is a young, emerging artist coming from Glencoe, South Australia, but relocated to Sydney after spending time at university in Canberra majoring in voice and writing songs and developing her sound overtime.
After various artistic experiences around the country, she released a few weeks ago her debut EP "Wrong Notes & Anecdotes", recorded and produced by Richie Belkner at Free Energy Device Studios.
Even if I'm a sucker for great rock bands, I don't remain indifferent when I find on my playlist the music of a girl influenced by soulpop and, most of all, that kind of pompous, orchestrated, greatly arranged pop that made famous legendary bands as Supertramp, Electric Light Orchestra and Queen in the seventies and in the early eighties.
And "Wrong Notes & Anecdotes" properly opens with a little modern pomp-pop gem called "Happy Stories", that could be at home on a Scissor Sisters or on a Hotstreets album. The second track is called "OoEeOo": don't let the silly title fool you, because this is a classy jazzy soulpop song with a simple refrain that gets stuck in your head like glue. "Bitter Little Yellow Fruit" is the third composition on the list: it's intimate, reflective, moody, with a very nice crescendo. I find some Tori Amos in this brilliant song that lyricswise is "based on the frustrated feelings you get from those bitter, sickly kind of toxic people." Closing number of WN&A is the latin/soul "Happy [To See You]", that shows us another face of Alison and how great a singer she already is.
If there's a problem with this EP, it's that with only 4 tracks, the end comes to soon, leaving me eagerly awaiting some new music from this poliedric talented girl.
So, I think you must be curious to listen to some Alison's music by now. Easy: just click the button below and enjoy!
And here's a nice "quick question and answer" I had with Alison a couple of days ago. ..
Alison, first of all, who are your favorite past and present artists? In terms of present artists I enjoy listening to a lot of local Aussie bands like The Rescue Ships and Ngaiire (pronounced Nyree). On a more international level Feist is amazing and SIA is an inspiration. I've been known to love trashy Scandinavian pop and a lot of free jazz acts too but that would make me seem a lot less cooler to admit that wouldn't it?
The amount of past artists I like would take me all day to list but I love Electric Light Orchestra, Kate Bush, Queen, Supertramp. Right now I cannot stop listening to Hall & Oates.
Is there someone who you really don't like? Nick Cave. Everytime a song of his comes on the radio I have to turn it off. Everyone else I don't like I'm keeping a secret until I'm a huge success and it'll be ok for me to be a bitter, cynical bitch.
Who made the dress on the cover of your album? And, speaking in general, what do you think about fashion? Do you follow it? Do you like Italian fashion and you have any Italian designer you really like? I don't really follow fashion -it's too hard to keep up with! I've always been a bit left of centre with the way I dress. You'll most likely find me scrum aging through op shops and markets to find what I wear. I like knowing that I've got once off pieces and I know that I can't afford to wear once off designer clothing so I suppose finding some sort of vintage once off in an op shop is the next best thing!
The dress I'm wearing on the front of my EP cover is from a kooky little Sydney boutique label called - Spunky Bruiser. I first saw their designs being featured in another boutique Sydney store I like called, Minty Meets Munt. The lady who makes the dresses is pretty passionate about what she designs. I've bought quite a few dresses from her now. I love how she picks out all the crazy fabrics and seems to put them together so well. I wear D & G glasses - that's about as Italian designer as I get!.
Who helped you out with the make up and with the artwork of your cd cover? My friend Anja Emzen who is a fantastic upcoming graphic artist from Sweden helped me out with my CD. She was so great at seeing my vision and making it so much more than what I expected!
My friend Anna Dickes did the make up for me. I used to work in this glamour photography studio and she was one of the make up artists there.The photo studio has since closed down and she now works freelance with her partner Ash Holdsworth - the amazing photographer who took the photos for the cover art. They make a pretty awesome duo.
I know you're in some way connected with the great Australian artist Jimmy Barnes. What about this relationship? I was living in Canberra and I was dating a guy who ended up playing drums for his daughter, Mahalia. I hasten to add that Mahalia is an amazing, encouraging and supportive woman - she's just about to release her second album and it's going to be great. My then boyfriend and I moved up to Sydney because he was playing more for Mahalia and she offered they we stay at the Barnes' place until we found somewhere of our own. I have a vivid memory of helping him sign his CDs, "Out of the Blue" so that they could be sent out to his fan base. Such an awesome family -an absolute honour to have them as friends!
Talking about the future. Are you going to come back soon to the studio to create other tracks for a future full-length album, or are you going to be focused on the promotion/touring? I would love to go in to the studio to do a full length album but I don't have anymore money - do you want to give me the money to do it?! :-P Along with this project I also invested in the creation of my own creative space, called The Newsagency, where people can be free to perform and freely express all their talent.
Let's talk about something else, now. Which are your favourite writers/books? Haruki Marukami would have to be my favourite writer. I particularly love The Wind Up Bird Chronicleand Norwegian Wood. I also love this short story he wrote too: http://link.to/murakami.
Otherwise I like Christos Tsiolkas - Australian author who wrote The Slap. An amazing book the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has just made into a fabulous TV mini series.
What about movies/directors/actors? I'm being deadly serious when I say Walt Disney's Aladdin is my favourite movie of all time. I can quote the whole thing from start to finish. The Lion King comes a close second with Sister Act 1 & 2 being up there too. I love a good movie you can sing along to! If you want a more grown up answer though I love anything Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia is amazing) and the Coen Brothers make and Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is incredible.
Do you like comics/graphic novels and cartoons? I used to read my dad's collection of Lee Falk's The Phantom comics as a kid and as mentioned before I love Walt Disney classics.
Do you like cooking? Which kind of cuisine do you like the most (Thai, Italian ....)? I actually hate cooking -working in a kitchen destroyed that domestic duty everyone else seems to find relaxing. The best thing about Sydney is how multicultural the place is. There are so many awesome restaurants offering a little piece of their country's food culture. On my street alone I have the option of Thai, Indian, Lebanese, Mexican, Vietnamese, Scandinavian, Japanese and Ethiopian cuisine. Probably my favourite of the restaurants is a place called Faheem's -a Pakistani restaurant serving ridiculously cheap tandoori chicken and amazing vegetable dishes. The fish tikka is great too. I'm pretty boring when it comes to food though. Give me a bunch of broccoli, raw or cooked and I'm actually pretty happy.
Do you have any very cool and typical Australian dish or recipes to advice me? That's a hard question to answer -what is a typical Australian dish? It's not like Italy where I could straight away say, spaghetti alla bolognese or France I say, croissant. We're a bit of a mish mash of everywhere! I'd recommend ordering Barramundi if you ever came over here. There's a nice little seafood restaurant in Annandale called Fish & Co that would probably cook it up nicely for one of their specials. (I shouldn't be answering these questions close to dinner time -I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!). Other than that, Vegemite and avocado on toast is really yummy for breakfast!.
Do you know anything about Australian wine? I know how to drink it! I'm from the Coonawarra region - quite a famous region of South Australia for wine. I enjoy Majella's "The Musician" Cab Shiraz - not just because it's appropriately named, it is quite a tasty drop!.
Something about sports now: do you know Casey Stoner? And what do you think about the win of New Zealand in the last rugby world cup?
I don't know Casey Stoner, should I? (Yeah, you definitely should
;)) And talking about the rugby world cup ....I couldn't care less if New Zealand won the RWC or not! I hate rugby, AFL for life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
And now the last and most important question: do you like white wombats? What on earth is a white wombat?!!!!! Ok, I just googled it.. I guess I like them?! I just wouldn't want them crashing into my car - very expensive to fix that kind of damage!.
OK, that's all. Let me thanks very much Alison for being such a nice and disposable person. And a big thank you to her manager Francesca for arraging this interview!