Robert Forster announces new album ‘The Candle and The Flame’, shares single ‘She’s A Fighter’

The former Go-Betweens member will share his eighth solo album early next year

Robert Forster – best known as the former co-leader of The Go-Betweens – has shared details of his eighth solo record, as well as sharing its lead single.

‘The Candle and The Flame’ is set for release on February 3 2023 via EMI Music – pre-order and pre-save it here. It will mark Forster’s first solo album in nearly four years, following on from 2019’s ‘Inferno’ – which was longlisted for the Australian Music Prize that year.

Forster recorded and co-produced the album in Brisbane’s Alchemix Studios alongside his wife Karin Bäumler and son Louis Forster – who, until recently, was a member of The Goon Sax. The album also features contributions from Forster and Bäumler’s daughter, Loretta, as well as former Go-Betweens bassist Adele Pickvance and former members of Brisbane band The John Steel Singers, who worked with Forster on ‘Inferno’.

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To coincide with the album’s announcement, Forster has shared its lead single, ‘She’s A Fighter’. Its accompanying music video, directed by Denny Ryan, was shot in the aforementioned Alchemix Studios and depicts the Forster family performing the song together in a circle. Watch it below:

In a press statement, Forster explained that the titular phrase came to him following Bäumler’s cancer diagnosis early last year. “With a series of chemotherapy sessions about to begin, Karin talked of fighting for her health and a path through chemotherapy to recovery,” he explained.

“The phrase came to me, and I knew immediately that it would work with my new melody. I needed just one other line for the lyric: ‘Fighting for good.’ The song was finished. I had written my first two-line song. I had just out-Ramoned the Ramones!”

Forster went on to explain that ‘The Candle and The Flame’ was recorded “sporadically over six months” between October 2021 and into early 2022. “Sometimes, [we would record] just one or two days a month,” Forster said. “That was all Karin’s strength and condition allowed her to do. So, we had to record live, catching magical moments and going for feel – and that became the sound of the album.”

In a Facebook post shared earlier this week, Forster elaborated on the role the album’s collaborative writing and recording played throughout Bäumler’s recovery. “I had a batch of new songs I’d written over the last years, and we started playing them together,” Forster wrote.

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“Our son Louis often dropped in for a meal and a chat and soon he began joining us on guitar. One night, when sitting cross-legged on the couch, after we had played a song, Karin looked up from her xylophone and said, ‘When we play music, is the only time I forget I have cancer.’ That was a big moment.”

Forster continued: “With a challenging year behind her, Karin is feeling strong and positive now and she can’t wait for our music to go out of our house and into the world. It may seem strange making an album in these circumstances and looking back, we really don’t know how we did it, but we do know that it helped us just so much as a family.”

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