NEW ALBUM - DARK MATTER
Shane's 14th solo album 'Dark Matter' released on CD on 14/3/20
First single 'The Writing on the Wall' available digitally from 10/4/20
Full album available digitally on 29/5/20
“a beautiful, troubling and ultimately uplifting gift of songs ” - Michael White
'Dark Matter is arguably the deadliest album yet in the distinguished solo recording career of Shane Howard, one of the most enduringly engaging and socially conscious Australian singer-songwriters of the past 40 years.
Strong and occasionally scathing in message and metaphor yet softened by his mellifluous voice, ear for a melody and poetic words, it hits with a velvet glove while hammering out some home truths. Dreamtime legends and biblical citations sit in synch with eco-political concerns, historical and cultural references, and various collaborations. Among the sound of thunder and rain that bookends Dark Matter and storm clouds of despondency are bursts of sunshine, optimism and expressions of love in the shape of a pair of exquisite strings-laced, female-accompanied ballads, Wild Rivers and The Sweetest Thing.
Goanna-esque folk-rockers This Country and Times Like These articulate wisdom and vulnerability over driving rhythm. The latter features Howard and his partner-in-rhyme, Redgum’s John Schumann, swapping verses between clipped Mark Knopfler-like guitar fills. In Palya Wiru Uluru, an upbeat piece prompted by the cessation of climbing at “The Rock”, Howard takes a twangy country turn in tandem with Pitjantjatjara elder Trevor Adamson.
The equally engaging Wattah, which also contains indigenous language, was written with west Victorian Aborigine Andy Alberts to commemorate the repatriation of bones from museums in Australia and abroad.
Howard recruited Archie Roach, another soulmate, to add lyrics from an Aboriginal perspective to his telemovie score for Secret River, in which he deftly incorporates the melody of English folk standard Greensleeves. Interpolating a jarring Kurdish folk tune in a song inspired by Manus Island detainee Behrouz Boochani’s book is about the only dubious move in an otherwise impeccably executed album that merits a place alongside Goanna’s classic 1982 album Spirit of Place, which yielded Aboriginal rights anthem and radio staple Solid Rock. '
Tony Hillier - The Australian
His songs rise out of a deep well of lived experience, underpinned by a philosophy, as incisive as it is inclusive. 40 years of singing, writing and journeying the globe have dinted but not broken this unconventional and independent poet of modern song.His new album, Dark Matter, his 14th solo album, continues to plumb the depths.
0:00 / 4:55
Try 3:440:00 / 3:44
0:00 / 5:02
World Going ‘Round 4:040:00 / 4:04
Wild Rivers 3:430:00 / 3:43
Writing On The Wall 5:190:00 / 5:19
Lay Your Burden Down 3:510:00 / 3:51
Secret River 3:430:00 / 3:43
Palya Wiru Uluru 4:310:00 / 4:31
Prison Island 4:370:00 / 4:37
Times Like These 3:360:00 / 3:36
Come Down Moses 4:310:00 / 4:31
Wattah 3:420:00 / 3:42
The Sweetest Thing 5:050:00 / 5:05
“Our world is in peril in these dark times. It’s not enough to be a consumer. We shouldn’t waste our lives on crap. Politically, environmentally and socially, we must act to create a worthwhile future, not about stars or individualism but co-operation, otherwise, we won’t make it.” - Shane Howard