Perry Keyes – Review – SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

Sunnyholt   ★★★★

FOLK ROCK

This album deserves far more space than afforded here, for not only is it is a quality record of storytelling, it is a major and very Australian album. Having covered life in the working-class inner suburbs, in the pubs where old footballers might hold up one end of the bar and the houses where a scrabbling mother ponders how to pull together the next meal, Perry Keyes follows the story west. Out near Mount Druitt and St Marys where the government moved some of the poorest in the late 1960s for a fresh round of social engineering. There’s less Springsteen than on his earlier albums and less despair shot through with bursts of exultant defiance. There is more austerity; the title track is a dark tale told drolly so that you can almost get through it before realising what a kick in the balls it is. The detail is killer, whether mixing GI cordial with gin and soda or playing housie with the Greeks and the Maltese. The songs are killer too. They’ll stay with you a long time.

Bernard Zuel  SMH   6 Feb 2015     The Melbourne Age

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Perry Keyes – Review – STACK Magazine

Sunnyholt

I’m alive tonight!” So starts the fourth album by Perry Keyes, the best songwriter you’ve never heard.

It’s an optimistic opening, but don’t expect a fun ride.Sunnyholt refers to the road running through Sydney’s outer-western suburbs, where many inner-city residents relocated in the ’60s and ’70s. 

All messed up with nowhere to go, this record documents the downside of the Great Australian Dream. It’s bleak, but Keyes’ writing is so wonderfully evocative – just check out the marvellously titled Mario Milano’s Monaro, which starts: “My cousin Doreen drives a taxi, she likes girls and one day cricket.” 

These are heartbreaking tales of wasted lives, where “a lonely girl knows how it feels to have the beautiful things ignore her”, and “I’d trade all the lights on Sydney Harbour to feel my father’s arms again”. Bek-Jean Stewart’s sublime vocals sweeten Raymond John Denning and Shitville, but there are no happy endings in Keyes’ songs, unless they’re “in $59 rooms selling stoned rub and tugs”. 

You’ll hear snatches of Lou Reed, Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen, but Perry Keyes is telling his own story. And there is no better Australian songwriter. 

Jeff Jenkins  2 Feb 2015

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Sam Shinazzi – Review – STACK Magazine

“Forever & For Now” 3 ½ Stars

Sydney’s Sam Shinazzi is in a reflective mood on his fifth album. And he’s got a restless heart. Forever & For Now documents a relationship where two people are moving in different directions. The result? “Now we’re both grieving. “ Shinazzi namechecks Springsteen in The Day We Met: “You called me from Philly while The Boss was on stage, I held my fist in the air.” But these aren’t stadium songs. Instead, they float by, and the singer has no easy answers. “Sometimes things just happen,” he concludes, “and you don’t know why.” File next to Ben Lee

Jeff Jenkins  2 Feb 2015         PURCHASE  Forever & For Now

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Mark Moldre – Review – EAR TO THE GROUND

“An Ear To The Earth”   Experimental singer songwriter captures the past in song

ARTICLE  11 Feb 2015

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[Note: This album is from 2013. We rarely cover albums more than a year old.]

Not since I first heard Pokey Lafarge have I been so impressed with an artist’s ability to capture a bygone era. A bit of the 1930s in sonic form, Mark Moldre‘s old soul transports listeners back to the Great Depression’s saddest of speakeasies. It’s quintessential American and straight from Australia. It’s freshly old. It’s minimalistic and full band. This album of contradictions is just what your sophisticated music palate has been dying to hear.   Continue reading

Sam Shinazzi – Review

Raw emotion and authenticity are the hardest things for a singer/songwriter to get across. Sam, on his newest album Forever & For Now not only delivers them both, lyrically and musically, but does so with a warm embrace. Sounds that harken back to the indie, grand, guitar alt-rock of Boston¹s heroes the Lemonheads and Grant Lee Buffalo, but all fresh for today. Mr Shinazzi¹s finest work, and so well worth embracing yourself.

Michael Taylor MD Universal Music Australia

Perry Keyes – Review – THE MUSIC

“Sunnyholt”    4 ½ Stars

Perry Keyes’ fourth long-player is an ambitious concept piece about an extended family fighting for a decent life (and sometimes survival) in the working-class western suburbs of Sydney.

The first of a two-album series (with follow-up The Great Western Highway due later this year), it’s a collection of songs dense in rich Australian imagery and insight, the beautifully painted scenarios portraying a grim picture of a tough life where hope reigns eternal.

The music is sparse and subdued for the most part, setting the moods well to complement the narratives, but it’s Keyes’ lyrics that dominate proceedings. When he rasps, “You don’t deserve this tobacco-soaked kiss” (Home Is Where The Heart Disease Is), it’s as effortlessly emotive as the great masters (Dylan, The Boss, Kelly et al). It’s the intricacies of detail that give the songs their considerable heft, and while it’s typically Sydney-centric in scope, for every mention of Martin Place, Harry’s Café de Wheels, Strathfield or Botany Bay there’s a reference to ANZAC Day, Archie Roach, $5 steaks, Sunnyboys and ODIs to make it ultimately inclusive.

Drug references abound (but desperate rather than glamorous) and there’s a lot of personal torment invested in these blue-collar montages – whether they be tales of dead-end jobs (Mario Milano’s Monaro), crime and punishment (Raymond John Denning) or people completely on the skids (The Abattoir Sky) each character is viewed through an empathic lens that begs for understanding. Powerful stuff.   

Steve Bell  THE MUSIC 27 Jan 2015     PURCHASE  Sunnyholt

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Sam Shinazzi – Review – The Music

“Forever & For Now” 4 ½ Stars

Sometimes the most complicated thing is keeping it simple. Shinazzi has the knack of it.

It’s little remembrances as conversations, the emotions distilled to a phrase, a feeling. It’s knowing something’s not quite right and recognising the doubts. Knowing in your Bones “the fear of being alone”is all that’s holding a faltering relationship together. But there’s joy in small gestures too: The Day We Met’s overseas call from a friend at a Springsteen concert, or seeing someone on an early train by chance – a sign that Everything’s Alright. And it just might be.

Ross Clelland  27 Jan 2015           PURCHASE Forever & For Now

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Perry Keyes – Review – SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

Tales of Western Sydney  Sydney Festival:

The Aurora  18 Jan 2015      4 out of 5 stars

Bernard Zuel  SMH

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There is a slight but crucial error in the press release accompanying the soon to be released fourth album from Perry Keyes, Sunnyholt. It says he is “a singer/songwriter from Sydney, Australia” when in fact it should be “Perry Keyes is a singer/songwriter of Sydney, Australia”. In fact, you could go further and say he is the singer/songwriter of Sydney, Australia.
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Mark Moldre has a new clip from “An Ear To THe Earth”

Watch MADELEINE

Here’s the brand new clip to be lifted from Mark Moldre’s An Ear To The Earth. This time round the dark/jazz infused Madeleine gets the video treatment – and this marks the 8th clip to have been created from the Ear To The Earth track list.

In keeping with Mark’s plan of working with a close circle of talented friends he asked multi skilled producer Michael Carpenter to take a seat behind the camera. The video was shot late one night at Love Hz studios and features the very same line up that recorded the album back in 2013 – including the albums producer (Jamie Hutchings: Infinity Broke/Bluebottle Kiss)

The lyrics for Madeleine were written back in the late 90’s and were inspired by Kim Novak’s character in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Vertigo. Moldre finished the melody and arrangement about 14 years after the song was started.

PURCHASE “An Ear To The Earth”

Perry Keyes “Tales of Sydney’s Western Suburbs”

Festival-2015-Banner

Sydney Festival 2015

AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE  18th January

5.15pm   Festival Village

“The Aurora”(College & Park)

General Admission $29 

“Perry Keyes is a Sydney romantic who can see the battered beauty beneath the gloss”   Sydney Morning Herald

Perry Keyes crafts portraits of city life. Capturing the essence of Sydney’s once working-class suburbs – through the experiences of family and neighbours – the acclaimed musician presents the premiere of his Sunnyholt project.

Sharing tales of Sydney’s western suburbs from the late 60s to the present day – from the perspective of his extended family, who were moved there by the Housing Commission – Keyes utilises a full band, visuals and personal stories to trace the journey of generations disintegrating under the social and economic pressures of life on the city’s fringe.

Tickets and more info.

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