Vera Blue

Meet Vera Blue, the new project from one of Australia’s most promising talents.

Cutting her teeth as a folk artist in the small town of Forbes and adopted home of Sydney, Vera Blue found her feet first as a singer and then an acoustic guitarist. Now, she’s found her sound, mixing the music she’s long loved with lush, sultry electronica. The results are sometimes gentle, sometimes ferocious and always show-stopping, with her commanding vocals front and centre.

It’s an evolution that feels like coming home. “I’ve always wanted to create something that’s a blend of folk and cool, heavy, thick sounds,” she says. “This is the music I have been wanting to make and I feel like I’m unleashing.”

The debut single from Vera Blue is Hold, the bewitching first taste of a five-track EP. “This song is about finding someone who pulls you out of a dark place,” she explains. “It’s about when you’ve opened your heart so many times to people and you finally find that person who is there to protect you, to look after you, even when you’ve hurt them and they’ve hurt you. You never give up on them.”

Written together with veteran producers Andy and Thom Mak and Melbourne songstress Gossling, Hold matches acoustic guitar with piano, production and Vera Blue’s candid songwriting. “I’m at the age where I’m writing about what’s happening to me, the things that I’ve been through, the people that surround me and everything in my life,” she says. “I can’t make things up, it has to be honest.”

The result is real, raw and powerful, with the purity of folk music and the punch of a bassline. Take a listen and step into the world of Vera Blue.

Caroline Smith

Merging '90s R&B and neo-soul with her indie-rock roots, Caroline Smith's new music has settled comfortably into a new backdrop as she takes a step from girl to woman. Half About Being a Woman is a record about self-acceptance and growing into yourself; it's about going back to the roots of 'feel-good' music. "I wanted to find my way back to the reason why I started playing music in the first place," says Smith. "Over the last year I began to embrace that being a strong, confident, opinionated woman is something to be proud of, not subdued. I have to embrace where my roots are and stay true to who I am: an unabashed fan of 90′s R&B, pop, and neo-soul."

While some might be surprised by the transition, the truth is that Caroline has never stopped evolving. From folky beginnings and an indie rock second album, she has been consistently pushing herself to new heights. With soaring vocals and catchy melodies at the heart of all three albums, Caroline is settling into a sound that feels more like home. "I feel I've finally created something that is a nod to some of my favorite records while being able to use my own voice to illustrate my personal transition into woman hood; That time in a woman's life when her 'fat butt' becomes her 'phat ass'. I wanted to make music to celebrate that and to encourage other women to do the same." This glimpse of an artist in flux was captured perfectly in the PBS documentary on Caroline, My Way Back Home.

The video for "Magazine", created by director/editor Dan Huiting (Bon Iver, The National, Local Natives, Andrew Bird) and DP Ryan Thompson, perfectly captures the the theme of a woman actively embracing her femininity and transcending societal expectations. The album, released by United Interests, was produced by Jake Hanson (guitarist- Mason Jennings, Solid Gold), recorded at Near North Studios by Brett Bullion (Dark Dark Dark, Chris Walla) and mixed by Paul Marino (Mint Condition). It includes contributions from long-time bandmates Jesse Schuster and Arlen Peiffer (Cloud Cult) along with several guest musicians including Mike Lewis (Bon Iver, Andrew Bird). The band will be touring through the fall to support the album – starting with an expected sold-out show at First Avenue in their home town of Minneapolis, MN.

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