Ladies who launch

In July 2016, Music Tasmania and Festival of Voices, presented a songwriting retreat with Abbe May, that was supported by funding through APRA AMCOS. Five female artists were selected by Abbe to join her on a getaway to Bruny Island for four days of music making, before performing as part of Voicebox. Maddy Jane Woolley, Chloe Wilson from Sumner, Hayley Couper, Claire McCarthy from Heart Beach and Catsuit, along with Victoria Geale, came together to write songs, share music and support each other in the Tasmanian wilderness.

It was an inspiring experience that included dolphin spotting, sprinting, reading, awkward photos, albino wallabies, and of course music, music, and more music. The retreat culminated in a showcase performance supporting Abbe May as part of Festival of Voices, but the journey didn’t end there.

Since the retreat, these extraordinary artists have been busy - writing music, recording, touring, making film clips, and getting set to release new singles and albums. We’re super proud of what they’ve achieved! Here's a rundown:

Claire McCarthy from Heart Beach + Catsuit

This Friday 25 November, Heart Beach will release their second album Kiss Your Face at The Grand Poobah.  In August, they signed with Milk Records, and joined legendary label mates Antony and the Johnsons, Arcade Fire, Guided by Voices, Explosions in the Sky, Sufjan Stevens, and more. Heart Beach also released two new film clips for Sleeping and Brittle ahead of the album launch, which you can check out below. It has been a breakthrough year for the band who have recently received praise and features from Rolling Stone, The Music, Noisey, AU Review, STACK Magazine, Ripe Music, Tone Deaf, Who The Hell, Happy Mag, Fasterlouder and The Wandering Lamb. Heart Beach have also been nominated for best Live Act in the National Live Music Awards and commence a huge national and international tour in December. Click here to download Kiss Your Face.

Maddy Jane Woolley

Next Friday 2 December, Maddy Jane is launching her new single Drown It Out at The Republic Bar in Hobart. Maddy Jane is a Bruny Island local and in the new film clip for Drown It Out she's in her element on the island. She recently spoke to Tone Deaf about the songwriting retreat experience, saying: "Abbe May is the most badass, real woman with a super lovely, caring heart. Myself and four other Tasmanian singer-songwriters spent four days on Bruny Island...We drank, wrote music, collaborated, shared, talked, and she shared things that people normally don’t in this industry. She talked from a human perspective in the industry, and I know we all walked away from that experience with so much, and a new love for what we do. Thank you, Abbe May.”  Maddy Jane's been getting a lot of love lately from the triple jjj team who named her the Unearthed feature artist of the week, added Drown It Out to rotation, and selected her to play the Falls Music and Arts Festival. Maddy Jane’s also just supported Tash Sultana’s two sold out Hobart shows and Montaigne.  

Hayley Couper

On Saturday 3 December, Hayley Couper will launch her new, catchy-as single Caught Up at The Grand Poobah. Hayley’s got a major fan in Abbe May, who has no hesitation in declaring that ‘Hayley Couper is one Australia’s great hidden treasures. Her music is both immediate and refined. She’s a classic artist who will no doubt be celebrated in time. Her voice is velvety, dark and strong. Her music is intensely melodic, rhythmic and perfectly partners and uplifts the romantic vulnerability revealed in her song themes. She’s the real deal.’ Hayley’s supporting Abbe May on the Victorian leg of her epic Doomsday Clock tour and has just been announced on the line-up for Australian Music Week.  

Chloe Wilson from Sumner

Sumner have been busy recording new tunes and touring with some of Australia’s best, including supporting Vera Blue on her their sold-out Tassie tour and Montaigne, plus a national stint with Wil Wagner and Jeff Rosenstock. In September, Sumner were selected to play Soundscape, a showcase of Tasmania’s best electronic music, as part of Junction Arts Festival in Launceston. 2017 is going to be a huge year for Sumner, stay tuned for new music.

Victoria Geale

Victoria Geale has the most captivating voice and raw talent, which you can hear in the track below from Brandish, or if you’re lucky enough to catch her performing locally around Launceston. Before the retreat, Victoria wasn’t writing original music - now she’s in the recording studio and we can’t wait to hear what comes next.

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