Nashville label and small press, Cosmic Thug Records, are thrilled to release two reinterpretations of
classic Neil Young songs performed by Pony Boy and Emma Swift.
The cover versions were recorded to tape in Nashville and produced by Adam Landry and Justin Collins.
Pony Boy (Marchelle Bradanini) performs “Like A Hurricane” and Emma Swift performs “Mellow My Mind”.
“When Marchelle and I first became friends, we bonded over many shared passions,” says Swift.
“We both like country music hair of the 1970s, dead English poets and playing Neil Young at very loud
volumes. Though we’ve both flirted with publishing poetry and had more than our fair share of high hair
experiences, neither of us had recorded a Neil Young song. This felt like a fun way to collaborate.”
According to Bradanini, “I’d wanted to record, Like a Hurricane, as long I can remember. It’s always broke
my heart . We wanted to capture a different feel with Robbie Crowell playing this incredibly slow-as-
molasses, ghostly feel on Rhodes and ended up just doing one take, which is pretty obvious in the vocal.
Adam (Landry) said you’re done and that was that. Emma and I have been musical kindred spirits since
we met over a night of Gin & Tonics at the 5 Spot years ago. She can beat anyone in a musical pub quiz.”
The split single will be released digitally on February 28 2018 on Cosmic Thug Records.
“Everything you want, crashes like a car,” sing Robyn Hitchcock & Emma Swift on “Love Is A Drag,” the deliciously bittersweet celebration of ardor and adoration that marks their second 7 inch release as a duo. The vinyl single/digital download – backed by the equally paradoxical “Life Is Change” – is available from Hitchcock and Swift’s own Tiny Ghost Records on October 3.
“Love Is A Drag” and “Life Is Change” were recorded last summer with Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub, Jonny, The New Mendicants) producing at his home studio in Kitchener, Ontario. Hitchcock and Swift sing and play guitar; Blake contributes keyboards and glockenspiel.
To pre-order the vinyl single, visit here.
The pair will tour extensively in support of the release, with dates in USA, UK, Japan and Australia. A complete list of shows is here.
When British psych folk veteran Robyn Hitchcock found himself standing next to Americana songbird and radio sweetheart Emma Swift at an Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell concert in 2013, a new portal in sadcore music opened up. That Christmas found them living and rehearsing in the tiny kitchen of a damp English sea-side flat once inhabited by Charles Darwin. Drawn together musically by a penchant for songs of desire and desolation, Robyn’s crystalline guitar-playing and Swift’s yearning harmonies evoke a psychic landscape where ghost trams lumber through the desert and desperate cacti grow beneath the sea.
The pair are excited to release their debut recording on April 18 on limited edition 7 inch vinyl through Yep Roc Records. Side A, ‘Follow Your Money’ is a new track penned by Hitchcock. Side B is a lovingly recorded cover of Neil Young’s ‘Motion Pictures’.
Robyn Hitchcock and Emma Swift will celebrate Record Store Day with an in-store performance at Zardoz Records in Hamburg, Germany.
Thanks to red carpet photographer Dan Boud for sending through this great picture of Emma at the ARIA Awards in Sydney last week. Emma’s debut mini album was nominated for ‘Best Country Record’.
For overseas visitors to this page, the ARIA Awards are Australia’s equivalent of the GRAMMYs.
Emma would like to thank Fables By Barrie for the fabulous western dress and Bridget from Escape Hair in Newtown for her brilliant back combing skills. You know what they say: the higher the hair the closer to God.
Emma is excited to share that she’ll be heading to regional Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula for the Queenscliff Music Festival this year to perform alongside a stack of Australian artists including Luluc, Dan Sultan, Dyson Stringer Cloher and Husky.
Emma will perform a one hour set with Chris Pickering and a full band on Saturday November 29.
The festival begins on Friday November 28th.
For more details visit the Queenscliff Music Festival website.
Following her recent ARIA nomination in Australia, Emma Swift continues to receive international praise for her debut mini-album, released on August 1 by Laughing Outlaw Records.
In the UK, For The Country Record described the six-track collection of songs as “artful, soulful, creative, and the kind of sad that is so hard to find.”
In the United States, the Adobe and Teardrops blog compared Swift’s songs favourably to Sturgill Simpson’s latest effort Metamodern Sounds in Country Music — “Swift’s approach reminds me of Sturgill Simpson’s latest opus – proving their traditional chops allows both artists to push the boundaries of the genre over the edge without you even realizing. Emma Swift is absolutely a keeper. Maybe we can convince Australia to let us have her as our next national treasure.” ‘
Also in the United States, Bucket Full of Nails declared the mini-album “vinyl worthy” — “The loping waltz of opener “Bittersweet” harkens back to days when country was country, where drinks were served in bars, not in plastic cups on a beach or at a tailgate. More Kitty Wells than Carrie Underwood.”
Emma is looking forward to touring the record in the US and the UK early next year.
Emma Swift has been nominated for ‘Best Country Record’ at this year’s ARIA awards. Recognising the many achievements of Aussie artists across all music genres, the ARIA Awards is the music industry’s annual night of nights.
Swift’s self-titled debut record – out through small independent label Laughing Outlaw – has received extensive critical acclaim since its release on August 1.
Emma is up against Keith Urban, Adam Brand, Kasey Chambers and The McClymonts.
“It’s the most surreal, unlikely thing that’s ever happened in my music career,” said Swift.
“I’m pretty left-of-mainstream, I’ve never played Tamworth, I don’t own a hat and my favourite country singers are Gram Parsons and Lucinda Williams.”
The awards take place in Sydney on November 26.
To read more about the awards and Emma’s unlikely nomination, read Bernard Zuel’s Sydney Morning Herald article here.
Renowned Australian arts and culture journalist Andrew P. Street has featured Emma in a story for Time Out Magazine on Sydney’s thriving new country scene. Other acts featured in the article are Fanny Lumsden, Mustered Courage, All Our Exes Live In Texas and Oh Willy Dear. Pick it up at a newsagent near you for a limited time only!
North Carolina based digital radio station Wrecking Ball Radio, hosted by Jayson Tanner, has added tracks from Emma’s debut mini-album to rotation this week. She’s keeping good company alongside Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires, Tweedy and Justin Townes Earle. You can listen to Wrecking Ball Radio here.
Also based in North Carolina, the Americana Music Show hosted by Calvin Powers has added “Bittersweet,” “James,” and “Woodland Street” to rotation. You can listen to the Americana Music Show here.
Staff at Sydney music retailer JB Hifi’s Strand Arcade store have thrown their support behind Emma’s mini-album, making it their pick of the week this week. The record was released on August 1 through independent label Laughing Outlaw Records and is being distributed through Inertia.
“This teary masterpiece from Emma deserves our pick of the week,” said JB Hifi’s Areatha Bryant.
“It’s a shot of whiskey with a dash of Patsy Cline. Y’all just gotta love that cocktail. Embrace the heartbreak. That’s our motto. Well done Ms Swift. You nailed it.”
The album is available now at selected JB-Hifi stores as well as online via Laughing Outlaw Records, Bandcamp and iTunes.