Damien Binder
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Damien Binder

| Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

| SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter

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WEEKEND NEW ZEALAND HERALD (13.09.2003)

By RUSSELL BAILLIE (Herald rating: * * * *)

The usual path for the Kiwi bloke singer-songwriter is to have the legacy of a band or three behind him before striking out under his own name.

Even Greg Johnson was once a "Set". Aucklander Damien Binder, whose voice isn't unlike Johnson's, and is here on his second solo album after his impressive self-titled 2000 debut, did his mid-90s time in the group Second Child, which didn't really dent the national pop conscience.

But here Binder again proves that the personal approach agrees with him and his songs, on an album which ranges from toe-tapping pop- and country-rock to moody, heartfelt ballads.

If there's a drawback it's that the music sounds too even-tempered, and Binder's voice can sound like he is again fronting a band rather than being the natural centre of attention.

However, if the production isn't calling attention to itself, the songs soon shine through. Among the brightest are the optimistic opener Til Now, the rueful heart-on-sleeve Anytime, the Crowded House-ish A Day's Grace, the country-hearted More Than You Could Know (helped by Dianne Swann's sweet harmonies) and the equally dreamy pair of Take Me and the closing Passing Through.

It may lack that one standout track that might win him an extra spotlight, but that doesn't stop Binder's second being an album as convincing as its predecessor in its honest emotions and intelligent songcraft.
Label: Muse

> www.nzherald.co.nz

- NZ Herald




"The Sampler " - Radio NZ

12.30 AM Saturday 6 September 2003. Transcript of broadcast.

There's something symbolic about the musician who rises from the ranks of a rock band to flourish as a solo artist. It's like a rite of passage in the adolescence of rock 'n' roll to the maturity of the songer-songwriter. And "maturity" is certainly a word that springs to mind listening to the new album from this ex-rock 'n' roller.

His name is Damien Binder and you might have come across him fronting the Auckland guitar band, Second Child, back in the late 90's. They were loud, yet melodic, but on his own he's let the volume drop and the melodies come to the fore.

[Anytime] is typical of Binder's new album, his second, which is called 'Til Now'; a rich weave of acoustic and electric guitar behind a voice that sounds vulnerable, yet has a strong confident core. [Take Me] reminds me a little of another rock 'n'roller gone solo; American singer-songwriter Paul Westerberg.

If American roots rockers clearly has their effect on Damien Binder, there is also a hint of the English art songwriter about him, and there are moments such as [A Day's Grace] where he almost morphs into Elvis Costello.

'Til Now' was made with a small core of musicians, just Binder and his co-writer Bob Shepheard, who handle all the guitars, along with drummer producer Steve Garden. But for one song [More Than You Could Know] Binder is joined by another voice, but it's one you might just recognise.

That's Dianne Swann, of When The Cat's Away and The Julie Dolphin blending her breathy tones with Binder's on one of the album's strong ballads. So, what are Damien Binder's songs about? Mostly it's the stock singer-songwriter subject, "the rocky road to love". The words can be a bit vague, but the're carried along on strong tunes and blazing chord progressions.

There's a lot of adolescent rock being made in this country at the moment and a ton of bedsit electronica, but singer-songwriter albums of the standard of Damien Binder's 'Til Now' are few and far between.

Presenter: Nick Bollinger

> www.radionz.co.nz

- Radio NZ




NZ MUSICIAN Vol 11 No.2 Oct/Noc 2003© NZ Musician magazine

The August/Sept NZM promised it, and here it is, the second album from Auckland singer/songwriter Damien Binder. The 10 well crafted songs generally tackle the theme of relational issues, but with a few twists in the otherwise familiar thematic road.

Production is aided by bob Shepheard and Steve Garden, who also repectively provide their bass and drm skills, among other talents. The collaboration is one of those production tem-ups that consistently produce good stuff, and thisoffering is certainly no exception. The nicely uncluttered arrangements see Binder's very capable guitar augmented by that of Chris Van de Geer, who also handled mix duties.

I sometimes feel that an album that grabs me too quickly is also one I'll get bored with quickly. Til Now took a wee while to warm to, which for me means it's got depth and duarbility that will protect it from coffee-coaster status. This album may well herald Damien Binder as a name and sound we might be hearing more of on the airwaves - not at all a bad thing.

Tim Page

> www.nzmusician.co.nz

- NZ Musician




NZ LISTENER October 25-31, 2003 (dual review)

In many ways Damien Binder tills the same turf as [Dean] Chandler; another ex-band man with a bunch of true-life confessions, a sensitive strummer searching for a home in a digital world.

Til Now is the second disc he's made since he broke up his band, Auckland rockers Second Child, to focus on songs and singing.

In contrast to [Brady] Blade's expansive palette, Binder's production team - Aucklanders Steve Garden and Bob Shepheard - keep things crisp and economical. Tasteful splashes of Hammond organ augment their drums and bass and Binder and Shepheard's well-woven electric and acoustic guitars. At times their root-pop resembles a less raggedy Paul Westerberg, or early Crowded House.

Like Chandler's, Binder's lyrics might be the difference between good and great pop. You hear cliches such as "up against a brick wall" or "keeping you at arm's length" and hope to find them twisted and transformed - something Dave Dobbyn is excellent at doing. Yet too often Binder is content to let them be.

Still, he has some heart-melting melodies and an achingly melodic voice. And if Til Now doesn't sustain the maturity it's best moments hint at, it stands up alongside Dean Chandler as a confident example of the kind of grown-up pop record this country could use more of.

Nick Bollinger

> www.nzlistener.co.nz

- www.nzlistener.co.nz


Discography

Solo albums released:

2001 Damien Binder (debut self-titled)
2004 Til Now
Soon to be released:
2009 While The Wind's At Your Back

Songs from first two albums on high rotate long running NZ drama "Shortland Street" 2001 til present day.
Albums "Damien Binder" and"Til Now" available for purchase online through itunes
and www.amplifier.co.nz

Photos

Bio


Damien Binder "While The Wind's At Your Back"

"While The Wind's At Your Back" is the third new album from accomplished singer/songwriter Damien Binder. Based in Sydney since 2004, Damien took time out briefly before spending the last two years recording and meticulously fine-tuning his long-awaited new album – a combination of brooding rock, sparkling brit-pop and wistful alt-country melancholy.

Reflecting a deeper maturity and thoughtfulness since Damien’s last album (“Til Now”), "While The Wind's At Your Back" explores memory, loss and hope. While dark at times, it also reflects a gentle and optimistic spirit infused with wry humour. The chiming melodic guitars, combined with honest and poetic lyrics, makes for a soul stirring collection of tunes full of drama.

Damien collaborated with his long-time producer Bob Shepheard to produce the new album, which he now jokingly refers to as an "Apocalypse Now" production ordeal. His original band split up on the eve of the album recording, followed by producer Bob Shepheard falling very ill for a long time. However, the experience – while anxious and bewildering – led Damien to write some of his most powerful and emotive songs yet.

At its core, “While the Wind’s at your Back” embodies the notion of taking a leap of faith…

Visit www.damienbinder.com or www.myspace.com/damienbindermusic to listen to tracks from the new album.

About Damien Binder

Sydney based singer-songwriter Damien Binder has been writing and recording his original style of moody alt-rock for the last ten years. Since his self-titled debut album in October 2000, Damien has gone on to perform both nationally and internationally while also supporting some of the world’s leading acts. He has played at the SxSW festival in Austin Texas, World Series showcase in Auckland and supported the likes of David Gray, Marianne Faithfull and Ani Di Franco. His music has also been featured on numerous album compilations, including Sounds Like Cafe Vol. 17 in Australia.

In 2003 Damien was one of five finalists in the prestigious New Zealand APRA Silver Scroll Award for Songwriting, and was also short-listed for the 2006 International Song Writing Competition.

With his soul-searching heart on sleeve rock, Damien’s music has been likened to such artists as Crowded House, Ryan Adams, Evan Dando, and Pete Yorn. Reviewers have often described Damien’s songs as intelligent songcraft, exquisite and honest with a “rich weave of acoustic and electric guitars.”

Prior to pursuing his solo musical career, Damien fronted New Zealand rock band Second Child for five years which shot to local fame with their debut album “Slinky”. The band also played many esteemed support slots for acts such as The Jesus and Mary Chain, Hunters and Collectors and, most famously, Nirvana on their only NZ tour.

Discography:
• 2009: While The Wind’s At Your Back
• 2004: Till Now
• 2000: Damien Binder, self titled debut album.

Past Album Reviews

"A rich weave of acoustic and electric guitars behind a voice that sounds vulnerable, yet has a strong confident core... carried along on strong tunes and blazing chord progressions. Singer songwriter albums of the standard of Damien Binder's "Til Now" are few and far between." Nick Bollinger - The Sampler

"An album as convincing as its predecessor in it’s honest emotions and intelligent songcraft." Russell Baillie, NZ Herald.

“Binder writes personal, introspective songs on love, life and longing. His expressive voice is complimented by a low-profile production [and he] lets his exquisite songs take centre stage.” Marty Duda, City Mix.