AFTER Rod Coote fired off demo recordings to one of his idols, indie-folk songwriter and producer Garrett Kato, he feared he'd made a mistake. A week had passed and there was no reply.
But then an email popped up from Kato's management. Not only did Garrett like Coote's music, he wanted to produce the Newcastle pop-folk singer-songwriter in his Byron Bay studio.
"It probably took a week and I was waiting for a reply from him and I thought, 'what have a done'? You never know if you'll get a reply," Coote said.
"I actually got a message back from his management team which was the same management as Tones and I, Tash Sultana. Some pretty big artists. So when I was talking to them that was a big deal."
On June 18 Coote will release the first track produced by Kato, a collaboration with fellow Newcastle artist Sophia Berlyn called Easy To Love.
Coote hails from the north-west NSW town of Manilla and Berlyn grew up in nearby Tamworth, and while they were acquainted, it wasn't until they were both studying at the University of Newcastle and living on campus that they became close friends and collaborators.
Easy To Love tells the story of a relationship in the early honeymoon stage and is influenced by the likes of Bon Iver and Ben Howard. The track has already caught the attention of triple j and will debut on Roots 'n All next week.
"It was kind of hard to believe when I read it was happening," Coote said. "I thought it was so cool. It's one of those things you work towards and when it actually happens, it doesn't seem right."
Coote and Berlyn launch Easy To Love at 5 Sawyers on June 20.
LEROY Macqueen was scheduled to solidify his stylistic shift from bubblegum punk-rocker to cowboy blues crooner on Sunday when he performed at the Country & Inner Western festival at Sydney Park.
However, due to Melbourne's COVID-19 outbreak Macqueen was forced to cancel his appearance at the festival.
The former Gooch Palms frontman dissolved the proud Novocastrian two-piece early last year and moved to Melbourne where he initially dabbled with new-wave as L.M Queen, before settling in the alt-country genre.
On May 21 he released his debut solo EP, The Only One.
Bellbird troubadour William Crighton will perform for the festival on Saturday at the Enmore Hotel, before the main line-up takes the stage on Sunday.
The line-up includes Kasey Chambers, Tex Perkins, Brad Cox, Caitlin Harnett & The Pony Boys, Andy Golledge and The Morrisons.
COME ON DECEMBER IN JUNE FOR LEECE
SYNTHS and drum machines aren't usually a feature of alt-country, but Newcastle singer-songwriter Ben Leece has married them together on his forthcoming single Come On December.
The track also features Kurri Kurri's Melody Pool and was initially recorded by her partner Chris Dale in their Quorrobolong tractor shed.
"We used an 808-styled sequencer, but the drum sound is actually a steel cap boot kicking a boat or something like that," Leece said.
"They live in a shed with all this farm equipment laying around and Chris has gone around and recorded samples of all of these different sounds."
Come On December and another three tracks off the forthcoming EP Marrow Gold were then completed by Leece and his band Left Of The Dial, along with Pool and Dale, at Sydney's Golden Retriever studios with engineer Tim Whitten (Powderfinger's Double Allergic) and producer Adam Young (Big Heavy Stuff).
Come On December will be released on June 25.
FIRST LANDING ON PLANET OASIS
MAITLAND producer extraordinaire Just A Gent, aka Jacob Grant, has given fans the first taste off his forthcoming debut album Planet Oasis.
The single No Time Left features the vocal talents of Sydney's Sayah and sees Just A Gent return to the electronic swagger of his earlier singles Loaded and Heavy As A Heartbreak.
Grant began writing the track in 2019 and completed it with Sayah this year.
"This track entrances me," Grant said. "I don't know why, but even now when I listen it's like stepping into a new realm for a few minutes."
HACHIKU WAKES UP
MELBOURNE dream-pop singer-songwriter Hachiku will bring her I'll Probably Still Be Asleep album tour to the Hamilton Station Hotel on July 23.
The Milk Records artist is bringing the full band on the road for the shows, which will be the 26-year-old's first tour outside Melbourne since her debut album's release last year.