Goodnight Owl
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Goodnight Owl

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Band Alternative Pop

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Supporting The Lizard Wizard's on their first night of residency were Goodnight Owl, another independent local band who are phenomenal live. Led by charming vocalist Eddie Alexander, Goodnight Owl are an electronic-pop quintet who take their cues from Whitley and The Postal Service and sound like a mix of the intricate folk of Fleet Foxes and the soaring atmospherics of Sigur Ros. Their debut self-titled EP was recorded by Nick Huggins (Otouto, Seagull) in 2008 and released mid this year, and the band are preparing to head back into the studio in January to begin work on EP number two.


Their set was mostly comprised of new material, including the familiar "Ice Age" and new single "Red Wolf" and closed with the gorgeous "Stale Bread". I'm sad the band seem to have gotten over playing "Maps and Compasses" live, which is understandable but Christ I love that song. Goodnight Owl are one of those bands who are simply mesmerising live. There's no talk or banter between songs, but with them it's not necessary as their music is strong enough to hold its own and the atmosphere and the sound they create is something that needs to be experienced to be understood. I hope the new year brings them the recognition they deserve as one of the best up and coming independent artists in this country.
- Kathryn Mahina- hot men look hotter in skinny jeans (online blog)


Playing music best described as electro-pop, Goodnight Owl write literate and fragile songs that reflect the loneliness that Eddie Alexander felt after moving to Melbourne from Alice Springs. Along with Joe Walker on beats and electronics, Alexander crafts songs that bring to mind the Postal Service or early Clue to Kalo.

Opener ‘Maps and Compasses’ is by far the strongest track with the backing electronic beat moving at a quicker clip. While solid, the rest of the album doesn’t quite live up to its promise. ‘She Kept a Secret’ builds from acoustic guitar to more “folktronic” elements with handclaps, but doesn’t leave a particularly lasting impression. Alexander has a strong high voice that he utilises on closer ‘Stale Bread’, which has a slight José González feel to it.

Produced by Nick Huggins (Whitely, Seagull), this debut has a clean and clinical sound that contrasts Alexander’s organic and honest lyrics. But after coming out of the blocks strong with ‘Maps and Compasses’, the record stumbles a little and loses momentum.


http://www.messandnoise.com/releases/2000241 - Tim Scott


So, a while back I was contacted by Sabrina Robertson, who sent me an email saying, “Hey, I think you might dig these guys…”.

First off, I can’t tell you how many emails like these I get. I’m not even one of the “big guys” when it comes to music blogging, so I can only imagine how many emails they get… but this one had some personal touches that showed Sabrina had actually bothered to read more than just my “Want your band featured?” page, so when the CD she sent arrived, I popped it on for a listen.

And, thank god, she was right.


Melbourne band “Goodnight Owl” (aka Eddie Alexander, Joe Walker & Bella Walker) write some really great, classic pop/electronica tunes, in the vein of – say, for one example – Postal Service. And that’s high praise from me indeed, considering my love of Postal Service.

The band’s self-titled debut EP was recorded in November 2008, and is a study in contradictions; as I’ve heard Nick Huggins describe it, it’s “a curious mix of confidence and fragility”, and I couldn’t put it better myself.

The 5-song EP itself, for me at least, hints at great things to come for the band. While the album opens with undoubtedly the strongest track, “Maps & Compasses”, it never quite reaches those heights again, although both “She Kept a Secret” and, especially, “Verandah” are absolutely kickass pop tunes. All in all, I get the feeling the band is still growing and finding itself, and considering this is a debut EP, that’s of course only natural.


http://www.burgoblog.com/2009/11/27/goodnight-owl-maps-compasses-verandah/ - Burgo's Blog


My second post in a row on a folktronic artist – is it the latest trend for Australian bands? Who knows, but if you’re a folk artist then consider adding some beats and laptop kids should maybe sample an acoustic guitar? It could work.

Regardless of how questionably ubiquitous I claim this genre is becoming, Goodnight Owl would likely still stand out of the pack. Again, there is nothing terribly “out there” in terms of the combination of the analogue and digital elements and the songs sound roughly like Josh Pyke if he used an MPC instead of a drummer with brushes. The beats fizz along rapidly beneath subtle, oscillating synth sounds while the acoustic guitar/voice play out a solid although standard folk-pop tune, making neither element too far left of centre and generally accessible.

Perhaps a good point of reference is that Goodnight Owls share a producer (in Nick Huggins) with Whitley and Seagull. It exists in the same space of music that doesn’t necessarily challenge but has an endearingly sweet pop sensibility.

http://whothehell.net/archives/2718 - Who the bloody hell are they?


Friday night we checked out Goodnight Owl at the Wesley Anne in Northcote. Was a great little gig. Well…actually…it was pretty loud, intense, and chair dance inducing. More on that later though.

About a month or so ago I got sent an EP by Goodnight Owl. I posted one of their tracks, Maps & Compasses and a few people commented on how they liked it and how it kind of blew them away. It blew me away too. The whole EP did actually. Eddie (singer and guitar) has this knack of writing really nice pop songs. And then there’s those beats. The EP highlights the great skills of Joe Walker, electro whiz. The beats are simple, and they’re sophisticated (the time change in the groove on Maps & Compasses always gets me). Adding to this mix is Bella Walker (and presumably the sister of Joe) with some nice keys.

So that’s just the EP. Live, it’s almost like another thing altogether. It’s loud, it’s pumping. Although the crowd were fairly restrained, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them wanted to get up and move and dance and stuff. They fill the band out a bit live with the occasional use of a drummer for a few tracks.

Eddie’s also a pretty funny dude. Although, in some instances, it appears that the funnies comes across as unintentional, it adds to the gig a hell of a lot. There is nothing worse than a good artist/band who has no presence or can’t talk to the audience.

But yeah, onto the songs. If you read this blog a bit you may have noticed that I posted a track by a Sydney band called Seekae called Void. It’s that kind of glitchy popish haunting kinda music. It has that pushy synth sound and all that. Goodnight Owl do a cover of it which you can check out on their MySpace…and they opened the show with it. It was, to put it simply, fucking brilliant. It still had that big hip hop beat that Seekae seem to be massive fans of, but it was all kinda liveish and about 100 times more intense. Eddie has a floor tom out the front which he would belt, adding to this really loud and aggressive sound that they had. It was so good that it actually wore me out. I felt buggered after that first one.

The guys introduced a few non EP tracks throughout the night too and these were great. Sounded just live Goodnight Owl. Especially the final track they played which seemed to indicate more a band sound and less of the electro stuff.

There were some tracks from the EP though. Maps & Compasses was amazing. Sounded much bigger and harder than it does on record, especially the chorus. That was something I was a little hesitant about before the gig actually. The EP incorporates this folk-pop and glitchy electro so well on record, I was a little unsure about how they would pull it off live. But they do. They make it big and it works.

Other highlights that came from the EP were Stale Bread and Verandah. For those that know Stale Bread, it’s definitely not one of the more uptempo tracks on the EP. And live, they stayed true to this…but only for the first half of the track. Halfway through saw the inclusion of drums and some electroness to help create a massive big triumphant finish. Verandah is also another fave of mine. It is such a nice song, the lyrics make me think of home and everything that’s constant when everything else is going a little crazy. (wow…just got a little bit wanky and d&m there for a minute…haha…it is a really sweet song though. You know…makes you think and stuff). Anyway, live, Verandah sounded so sweet and just pushed along and made you feel happy.

One thing I remember thinking throughout the gig was “where the hell is the album??” A full length would be bloody impressive and if you see the guys live or you’ve heard the EP, I’m sure you’d agree.

Although their slot was a little short (there was an 11pm noise curfew in place – residential area and all that crap), they put on a great set. It was brilliant actually. The supports were also pretty nice (Ashley Bee did some great guitar pop and Nick Huggins and a dude going by the name of Seagull provided a heap of electro glitch experimental pop kinda stuff).

http://meandallmyfriends.wordpress.com/2009/12/20/goodnight-owl-live-at-the-wesley-anne/ - Me, And All My Friends


Listening to a newly discovered song over and over and over, for a ridiculous number of times, is rather an irrational and overly obsessive thing to do. You secretly don’t want anyone to know that the instant this said tune just finished in your earphones you’re fiddling with your ipod to restart it. Still, let’s be honest, we ALL do it don’t we. One thing for sure is that it’s very rare and it takes a blindingly good song to cause such an abandon of your usual sensible self-control. Well we are openly admitting it, Maps & Compasses, by this Australian three piece, was so stuck on repeat the ipod ran out of battery. Soon enough yours will too. Welcome to the uncomfortably secret world of Goodnight Owl. They are fronted by the magical acoustics of Eddie Alexander, originally from Alice Springs, but now of Melbourne. He creates the kind of strong song-smithery that Bright Eyes used to churn out, with plenty of delicate string-plucking and wonderfully imaginative lyrics. On their own they would be a masterful set of crafted folk songs, but it’s when Eddie pairs up with the electronics produced on the laptop of Joe Walker that the full effect of it’s addiction takes over. These beats and samples never drown the authenticity of Eddie’s guitar, rather they compliment it with fragile rhythms and samples that take the songs to an original level. We guess that we should apologise if this tune makes your commute to work have one solitary soundtrack for the next few days. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. (MB)

http://therecommender.net/2009/11/23/the-recommender-number-63/ - The Recommender


Quick, before you realize that another band with Owl in the name could draw comparisons to The Postal Service, close your eyes and let this one wash over you. Australia’s Goodnight Owl are nailing this infectious stutter-bloop jams pretty well. “Maps And Compasses” is their most addictive, but “She Kept A Secret” and “Verandah” show that these guys didn’t just stumble upon the magic. This just feels like romance music. Put this on a X-Mas mix for your lady and you’ll up your holiday “gift giving” quota for sure. Their self-titled EP is available now from iTunes and other outlets so track that down and extend the loving a few minutes…

http://www.theburningear.com/2009/12/goodnight-owl-seem-to-have-used-both-maps-and-compasses-to-get-to-my-heart/ - The Burning Ear


On a Wednesday night what is more of a comfort than a free gig and amazing array of talented Indie folk Rock bands.
First up was Broken Flight with the vocals having a slight similarity to Ben Folds and elements of Jeff Buckley’s influence. With the audience totally content with this one man show of an acoustic guitar and a harmonica – it surprised and thrilled them when the band just grew each and every song with people playing the Cello, Violin, Percussion, Drums, Keys and even the French horn. Their sound was unique and extremely beautiful; you could compare this harrowing sound to the likes of The Frames and The Swell Season. The lyrics were sad and pulled at the heart strings; it was so captivating you just wanted to hear more. This collective mixed it up a little by playing amazing instrumentals and flowing from song to song in such a fluid manner. This music sent the audience into another realm.

Seagull opened with their popular tune, dust storm, absolutely capturing the packed audience, showing similarities in the vocals to Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. These guys showcased some of their new work which radiated with great energy and depth, which intrigued and captivated the audience. Their songs hitting home, as they portrayed the world and city around us in which we live in some of the most raw and beautiful descriptive lyrics. Seagull has a debut album out under the Two Bright Lakes record label.
Two Bright Lakes record company is producing a series bands at present which are all so very unique and individual but also you see the band members cross over and are in a series of different bands which aren’t necessarily producing the same type of music, it really shows how diverse and talented these musicians are.

So the headliners for the night were Goodnight Owl a collective of four, who like the audience were quiet thrown and confused with the homeless man coming and dancing at the front while the audience all sat down around him. Worrisome looks crossed everyone’s faces even the Audio guys. But before too long and an owl upon the keyboard they began to play this lovely floaty sound that captivated and enthralled the whole audience. With a very different tone to the acts before, they the use of a lot of pre-recorded samples and with some of the most beautiful and raw vocals. They were very chilled out; they were showcasing a lot of very unique sounds, showing they have been influenced by the likes of Fleet Foxes and James Yuill. Their lyrics were simple and full of raw descriptive beauty, similar style to lyrics of Paul Kelly and The Middle East. These guys are underrated; they should be playing more shows and getting more of their music out there. Goodnight Owl are one of the most beautiful showcases of young Melbourne talent seen in a long time. Goodnight Owl has an EP out, which was produced by Nick Huggins who has worked with Otouto, Kid Sam and Seagull in the past.

Amy Jane Plant 2010©
http://iftigerscouldmeasure.blogspot.com/2010/02/bar-open-goodnight-owl-seagull-and.html - An Out Let


So here’s some more pop folk goodness that has some vague association with Two Bright Lakes. This time is different though. Goodnight Owl are more akin to the Postal Service than Seagull or Otouto. Melding acoustic guitars with subdued electronic goodness to create their own unique brand of Australiana. Although their debut EP was produced by Melbourne’s go to guy, Two Bright Lake’s Nick Huggins.

There’s a vulnerability to Eddie Alexander’s song writing that’s rare in Australian music. A quiver in his voice as if he barely manages to mutter his melancholy lyrics at this but at times confident enough to conquer choruses with great hooks. Beats provided by partner in crime Joe Walker, blend perfectly with the finger picked guitar folk songs. “Maps and Compasses” is a stunning pop song that rides a complex beat while sticking some nice falsetto parts in the chorus. These guys. These guys should be on your radio already.

http://njvendetta.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/goodnight-owl/ - Nick - Njvendetta


Discography

Self titled debut 5 track EP (2009)

Tracks available to stream at www.myspace.com/goodnightowl

Tracklisting
1. Maps & Compasses
2. Coles Bay
3. She Kept A Secret
4. Verandah
5. Stale Bread

‘Maps & Compasses’ and ‘She Kept A Secret’ have received airplay on radio stations such as Triple J, Triple R and ABC Rural as well community stations Radio Adelaide, 2SER and PBS FM.

Photos

Bio

With a successful EP launch behind them and having gained both Triple J TV and Triple J airplay, as well as having an extensive presence throughout online blogs in, the remainder of 2009 saw the band play a selection of gigs and begin establishing a strong fanbase. Goodnight Owl then began to grow out of their folktronic elements to become a 6-piece band more akin to bands such as Band Of Horses, Arcade Fire, and Sigur Ros.

2010 included supporting bands such as Skipping Girl Vinegar, Kid Sam, Ernest Ellis, Andy Bull, a sold-out video launch for their single 'Maps and Compasses' and the release of new single 'Red Wolf'.

Goodnight Owl supported Guineafowl in early 2011, and spent early April recording new material that truly represents their talent as a live band. Their debut mini LP is due in October this year, with it's first single 'Little Kid' out in July.