MUSIC is all about sonic experimentation for Blair Parish. A means of exploring the sounds in his mind without a definitive end point.
In recent years the JMC Academy sound engineering and music production graduate has dabbled with music software FL Studio and released the mixed tapes February Beat Tape and Loose, both last year, and then the more stylised EP Pensive Stupor in January.
The instrumentals have showed the emerging Novocastrian producer's sense of space and mystique, but a collaboration with old Lambton High School friend Chris "Bayl" Bailey is displaying even more promise.
In December the pair released their debut single Likewise, featuring Bayl on vocals and Parish on production. On Friday the pair release their second track Beast, complete with a emotive and creepy video clip, filmed by Ben Hickmott and edited by Kyle Avery in bushland in Warners Bay.
"There's so much of that [experimentation]," Parish said. "As with most artists, except for the really experienced ones, I'm always unsure and experimenting with going this way or that with it.
"With this song [Beast] it's never exactly how I want it to be, it's always going a left or right or down the middle. I'm never too sure where it's going.
"But I'm kind of glad it's that way, at the moment, at least."
Beast was influenced by electronic artists Joji, James Blake, Kllo, Kid Cudi and features a crooning vocal performance from Bayl and beat inspired house and hip-hop production.
The two 24-year-olds have been friends since year 9 and it's Bayley's first foray into music.
"He's written his own songs, but nothing serious," Parish said. "He sung for his HSC, so he's familiar with music in general, but he's never made anything until he's asked me out of curiosity."
The duo have written an album's worth of material, but plan to drip-feed the release as singles. They're also developing a live show with a drummer.
FESTIVAL IS ALL ZOE K
ZOE K admits she brought some typically American entrepreneurial spirit home with her when she arrived back in Maitland last July after a three-year stint singing jazz, soul and blues in New Orleans.
But when she discovered Maitland's music scene rarely extended beyond cover bands, she decided to create the gigs she wanted to see.
The result is Americana Fest at The Cabin Collective, a tattoo parlour, coffee shop and recording studio which also masquerades as an intimate live music venue. Americana Fest is scheduled for April 10 and will feature Melbourne's Golden Guitar-nominated gothic-country duo The Weeping Willows, plus fellow Victorians Great Aunt, Newcastle's Whistle Dixie and Zoe K herself.
K has already booked the likes of James Thomson, Emily A. Smith and The High Andies at The Cabin and hopes Americana Fest becomes an annual event on Maitland's music calendar.
"In the Hunter Valley we've got to get people to head out and see live music again," K said. "Original live music has been Maitland's missing link as it's more of a cover scene."
AFTER three long years Maitland folk-rock artist Dave Wells will perform again at his spiritual home, the Grand Junction Hotel, tonight to support his latest single Hey Mate.
"I'm really looking forward to this, as most performances that I've either played or seen at this iconic venue, still resonate with me today," he said. "It will be a very special evening under the stars."
Wells also has an Easter egg for fans with the release next Thursday of the video for Hey Mate.
THE widespread rain and flooding over the past week even played havoc with live-streamed shows. Music People opted to postpone their season one finale on Tuesday night to April 6 with the safely of artists and punters in mind.
Thankfully the roster for the finale remains the same with scheduled performances from Newcastle indie kings Vacations, mid-north coast band Vanilla Gorilla, local indie-jazz artist LaHi, acoustic duo Charlie & Jensen and Central Coast's Lucy Parle.
LEECE ON RECORD
YOU'D reckon a musician who owns a vinyl record shop would be selling his own albums?
Finally Newcastle Americana artist Ben Leece can after his 2018 debut solo album No Wonder The World Is Exhausted received a vinyl re-release through Stanley Records.
Late last year Leece bought The Edwards vinyl shop and rebranded it Rudderless Records.