Everything I Need

Everything I Need is the 6th clip to be lifted from An Ear To The Earth. Filmed by Paul Melnyk in a home that was being gutted for renovations – in fact a home in which Mark spent a large portion of his childhood. This is also the first clip that features Mark’s band – the very same line up who recorded an Ear To The Earth a year ago in a empty guesthouse -live and straight to 1″ reel to reel tape – almost a year ago. Jamie Hutchings on percussion, Scott Hutchings on drums, Lee Hutchings on clarinet, Reuben Wills on double bass and Adam Lang on banjo. Mark posted a nostalgic ramble on his Facebook page a couple of days ago which provides a little background on the history of the house the clip is filmed in. You can read that piece below…

A couple of weeks back
We filmed clip no. 6 in a house
where I spent 1/2 of my childhood
A house where as a nipper
we ran around around the feet
of Jamie and Scott Hutchings’ Dad, Lee,
as he practiced his
clarinet
leaning intensely
over his charts
spread across the dining room table
Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman licks
Myxolydian Scales
Trills, triplets and fingers flying
I still say my love of jazz
comes from listening to him
and his record collection
hearing him play
tenor/soprano sax
flute
piccolo
oboe
Now
their old house in the Eastern Suburbs
is being gutted for renovations
it’s currently an empty shell full of memories
Of music we made as kids
9 years old
Charging our parents to watch us
Miming to Beatle records in suits
Then
Early noisy attempts at starting bands
writing
practicing
The Fallen Scarecrows (is what we called ourselves)
listening to
The Church, The Celibate Rifles, The Plunderers, Spy Vs Spy, Split Enz, Midnight Oil, Happy Hate Me Nots, Ups and Downs, The Stems mixed with Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Wes Montgomery and Charlie Parker
A barrage of happy noise

It was perfect timing for me
to return to their home
with the greatest of old friends
Scott, Jamie, Lee and
(their) Brother-in-law Reuben (brother I never had)
old (newer) friend Adam Lang
and film a clip
for one of the songs on
An Ear To The Earth that Lee played on
– Everything I Need –
amongst the demolition, bricks and debris
before it all disappeared
beneath a new facade
all those years in the rubble…

News From The Road

Stage Shot

As the first leg of our tour to launch An Ear To The Earth now nears it’s end and we begin preparing for our visit to the southern states of the East Coast I figured it was time for a short update. We’ve travelled a few thousand kilometres – playing shows from Sydney to Brisbane sharing the stage with Steve Kilbey and Martin Kennedy, Zach Miller, Talltails, Jep and Dep and labelmates Bambino Koresh. Tomorrow night (July 7) will see us play our last show for at least a couple of months at Lizottes on the Central Coast with Sydney troubadour Cam MacKellar. Whilst we take a touring break guitarist/producer Jamie Hutchings will continue mixing his brand new solo album (I’ve heard about half of it and you’re in for a guitar-noise/kraut rock/avant-garde treat) and double bassist Reuben Wills heads off overseas with his wife, pianist Sophie Hutchings, for her first tour of Japan.

During the tour we stopped in for a few radio chats at BayFM, 4ZZZ and FBi some of these interviews can now be streamed online – including a couple of songs live in the studio at FBi.

Chat at 4ZZZ : Folk Buddies

Chat and Live Performance at FBi : In The Pines

Along with interviews in Brisbane’s Time Off and Sydney’s Drum Media:

TIME OFF “His 2010 solo debut The Waiting Room earned serious plaudits, and after a lengthy gestation period his new follow-up, An Ear To The Earth, has already proved a more-than-worthy successor. Possessing a vastly different tone to it’s predecessor, the album’s folk-tinged indie stylings are characterised by watertight songwriting, deft imagery and imaginative arrangements, and it has a far coarser feel overall than his previous fare” Steve Bell

DRUM MEDIA “Stepping way out of his comfort zone, singer-songwriter Mark Moldre delivers an album Nick Cave would be proud of” Michael Smith

Yesterday, An Ear To The Earth featured in The Sydney Morning Herald as CD Of The Week with a positive review from Bernard Zuel:

“This is music to drink to. Not to get drunk to, but to have on while you’re gabbing with your mates, while you’re sitting watching your kids play in the shallows and maybe even while knitting in the lodge. There’s a loose, almost ramshackle element to it, as if you’ve popped around the back to find a pick-up band rattling through some old country/folk/blues numbers for fun. Imagine a less garrulous and noisy Tom Waits (for example the New orleans brass and clarinet in Everything I Need Is Here) a late-night Ryan Adams (the droopy eyed Dreamtime Blues) and a kind of Sydney Willie Nelson (I Don’t Know What’s Become Of Her) and you’ll have a sense of the relaxed but never actually soft atmosphere here.” 

MarkM_SMH_CDWk5Jul13

And finally I also had the pleasure of meeting Byron Bay artist Yazz Ward of Sherfay Art and we talked about the upcoming tour – and she drew the portrait below. You can read the interview here.

More gig dates will be announced real soon.

SherfayPortrait

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A Mark Moldre Revue (or two)

STACK MAGAZINE

May Issue

An Ear To The Earth

★ ★ ★ ★

Opening with a rumbling tuba, Mark Moldre’s second album has you thinking he could be an Aussie version of Tom Waits. But he’s a sweeter singer. Produced by Bluebottle Kiss’s Jamie Hutchings,  Moldre delivers vivid vignettes of the lost and lonesome. “You can know where you are and still be lost” he decrees in the downbeat standout, I Don’t Know What’s Become Of Her. He also sings “There are cliches all over the world, because they’re true.” But An Ear To The Earth is filled with delightful detours, switching from blues to roots to jazz. Very tasty indeed. Jeff Jenkins

Laughing Outlaw/Inertia

DRUM MEDIA

Mark Moldre

An Ear To The Earth

8 April, 2013

An Ear To The Earth is the follow-up to Mark Moldre’s debut solo album The Waiting Room, an accomplished set of folk-tinged indie rock songs that no doubt gave him the confidence and curiosity to dig deeper into his own songwriting and explore some of the more diverse corners of his musical influences that feature on this excellent album.

The impact of Moldre’s broader palette hits immediately on the opener Everything I Need, a stomping, clattering Tom Waits-ish jazz lurch with a glorious clarinet courtesy of Lee Hutchings. Beneath the old time exterior the song is an ode to a loved one, a declaration of contentment and one of the two most direct lyrical turns on the album. The other is Killer Anxiety, with its bright and uplifting calypso swing belying the song’s dark and honest subject matter concerning panic attacks.

Jamie Hutchings produced the album, and the two share a love of the dismantled and fragmented percussion that populates many of the songs. It gives them a wonderful organic, spacious and brittle feel, and they were very judicious in where they placed the ramshackle elements across the record. The other aspect of the record that stands out is Moldre’s voice; a maturing, world-weary instrument full of grain and character. He is now singing within the songs rather than pushing them along as he may have in the past, and it contributes to some beautiful and emotionally rich moments like the warm and dreamy Madeleine, the jazz croon ofLast Card and the delicate chaos of the closer O, Dreamtime Blues. An Ear To The Earth is exactly what you want from an artist – a record that shows they’re stretching themselves, expanding their art and reverentially experimenting with the great art of songwriting.

Chris Familton

http://themusic.com.au/reviews/album/2013/04/08/mark-moldre-an-ear-to-the-earth-chris-familton/

ALT MEDIA GROUP

★ ★ ★ ★

There is a clear and concerted shift from the mostly alt-folk of Mark Moldre’s first solo release, The Waiting Room, to the eclectic mix of sounds found on his second solo effort, An Ear To The Earth. Moldre, a gifted lyricist and melody-maker, manages to piece together different styles, both coherently and beautifully: from the swoony polka sounds and brass instrumentation onEverything I Need Is Here, to the romantic, flamenco-esque guitar work and smoky vocals on Madeleine, and then to a track like Killer Anxiety, whose upbeat pace is at odds with its serious subject matter. Each listen procures more and more appreciation for the varied and purposeful release that iAn Ear To The Earth. Katie Davern

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