News :: Farmer & The Owl launch new label and compilation album
May 12th 2014
Wollongong, the jewel of the south. Nestled between the mountains and the sea, this area is home to some stellar musical acts – and if you don’t know about them, you should. Thankfully, Farmer & The Owl are bringing these gems under the one roof with the launch of a new label ‘F//O’ and a compilation album Beached Friends!
Farmer & The Owl is the collaborative effort of local outfits Music Farmers and Yours And Owls, joining forces in late 2013 to present a distinctive boutique music and arts festival that characterised the leisure coast. But this was just the beginning.
The Owl in the partnership, Ben Tillman, has inhabited the northern suburbs of Wollongong for most of his life. The appeal for him: “It’s close enough to Sydney without all the bullshit, it’s a good lifestyle.”
Whether they wish to admit it or not, Yours And Owls was an integral turning point in the landscape of the Wollongong live music scene – the small bar becoming a breeding ground for local talent.
Following its closure in August last year, Tillman still had a desire to continue his work in the mighty ‘Gong – cue Farmer & The Owl. “We just wanted to put a show on together and see what happened; and then it just snowballed into what it did. It was a natural progression, and we sort of just let ourselves get carried away in it.”
With a variety of successful shows under their belt, from King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard to Hunx and His Punx, Farmer & The Owl has continued to evolve and expand with new projects – most recently a label, ‘F//O’, and compilation album Beached Friends.
The 17-track release celebrates the “musical and creative community we’re a part of”, and is a reflection of the music they aim to release and the bands they’ll be working with regularly. No strangers to the variety of acts in Wollongong, Tillman and Jeb Taylor (Music Farmers) had the difficult task of choosing who would feature on the album.
“It was hard. People we’ve worked with for a long time, people we have good relationships with. We’ve tried to pick the best; stuff that’s coming up that people may not have heard of yet, even in our local area, and the ones that have been around for a bit longer that people should be more familiar with.”
The compilation album features ol’ favourites Jenny Broke the Window, The Walking Who and Shining Bird – all previous FBi Unsigned Artists of the Month. So what can we expect from the newcomers the album will showcase?
“They’re all good, that’s the surprising thing. No one has heard of them, yet they stand up, have good recordings; they’re good bands.
“They’ve all got a raw energy, I think that’s something Wollongong’s always been good at putting out… we’re pretty confident that some of them will be doing bigger things on a more national level.”
Each of the artists has a connection to the leisure coast, and F//O plan to maintain Beached Friends as an ongoing series. Volume 1 will feature:
1. Hockey Dad – I Need A Woman
2. You Beauty – Healin Spirit
3. Tees – Playground
4. Surf – A320
5. Tropical Strength – I’m Not There
6. The Escarpment – Top Of The Town
7. Zone – High Beamin
8. The Grease Arrestor – Never Now
9. The Pinheads – The Devil Is Gonna Take My Soul
10. The Walking Who – Getting It Together
11. Jenny Broke The Window – Rum N Cola
12. Los Tones – Buchanan Hammer
13. Miners – Soft Focus
14. The Generalizers – General Forts
15. Big Dingo – Paramatta Man
16. Jack & Elmo – Tongue Tied
17. Shining Bird – Can’t Stop Sleeping In
Beached Friends: Volume 1 is out May 29 through F//O.
WHAT :: Farmer and the Owl (F//O) Record Label Launch Party “Beached Friends” Feat. Jenny Broke The Window, Shining Bird, The Walking Who and Hockey Dad
WHERE :: University of Wollongong Unibar
WHEN :: Thursday May 29, 7pm
HOW MUCH :: $12 General Admission, $10 UOW Students