Meet the Melbourne singer-songwriter crafting eloquent pop on Courtney Barnett’s label. Interview by Kevin EG Perry Fraser A Gorman has a distinct memory of the very first time he ever met his now-label boss, Courtney Barnett, after moving to Melbourne as an 18-year-old. “I met her in a bar and tried to pick her up,” he laughs. “Which is kinda funny because she likes girls!” The pair have now become good friends, and as singer-songwriters they share an aesthetic as well as a certain lyrical wit and ability to convey their lives, hopes and fears openly.
As you might have noticed from our fairly constant and excited yabbering on about it, Florence + The Machine release their new album ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’ on June 1. The Machine are a deeply important part of Florence Welch’s process and live show – from musical collaborator Isabella Summers’ co-writes and keyboards to guitarist Rob Ackroyd, who’s been carrying the injured singer on and off stage over the past month or so.
The first song I remember hearing: Michael Jackson – something from ‘Bad’ “I used to wear denim jackets. I had this weird brown hat that was more John Wayne than Michael Jackson but I thought I was MJ even though I had really bad dance moves with knobbly knees.
Justin (J) Fernandez might just be the real sound of America right now. With not an ounce of icey NYC ‘cool’ or hipster LA wankery about him, the Little Rock-born, Chicago-based songwriter’s music taps into that same sense of prevailing sincerity as Elliott Smith and Evan Dando. You could never call him brash or OTT, and that’s kind of the point. A map-maker by day, he made most of new album ‘Many Levels Of Laughter’ at his apartment in the Windy City’s Humboldt Park area.
For years, Eminem – real name Marshall Mathers – had been a jobbing Detroit MC, scrubbing dishes by day and honing his skills in rap battles at local hangout The Hip-Hop Shop by night. Then Mathers found his voice: a new, unhinged alter ego, Slim Shady. Eminem’s major label debut ‘The Slim Shady LP’, released 15 years ago today pricked liberal consciences with its rhymes about violence, murder and drug-taking.