Sixty Seconds on Songwriting with Rich Webb

Riot-inducing riffs, rip-roaring vocals, and provocative lyrics; Rich Webb’s music is the sound of bar brawls and busted knuckles or as BEAT magazine accurately said: ‘a Tarantino soundtrack’. With a new track and album in the pipeline, we catch up with the Australia-bound front man to find out more…

What’s the story behind your forthcoming single ‘Let It Rain’?

It feels to me like we’ve gone back to the 50’s or something, with crazy ego-driven leaders making nuts decisions, massive power plays around stuff geared to make rich people richer, and growing social division. ‘Let It Rain’ is a simple song about wanting an absolute deluge right now to wash away this all-pervading crap we’re in… and when it happens, we’re going to run with a lot of other people I reckon into the middle of a muddy field somewhere, shouting ‘hallelujah’! – and we’re going to dance a jig!

How would you describe your music to a stranger in a bar?

The music is lyrically driven, earthy, left field, eclectic, a bit old school, I write songs about things that often don’t get written about so much these days that were more common in the 50’s and 60’s from artists such as Jacques Brel, it’s loosely defined as nouvelle chanson I think…

Your music has been dubbed as Australia’s answer to Americana. Where does that fit in the mainstream consciousness?

In the ball park with bands like Arctic Monkeys / Arcade Fire / Courtney Barnett but also crossing over to less traditional but really successful country areas such as US singer/songwriter Chris Stapleton (Pete Lyman who mastered our latest album, also masters Chris Stapleton’s stuff, as well as Tom Waits and the like who would be a big influence).

What does the album’s title Le Rayon Vert mean to you?

Le Rayon Vert was a French film we both liked way back when. The premise behind it is that if you see the green ray as the sun goes down you will be able to read the mind of the person you are with, and they will be able to read yoursIt is a real optical phenomenon that happens occasionally at sunset. I reckon the name suits the collection of songs on this album which are full of openness, discovery, and also look into some dark uncomfortable places that don’t often get explored – if everything is going to be suddenly revealed to you, it’s not necessarily going to be all positive, right? Each song is like a polaroid of a moment and a certain state of mind – and what we are trying to do is to capture that moment as if we’ve all just seen the green ray.

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Harp Samuels grieves on haunting new track ‘Breathe’

Australian born singer/ songwriter Harp Samuels is back with his latest track ‘Breathe’, from the upcoming album of the same name. 

‘Breathe’ was written in the aftermath of his father’s passing, using his grief as the emotional motivator of his spiritual awakening. The song begins mellow, before climaxing in an intimate outpouring of raw emotion. The heavy, evoking lyrics are a powerful reminder of our numbered days. This breath-taking track ends with flickering embers that radiate warmth.

‘Breathe’ gives Harp’s listeners a moment of quiet self-reflection. Harp combines the musical stylings of neo-folk and ambience with an emotive approach to his vocal storytelling. The special and haunting track is a stunning display of Samuels’ artistry as a singer/ songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist.

His 2017 debut album, Wanting received widespread air time on US radio along with several hundred thousand streams. Harp Samuels has also featured on MTV unplugged, The Bluegrass Situation, Tunecore and Atwood Magazine.

In addition to his music the Melbourne born singer is also an active filmmaker, award winning photographer and creative artists.

Words: Tom Guilfoyle | @covenantofarca

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Australian Hip-Hop Artist makes UK Debut!

Could Giovanni ‘Gio’ Agosta, a regular 19 year old from a remote farm on the other side of the world, be the next big thing in Hip-Hop? After listening to his songs, the answer is most definitely yes. With his vibrant yet versatile style, Gio showcases his extremely talented ability to be able to play many instruments as well as freestyle.
Growing up in West Melbourne, Australia, personal losses and life experiences have inspired the raw songs on his new album, as well as being exposed to several diverse genres in music. He has taken his influences, such as Macklemore and Bob Dylan, and incorporated them with his experiences to create this edgy yet intimate sound. His new single ‘Dear Bup’ started out as a poem to his ex-girlfriend, who broke up with him because his dedication to music meant that he didn’t have much time for her. Knowing she would never read it, he created the single.
When writing ‘Real’, Gio said his perception of music was enlightened, ‘I didn’t just want to be a rapper anymore, I wanted to hit the right notes. The album is called ‘Real’ because it seems like people are judged as not being real or their music isn’t ‘real’. I feel like the end verse of my first single Real sums it up “See these days we don’t feel real unless someone else agrees. Because people push you to be a certain way, to act like something, to talk about what they think is the sh*t… I don’t need to rap about drugs, but if that’s expressing myself and it’s important to me, then I should. I can say what I feel, because what I feel is real.”’. Gio has played alongside artists such as M-Phazes (who produced a couple of tracks on Eminem’s latest LP the MMLP2), Butterfingers & Mind Over Matter, and has worked with singer Jimmy Cupples and also has received ongoing support from ARIA Award winning rapper 360 since he came to watch Gio’s headlining show in Melbourne.
Gio is not only incredibly talented within the studio, on the stage is where he truly shines. His producer, Mark Belcastro, comments that “When Gio’s on stage, he steps it up to a whole new level…He doesn’t stand up there and just play his songs, but rather wants people in the crowd to join in and be in the show”.
Looking to get involved in urban clothing labels is yet another innovative idea that Gio has had in order to promote his music, alongside releasing his album for free. In many ways, Gio is like any regular kid, going to parties and socialising with friends, the exceptions being his talent, passion and ambition for music and that one day, he will be inspiring many young musicians just like himself.
Real’ will be released in the UK in early March 2014, and his single ‘Dear Bup’ will be released on January 15th, which you can listen to on SoundCloud here: