Heath Cullen & The 45
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Heath Cullen & The 45


Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter


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"Times2 Magazine"

“...(Heath Cullen) may be best known as a guitarist of note for singers such as Lucie Thorne, (but) for those who have missed him with his excellent band, this album may come as a pleasant surprise. A storm was coming but i didn’t feel nothing is a remarkably assured debut, distinguished by Cullen’s feeling for space, texture and melody. The music, with its roots in blues, folk, country and late Sixties rock’n’roll, is played with an all-too-rare warmth and sensitivity. These are songs in no hurry to unfold, seemingly suspending time in their best moments. Gently fingerpicked, broken-hearted laments such as Kathleen and Woke With the Birds are standouts, effortlessly conjuring small-town claustrophobia and regret. Cullen’s voice, sounding somehow young and old at the same time, is a wonderfully effective instrument, especially his falsetto for the simmering tension of Bad Weather. The beautiful Here Above the Dirt, about a man about to face his final moment, unfolds with the grace and depth of a performer twice Cullen’s age...”
- David Curry, Times2 Magazine, April 2010 - David Curry

"Alternative Media Group"

“This album has a very apt title – and that’s not to say that one’s expectations are not lived up to, more that the songs on Heath Cullen’s latest album have a storm brewing underneath, but the emotional effects are never over-explored ... not devoid of its direct country song references, broken hearts, lots of imagery of water and drowning... And the band Cullen has assembled do his songs terrific justice – particularly the hauntingly spare Woke With The Birds and the very Gold-era Ryan Adams Break My Heart. He’s not bad with a heart-breaker actually, Kathleen is a snowy and wistful traveller, pitter-patter piano and subtly shimmering guitars dictating Cullen’s lonesome journey.. (And) the sound of everything is fantastic – a tapey saturation compliments the band’s performance and Cullen’s spoony, Fred Neil-esq baritone...”
- Aidan Roberts, Alternative Media Group - Aidan Roberts


“When you’re used to the deep moving chronicles that partner indie-folk, the raw attention of psychedelic rock or the purely stiff vibrations of the electro-nightmare we now live in, it’s difficult to become invested in the lo-fi sounds that stream from this album, let alone begin to understand the sheer genius and amount of labour it takes to make songs sound (this) simple, clean and settled... there is a somewhat haunting feeling that comes from this album, and maybe even Cullen’s baritone...the clever musicality of Cullen’s songs somehow playfully mock(ing) the lyrics in his love-torn ballads..”
- Brittany Waller, Musicfeeds.com.au
- Brittany Waller

"The AU Review"

“Heath Cullen and The 45 sound like the country sound (has been) passed along and expanded, with roaring organs and louder-than-hell drums.. dark blues that took me right back to the days of Bonnie Prince Billy’s “I See A Darkness”... there was no doubt they were veterans of the local alt-country scene, if ever there was one..”
-Nathan Roche, The AU Review - Nathan Roche

"Heath Cullen"

“Featuring 10 atmospheric songs of love and loss, the album is a study in space, texture and melodic beauty..” - The Canberra Times
- The Canberra Times

"A Storm Was Coming But I Didn't Feel Nothing"

Heath Cullen is a name that's certainly not new to the scene. His guitar work has been around for the past decade, and appeared on numerous independent records, including on Jackie Marshall's latest outing "Ladies' Luck". With the aide of his own band The 45, Heath Cullen branches out and carves his own unique territory with a strong debut album in "A Storm Was Coming But I Didn't Feel Nothing".
Though rooted to some extent in alt-country, folk and rock, the album is adventurous, not afraid to dabble in whatever style evokes the required mood. A seasoned career as a backing musician has allowed Cullen to achieve this sort of mishmash of sounds with the confidence and restraint it requires. There are easy comparisons to the approach of an Andrew Bird or the vocals of Beck (Sea Change era) in the album, and Cullen has tied this sort of low-key approach together with a strong instrumental backing. Musically, "A Storm Was Coming..." is a rich affair. The arrangements are given room to breath and settle into the stunning tapestry in a way that means the flourishes of several guitars -- and often several leads -- are interwoven without clashing. The duelling lead guitars on the short and sharp Break My Heart is a defining moment in the album's instrumentation, and with this southern rock flair laid over the top of a 60s-era rock rhythm complete with liberal use of the Hammond organ is a recurring theme throughout the album.
The album paces itself, taking its time in a way that allows seemingly incongruous songs to slide in perfectly alongside one another. From Your Love Is The Sea to Tryin' To Stay Afloat, nautical theme aside, these two tracks couldn't share less in common. One a distant love song, the other a lurching shanty from a dilapidated seaside carnival. Yet allowed to each settle in for a sojourner that means when one ends and the other begins, they speak for themselves, not each other. It's with this approach that a the pure ragtime instrumental Shepherd's Pie finds a home on the album and even acts as a surprisingly fitting segue into the upbeat pop rock of Kitchen Song.
The imagery in the lyrics completes "A Storm Was Coming...", ranging from love-torn ballads ("Go on, break my heart, but don't take your time" - Break My Heart) to the wistful and nostalgic (Fullerton's Bridge) to pleasant minutia ("I love to sit together in the dark, singin' them ol' John Prine songs, singin' Guy Clark" - Kitchen Song).
There are moments throughout that appear to evoke the songwriting of Tom Waits; such lines as "Never ask the barber if you need a haircut / Never grab a snake by the tail" (Tryin' To Stay Afloat) flow like snippets of Waitsian wisdom, and the closing track Here Above The Dirt feels like an homage of sorts, with subtle references to several songs, artfully propagated and twisted into one new and original creation, in a manner that'd make latter day Dylan proud.
"A Storm Was Coming But I Didn't Feel Nothing" is a truly solid debut from a talented songwriter with an equally talented group of musicians backing him. Heath Cullen and The 45 have set the bar very high with a debut release that perfectly balances the fine line between cohesive and eclectic. - Richard Wilson, Soulshine

"Heath Cullen, Rhythms Magazine"

“You’d be hard pushed to find six such talented folk in a city the size of Melbourne, let alone such a tiny village. And it might just be my romantic imagination, but i fancy i can hear the slow-paced isolation breathing through Cullen’s music - the recordings always seem intimate, whether they’re barely whispered acoustic songs or sweeping rock odes.”
-Martin Jones, Rhythms Magazine
- By Martin Jones


A Storm Was Coming But I Didn't Feel Nothing, 2010



Nestled in the farming foothills of the majestic South East Forests National Park on a dusty road mimicking a transient creek: here, in an old dairy shed mobbed by sheep, dairy cows, geese, chooks, wallabies, wombats, echidnae and the odd stray border collie, you will find a group of friends gathering often enough to make music, drink tea, beer, play cards, backgammon, cook meals together and luckily enough for all of us, hit the ‘Record’ button once in a while.

Nurtured since birth by the sounds of the singular local Radio station, playing everything from Bert Jansch to KISS, this amicable bunch have been playing together since they were old enough to oppose digits, and it shows. Fittingly, The band’s performances have been described as “reckless, commanding and seemingly effortless”. Heath Cullen & The 45’s debut record shows a remarkably mature unity; songs are serviced as sensitively as you would expect a fine old blues ensemble to do. Cullen writes tales of small town tragedy and dark-end-of-the-street love affairs with a personal passion inseparable from insights gleaned from the worlds he has visited through the wireless. “I wanted to make a record that sounds like a record, if you know what I mean… something that catches the band in it’s natural habitat… a record of a time and a place.”

After three years in the studio, Cullen’s masterful debut album A Storm Was Coming But I Didn't Feel Nothing, recorded with The 45, emerged to immediate critical praise, with commentators likening the Cullen vision to greats like McCarthy, Smith, Waits and Van Zandt.

This landmark recording has won critical spots on various Best of 2010 album lists including Radio National's Daily Planet and Rhythms Magazine monthly.

The salty visions and conversations of A Storm Was Coming are more than a reflection of Cullen’s sharp eye and poetic contemplation: his songs reflect a weary wisdom that seems impossible for his years. It’s like something that came out of Big Pink. Young men singing like old men.

Stir in a genuinely inventive guitar style reflective of everyone from Neil Young to Tom Verlaine, and you’re on a journey around the damp backblocks and dusty hollows of the soul of modern Australia: honest, telling glimpses of the unglamorous everyday that has somehow slipped off the nation’s radar.

Also well known for his guitar work with Lucie Thorne and Jackie Marshall, Heath has recently been working with Tim Freedman of The Whitlams in his new band The Idle, as well as playing the support for these shows, which will be touring the country until the end of 2011.

Heath will be recording his next album in Los Angeles mid-2012.