Magnetic Fields, Cloud Control, Jens Lekman
Fergus Brown - vox & guitars, Holly Austin - keys, Assorted Lonelies.
randy newman, Dappled Cities, leonard cohen
Unearthed artists we like
‘John, She Was Never Only Dancing’ is the first single from Fergus Brown’s upcoming debut album 'Burgers Frown'. Sydney songwriter Fergus’s melodic guitar-pop is reminiscent of The Shins, Bon Iver and Ben Kweller, but he is equally aligned with the lyrical peculiarities of artists such as Randy Newman, Jonathan Richman, and The Magnetic Fields. His debut record 'Burgers Frown' is a collection of sometimes quirky, sometimes tender, love songs. Musicians on the record include Producer Tony Dupé (Holly Throsby), Producer Paul Mac (silverchair), Tim Derricourt (Dappled Cities) and Jack Ladder. Fergus’ song ‘Last Winter’ featured prominently on Emmy award-winning US TV series ‘The Starter Wife’ and he has already performed with Martha Wainwright, Jens Lekman, New Buffalo, Cloud Control, An Horse and Jack Ladder. Fergus is a former winner of the Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards (SOYA), and the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, an emerging artists award scheme overseen by the Lennon Foundation in New York City. Fergus will be touring the Australian east coast in May/June 2009, and Europe & the US east coast in July/August 2009. ‘Burgers Frown’ will be online and in stores on 15 May 2009. “Fergus lies dormant like a pop volcano…bloody awesome.” Vijay Khurana, Triple J "Fucking excellent!" Rose Quartz Blog "Really wonderful stuff..." Richard Kingsmill, Triple J
School teacher by day, rock star by night. That's Sydney's Fergus Brown for you. Having supported Martha Wainwright, Jens Lekman, New Buffalo and An Horse, it was about time Fergus released his debut album.
Tell us about your music - how did you develop your sound?
My musical tastes are pretty broad, but i always come back to melodic, talkative artists, like Weezer, The Beach Boys, Jarvis Cocker, Beck, The Magnetic Fields, Rufus Wainwright, and the like.. I tried a whole bunch of different recording combinations before settling down to make my debut LP with Tony Dupe and Paul Mac. These guys reflect different parts of me, and i worked hard to pull together an album where my melody and words were the boss, but they were interestingly framed, with different textures, rhythms and settings.
Great songwriting, how do you approach it?
Thanks! All songs appear in different ways. Good songs often begin with me talking to myself at the bus stop. When strangers appear, i pretend i'm actually just singing to myself. And voila! The next step involves ARIA charts, Champagne, and Los Angeles! Whoopa... I became a bit deluded for a moment. I often begin with a little melody or lyric that is stuck in my head. Then i move all the different parts of the song around. Sometimes for a very long time! Until i'm happy. I'm writing a lot of new songs at the moment, which is great. They're coming out in a way that's never happened before. They're appearing in some kind of reverse melodic order, which is weird, and without words. I think a songwriter just has to work hard, and run-with whatever form the songs appear in!
Tell us about your live show.
I play with a band: my friends Damian & Dan on drums & bass, and my longtime bandmate Holly on keys, loops, bad jokes, & good hair. I've played in a bunch of different formats in the past - including solo - but this formation is much more fun. Things are really starting to gel. I'd love to keep broadening what we do live. I'm inspired by bands like Dappled Cities who are really dynamic live; bands that don't just knock out the same show night after night.
How does an independent artist get so many great guests on his album?
All the great guests on the record were once-upon-a-time independent artists themselves. I met all the musos on the record over time through different musical projects. When it came time to record, i just called on my talented mates. Paul Mac and I met through the Australia Council. He's great fun, and freakishly musical - and we got on really well - so that's how i ended up recording with him.
Australian music is?
There's an abruptness and an energy in Australian rock n' roll that i love, and it seems to be sprouting in the Aussie electronic scene too, which is exciting. I suppose i'm more from the world of songcraft, and my Australian faves in that regard would be guys like Tim Rogers, Paul Kelly & Darren Hanlon. I played with a great young band called Canvas Kites last night. Their first gig! They had duelling male vocal melodies, droney 50's surf-band guitars, and nice shirts. So for me, today, perhaps they're "Australian Music"...View Profile Hide Interview