Liz Stringer

Dyson Stringer Cloher – Falling Clouds and Lots of Love

 

I’m writing this in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, a part of the world I now consider a home away from home. I’m sure I’ll write again about my relationship with this place, how it began, and the potential future it might hold for me (‘cos anyone who’s read these blogs knows I like having a chat about places in Canada that I love…), but I mention it now only to highlight the current physical distance between me and my band mates and collaborators, Jen Cloher in Melbourne and Mia Dyson in her home of nearly a decade, Los Angeles.

Dyson Stringer Cloher was formed in 2013. Jen, Mia and I can’t remember the exact details around how it started, or who suggested that we form a band together, although our bets are all with Jen. We made a three track EP and toured across Australia with Danny McKenna on drums (and Dave Williams playing the NT leg), Tim Keegan on bass guitar and Jason McGann on FOH. We played about forty dates, from Tennant Creek to Sydney, Fremantle to Hobart. We had a show cancelled in Cairns due to a cyclone, played Darwin Festival under palm trees on a balmy August night, were part of the bill at the mighty Gumball in the Hunter Valley playing just after Ed Kuepper (one of my songwriting heroes) and performed at Queenscliff Music Festival in our respective home state of Victoria, one of our favourite shows together. The tour was epic. And we learned a lot.

Being able to work in partnership with two of my best friends Mia Dyson and Jen Cloher has always been, and continues now to be a great gift and completely overarching in its influence. My music career is not just a job. My choice to dedicate my life to music and writing has purposefully directed how and where I live, the personal relationships I’ve formed with my closest people, and the way I see my future. And so a project like this doesn’t just affect the way I ‘work’. It’s much bigger than that. Being a solo artist can mean operating in isolation a lot, which brings with it the autonomy and flexibility that I dearly cherish, but it can also be at times lonely and personally taxing. Dyson Stringer Cloher offers a sense of community and solidarity, a sisterhood (for want of a less bandied expression) in an industry within which self interest can present a frustrating and muscle-bound rigidity. Mia and Jen are people who have gone through extreme challenges both within and outside their respective music careers and have both faced these trials with enormous grace, bravery and self-reflection. I’ve turned countless times to one or both of them for advice and support during difficult periods of my personal life and at times of professional challenges. I feel like the baby of the group, even though I’m not the youngest, and am relishing being able to be on a team that is so holistically supportive and inspiring.

It’s now six years since that first tour and we’ve gotten back on the train. We made a record at Wilco’s studio The Loft in Chicago in April of this year (spending time in that studio being one of the greatest musical experiences of my life to date) and the first single, Falling Clouds, has just been released. The process of writing the ten tracks for the record was a mostly collaborative one but there were one or two songs each that we brought in that we had already written and felt were perfect for this project together. Jen wrote Falling Clouds about her own experiences growing up in Adelaide and has since followed up with some important and beautifully articulated sentiments about the lyrics, touching on some of the challenges that women and non-binary people face in the music industry and throughout the day-to-day struggle to be accepted and celebrated for who they are and what they can do. And she also speaks to the homage in the song to three of the women musicians who blazed bright trails to light the way for Jen’s own creative paths, in this case Suzie Higgie, Jodi Phillis and Trish Young of iconic Aussie rock band The Clouds. (click HERE to read Jen’s blog piece.) I know that powerful female role models in music have been huge beacons for all three of us in DSC. The fact that we ourselves are now visible and consistent contributors to the Australian and wider musical landscape as three women over 35 is a flag that we fly with extreme pride and a role that we take incredibly seriously. Our hope is that, through the collective efforts of the three of us and our peers, who are in similar trail-blazing positions in music and across all facets of modern Australian society, we continue to light the way for young people who identify with us for all kinds of reasons and that they can look to us as examples of the ever-increasing possibilities that exist for their own careers, as we looked to our own elders when we were starting out. And that, in a few years time, the current diverse wave of artists will form just one of the ripples in the ever-opening and expanding artistic landscape for people of all genders and all backgrounds.

I’ve learned so much from Jen about expressing things that are personally important and for standing up, in not always receptive environments, for what you believe in. Falling Clouds is testament to Jen’s ability to convey these ideas and the video, directed by the incredible Annelise Hickey and brought to life by a hugely talented team, listed below, was Jen’s concept. I’m proud and chuffed to have been able to present this song together as Dyson Stringer Cloher and to have been privy to the discussions that Jen sought out with various people prior to us releasing the song about the content and the countless ways the lyrics could be received by different parts of the music loving community. A lot of thought, sensitivity and love has gone into this first outing back into the world for Dyson Stringer Cloher and I’m so proud to be the meat in this particular sandwich, so to speak.

Love youse. X

 

Director: Annelise Hickey

Producer: Emelyne Palmer

Writer: Jen Cloher

1st AD: John Sandow

DOP: Simon Walsh

1st AC: Lucas Brown

2nd AC: Oscar O’Shea

Gaffer/ Grip: James Thompson

Best boy: Jaydan Deoliveria

Stylist: Phoebe Taylor at Vovo

Art Director: Bronwen Kemp

Art Assist: Tori Styles

Art Assist: Brendan Norvill

Hair & Makeup: Nadine Muller

Hair & Makeup: Jeremy Agnew

Runner: Will Morrissey

Lighting Tech #1: Eddie Schleifer

Lighting Tech #2: Danny T

Vehicles: Rusty Clarke

Editor: Grace Eyre

Post Producer: Charlotte Griffiths

Colourist: Ciara Gallogly

Titles: Amelia Leuzzi

Sound Design: Paul Shanahan

Sound Producer: Laura Hesse

Featuring:

Guy in City: Jono Colliver

Kid in City: Benji Mazzone

Woman in City: Tess McKaige

Guy at Gig: Jack Doherty

Woman at Gig: Simonne Johansen

Security Guard: Adam Ramzi

Special Thanks: Cam Miller, Gen O’Shea, Rob Summons, Jess Langley, Steph Boyle, Lori Camaratta and our incredible friends and fans for their exceptional crowd work.

July 28, 2019

No comments yet

Unable to load the Are You a Human PlayThru™. Please contact the site owner to report the problem.