought Skype or House Concerts, I will be in touch in the next week or so.

Links:
Soundcloud (listen)
Bandcamp (buy)
waspsummer.com (info)

Dancehall at Louse Point

5 Apr

New, free single download

I am so delighted to be able to bring you Dancehall at Louse Point, the first single from my debut solo record Close as a Slow Dance. In Gold Coast parlance – I’m stoked as! No, it wasn’t named for the PJ Harvey/John Parrish album per se, but the song was always called Dancehall and the ‘at Louse Point‘ just seemed so appropriate to the theme of a Fifties dancehall singer trying to get over a louse who broke her heart. Please have this free Bandcamp download to help me celebrate the record.

Single launch

Tonight, I play the Berlin launch show at Laika (Emser Str 131, Neukölln) with another ex-pat Australian, Jason Kenny, who launches his album Fugitive. Doors at 19:30. Music at 20:00. I’m on at 21:00. The after-party is at Bethanien in X-Berg.

Album launches – May the fourth be with you!

I’m doing two Berlin album launches, a club show at Heroes in Neukölln on International Star Wars Day, Friday 4 May AND a special Sofa Salon house concert at my place on my birthday Friday 11 May.

Plus I’m doing house concerts and club gigs across Germany and France through late May and June and a whole heap of Summer gigs. If you would like to host me for a house concert, email waspsummer [aet] gmail dot com

Music that moved me in 2011, Part One

18 Dec

2011 has been an intense and revealing year personally and politically. Fulfilling my promise to myself, I finally made a solo record and toured Europe this year. Companions on my journey were the intense and revealing visions of women like PJ Harvey (on Let England Shake), Kate Bush’s many voices (on 50 Words for Snow) and Kimbra (Gold Ring from Vows).

But I’ll highlight some of the underground music I’ve been exposed to for the first time in 2011. All of it has given me grist and inspiration. Click on the artist name for their website and the song name for a place you can listen, download and/or buy.

Sailor Days – Species Counterpoint from Sailor Days
Biddy came and played a Sofa Salon in Berlin for me this year, performing with Ned Collette. I had the pleasure of singing Laura Jean‘s vocal parts on three songs. This record is meditative, creatively textured and absolutely beautiful to hear. Probably the underrated album of 2011 for my money and something I hear often on my mental radio.

Jenny Hvalblood fight from Viscera
Jenny, from Oslo, is one of the genuine live-and-breathe explorational musicians, whom I met in Melbourne when she was with Folding For Air/ipanic. On tour, Matty B and I saw her at the Operahuset playing an hypnotic piece she’d composed for a dance performance. She’s moved way beyond sensual experiments in pop to blisteringly original heartsong driven by her inventive guitar and keening voice.

El MadrigalHow Can I Miss You from Statistics
So many songs to choose from on this bitey roots rock record. This year, I had the great pleasure of sharing a stage with El Madrigal twice in Stockholm and seeing them again in Berlin. Ola Karlsson played and wrote with Brisbane’s country rock stalwarts The Gin Club and retains his musical soul, intellect and authenticity here. He’s got an incredible ear as a lyricist, musician and singer and has added two great, empathetic co-writers and musicians in  Eric Lindstrom & Tomas Sundin.

The Unthanks – the Testimony of Patience (from 2009)
This Northumberland folk group inhabit an out-of-time musical space, mining bedrock sounds and stories and bringing them up to us without a hint of dust, fust or the creak of age. The song link is a Guardian video. Their new album celebrates Robert Wyatt and Antony & The Johnsons.

The Gypsy CurseMaydelle from Ten Years North
I spent a weirdly synchronous six weeks over Summer touring Northern Europe with Matty Barker from The Gypsy Curse in his solo guise as Water Music. Introduced online by Mark Steiner, we had both come a long way to be ready to play our music and were rewarded with kindness, time in twenty-two cities, incredible people, astonishing evenings and enough food for our souls to make what followed possible. What followed for him was getting married to the lovely Beth in New York, recording The Gyspy Curse album in a cabin in Sweden and a sabbatical in Texas. They’re playing in Australia now and Europe in 2012. You should really see them.

Link

To celebrate the first snow, a carol

17 Dec

As the snow falls here in Berlin, and after a big night that started with ‘A Fairytale of New York’ and ended with ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’, I decided to wish everyone a festive season by creating a secular version one of the more beautiful carols, O Holy Night. I’ve made 500 free downloads available.

Much love to you and yours,
Wasp Summer x

 

 

Ruby Heart Australian Tour Thank You

28 Nov

Dearhearts,
Swimming in the Pacific after two years away is some kind of bliss. The lakes of Berlin are great in the Summer, but bodysurfing down along Stanwell Park or Nobby Beach just empties me out into the bright, white Australian light.

It was so good to go back to Australia and, man, I was so happy for the sun, the light, the trees, the roads and trains and to see my friends and play them the music I’ve been working on in Berlin. Like all concentrated bursts of touring, it sharpened me up and I really wanted to do well for my home crowd. I got such kind feedback and had a lot of fun with old friends and new.

I want to post this massive list of thank yous to the kind and immensely talented folk who gave me a couch, a gig, a meal, a lift, a cuddle and encouragement:

Melbourne: Michelle, David, Damian, Becky, Emilie, Michael, Sean M., Darren, Nichole, Patrick, Naz, Jonathan, Lubica, Sean S., Bron and Spencer, Chapple, Lisa, Cazzy, Joel at The Old Bar, Miles at the Townie, Dave and Holly at Pure Pop, Vincenzo at Don Vincenzo for the coffee, Dono and A1, Jules, Max, The Kilniks, The Tiger And Me, Charlie Owen and all of my crew (Georgie, Bags, Ann-Maree, Bernard, PPR, Amanda, Margie, Julitha, Seri, KJ, Kate, Tom, Dave, David, Tim, Mike, Claudette and everyone else) who came to shows. Sydney: Kieran, Emily, Andrew at Proper Music Social, Cj Shaw, Pete’s Musician’s Market, Terry, the nice guy at the newsagent at Sydney Central, the Chauvel for Autoluminescent, Buzzzbar for the coffee, Stanwell Park – the most dangerous beach in NSW and its hot lifesavers. Brisbane: Paul, Helen, Kate at Black Bear Lodge, Luke, Ryan, Nerissa, Sally, blackstar for the coffee and Silke/Lucy for the bed, Craig, my brother. Adelaide: Ben Revi, Sarah, the awesome Paul Heggart, Wren, Henry and Ned, Brendan, Hugh, Walter, Naomi, Naomi’s Dad, Hawker St Cafe for the coffee and the Crown & Anchor and Grace Emily Hotel crews for lovely evenings and pear cider.

Much love to all these people. I hope to be back with the new album next year. I will have news of a big project tomorrow!

Wasp Summer Australian Tour 2011 – dates

11 Oct

Finally, I have all the dates for you! Thank you to all the bookers and friends who helped me swing this tour. It was weirdly easy to book. Maybe I’m exotic now? Well, it’s also been two years since I played in Australia and I’m hoping you’re curious to see what I’ve been up to since I’ve been away. I’ll admit to being nervous (you’re my home crowd after all) but I’m very excited.

October:
Tuesday 25, The Old Bar, FITZROY VIC 9:30pm with Jules Sheldon, Max Sheldrake and The Kilniks. Free.

Saturday 29, Pure Pop Records, ST KILDA VIC 5pm with The Tiger & Me, The Large Number 12’s. Free.

Sunday 30, The Palais, HEPBURN SPRINGS VIC 6pm supporting Steve Lane and The Autocrats for the finale of the Swiss Italian Fiesta. Free.

November:

Thursday 3, Proper Music Social at The Union Hotel, NEWTOWN NSW 8pm with Cj Shaw, Persian Love Cake and Patrick

Sunday 6, Happy Campers at Black Bear Lodge, THE VALLEY QLD 6pm with Ryan Toohey and Luke Peacock (Halfway)

Tuesday 8, The Retreat, BRUNSWICK VIC 8pm. Free.

Saturday 12, The Crown and Anchor, ADELAIDE SA 8:30pm with Cheer Advisory Council and more

Sunday 13, The Grace Emily, ADELAIDE SA 8:30pm with Soursop (Naomi from Gold Bloom) and Walter Marsh (Cesare)

Sunday 20, The Town Hall, NORTH MELBOURNE VIC 8pm. Free.

I’m on most of the social networks, doncha know?
Facebook | Soundcloud | Reverbnation | Songkick

Welcome!

1 Mar

Greetings!

I’m told I look naughty in this pic, but I’ve just had a mouthful of custardy pinolata at Osteria Chiacchiera in Siena. I am nearly crying from foodal delight. It was my first time in Italy and I hope to return.

Welcome to my Wasp Summer blog. I’m a singer-songwriter from Melbourne, Australia, currently resident in the wondrous city of Berlin. I make Alt.Country Folk-Pop if you need a label – melodic, rootsy songs that I hope tell good stories. A friend said I had a “voice to break bottles and songs to break hearts.”

I’m out on tour in Europe throughout June and July 2011 with great Melbourne musician Water Music. Joining us for some of the shows is our friend, the Oslo-based Mark Steiner and His Problems.

I’ll update this blog with gossip, pics and tour information as we confirm shows and keep a diary for you of all the tour shenanigans. In the meantime, check me out online:

Mylinks_facebook Mylinks_tunepak MySpace page

I also run a living room concert series in Berlin called Sofa Salon. If you’re in town, come and see some of the best Berlin-based and international singer-songwriters and poets perform in someone’s living room.

I don’t promise daily updates here but subscribe to my mailing list by sending an email to waspsummer [at] gmail.com and I’ll send you pretty emails every so often.

Liebe Grüße,
Wasp Summer