Most bands tend to live in at least the same city as one another: the convenience of recording, rehearsing and playing shows. Or not. For Dyson Stringer Cloher, it’s a totally different story.
The trio spend the bulk of their lives far away from each other. Mia Dyson in Los Angeles, Liz Stringer in Toronto, and Jen Cloher in Melbourne. All three have their own careers, but their work as a group is just magical.
In a Tone Deaf exclusive, the tri-city, tri-person act take you into their minds. They explain the ins and outs of each of their self-titled record’s ten tracks.
1. ‘Falling Clouds’:
“When Jen was 16 she snuck into a Falling Joys and The Clouds double bill in Adelaide. In her excitement headbanging down the front, she hit her head against a speaker and knocked herself out.
“The moment of euphoria ‘never heard guitars so loud’ stayed with her for a lifetime. This song pays tribute to the axe wielding women in Australian music who showed those coming up that it could be done.
“It also questions the absence of Australia’s female poet laureate, ‘Nothing against Paul or Nick, but if you want to be remembered, then you better have a dick.’”
“We had access to literally hundreds of Jeff Tweedy’s amazing guitars at The Loft studio in Chicago. Set loose like kids in a candy store, it was a super fun process getting to try out a bunch to find the right sounds for each song.
“Mia nails the bass on this track and the choice for the three of us to take individual lines helps to build the drama.
“Even though it was recorded so far from home, it still has a classic Ausrock sound to it, you can take the girl outta Melbourne..”
3. ‘With My Hands’:
“There’s a reason Mia made Rolling Stone‘s Top 100 Australian Guitarists list and ‘With My Hands’ is a reminder of what she does so well.
“There’s a rawness to Mia’s voice that mirrors the songs themes – coming into greater alignment with our bodies and sexuality, being more at ease in our own skin and feeling the power.”
4. ‘Can’t Wake It Back’:
“The bulk of ‘Can’t Take It Back’ was written during our first ever co-writing session back in 2015 in Portland, Oregon and finished in Chicago during pre-production for the record.
“With Mia based in L.A, Liz in Toronto and Jen touring her most recent album stateside – one of the most fun things has been meeting up and writing in a new city. Portland has a lot of weird similarities to Melbourne.
“They love their coffee, beer and bicycles. The song is one of the gentler moments on the album and features the three part harmony blend that makes this band so special.”
5. ‘Running For The Feeling’:
“Harmonies are all about listening and there’s no better way to get a band to listen than pressing play on a tape machine.
“This was captured in the second take with the three of us sitting in a close circle and leaning in.”
6. ‘Too Seriously’:
“Holy smokes Liz Stringer can sing! Her vocal take on this song reminds you why she’s so respected in the Australian and Canadian music scene. Recording ‘Too Seriously’ was one of our favourite sessions at The Loft.
“Glenn Kotche (Wilco) on drums, Mia on bass, Liz on acoustic guitar, with the three of us taking turns on vocal parts. This recording lays testament to the joy of locking in, finding the groove and playing together in a room.
7. ‘Young Girls’:
“We had eight days at The Loft to record and mix the album. This meant that most of the album was recorded live, with occasional guitars or harmony parts overdubbed at the end of a take.
“We didn’t have time to chase big production ideas with this album and the songs wouldn’t have been served by this approach anyhow. Direct and honest is where it was at in Chicago.
“The subject matter of ‘Young Girls’ is the stuff you wish you had known before you went on that painful journey of self discovery.”
8. ‘The Other Side’:
“The beginnings of ‘The Other Side’ was written during one of our early co-writing sessions.
“This was a tricky song to record but some inspiration in the studio, including that pulsing tom/kick drum vibe from Glenn in the intro and verses, took it in a slightly new direction and helped it find its place.
“The track features the three part harmonies in the choruses and, again, a wealth of guitars at our disposal helped to give it the vibe and embellishments we felt it needed.”
9. ‘Be Alone’:
“An anthem for the joys of being single. Relationships are so overrated!”
10. ‘Can I Borrow Your Eyes’:
“A lullaby, a prayer, a reminder that you don’t have to be lost if you want to be found.”
Dyson Stringer Cloher’s self-titled album is out now. Their album tour starts this week. Visit their website for all tour information and ticketing.
Dyson Stringer Cloher Self-Titled Album Tour 2019
Friday, November 1st
Music On The Hill, Red Hill VIC
Saturday, November 2nd
Vibes & Vino, Heathcote VIC
Sunday, November 3rd
The Lost Lands, Werribee VIC
Thursday, November 7th
The Lansdowne, Sydney NSW
Friday, November 8th
Lizotte’s, Newcastle NSW
Saturday, November 9th
The Zoo, Brisbane QLD
Wednesday, November 13th
Howler, Melbourne VIC
Thursday, November 14th [SOLD OUT]
Howler, Melbourne VIC
Friday, November 15th
Theatre Royal, Castlemaine VIC
Saturday, November 16th
Grace Emily, Adelaide SA
Sunday, November 17th
Grace Emily, Adelaide SA