STORYTELLAH SONGLINES PROMISE SOLID NEW ERA IN AUSTRALIAN ROCK
STORYTELLAH gives voice to a new era, in a powerful album promising to shake up Oz rock and pop.
Five years in the making, STORYTELLAH is simple yet sophisticated, combining classic and contemporary in a seriously funky collaboration between Australian singer/songwriter Phil Walleystack and international sound engineer and producer Malcolm Luker.
“We’ve aimed for unity in message but the music reigns supreme,” Walleystack says.
“STORYTELLAH is about bringing together ideas and cultures, without preaching or messing around.”
Opening with mission bells and traditional Aboriginal language, it moves quickly into compelling pop and original dance tracks including Walk With Me and the hip hop combination Sacred Ground, produced in tandem with rappers Downsyde.
Title track STORYTELLAH is hard-hitting history forged in solid rock: “With one voice you realise, just you and me we could change our lives.”
The Come Together mix reinforces the Beatles classic with didgeridoo and an inspiring collective of Australian children’s voices from many cultural backgrounds, with guest percussionist Brendan Darby turning bush beats into the rhythm section and a symphony orchestra sweetening the sound.
“What we’re saying is we welcome you to this country and it’s the children leading the way, showing we can come together,” says Walleystack.
“My musical inspiration came from childhood, when I saw Yothu Yindi live when I was just 11.
“For the past five years, Mal has been teaching me about music and I have been teaching him about our nation’s stories. That meant pulling every song apart at least a dozen times, looking at who we were talking to and not waving fingers at anybody.”
Classic Aussie rock is re-invented in the Findjaway mix – focused on doing time in prison - with cutting rhythms and a clear message: “When you’re walking on the songline, you can turn your life around, ’cause rolling on the wrong line, you’re Casuarina bound.”
Says Walleystack: “I’ve done so many shows in prisons and I know I could have gone down that road.
“It was only when I learnt about my place and my culture that I knew songlines - both traditional and modern - can take you all over our nation and can save you. This is about telling our stories, looking forward and not blaming anybody.”
Luker brings his world of production experience – ranging from movie soundtracks such as The Piano, Pirates of the Caribbean and Shrek, and recordings including Michael Bolton’s latest studio album – to help hone Walleystack’s raw talent.
“He was like a rough diamond when we started but Phil has so much charisma and presence,” Luker says.
“He is a musical powerhouse - not pretentious – and it shines through. The idea of these songs is first and foremost to entertain and involve people, wherever they are. When you blow them away with the music, then they’re naturally engaged and messages can get through.”
Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt AM will join Walleystack and Luker at the launch of STORYTELLAH.
“This album is impressive and timely, especially as Australians renew our focus on walking together, respecting each other and sharing our cultural heritage,” Minister Wyatt said.
“I hear new and powerful anthems for national Reconciliation in many of the songs on STORYTELLAH.”
Guest artists on the album include Phil Bartlett and the Merindas.
STORYTELLAH will be launched in Perth on 16 August.