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SPOTLIGHT ON TIM HART

Tim Hart's new single Cold Comfort is out now! We chat to the musician about the release, his upcoming solo record and more.

Image: Supplied.


Australian musician Tim Hart is set to release his third solo-record next month, Winning Hand. Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist recently shared the latest taste from the release with the single Cold Comfort. Made complete with some moving horns below raw lyricism, the track navigates a relationship gone wrong and documents the emotions that come in the heat of the moment.


Winning Hand marks the first time the Boy & Bear drummer and vocalist has enlisted a full-band on his solo musical ventures, having usually tracked and recorded each instrument himself. The record is set to showcase the growth and maturity of Hart's songwriting prowess and document stories of love, heartbreak and longing. The album was recorded at Golden Retriever Studios with engineer Simon Berkelman in 2019, with only one track recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic at the musicians home in Brisbane


Cold Comfort is out now! Read our full interview with Tim Hart below!



Tell us a bit about how you began your musical journey…


I’ve been playing music since I was young listening to my parents records and reading liner notes for Simon & Garfunkel albums. I think it just made me want to be part of the magic of writing and recording music




Your new single Cold Comfort navigates a relationship gone wrong and documents the emotions that come in the heat of the moment. What prompted you to conceptually explore this theme?


I had an experience on tour with an artist where this situation played out over a month around Europe, and just watching the situation become more intense and toxic and at a distance I found it really compelling. I think it’s a side of love that doesn't get written as much as it should.




The release is accompanied by an official lyric video. How important are the visuals to you when it comes to conveying the story and meaning present on the track? And how involved you are when it comes to planning the visuals?


Visuals can definitely create a mood. I love how this can accompany the music and take you into another world. This was something that my wife Amy and I shot together, and we really wanted to create a solitary, contemplative and dark world.




What messages do you hope listeners take away from the track?


I’m not sure what messages I’d like people to take away from this track. I guess it’ll mean different things to different people depending on what they have been through in their own lives.




If Cold Comfort was a piece of visual art, which artwork would it be?


Maybe something like Paul Gauguin’s A Dark Rebel In A Tahitian Paradise.




You’re set to release your third solo record early next year, which is full of tales of love, longing and heartbreak. What new knowledge and experience are you bringing into the sessions working on the new record, that differs from creating your debut and sophomore album?


This record was a bit of an exercise in me stepping away from tracking all the instruments myself and moving to a more collaborative session. Bringing great players in and trusting them to bring great energy and vibes to live takes was a real difference for me. I guess also bringing in a string section and horn players to fully recognise what I had in my head was a new concept for me. I guess the Boy & Bear records over the years have shown me the benefits of this sort of approach.




Which song off the record are you most excited for fans to hear and why?


I think for me I’m pretty excited about Steady as She Goes.




Could you tell us a bit about your creative process when writing and recording songs?


Much of this album was written on the road. The story is at the center and I feel like this influences the melody and chordal/structural shifts. Most of the time it’s a big burst of capturing whatever creative energy is hanging around and writing as much of the song as I can. After that it’s all about tweaking and self-editing to fill in the gaps.




How do you find it differs writing and recording in a band environment with Boy and Bear vs solo where you’re completely in charge of the process and outcome?


I think being completely in charge of the process can make it a far more solitary vibe. All of a sudden there is a great freedom to explore whatever it is that I’m feeling. It’s a great change but also just a different thing. I love the Boy & Bear writing process too. It’s a lot more about trial and error and trying a bunch of options and changes and multiple demos more often than not. But there is something nice about the sole responsibility for something working or not working being on me.




Did you encounter any challenges whilst creating music during the COVID-19 pandemic, or did it allow you the time and space to immerse yourself within this musical project?


A bit of both for this record. It was mostly recorded last year (2019). Only Great Escape was recorded this year (2020) at home in Brisbane. I was definitely able to focus and really immerse myself in the writing, recording and producing of this track. I think it just adds something a little extra to the album that perhaps wasn’t there previously.




The current pandemic has obviously put a half to touring and performing live. Do you have any post-pandemic touring plans? And what can audiences expect from one of your live shows?


I’m really excited to get touring in 2021. I haven’t quite figured out what it's going to look like but it’s definitely going to happen. I’m not sure what it's going to be like but there’ll definitely be lots of storytelling and good vibes!




RAPID FIRE


Biggest influences?

Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon.


Dream collaboration?

Peter Gabriel.


Album that has had the most impact on you?

Denison Witmer - Little Flowers or Peter Gabriel - So.


How do you define your musical style in 3 words?

Evolving, Fun, Fluid.


Best song of 2020?

Ball Park Music – Cherub.


If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?

A Wes Anderson film I think.


Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?

Is this a trick question?


The best/most memorable show you’ve ever performed?

My first solo show ever supporting Sufjan Stevens at the Tivoli in Brisbane.


Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?

Crosby, Stills & Nash - Crosby, Stills & Nash (self-titled).


Best concert you have been to?

The National in Toronto.


Last concert you went to?

The last Boy & Bear show I played at the Fortitude Music Hall in Brisbane.


If you were a Spice Girl, what would your spice nickname be?

I could replace ginger?


Guilty music pleasure?

Seal.


If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?

Peter Gabriel.


An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry.

Peter Gabriel or Paul Simon.


What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now?

Current self - just to enjoy every moment and be open to new things, future self - I think it’d be bad advice as I don’t know what happens in the future. A year from now - Kind of the same thing… or maybe Be kind to yourself


The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?

Maybe the first time I played the drums at 11.




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