‘White Lightning‘ is a raised-glass country sway, an intoxicating tale of love lost and found – with soft shuffling drums, woozy electric guitar and a loose and heady, end-of-the-night vibe.
‘White Lightning’ was a semi-finalist in the Americana category of the International Songwriting Competition (along with ‘How Long?’) from Fever Dreams. The competition is held annually with an esteemed panel of judges that include Tom Waits, Fleet Foxes, Tanya Tucker, Lonnie Liston Smith, Lukas Nelson, Irma Thomas, John Mayall, DJ Shadow and many more.
“‘White Lightning’ was inspired by an article that I read online about returned soldiers, drug addiction and the difficulties in returning home to everyday life while dealing with PTSD. The wives of these men were interviewed and they recalled in detail the hardships that they’d been forced to overcome. One in particular mentioned that her husband had tried to talk her into joining him in his addiction and she had almost followed him down the path of his final overdose. The catalyst for putting pen to paper originally was his story. ‘White Lightning’ was apparently an old slang term for LSD… and once I wrote it into the chorus it stuck.”
The homemade, Wes Anderson-influenced video highlights Moldre’s visual creativity and noir aesthetic which combines footage of Moldre performing, with cut-out text and images – the perfect accompaniment to the impressionistic grit and grain of the song.
“‘White Lightning’ is sparse and seductive, in its own beautifully lackadaisical way.” – Redback Rock
“‘White Lightning’ is a riotous sing-along” –Lonesome Highway (Ireland)
“Our favorite song on this album, however, is the beautifully sung acoustic Americana ballad ‘White Lightning’, a catchy song that continues to fascinate and intrigue from start to finish” – Rootstime Belgium
White Lightning was premiered at Rhythms Magazine on the 29th June 2020 HERE
Time marches on and the month of June marks the first year anniversary of Fever Dreams. You’ll find celebratory prices on all Fever Dreams related merch at my BANDCAMP store for the entire month.
PS Believe it or not my first solo album The Waiting Room also turned 10 this year.
Australian Lockdown ISO Covers
During these difficult times and the Stage 3 lockdown in Australia I’ve been recording a few off the cuff, warts and all, hushed, one-take video cover versions on my phone. Songs by some of the artists that have inspired me the most over the years – so far you’ll find covers of songs by Jeff Tweedy, Neil Young, Howe Gelb, Tom Waits, Ron Sexsmith, Elliot Smith, McCartney and more. I’ve just thrown a few of them up on YouTube – though you’ll find the bulk of them on IGTV @markmoldre and Facebook. Below is a version of Ron Sexsmith’s “Pretty Little Cemetery” – which even prompted an unsolicited comment from Ron himself, (“Wow, beautiful job!”) it’s the small things that make all this music malarkey worthwhile.
My son also joined me for a song – Chet doesn’t play guitar – except an obligatory Smoke On The Water (“…with the distortion on Dad!”) but on this occasion I put the guitar in an open tuning for him and gave him a crash course in soundscapes – Jazzmaster/whammy/loud feedback/reverb/delay. We made a racket for a one take, warts n all version of Laminated Cat by Jeff Tweedy’s Loose Fur.
I hope this small update finds you all well and coping with the pandemic and crisis that we’re all currently learning to deal with. From my semi closed doors to yours I send much love Mark X
Mark Moldre has today released the fourth video clip from his acclaimed 2019 album Fever Dreams. ‘How Long?’ incorporates a junk-shop percussion vibe, jazz licks, noir-twang and Moldre’s surreal wordplay and infectious melodicism as he tells a tale of comeuppance.
The clip also features Moldre’s main guitar – his custom made Daddy Mojo, aptly named Rosetta. In fact, it’s custom made by the very same artist – Lenny Piroth-Robert who painted the cover art for Fever Dreams (a man of many talents). Also featured is Mark’s handwired Swart AST Pro – check out these beautiful amps made by Michael Swart HERE.
International Songwriting Comp
Coinciding with the release of ‘How Long?’, Mark is chuffed to announce that he has been selected as a semi-finalist in the Americana category of the International Songwriting Competition – for not one, but two songs (‘How Long?’ and ‘White Lightning‘) from Fever Dreams. The competition is held annually with an esteemed panel of judges that include Tom Waits, Fleet Foxes, Tanya Tucker, Lonnie Liston Smith, Lukas Nelson, Irma Thomas, John Mayall, DJ Shadow and many more.
National Folk Festival
April will see Mark returning, for three appearances with his full band line up, at the 2020 National Folk Festival, held at Exhibition Park in Canberra ACT over the Easter long weekend of 9-13th of April.
Friday April 10 21:00 to 21:50 Majestic Stage
Saturday April 11 17:10 to 18:00 Scrumpy
Sunday April 12 14:50 to 15:40 Borderland
Finally – grab a free tote bag – personally designed and screen printed by Mark – with every vinyl purchase of Fever Dreams on his Bandcamp STORE
Coinciding with the upcoming single release of ‘How Long?’, Mark is proud to announce that he has been selected as a semi-finalist in the Americana category of the International Songwriting Competition – for not one, but two songs (‘How Long?’ and ‘White Lightning’) from Fever Dreams. The competition is held annually with an esteemed panel of judges that include Tom Waits, Fleet Foxes, Tanya Tucker, Lonnie Liston Smith, Lukas Nelson, Irma Thomas, John Mayall, DJ Shadow and many more.
Well here we are in 2020 and for the past few months Australia has been suffering truly damaging and widespread fires. For first month of 2020 all sales from my Bandcamp Store will be donated to the NSW Rural Fire Service. To make things a little more interesting I’ve included something new. I wrote the song ‘Notre Dame’ specifically for a pledger during my crowdfunding campaign last year. You can read the story of the song and have a listen or purchase HERE It’s a very personal song – big thanks to the sweet pledger who agreed for it to be made available to the public to raise money for the RFS. Thanks to those of you who have already jumped onboard.
First Gig For 2020
Due to circumstances way beyond my control, followed by a personal family tragedy, I was forced to cancel my tour with Jamie Hutchings last year. So to make up for things, just a little, we are going to play a one off show at the Petersham Bowling Club on Sunday Feb 9th. It’s an early show, 6-9pm and we’ll be joined by Simone East who will open the proceedings. Only 50 seats available so jump in early.
I’m super chuffed to announce that we’ll be returning to the National Folk Festival across the 9th-13th April 2020. All the fellas are coming with me – the full band in tow. The last time we played the festival was back in 2015. We’re looking forward to heading back….exact show times coming soon.
FREE SHIPPING ON FEVER DREAMS
Also, for the month of December I’ll be offering free shipping Australia wide for Fever Dreams on vinyl and CD on my Bandcamp page. For any overseas purchases $10AU shipping for vinyl and $2AU for CD’s.
HANDMADE CD BOX SET
Over the past 12 months I’ve sold about 5 of these complete box sets (see below) of my CD back catalogue. I’ve finally decided to make them available on Bandcamp.
The boxes are designed and created by me. All the cutting, pasting and varnishing I’m doing myself. I’ll sign them and add a personal message as well. No two boxes will be alike. Due to the fact that my CD stock is shrinking I can do 3 more that will contain 11 CD’s – after that a couple of the LTD Edition CD releases will be all gone and I’ll offer a slimmed down version.
They contain 3 CD’s from my early 2000’s project Hitchcock’s Regret, 2 CD’s from my side project with Michael Carpenter, The Supahip, plus 6 of my solo releases including a rare EP which contains a co-write with The Church drummer Timothy Powles. Albums produced by Jamie Hutchings, Tim Powles and Michael Carpenter. My musical history from about 2000 onwards.
You can even choose which era of album art you’d like on your box if you’d like to make an order – simply email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s a link if you’d like to grab one on Bandcamp: CD BOX SET
Finally a couple more reviews for Fever Dreams have filtered through – including this one from Belgium.
Here’s a translated version courtesy of Google:
“The Waiting Room” was the title of the first solo album of Australian folk rocker Mark Moldre from Sydney in 2010. Three years later a second album followed which was entitled “An Ear To The Earth” and was again filled with solid rock songs. His backing band for recording that album consisted of drummer Scott Hutchings, bass player Reuben Wills, lap slid guitar player and banjo player Adam Lang and guitar player Jamie Hutchings.
It is with the same musicians that Mark Moldre now returned to the studio to record his third solo album “Fever Dreams“. The extra guest musicians who were invited to play on a few songs are pianist Jadey O’Regan, Hammond organ player Tim Byron and tenor saxophonist Lee Hutchings. The brand new album contains ten new songs that Mark Moldre himself has composed in recent years.
Don’t expect simple, obvious songs on “Fever Dreams“, but rather skillfully put together melodic and sometimes some mysterious pop and rock songs as presented here in the tracks “Josephine“, “How Long?” Or the intriguing “Full Moon Over Luna Park ”and“ Peak Downs Coal ”, songs that remind me a bit of work by someone like Tom Waits or his Australian compatriots from ‘Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds‘.
Occasionally it goes straightforward like in “Til Now,” Keep On Moving “and with the song” Leave Me Where You Found Me “that was recorded as the first single from this album . The album title track “Fever Dreams I” offered on the second video is based on a repetitive drum beat and sharp rock guitar sounds. Our favorite song on this album, however, is the beautifully sung acoustic Americana ballad “White Lightning“, a catchy song that continues to fascinate and intrigue from start to finish.
This record was recorded live and directly on tape by producer Jamie Hutchings, which definitely enhances the authenticity of Mark Moldre’s work. The fun mix of Americana, jazzy and bluesy tunes, Dylaneske folk songs and driving rock songs turns out to form a wonderful basis for a great album by this Australian singer-songwriter. – Rootstime.be
REDBACK ROCK From the retro, Rising Sun airs of opener, Fever Dreams II, through the raggedy blues romp of Leave Me Where You Found Me, to the beautifully moody, swampesque (even a touch of Dylan vocally) throes of Josephine, this is one very diverse musical journey.
Shades of yesteryear’s, bluesy jazz bars (How Long?), lazy, late night martini ambles (Full Moon Over Luna Park) and even some swamped, menaced plodarama (Fever Dreams I).
White Lightning is sparse and seductive, in its own beautifully lackadaisical way.
Til Now takes us on a more cowpoke flavoured venture with its Morricone cool and dusty saloon throes.
Keep On Moving keeps the countrified mode, with its racy train-ride rhythms, before Peak Downs Coal wraps it all up with its sad, sad shades and a slick, slow washover.
It’s with much disappointment and a heavy heart that I need to announce that I have to cancel all of my upcoming shows with Jamie Hutchings due to a family crisis. I’m going to be dealing with an extremely difficult situation over the coming months and am forced to clear my calendar completely.
I was really looking forward to the shows – and catching up with interstate friends. Hopefully I’ll still get some shows in next year. Apologies to any friends who have purchased tickets – this is not a decision that I’ve made lightly.
If you’d like to help during this time of need – one thing that would help…if you’ve not been able to grab a copy of Fever Dreams on CD, vinyl or digital – or grab a T-Shirt or Tote Bag you can do so here:
Bandcamp is the very best option as you’ll be dealing directly with me personally. We’re going to be going through a time that will also effect the finances of my extended family and every cent will help.
Special thanks to Chris Familton Publicity for all his assistance in publicising these shows. I’m really disappointed I can’t be there. Of course, as you know, you’ll get a great show regardless going to see Sir Hutchings.
I’ll be opening the musical proceedings for my old friend Jamie Hutchings as he launches his new live album King Hits And Goldfish Memories for a brief run of shows. Like the album, the tour will see Jamie drawing on everything from late 90’s Bluebottle Kiss through to last year’s Bedsit. Double bassist Reuben Wills will be joining us for both sets and Jamie will reprise his electric guitar role on a few of my tunes and I’ll be returning the favour in his set. Tickets are on sale now.
Thur Oct 31 Camelot Lounge SYDNEY Tickets Sat Nov 2 Merri Creek Tavern MELBOURNE Tickets Sun Nov 3 Grace Emily Hotel ADELAIDE Tickets Fri Nov 8 The Junk Bar BRISBANE Tickets Sat Nov 9 Dusty Attic Music Lounge LISMORE Tickets
MORE FINE PRESS FOR FEVER DREAMS!
The good press keeps rolling in for Fever Dreams. Here’s a few fine reviews below.
Click the link to read in full this particularly eloquent and thoughtful review from writer Noel Mengel:
“Hot band, great songs, top-shelf performances and some classic microphones too no doubt. But if it was as simple as that there would be more records as powerful as Fever Dreams…This is music that breathes, that swings, that howls at the moon with a wild-eyed grin….What is happening on Fever Dreams is a band at its hard-rocking peak, an outfit that has played together long enough to find their sonic groove, bringing the absolute maximum out of Moldre’s finest set of tunes.” – Noel Mengel LOUD MOUTH
“It’s taken six years for the New South Welshman to deliver his third solo album, but the wait has been well and truly worth it. The ten originals crackle with spontaneity and raw energy, from the ramshackle Waitsian jazz-noir of the wonderfully titled ‘Full Moon Over Luna Park’ to the serrated fierceness of the psych-rock title track. Fever Dreams is a shape shifting exploration of blues and jazz, rough around the edges and an entirely compelling listen.” – Trevor J. LeedenRHYTHMS MAGAZINE SEPT/OCT EDITION
“A genre hopping delight from Australian Mark Moldre. Most likely to find shelter under the Americana umbrella, the third release from Moldre, as the title implies, is surreal, wacky, thrilling and edgy. Moldre displays his capacity to mix country rockers, electric blues, jazzy folk and dreamy ballads and yet still end up with an album that hangs together coherently, from start to finish.
‘Leave Me Where You Found Me’ is a jazzy blues affair, kicking off in Shakin’ All Over fashion, before heading off into B52 stomping grounds. ‘White Lightning‘ is a riotous sing-along and equally disorderly is the wonderful ‘Full Moon Over Luna Park‘, a 2am boozy waltz. Shades of The Sadies emerge on ‘Til Now‘ and both ‘Josephine‘ and ‘Fever Dreams II’ recall his fellow countryman Nick Cave.
The album was recorded live, with Jamie Hutchings once again producing and contributing to the mayhem with electric guitar, percussion, handclaps and backing vocals. More experimental and innovative than his 2013 album An Ear To The Earth, Moldre’s latest offering is both challenging, futuristic and rewarding. It offers the listener a body of work that creeps up, unravels and permeates with each subsequent listen.” – Declan CullitonLONESOME HIGHWAY (IRELAND)
“Sydney’s Mark Moldre has been flying under the radar since launching his career in 2005. Fever Dreams is Moldre’s third solo effort and it’s a grungy mix of rock, rockabilly and earthy ballads. With it’s grinding guitar riffs ‘Leave Me Where You Found Me’ boasts an early 60’s sound with a quick-tempo beat and handclaps to match. Moldre is big on percussion, as with ‘How Long’, a New Orleans oriented type track, while the slow and jazz tinged ‘Full Moon Over Luna Park’ is a waltz timed lament. Rockabilly reigns on ‘Keep On Moving’ and there’s an Americana flavour to ‘Josephine’ complete with a swampy guitar backing. ‘White Lightning’ has a tone of resignation as does ‘Peak Downs Coal’, a song that would suit Leonard Cohen’s catalogue. Moldre’s deep bluesy voice is infectious and he deserves credit for these 10 highly original songs” – Greg BushOWNER DRIVER MAGAZINE
“It is arresting, compelling and brilliant. Lyrically, it is rich and rewarding. Stylistically, musically, it takes the listener on an exhilarating journey….Fever Dreams can’t be easily explained, nor can it be easily ignored….be prepared to devote your time and attention to this singular work, and push all thoughts of doing other things aside. You won’t regret it.” Jolene: The Country Music Blog
MOLDRE ON THE RADIO
Radio has continued to play tracks from the new album – special thanks to 2SERFM, ABC, Double J and FBi Radio. In the lead up to the Sydney launch show of Fever Dreams I had a chat with Lindsay McDougall at the ABC and Vinny Ramone at 2SER, plus played a couple of tunes lives on air. You can stream both of these interviews below.
Josephine is the 3rd video creation taken from my new album Fever Dreams I made the clip with my wife Jo who is long suffering and accomodating when it comes to working with me on these creations I will point out that she is NOT the Josephine at the heart of this song if I wrote a song about her and opened with the lines “I’m so tired of hearing every thought in your head I’m turning off the white noise and slipping into bed” …well, I wouldn’t be here to tell the tale Jo and I made the clip together at home on our phones after the kids were asleep I dived into my daughters face paint (luckily she didn’t wake up after the paint was applied – I would have scared her witless) we waited til it was real dark and we crept quietly around the house while stifling our laughter at our own earnest stupidity and trying to keep our dog Hubble quiet (he also plays a starring role in his 15th year) and please share it around if you enjoy our amateur efforts you can come along and hear the tunes from Fever Dreams live when we launch the album in Sydney on Thursday Sept 5 with Kate Alexander & Hana Brenecki for Ramblin’ Nights at SLY FOX in Enmore presented by Mother Hen Touring & Post To Wire tickets are on sale now HERE Love Mark X
We’re excited to announce that we will be launching Fever Dreams in Sydney for “Ramblin’ Nights” for one night only at SLYFOX in Enmore. Presented by the lovely folk at Mother Hen Touring and Post To Wire. September 5th is the date to add to your diaries.
At this stage it’s our only planned NSW show with the complete band line up – so we’d (of course) love to see you all there to help us mark this special event!
Please come along early to check out the sweet harmonies of special guests Kate Alexander & Hana Brenecki all the way from Melbourne.
Here’s the band in action – live in France. Henry Wagons said on Double J “(Leave Me Where You Found Me) is the kind of tune I want to lock arms and rotate on the dance floor to”….so on Sept 5 we’d like to see some of that kind of action in Enmore!