Hex's GR!M 2017 highlight

We can't believe it's almost been a month since camp started! What an incredible experience it was for everyone involved. GR!M is all about building up our campers and showcasing their abilities and strengths. Ruby asked Hex, one of our campers, to write about her highlight of the camp and here it is!

 

"On this beautiful Thursday at 12:15pm, Girls Rock was graced with the presence of Hip Hop and Jazz musician Lady Lash. Walking on stage, immediately capturing the attention and respect of an initially unenthusiastic looking crowd with her powerful rhymes and rocking lady vibes. She spoke on issues such as family, hometowns, following your dreams and loving yourself. It’s refreshing to hear true honesty in the lyrics of a hip hop song, a genre which, while being amazing in many other ways, can often lack honesty. In Lady Lash’s performances, the passion and conviction in her voice makes you never doubt whether her experiences were true. Whilst a lot of mainstream hip hop and rap musicians will talk about their houses and their cars and their watches, Lady Lash talks about how little material things matter, and how finding yourself and loving your family will create more happiness in the long run.

 As a person who has great love and respect for hip hop and jazz music, I listen to a lot of it. Like, A LOT. But even when you listen to these genres as much as I do, it’s still rare to come across a traditional female artist, much less a female Australian artist. Because of this we can sometimes forget there is a whole community of female hip hop artists right here in Australia, each one more amazing than the last, and all we have to do is look for them.

It’s also interesting to hear about an artist going from wanting fame and fortune to grounding themselves with family and home, instead of the other way around. In many cases, artists will start off with humble passions and goals, but end up receiving and wanting fame, fortune and recognition. Which is fine really, but everything in moderation. So, it’s great that there are people like Lady Lash going in the opposite direction.

Whilst being creative and inspiring, the jazz undertones of her songs really made me want to dance. But everyone else was sitting down and listening hard, so I thought I’d hold off, so as to not distract people too much and definitely not because I was super embarrassed.

I’d recommend Lady Lash’s music to anyone who’s into learning to love themselves, being proud of their Aussie roots, and having a good old fashioned dance to some rockin’ hip hop tunes." 

 

ARTIST PROFILE - FREYA JOSEPHINE HOLLICK

 

"Freya Josephine Hollick is an Old-Timey, Country, Folk singer/songwriter from the Victorian Goldfields. She was born and raised in Ballarat, and although she has tried her hand at city living, Ballarat and rural Victoria are where she is most at home. Freya has written and performed for many years in many different styles, though has always had her roots in folk music, coming to earlier 20th Century folk, blues and country music through a hunger for knowledge of how and from where modern music evolved. Well versed in all kinds of music, Freya has followed a path back to a time that holds true to her voice, her songwriting and her story. Freya's voice has been described as haunting, as both powerful and fragile, it is truly a voice unlike any other, and one that is of another time. 

Many conversations with Freya centre around her uncertainty as to where her songs and stories come from, "They seem to fall out of the sky at any time of day, and they pester you 'til you sit down and write it out... makes for a pretty disorganised life". Freya has said she often wakes late in the night, with a melody, or a line and, as commanded, stays up with the song until it is all out and whole. When asked about her process, Freya is certain that there isn't really a process, that any time she tries to write, without it coming to her "as an apparition of sorts", that the effort is audible in the song, and "that sure doesn't make for easy listening, which is what [she is] all about".  

Her parents would listen to music almost constantly as Freya and her siblings grew up. They listened to everything from Emmylou Harris, to Etta James, Sonic Youth, Ed Keupper, Bill Frisell, Sun Ra, Beastie Boys, Brian Eno, Massive Attack, Townes Van Zandt, Yo La Tengo, Steve Young, John Lee Hooker, Gene Clark and many more. As a result of so much exposure to wide variety of great music, Freya found her way through noise bands, experimental improvisational music, folk, rock, pop, classical and of course country music across the past twelve years performing throughout Victoria.

Freya immerses herself in her songs and the stories they tell, and it is no secret that she has certainly come through trials of her own in recent history. Her own life story, tells tales much like those in the heartbreaking country tunes of yesteryear that she has come to love so much. Her live performances are often candid, her banter between songs becomes more of a refreshingly honest and often darkly humorous account of her lived experience as a newly single mother of one and the loneliness, difficulty and beauty of it all. Her own songs such as Way Over Yonder With You and A Heart That Burns are truly stunning examples of the pain that she has turned in to song.

To hear her perform live is not only an exceptional experience because of her own stories but also what she brings to the songs of others. Her rendition of Dolly Parton's I Will Always Love You, is enough to both chill you to the bone and wrap you in a warm embrace. This song in particular highlights what a powerful voice Freya has and her aptitude for phrasing and tone."

MIXTAPE:

Karen Dalton - It Hurts Me Too (first recorded by Tampa Red in 1940 and later by Elmore James)

I grew up listening to Karen Dalton, she has influenced me hugely and introduced me to the beauty of THE BLUES!

 

June Holm - Lullaby My Mother Sang To Me. 

The mother of Australian Country music, Australia's original yodelling sweetheart. I'd love to be able to yodel as high and clear as this lady, and play such beautiful guitar, she is a constant reminder to me to keep trying, learning, improving AND most of all, yodelling.

 

THE CARTER FAMILY - Wildwood Flower.

These ladies and their harmonies, masters of Appalachia, and probably my biggest influence to date. These ladies are my happy place. Such a strong female presence in music from way back when, step aside fellas, these ladies got some serious chops.

 

BESSIE SMITH!!!! - Gimme A Pigfoot and A Bottle O Beer.

This lady was BADASS. The original punk. She made no excuses for herself, a powerhouse of jazz and blues, sang with so much heart, so much pain. Damn girl. She has influenced so much of my singing and songwriting. Legend of song.

 

Dolly Parton - Do I Ever Cross Your Mind

I couldn't talk about ladies who have influenced me without mentioning the biggest sweetheart of all, the one and only DOLLY PARTON! I play this song live a lot, and I bloody love Dolly Parton, she also makes no excuses, she is a powerhouse, she is herself and stands solid and has dominated the music world since she hit the scene. So much love for this lady.

 

BAND PROFILE - LOOSE TOOTH

Photo by Danny Cohen

Photo by Danny Cohen

LOOSE TOOTH are a Melbourne three-piece who make smouldering harmonic pop gems, drenched in reverb and hindsight. Long-time friends Etta Curry, Nellie Jackson and Luc Dawson have had a busy 2016 releasing their debut EP

Saturn Returns on Milk! Records and will win your heart with their infectious live performance and onstage chitchat. Seeing LOOSE TOOTH really is a beautiful thing.

Swept together from the ashes of your finest night on the tiles LOOSE TOOTH are a

Melbourne three-piece who craft sweet guitar pop with frayed edges and swollen hearts. Life-long mates Etta Curry and Nellie Jackson met in crèche and spent naptime dreaming of creating a heavenly racket. Long-time friends Luc Dawson was drafted in on bass to transform their sketches into the sort of songs that stick in your head for days.  Spacious and drenched in reverb, Loose Tooth's smouldering pop gems deliver heartfelt assessments through misty eyes. 2016 has been busy for Loose Tooth. Releasing their debut EP, Saturn Returns on Milk! Records and playing festivals, Boogie Festival, Camp Nong, Reclink Community Cup, and supports for Gold Class, Jess Ribeiro, Hinds (Spain), Jen Cloher, Courtney Barnett and Chastity Belt (to name just a few.) Whether spluttering to life on an empty tank or hitting harmonies in full flight, seeing LOOSE TOOTH really is a beautiful thing.

 Mixtape:

Chastity Belt
One of our favourite bands! We were lucky enough to play with them this year and ended up being great mates! It's always nice when people you inspire are also really great people.

 

Sheer Mag
Just go into these guys at the start of the year- so much gusto! and I've heard amazing live too!

 

Angel Olsen - Shut up Kiss Me

This is one of Etta's favourite musician's and I'm sure Angel's influence has made her way into a lot of Loose Tooth song writing!

 

Totally Mild - Down Time

Melbourne favourites! I think we all listened to 'Down Time' to death, but it never gets old!

 

Wet Lips 4 eva!

BAND PROFILE - CABLE TIES

PHOTO BY YUNIS T

PHOTO BY YUNIS T

The very first Cable Ties gig was in a backyard in Brunswick in March 2015 in celebration of the Wet Lips EP launch, which has now become a yearly event called WETFEST. Jenny and Shauna had met a year before that at a day music festival where there was a bunch of punks looking lost in the unfamiliar wilderness of Port Melbourne. Jenny was playing in a couple of bands at the time, but wanted to start a band where she could sing and play guitar. Having a long history of playing in folk music bands as a teenager, there was some serious guitar chops under there that was waiting to be warped, turned electric and ready to shred. Shauna had been in a band at uni and had started recently playing drums in an improv noise duo. After a Jenny and Shauna had few jams they decided that it was time to recruit another member. That's when Nick was invited to the picture, who at the time was hosting a graveyard radio show on PBS and was super keen to start playing music again after a stint of playing bass a couple of years ago.

Having such varied musical backgrounds their influences are certainly a reflection of that, but here is five artists that stand out.

 

 

Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton – A-Soalin'

Jenny: “This duo were the first all women guitar duo I'd ever seen back when I was a folkie. They shredded guitars, banjos, mandolins and a whole bunch of other instruments and disrupted the idea that women only played violin and sang sweet harmonies. They're the reason I learned the guitar and tried to play more than you're standard 3 chord singer/ songwriter stuff.”

 

Savages – Shut Up

Jenny: “It was the first I'd seen of them and the energy of the band absolutely blew me away. I wanted to make music that conveyed that level of emotion. I love the way that they build and release tension.”

 

La Luz – You Disappear

Shauna: “These ladies were probably one of the greatest stand outs of all the bands that we saw at Burgerama in 2015. Pulling out all the great surf sounds but reinterpreting them to a modern audience, whilst being incredibly tight and intricate in their arrangements.”

 

Camp Cope – Done

Shauna: “We pretty much cry every time we see them live or listen to this record. Georgia's voice is one of the greatest in right now and the rest of the world is starting to catch on to Melbourne's formerly best kept secret. Jenny also helped in their #ittakesone campaign to stop abuse and harassment at gigs, which we've all been witness or victims to in the past.”

 

White Lung – Face Down

Shauna: “Another powerhouse live band that I pretty much spent their entire set with my mouth open. One day I want to be able to play drums with the ease and speed that Anne-Marie can. Their singer Mish also writes on feminism for great publications like Rookie, BUST and Broadly.”