Aaron Jurd adds to success with single, Changed

Music is most powerful when it brings out the listener’s emotions, and Aaron Jurd’s new single, Changed, is hitting all the right notes with listeners.

The single is a celebration of good times and the celebrations have started early with Changed hitting No. 8 on the iTunes Country Singles Chart on release on August 2 and being playlisted on Fresh Country on Spotify the same day.

Changed is the third single from the Lake Macquarie singer-songwriter and is the silver lining to Aaron’s first single, Set Me On Fire.

“This single is first reflecting on down times, which everyone goes through, but shows a change in mindset,” he said.

Photo: Tiana Lockwood
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Innocent Eve set musical compass to Americana

A CRUISE ship is not the usual venue for an EP launch, but it was perfect for the new offering from duo Innocent Eve as they change the direction of their musical compass.innocent-eve-pic
The new EP from sisters Rachel and Bec Olsson, True North, is a road sign to where their music is going. They said they felt they had tapped into their true north when making the EP and would follow it wherever it led.
Rachel said they recorded with Matt Fell for this project, and have started down the Americana path.
“Matt (Fell) was a very clear choice for us in doing that,” she said.
“We directed this a little bit more because we knew what we wanted.”
true-north-ep-smlFor something unique, Innocent Eve launched the EP on Cruisin’ Country 6 on November 18, although Rachel said the cruise was really an eight-day launch.
“We are grateful that it’s our fifth year cruising and that they support and believe in us enough to have us back on,” Rachel said.
“For us to be back on there, releasing this was something really personal and special to us because Mick (Manov) has become like family to us. We love it because you’re on a ship with a bunch of country music fans – it doesn’t get much better than that.”
Each of the six songs on True North stems from a personal place – either from experience or observations.
“The songs we write always come from the heart from something we’ve seen or experienced,” Rachel said.
“If that’s something our listeners have enjoyed, then that’s something that hasn’t changed.”
The first single, Belly Blow, is all about when you’ve been through an experience that has left you feeling numb and you’re yearning to feel something, anything, again.
“It’s about wanting to get back out there and be a part of the world and not sitting on the sidelines,” Rachel said.
With the single out and about on radio, the sisters plan to play the new songs in every show they perform so that their fans get to know them.
“We’re going to be promoting the EP as much as we can,” Rachel said.
As well as showcasing their Americana style, Rachel said the new EP was a reflection of their sound and vibe that audiences got when they performed live.
“It really does give a bit of an insight into us,” she said.
“It’s an indication of the vibe and sound you would get from us if you saw us live. We are very excited about our sound. We certainly weren’t traditional country, but there’s a bit of alt country and folk country and pop country – we are a little bit eclectic.
“True North is a bit more rounded out and this is what we love and where we feel like we fit.”
Like other country artists across the nation, Innocent Eve have their Tamworth Country Music Festival planned.
“We are very excited with the line-up of where we are playing,” Rachel said.
“Because we are both from school teaching backgrounds, we do a children’s show as well as playing the Pig and Tinder Box and the Post Office Hotel.”
This is only their second year playing the festival as Innocent Eve, and Rachel described last year as a “whirlwind”.
“It’s a bit of a shock the first time, but now we know what to expect and this time we can really get in and enjoy it and immerse ourselves in everything it has to offer,” she said.

Jody Direen to Shake Up

COUNTRY singer Jody Direen is keen to shake up the Australian and New Zealand country music scenes with her latest album, released today, November 4.

Jody Direen

Jody described the new offering, Shake Up, as her “greatest achievement yet” and said there were very few nerves with the release of this offering, because they were squashed by the level of her excitement
“I think, with this album. I really pushed the boundaries in terms of my sound direction,” she said.
“I’ve been so excited about all my albums but, with this one, I want to create a unique sound that’s mine and people can recognise me by it. There are a lot of pop and rock influences because I’m very influenced by what’s happening in the US country scene. People will be taken on a journey of my life for the last 12 months.”

shake-upThe New Zealand singer-songwriter, who moved to Brisbane this year, said she was just a normal girl working hard at her dream, so plenty of listeners would related to the songs on Shake Up.
“They’ve got an upbeat, party anthem vibe and I’ve gone for a really big sound, so live, these songs are huge,” she said.
“There are some slower songs, as well. I can’t wait to hear what people think of it and can’t wait to play the whole album live. I feel like it’s my greatest achievement yet.”

Already the winner of New Zealand’s 2015 CMANZ Female Artist of the Year Award, VAC Female Vocalist of the Year and a NZCMA Best Album of the Year finalist, Jody has also had nominations for CMC awards and top 10 hits in Australia and New Zealand.

It’s been a whirlwind month for Jody after being part of the This Crazy Life tour with artists including Wolfe Brothers, Caitlyn Shadbolt and Canadian country superstar Gord Bamford and releasing the first single, Gimme The Beat.
“I had an absolute ball because it was my first Australian tour and I saw parts of Australia I hadn’t seen before,” she said.
“Australian fans are just amazing to perform to and it was a great opportunity to play some songs off the new album.
“I didn’t know anybody on the tour before I started and I was a little bit anxious with three girls, in the same industry trying to achieve the same thing, but there was nothing like that – everybody was in there together and we all just got on like a big happy family.”Photo: Tony Banks

Although she only recently made the move to Australia, the singer-songwriter said she felt welcomed by the country scene here and was keen to get more live shows under her belt, with her next major festival being the Tamworth Country Music Festival.  She will also open for LeAnn Rimes and Scotty McCreery in New Zealand.

Shake Up is sure to make a mark on the Australia and New Zealand country music scenes with Jody having her sights set on Nashville, but said she wanted to nurture the local markets first.
“I’m very much living in the moment and always going to be aiming for that, but enjoying what’s happening now,” she said.