"Horsnell is a songwriting gem, shining light on everyday life with gentle accuracy."
Stephen Fitzpatrick, The Australian
"A promise of a softly lit afternoon in the company of Melanie Horsnell… with a voice of the utmost delicateness… "
Bernard Zuel, The Sydney Morning Herald & The Age
"Melanie Horsnell has created something as delicate as a cloud, which will be appreciated long after the first listen."
"Melanie creates great, even classic acoustic pop"
Michael Smith, Drum Media
"Melanie Horsnell is part of Sydney's acoustic renaissance"
Sacha Molitorisz, Sydney Morning Herald Metro.
"An absolutely stunning voice that put me at ease and laid my fears to rest"
Craig New, Revolver
MELANIE HORSNELL - Singer, Songwriter, Artist
Melanie has been described by the Sydney Morning Herald as having a voice of ‘the utmost delicateness’, as a ‘songwriting gem’ by The Australian. Based in Candelo in southern NSW, Melanie has recorded ten albums and EPs including her latest, 'Song to Sing on a Saturday Night'. Melanie's critically acclaimed album The Cloud Appreciation Society was long-listed for the 2013 Australian Music Prize, Quatre Chemins for the 2015 Australian Music Prize, and she was nominated for an APRA award in 2011.
She has toured with Glen Hansard and The Frames, Jason Mraz, Bernard Fanning, Lou Rhodes, Slaid Cleaves and Sarah Blasko among others, as well as touring extensively on her own in Australia and Europe. Melanie recorded an album in French, which was funded by the highly successful Pozible campaign and gave Melanie a six month residency in France, writing songs with poet Alain Rivet and pop icon Helena Noguerra. Melanie has also written songs with Wendy Matthews and Catherine Britt, and for film and television.
MEDIA RELEASE: Friday 16th October, 2015
THE DIVINE MELANIE HORSNELL IN CONCERT AT FOUR WINDS
On 1 November come and spend your Sunday afternoon with the divine sounds of the acclaimed Melanie Horsnell, in concert at Four Winds.
With a lush ensemble of esteemed artists, Melanie Horsnell will launch her new album ‘Quatre Chemins’ which was recorded in Paris and has just been longlisted for the high profile Coopers Australian Music Prize.
Quatre Chemins (translated as crossroads) is Melanie’s 5th album and speaks of the intersections of life - where music, love and pain collides. The songs hark back to another era, with Melanie’s delicate understated quality drawing you into a warm vintage Parisian scene undercut with gypsy thrusts, jazzy bass and spoken word with a surprising Celtic twist.
Joining Melanie on stage for this very special concert will be a sublime chamber ensemble starring high profile folk artist Kate Burke on violin, vocals and Irish whistle; Philip Moriarty from The Gadflys and Mikelangelo’s Black Sea Gentlemen on clarinet, vocals and trombone; young jazz pianist impresario Kade Brown; exquisite cellists Gemma Clare and Chris Bird; the talented Robyn Martin on double bass and violinist Dan Afraemson with the percussion brilliance of David Hewitt (TaikOz).
Melanie Horsnell’s music is loved in France, she’s been nominated for an APRA, played on national radio around the country and shared stages alongside Bernard Fanning, Sarah Blasko, Jason Mraz, Glen Hansard and The Frames; and written songs with Wendy Matthews and Catherine Britt, and for film and television.
Described by the SMH as having a voice of ‘the utmost delicateness’, as a ‘songwriting gem’ by the Australian and ‘her ability to capture her landscape, both literal and emotional’ by Timber and Steel, this event at Four Winds’ Windsong Pavilion is one not to be missed.
Melanie Horsnell in Concert with Ensemble
4pm Sunday 1st November 2015
Windsong Pavilion, Four Winds Site, Four Winds Rd Bermagui
HYPERLINK "http://www.melaniehorsnell.com" www.melaniehorsnell.com or HYPERLINK "http://www.fourwinds.com.au" www.fourwinds.com.au
INTRODUCING MELANIE HORSNELL'S NEW ALBUM QUATRE CHEMINS
New album QUATRE CHEMINS is a collection of songs recorded at Studios des Quatre Chemins, Paris 23rd January 2015 after a couple of weeks of spontaneously meeting musicians at venues like the gorgeous Coolin and Paris Open Mics, in tiny bars busking afterwards annoying barmen who wanted to go home but pleasing tired sozzled customers, and on street corners in the silly dark hours of dawn in a Paris just broken, while roaming the streets, stopping to make music wherever we were, shouting philosophies and singing to whomever would listen... QUATRE CHEMINS means four ways like the crossroads where i met all these great musicians... Featuring Parisian / Irish musicians - Laurent Delahaye (Irish Flute, Piano, Bodhran), Moira Montier (Double Bass), Paddy Sherlock (Vocals, Trombone. Guitar), Melissa Cox (Violin), Stuart Mudie (Spoken Word) and Lachlan Doley (Piano on love’s gonna come to you) Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Michel Sikiotakis at Studio des Quatre Chemins, Paris. Mastered by Jonothan Holmes and Cover Painting by Linda McCluskey.
An interview on ABC with Bill Brown about new song "Blue Butterfly" and the upcoming album release. http://www.abc.net.au/local/audio/2015/02/11/4178346.htm
New song "Blue Butterfly" from my album just recorded in Paris. Featuring the gorgeous band - Quatre Chemins - Laurent Delahaye (Irish Flute, Piano, Bodhran), Moira Montier (Double Bass), Paddy Sherlock (Vocals, Trombone), Melissa Cox (Violin) and recorded, mixed and mastered by Michel Sikiotakis at Studio Quatre Chemins, Pantin, Paris 23/01/2015. The album due out late March also features two duets with Stuart Mudie (Spoken Word).
UPCOMING EUROPE ALBUM LAUNCH TOUR:
10th April - Hospitalfield House, Arbroath, Scotland with The Coaltown Daisies. Tickets available here: http:/www.daisieshorsnell.brownpapertickets.com w/ Hypercoaster Music
11th April - AliBob at Cairn O'Mohr, Scotland.
12th April - ALBUM LAUNCH DUBLIN Whelanslive, Dublin. Tickets available here: http://www.whelanslive.com/index.php/melanie-horsnell/#37177
16th April - Tí Chairbre (Carberry's Pub) (Carberrys Pub), 9pm Drogheda, Ireland
22nd April - ALBUM LAUNCH PARIS @ Peniche Anako. With the full band from the new album! Moira Montier, Paddy Sherlock, Laurent Delahaye, Melissa Cox, Stuart Mudie) and Hitzak as special guest. Tickets available here: http://penicheanako.org/agenda/2015-04-22-melanie-horsnell-sortie-d-album-blue-butterfly
25th April - Le Bar de la Plage, St Arnoult en Yvelines, France.
Melanie Horsnell - Classical Guitar and Vocals
Laurent Delahaye - Irish Flute, Piano, Bodhran
Moira Montier - Double Bass
Paddy Sherlock - Vocals, Trombone, (and Guitar on Happy Waiting and Love’s gonna come to you)
Melissa Cox - Violin
Stuart Mudie - Spoken Word
Lachlan Doley - Piano on Love’s gonna come to you
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Michel Sikiotakis at Studio des Quatre Chemins, Pantin
Mastered by Jonothan Holmes
Cover Painting - Linda McCluskey
Cover Typography - Laurent Delahaye
Inside/Back Art and Design - Melanie Horsnell
Playlist - Phil Moriarty
Blue Butterfly/ Can’t really be broken hearted/ Heartache no more/ Maybe I will/ Bordertown/ Falling - Words and Music by Melanie Horsnell
Afternoon/ Poetry - Lyrics by Stuart Mudie/Melanie Horsnell, Music by Melanie Horsnell
Love’s gonna come to you and Happy Waiting - Words and Music by Paddy Sherlock
I learnt how to love from love songs - Words and Music by Catherine Britt/Melanie Horsnell
INTRODUCING MELANIE HORSNELL’S ENCHANTING NEW FRENCH ALBUM – Dans la mer aussi il y a des étoiles (Released by MGM Records)
Dans la mer aussi il y a des étoiles (translated as - ‘in the sea also there are stars’) is the much anticipated new French album by starry-eyed songstress Melanie Horsnell. Funded by a highly successful Pozible Campaign, the album was born in a 6 month residency in France where Horsnell travelled the countryside from Marseille to Bourgogne to Paris with her two young daughters, writing songs with French poet Alain Rivet and French pop icon Helena Noguerra.
Dans la mer aussi il y a des étoiles is a whimsical romantic offering of whispery laments, haunting cities and lonely souls sketched out by the signature feathery voice of Melanie Horsnell.
The album unfolds with the dreamy ballad ‘Etoiles’ (stars) which tells the story of a sculptor in an old dusty artist’s studio ‘in your eyes there are stars, in your heart there is sun… that is how I love you’. There’s songs of dark yearning – ‘Marseille’ (about a woman who’s called Marseille by her lover) alongside cheeky jaunts such as ‘Annabelle’ - a Parisian girl who rides ferris wheels and eats chocolate for breakfast, and ‘Ton Pyjama’ (lyrics by Helen Noguerra) about a man who has left his green pyjamas behind and runs through the street naked.
Peppered through this enchanting French album are some delightful renditions of French classics – there’s Horsnell’s bittersweet waltz of Piaf’s ‘La Vie en Rose’, an intimate paring of iconic French chanson ‘La Mer’ and a delicious magical French-styled duet with Brian Campeau of ‘Over the Rainbow’. Instrumentation is often bare but illuminating – Melanie’s gentle classical guitar fingerpicking is accompanied by a touch of strings, a cello melody (by Ben Tolliday), a mandolin (Brian Campeau), a few notes from the clarinet (Phil Moriarty) or piano (Lachlan Doley).
Melanie Horsnell’s critically acclaimed last album The Cloud Appreciation Society was long-listed for the prestigious 2013 AMP (Australian Music Prize). She was nominated for an APRA award in 2011 and has played alongside Bernard Fanning, Sarah Blasko, Jason Mraz, Josh Pyke and Glen Hansard (The Frames); and written songs with Wendy Matthews and Catherine Britt, and for film and television.
Dans la mer aussi il y a des étoiles is Melanie Horsnell’s 4th album and was recorded and mixed by Brian Campeau at Plex Studio Sydney and mastered by Jonothan Holmes. With original drawings by Melanie Horsnell, this thoughtful, delicately spun album of gypsy songs and dim lit rooms will evoke the romance of another era and a wanderlust spirit.
ALBUM - THE CLOUD APPRECIATION SOCIETY
The Cloud Appreciation Society (Melanie Horsnell) folk: By Stephen Fitzpatrick
MELANIE Horsnell has an eye - and an ear - for where things belong. That can be the only explanation for the fact it's the final track on her delightful third album, The Cloud Appreciation Society, that sums up everything about this former Sydney singer-songwriter's clear-spirited approach to her music.
The album closer, My Heart Just Wants to Fall in Love, turns out to be one of the first songs Horsnell wrote after moving to the tiny inland village of Candelo, in far southeastern NSW near the Victorian border, from Sydney's inner west rock 'n' roll heartland. "I keep telling it no but it won't listen, just like a child who runs out on the road," she sings sweetly, sparkling melody soaring on a simple double bass accompaniment. "Cars flying past, I'm so worried, don't hurt it but what to do, it knows I'm a fool, I trust everything, but is that so bad?" No, it's no bad thing at all, Melanie. A large part of Horsnell's appeal is in her simplicity and directness; that, and her love of a fine tune. She begins the album with the Gershwin standard Oh So Nice and the vibe of the whole thing is immediately established. There are deeply sad moments, such as the wrenching If We Can't Be Together, but there is also sunny beauty in songs such as My Harmony, My Gypsy, written for her two young daughters.
Black Mountains evokes the towering landforms that ring the valley of which Candelo sits at the centre, and through which one must travel to find the coastal release of Tathra, or even historic Twofold Bay farther south. Horsnell is a songwriting gem, shining light on everyday life with gentle accuracy; the fact this album was produced by the tremendous Paul Greene is a bonus.
LABEL: Inflatable Girlfriend Records
RATING: 3.5 stars
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD by Bernard Zuel
THE CLOUD APPRECIATION SOCIETY
This album's title is not accidental: it's a promise of a softly lit afternoon in the company of Melanie Horsnell, a promise soon fulfilled. With a voice of the utmost delicateness, what seems to be nothing but acoustic guitar (though bass, electric guitar and cello are in there) and tempos set at gentle, this is very much in the mould of Melbourne's Laura Jean or London's Vashti Bunyan. Imagine that Horsnell takes your hand in hers, smiles at you to let you know it's going to be OK, and takes you for a walk through a suburban garden that is neat but not fastidious. Once you get to a patch of lawn, she lays you down and together you watch the play of clouds on the blue sky, forgetting the time.
TIMBER AND STEEL by Serena Skye
Melanie Horsnell opens her third album, “The Cloud Appreciation Society”, with a delightful, sweet Gershwin cover, “Oh So Nice,” inspired by the birth of her second child, Gypsy. Although Horsnell confesses to crying the first time she heard it, alone in the car, its presence on the album is far from miserable – quite the opposite, in fact. Its childlike enthusiasm and tempo sets the tone for what appears to be a very relaxed and comfortable listening experience, the kind of album that one might associate with young love and summer dresses. Most of the album is built around this sound; Subtle acoustic guitars and bass, vulnerable vocals, cello, soft and sparse drums and the occasional instance of a glockenspiel. However, just three tracks in, after the brilliantly poppy “Uncoordinated Conversation” (a lovely track about the awkwardness of new romance), there is a more complex and somewhat darker sentiment. Disguised by Melanie’s undeniably gentle voice, comes the reflections of a woman torn apart by the grief and loss of abandonment, in “Love You Madly”- A song rich in sorrow and heart-breaking images, a song that describes complete surrender. The words “I will love you madly” reach out and pull on your stomach in a way so familiar to anyone who has ever endured a significant separation, drawing the listener under her light sound, into her fierce lyrics. This track, followed by the equally sad and desperate “If We Can’t be Together,” leads the album far from the listener’s prior expectation, on a much more poignant journey. While the delivery and instrumentation is not vastly different throughout, it is the seamless transition into these darker tones that strikes me most about this record. One can identify so strongly with the angst and imagery, and yet it sounds so calm, the melody crisp, with a lilting cello carrying the song forward. It is the sparse and gentle instrumentation, coupled with Horsnell’s clean vocal that could lead to some of this album’s depth being miscalculated, which makes her eye for detail and rich imagery so important. Her ability to capture her landscape, both literal and emotional is one of the things that makes this album stand out fully, within a well-explored genre. This detail is particularly strong in “Tall Trees Arms”, wherein Melanie writes from the perspective of an older man, staring out at his rugged mountain home after the death of his wife with the “grey-green eyes.” One can almost feel the “frosty air,” almost hear his soft journey, among lonely valleys, green foothills and trilling creeks. Similarly, in “Late Afternoons and Ochre Walls” the “dappled light,” in which a young couple cuddle on the couch quietly, that Melanie describes is as easy to imagine here as the “big dolly eyes and cheeky smiles” of her two babies in “My Harmony, My Gypsy”, a song written out of pure adoration for her girls, in a very difficult time for her. While similar in sound to many of her female contemporaries, “The Cloud Appreciation Society” has a very strong narrative to it, something Horsnell herself touched on in an interview with ABC southeast. The progression of the songs mimics the progression of her life at the time, starting with the joy of the birth of a new child, and moving to a new home in country NSW, to the pain of her separation. The mid-section of the album speaks of the potential for finding new love, bonding with her children and immersing herself in her new surrounds. This leads to the final track “My Heart just Wants to Fall in Love”, a joyful song about letting go of past grievances and moving on, which brings the album full circle, back to the quirky happiness of “Oh So Nice,” the sound that originally attracted my attention so quickly. I really enjoyed this album, short though it may be, and I look forward to the chance to see her live in the future.