Abby Dobson
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Abby Dobson


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"Only way is up for Abby 4/4/08 (AUS)"

ABBY DOBSON is impressed with what
she's heard on the radio lately. The former Leonardo's Bride singer is happy that as well as the standard pop-rock fare, some less mainstream sounds have been creeping onto the airwaves. "There's a lot of really great art coming through that's being more commercially embraced," she said.
"Or maybe my tastes are becoming more commercial, I don't know. But it seems to be that people's palates are kind of broadening and deepening a lot more at the moment which is heartening."
The beguiling songstress has carved out a career creating beautiful art that is a little left- of-centre and Tasmanians will get a chance to appreciate it when she returns to the State for two intimate shows supporting Lior. Dobson will be joined on stage by guitarist Eden Altman for a pared-down performance of songs from her debut solo album, Rise Up.
The album was released last year to critical acclaim following the demise of Leonardo's Bride, best known for its top 5 single Even When I'm Sleeping. Dobson has joined forces with Josh Abrahams on her latest single It's Only Love, which she describes as "a forbidden lust/love story, you know, being drawn to somebody that you wish you weren't for one reason or another... the weakness of the flesh".
Collaborations were a key feature of Rise Up, with Aussie musicians Robert F Cranny, Paul Mac and David Lane all making guest appearances.
However it took some time for Dobson to get comfortable taking that approach. "I was used to being in a band where everything was a collaboration so initially I became quite territorial about my work and my songs as it was the first time I'd really been able to have my own say over them.
"So I was quite determined to remain
autonomous as long as I could ... but then it goes in cycles and you come around to think how lovely it is to have people play on your record.
"Once I established that I could do it on my own it was really nice to open the doors again and allow other people to bring beautiful colours to your project."
The industry accolades for Rise Up just keep coming. Her song Horses has made it to the finals of the International Songwriting Competition, which will be judged by heavyweights including Tom Waites, Nelly Furtado, Julian Casablancas and Macy Gray, to name a few.
But for now Dobson is keen to get back to the simplicity of touring.
"You tend to go into this kind of Homer Simpson headspace where all you think about is food, rest, the show, rest, food, naps. You go a bit... dumb.
'That's why rock n' rollers have such a bad reputation ... when they're on the road they just become really basic. You go a bit docile for some reason and I'm really looking forward to that. "To not having a busy mind and just playing. It makes you present"
* Abby Dobson supports Lior at Country Club Tasmania, Launceston, April 11, and Wrestpoint Casino, Hobart, April 12.

- Launceston Examiner - Nicole Mayne


The Arts Centre and Spiegeltent International present
Abby Dobson 27th November 2008

She wears a gold sequined dress and a halo of blonde hair. She is dreamy, feisty, and knows a thing or two. Quite simply, Abby Dobson glows.

It’s over a decade since Dobson fronted the Australian band Leonardo’s Bride with the memorable single Even When I’m Sleeping. Last year Dobson released her debut solo album Rise Up. Supported by her band, her recent show at the Spiegeltent gives an all-too-short taste of this album as well as re-visiting a few of the songs from her past.

Supporting Dobson and her own guitar are three unassuming fellows; one on cello, one on bass and one on keyboard. Their anticipation of each other is great and rightfully, each is given ample opportunity to display their individual brilliance.

The majority of Dobson’s songs are full of whimsy and in these the lyrics are not particularly profound; their rhyming sentences give them a rather innocent, if not childlike quality. But they are delightful and the song High Like Heaven, with its talk of jumping over four leaf clovers, and the dreamy Cloud Watching, are fine examples.

Most exhilarating is the way Dobson’s vocals so often teeter on an undefinable edge. As she pushes her notes and words they take the audience to a distant and otherwise undiscovered realm before returning them, warmly, to reality. Because of this, songs like Shining Star and Whisper Nothing move without definition from lullaby to darkness and back again.

This is Dobson’s stage, Dobson’s show. You can sit and listen or you can accept the dare; let her take hold and take you away. For the audience, the end of each song is a chance to finally exhale, and do so, for in a show as compelling as Dobson’s the moments where breathing comes easily are few and far between.


"Album Review - Daily Telegraph"

October 11, 2007
4.5 Stars
There's no mistaking the distinctive voice of former Leonardo's Bride frontwoman Abby Dobson, who, right from the beautifully arranged You Will Find Your Way, sounds completely at home. Ten years on from breakthrough Bride album Angel Blood and Dobson hasn't lost her knack for a great pop hook. The single Shining Star and Horses endear themselves steadily, while the groove-laden Free As A Bird keeps things light. With the likes of Sarah Blasko's Robert F. Cranny, Paul mac and Jackie Orszaczky involved, Dobon's songs get the lift they need. Bronwy Thompson - The Daily Telegraph

"Rolling Stone"

Abby Dobson
Rise Up
Out October 6th
ALMOST A DECADE AFTER"EVEN When I'm Sleeping" cemented Abby Dobson's place in the Oz pop pantheon, the Sydney singer and songwriter has completed her solo debut. "This record has taken an age really," she says. "It's been brewing inside me since I left Leonardo's Bride." In the inter- vening years there were recording sessions in L.A. and Paris, and "a very long period of dark nights of the soul," for Dobson. "I had some challenging health conditions I needed to learn how to heal, and existential dilemmas that rode pillion to that," she explains. The album's title track goes some way to describing her journey, one that's finally lead to a luminously beautiful album that shifts from ambient balladry on "Whisper Nothing", to the urban pop in- fluence of Lauryn Hill and Nelly Furtado on "It's Only Love".

- Rolling Stone


Abby Dobson, the unmistakable voice of Leonardo's Bride is now truly stepping into the light as a solo artist. The latest single to be lifted from her stunning album Rise Up is Horses, a track that has already been critically recognised, winning second place in the 2008 International Songwriting Competition. And those judges were not wrong. An acoustic ballad stamped by heart-wrenching lyricism with a heartfelt delivery, Horses is a luminous example of just how far Dobson has come as a solo performer. With a breathtaking video directed by Bart Borghesi (Eskimo Joe, You Am I, The Living End) to accompany the track, both television and AC radio alike will be more than happy to ride on Horses. - Music Network Review

"Press Quotes 2007"

Courier Mail, QLD
“Abby Dobson’s voice is a rich, warm bear hug of a thing long missing from Australian radio”

Sunday Mail, SA
“RISE UP instantly reminds its listener of the delicate and deeply emotive quality of Dobson’s voice from the first to the last”

Daily Telegraph 4.5 stars
”There’s no mistaking the distinctive voice of former Leonardo’s Bride front woman Abby Dobson”

“Dobson hasn’t lost her knack for a great pop hook”

Sunday Telegraph
“Dobson shows growth and an emotional range with lyrics that feel like she’s whispering in your ear”

Sun Herald
“Abby Dobson offers a solo album that spotlights her ear for a well-crafted pop tune”

Canberra Times
“That marvellous, dreamy and very distinctive voice is back... “

“Dobson has risen up from where she’s been hiding and proved she can soar high as a solo artist”

Music Australian Guide
“Abby’s voice is breathtaking ... as good as any in this country”

Drum Sydney
“To finally hear Ms Dobson’s distinctive tones across a whole album is both a relief and delight”

Rave, Brisbane
“As one might expect, everything here sounds gorgeous”
- Various

"Abby Rises to the Challenge - Daily Telegraph"

Abby Dobson jokes that her good-looking bandmates are the perfect antidote to her lovelorn songs. "I get a lot of women coming to my shows so I like to give
them someone lovely to look at when their heart is broken," she laughs. The former Leonardo's Bride frontwoman (you remember that hauntingly beautiful hit
Even When I'm Sleeping) finally released her debut album in October last year.
There was a long wait for Rise Up from those who admired Dobson's talents. Battling a debilitating illness stalled her songwriting efforts and then a stoic determination to realise the vision in her head continued to keep the cogs clicking slowly. Her latest single It's Only Love represents another step along Dobson's fertile musical path.
"It's cute, isn't it? I think Josh [Abrahams] did a great job," she says. "I didn't want it to be taken so far away that it was so obviously not my style.
And I didn't want a dark dancefloor treatment.
"But I didn't mind doing a remix at this point in the process because I was so particular about absolutely everything on the album. I like the idea of injecting a new life into the project."
Like most of her friends, she is finding this year is one of change and, while she is currently frantically busy organising her It's Only Love tour, a trip to Paris looms in June. For a few minutes, Dobson and I indulge a daydream about hooking her up with a famous French male artist for a duet which would launch her career there just as Tina Arena did. "I would love to be big in Paris," she laughs. "I should get Tina's number and find out how she did it. It's a great idea."
Back home, the opportunities for an independent artist doing it all on her own are perhaps not as romantic, but could just prove advantageous considering television's current power to break new music.
"Home And Away and Neighbours have actually played my songs. The band and I performed for an episode of Neighbours - it hasn't aired yet - and that was kind of funny. We were the backing band for some Ramsay St drama," Dobson says. "The band were trying to be cool, saying, 'Yeah, I think I can do it that day'. The day after that, they're, 'So where do we go from here? We've peaked'," she laughs.
After her run of shows in Sydney this week, Dobson goes solo to support Joe Jackson on his May tour. "I have never played the State Theatre
and always wanted to, but I never imagined I would be doing it solo," she says.
"I'm trying to work out how to make it less terrifying. Whatever happens, people seem to like my music if they can sit down."
* Abby Dobson performs at Lizottes, Kincumber, tonight, The Basement tomorrow and Waves, Wollongong, on Saturday. She supports Joe Jackson at
the State Theatre on May22
KM - NSW 17th April 2008

"Baz Luhrmann and Tourism Australia"

October 9th 2008

SYDNEY, October 09, 2008 | SHOOT Publicity Wire | --- Tourism Australia today launched "Transformation", a new advertising campaign being rolled out in 22 countries around the world. Baz Luhrmann, known for his movies Moulin Rouge and William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, was responsible for the television and cinema commercials set in New York, Shanghai and Western Australia.

Original music for the New York commercial, Billabong, was composed by Sydney composer and song writer Elliott Wheeler, from sound and music boutique Nylon Studios.

The music for the New York spot was composed and recorded within a 48 hour timeframe in early September. Film directors Baz Luhrmann and Bruce Hunt called Nylon Studios on a Friday night a month before the launch, asking for a demo to be completed by the following Monday. Elliott composed two pieces on the Saturday before recording them with a string ensemble from Sydney Symphony Orchestra on the Sunday morning.

Once the creative team had chosen one of the tracks further work included the addition of multiple layers of piano tracks to create a a signature sound for the main piano melody, and careful sound engineering and mix by Wayne Connolly. Encouraged by warm response to the soundtrack, Wheeler has written an extended version with lyrics recorded by Abby Dobson from Sydney band Leonardo's Bride.

Elliott Wheeler talks about the challenges of writing poetic music that represents the move from fragility, coldness and isolation to warmth, romance and self discovery.

"We wanted to use strings, but not on such a scale that we'd be dictating to the audience what they were meant to feel, so in the end we went with a much smaller chamber ensemble. We put a lot of energy into finding a balance between the intimacy expressed in the dialogue, and the grandness seen in the cinematography."

Nylon executive music producer Mark Beckhaus said, "The Tourism Australia project was a brilliant opportunity to showcase high quality Australian music and sound design in a wide range of countries around the world." - Shoot Online

"Abby Dobson and Ashleigh Mannix - March 24th 2009"

I just want to put it out there: The Toff In Town resides among my favorite live venues in-and-around Melbourne. Admittedly, however, it had been a while between drinks. Canberra’s Ashleigh Mannix provided the perfect re-introduction to the Toff, as I entered and instantly remembered why I love the place.

Mannix plays a pleasant variety of tunes, dipping her toes into folk, country, and pop genres. Essentially, she’s everything an acoustic support slot requires: a great deal of strength, confidence, and vocal charisma to carry one to the headline act. Mannix has an excellent, powerful voice, and she’s not afraid to use it – her words, rich with emotion, crisp and resonate, travel to each corner to the room effortlessly. I was soon very much interested in how her songs would work with a band. That said, she certainly holds her own: as an acoustic support, it can be difficult to avoid monotony, and entertain a crowd from beginning to end. Mannix, however, passed with flying colors, with songs from her EP, The Mirror, and the jaunty Power Of A Girl to close out the set. As Mannix left the stage, the noticably-timid Toff audience seemed especially appreciative of a pleasantly surprising beginning to the evening.

There’s a good chance you’d know Abby Dobson, even if the name Leonardo’s Bride doesn’t ring a bell. Its the voice. Its so instantly recognizable, and practically undeniable, that half way through her first song, we – the audience – knew full well of the brilliant evening that lay ahead. Dobson was joined on stage by a cellist, guitarist and keyboardist, continuing the percussion-less trend of the evening. I’m Not Missing You (featured on the popular television program The Secret Life Of Us) was particularly mesmerizing, as Dobson and co. professed in raw emotion, showcasing lush, powerful arrangements. Stories concerning her writing process were told between songs, providing valuable and interesting insights into one of Australia’s most respected and successful female singer-songwriters.

Dobson simply could not stop smiling. She literally beamed throughout the set, and it was clear she still savors the thrill and the sheer joy of performing. The band combined expertly in harmony for the solemn, yet hopeful See What The Morning Brings, before launching into new single Horses. And then, finally, it was time for that voice to sing that song. Even When I’m Sleeping was, quite simply, shivers-down-the-spine stuff. An encore ensued, and the title track from her solo record Rise Up provided a delicate finale to what had been a thoroughly entertaining set.

Its inescapable: Dobson’s career with Leonardo’s Bride will almost always be defined by the brilliance of one song. But its evenings like these that she proves that she is bigger than one song, and then some. In short, everyone needs to turn their heads and tune their ears accordingly, because Abby Dobson is back – and she’s doing great things.

"Tuesday March 24 2009 @ Toff in Town - Melbourne"

It was a miserable Tuesday night in Melbourne when Australia’s very own Queen of sweet and sultry dazzled the Toff In Town for the launch of her much anticipated single Horses. Upon entering the delightfully up-scaled Toff band room, myself and my gig drag-a-long were confronted with a table and chairs set-up that almost made me feel as though I were attending a dodgy RSL gig with my dad. Yet all fears of witnessing another ABBA tribute band were allayed when Abby and band made there way out on stage. I’m yet to find out why, but there is something very comforting with there on-stage seating arrangement.

Despite not knowing anyone in the band, there is something very familiar. Abby loves to tell a story. In between a number of the songs she regaled her willing audience with tales of travel, romance and loneliness. She told us of her experience at a Michael Gudinski songwriting workshop that produced the eerie and whimsical You Will Find Your Way. Despite having previously written an iconic Australian hit in Even When I’m Sleeping with Leonardo’s Bride, Abby soundly admitted to almost having a panic attack at the thought of having to write a hit song on the spot, yet was comforted to know that even the most ardent of Australia’s songwriting talent were very much in the same boat. Those who were fans of The Secret Life of Us would already be familiar with Abby’s work, having worked closely with the show by writing a number of beautiful songs for the shows highly renowned soundtrack.

One of these, I’m Not Missing You was delightfully catchy, and was played with absolute earnestness. You could definitely get a sense of the cathartic nature that would have accompanied the writing of this anti-romantic gem. Don’t Ask For More, another Secret Life of Us track, was equally as compelling. You get a real understanding that as a songwriter, Abby is very much aligned with her emotions, and can evoke even the most complex of these with a single strum of the guitar. High Like Heaven was one of those songs that eventuated as something as which she did not intend to sound like. After cutting herself of from the rest of the world to help her concentrate on her music, Abby set out to write a lonely and depressing song which very much mirrored her feelings at the time. However, before to long, the song had seemingly taken on a life of its own and surfaced as something far from lonely and depressing. ‘Such is the nature of songwriting’ she quipped.

Single Horses, is nothing short of brilliant. It’s with this track that comparisons with other great Australian female songwriters like Sarah Blasko become evident. More specifically, you begin to understand where someone like Sarah Blasko has originated. Much to the audiences joy, Abby found time to bring out the aforementioned Leonardo’s bride hit, Even When I’m Sleeping. This slightly scaled back version, although missing in numbers, was no less powerful.

Closing with the beautifully delicate Shining Star, Abby capped off an exquisitely divine night of Australian music with the same unabashed honesty that has helped her through her career. There is something inherently child-like about Abby, despite now regarding herself as ‘adult-contemporary’.

She is a breed of singer that is firmly attached to a uniquely Australian sentiment. Speaking in absolute terms, she is a gem. She is a constant in an industry full instability and short-lived terms. She should be fully embraced by anyone who enjoys genuine Australian music - the by Chris Wood


Rise Up (Craving Records, 2007)

As singer in Leonardo's Bride: Angel Blood (1997)Produced by Justin Stanley
Open Sesame (2000)
Produced by Justin Stanley, James Cadsky and Leonardos Bride




Ashleigh Mannix has just been confirmed to support Abby Dobson on selected dates during her east coast Horses Tour throughout March/April. Abby is hitting the road to support the release of her beautiful new single ‘Horses’, which is available from March 13.

20-year-old Ashleigh is a singer/songwriter and natural solo performer who last year won the New Artists 2 Radio Competition in the pop category. Ashleigh has a unique relationship with Billabong who has sponsored her as a ‘Lifestyle Musician’ which has allowed her to take her music worldwide performing at surfing competitions and events in Australia, US, UK, Hawaii, Europe, Fiji and Japan. Ashleigh has released 2 EP’s, “My First EP” & ‘Sparkle” and is currently working on her debut album which will be released later this year.

Also supporting Abby at the Basement show is Sydney singer Lanie Lane who has been likened to a young Billie Holiday, Bjork and Kate Bush. Local singer-songwriter Kate Bradley, who has been compared to Mazzy Star & Cat Power, will support Abby in Brisbane while Tara Simmons, who recently launched her debut, full-length album Spilt Milk will join the tour for the Gold Coast & Byron Bay shows...



Abby will release her new single, the sublime ‘Horses’ on March 14. In support of this release Abby will head out on an East Coast tour throughout March and April, kicking off in Adelaide at the world famous Spiegeltent on Friday March 13.

Lifted from her solo album Rise Up, ‘Horses’ won second place in the 2008 International Songwriting Competition. The digital package will feature an exclusive bonus track, ‘High Like Heaven’ which was recorded ‘Live’ at Abby’s Spiegeltent show in Melbourne in November 2008.

‘Horses’ will also be accompanied by a stunning new video. Shot by acclaimed video director Bart Borghesi (Eskimo Joe, You Am I, The Living End, Something For Kate), the video was filmed on location at the Melbourne Museum.


Multi gold-selling artist, Abby Dobson is a highly regarded and popular singer and songwriter in the Australian music industry. With her band Leonardo’s Bride, she recorded the album Angel Blood, including the single Even When I’m Sleeping achieving gold sales for both album and single, which also won APRA's Song Of The Year 2000.

Abby Dobson formed the band Leonardo’s Bride with Dean Manning in 1992. in 1993 they funded and released their eponymous debut ep and, in 1994 they self funded their second ep, ‘Faith’, and signed a p&d deal with Polygram (now Universal).

They then signed a deal with Mushroom records, (now Festival Mushroom Records) and in 1997 released the lp, ‘angel blood’, achieving gold sales for both the album and the single, ‘Even When I'm Sleeping’, which also won the apra ‘Song of the year’ award. In 2000, they released their second album, ‘Open Sesame’ and decided to split indefinitely at the end of that year.

Abby has since collaborated with other musicians, including working with paul mac on his album ‘3000 feet high’, which went gold, releasing the single ‘gonna miss you’ and touring the country extensively.

She was also invited to contribute new songs for special television episodes of 'The Secret Life of Us' and the soundtrack albums. her songs, ‘i’m not missing you’ and ‘dont ask for more’, received widespread radio play.
abby is currently working on a solo album, and popping up around town with her spunky band.

"A mega watt powerful voice which conjures melancholy, romance and sex, seemingly out of the ether" – the independent, england.

"Abby Dobson’s curiously arousing sulk sinks into slow
release melodies like a body into a scented bath" – rolling stone.

"If you have never heard abby dobson, do something about it. This sublime singer with the rare, ethereal voice - somewhere between a little girl and a big smile - lights up the stage and steals the show." - Adelaide Advertiser