Inner Western is the new album from Melbourne musician, Dan Lethbridge. Released on October 6 through Vitamin Records, it is Lethbridge's third album and is the long awaited follow-up to 2012's Oh Hawke. Produced by Shane O'Mara (Paul Kelly, Tim Rogers) and recorded with Lethbridge's five-piece band, The Campaigners, Inner Western has been two years in the making. Mostly recorded live under O'Mara's direction in the producer's famed Yikesville studio, Inner Western is a sonic gem showcasing a world-class songwriter in full flight.
Lethbridge describes Inner Western as, “The album I've always wanted to make”. Built around the rhythm section of drummer Ralf Rehak and bassist Stewart Taylor, the album features 10 new songs which seamlessly hop between genres in typical Lethbridge fashion. To quote Rolling Stone's Doug Wallen: “Dan Lethbridge manages to bridge the gap between alt. country, folk and indie pop. This may sound commonplace but it's the songs that stay with you.” From the dark, pulsating opener ‘It All Will Start To Splinter’ through to the playful jazz of closing track ‘Do No Harm’, Inner Western offers up sublime moments of folk, pop, vintage rock n' roll and even psychedelia.
The infectious lead single ‘I Want You With Me’ was released in March this year and received airplay across the country from the likes of ABC Radio National, Double J and ABC local radio. Music journalist Jeff Jenkins called ‘I Want You With Me’, “The single of the year”, describing the song as “deliciously dark yet something you'd happily have played at your wedding.” An up-tempo rocker featuring a driving drum groove, jangling guitars and a bouncing bass-line,the song is a clear departure from Lethbridge's previous album - the sparse but critically acclaimed Oh Hawke.
Released in 2012, Oh Hawke finished in Inpress Magazine's top 10 Australian Albums of the Year. Rhythms Magazine Editor, Martin Jones wrote: “Delivering in both style and substance, Lethbridge can make the point or share the sentiment within just a few lines - a rare and admirable trait in a songwriter.” This trend continues on Inner Western - whether it be the poignant two minutes of ‘Wait Another Day’ or the haunting ‘Everybody Says’ (a lonesome duet with The Audreys' ARIA-award-winning vocalist, Taasha Coates, recorded while Dan was touring with the band in 2014).
Raised on a 6,000 acre Queensland cattle property, Dan fell in love with the guitar as a child and spent his teenage years mastering the instrument at boarding school. By the time he'd come of age, Lethbridge had played the length and breadth of his home state. He moved to Melbourne and in 2008 released his debut album Dreamers Of The World Unite. Described by Beat Magazine as “an excellent album by a fine talent and a remarkably assured debut”, the album took Lethbridge on a year-long promotional tour playing to audiences across Australia, before winding up at New York's famed Rockwood Music Hall. Now, three albums in to an already impressive career, Lethbridge is garnering a reputation as one of Australia's most versatile and idiosyncratic singer songwriters.
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