It’s been seven years since legendary singer-songwriter and founder of 1990s cult band The Go-Betweens has released an album.
Robert Forster’s last album The Evangelist (2008) was widely regarded as his best solo album, and one that more than lived up to the many high points of his legendary band The Go-Betweens.
Forster hasn’t been sitting on his hands all that time though; far from it, in fact.
In the meantime, he produced albums by Brisbane bands The John Steel Singers and Halfway, enjoyed an extended stint as a music critic for the Australian periodical The Monthly that eventuated in a collection of his writings to be published as ‘The Ten Rules Of Rock And Roll’ in 2009.
He was the curator and compiler of G Stands For Go-Betweens. Volume 1 – the first of three boxset compilations, and, he performed in Adelaide last year in Eric Mingus’ reworking of The Who’s Tommy, and at WOMADelaide with Jherek Bischoff.
He was also writing Songs to Play, which is due out September 18 and includes ten very different Robert Forster songs recorded on a mountain top half-an-hour from his Brisbane home, in an analogue studio, with a troop of young musicians.
Among the multi-intrumentalists on this recording are Scott Bromley and Luke McDonald (from The John Steel Singers), Matt Piele (drummer from his touring band), and violinist and singer Karin Baumler.
Songs to Play is melodic, with incisive, witty lyrics attuned to real people and real lives. The spirit of the record is its sense of adventure and fun – especially after the meditative reflections of ‘The Evangelist’ which was recorded a year after the death of The Go-Betweens co-founder Grant McLennan.
Forster’s new album is a mix of pop songs, five minute epics, a bossa nova tune and some true singer-songwriter classics. Forster is bursting to get out and tell his story.
Check out the album trailer: