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"Laneway album review - Turn Your Love Up"

3 years between releases is a long time in the music world. These days If artists step out of the lime light for more than 2 weeks they are seemingly forgotten. Pressure mounts to keep churning out records, often resulting in forcing art rather than nurturing it. For Laneway's pioneers Paul Hannan and Louise O'Reilly, the past 3 years have been spent patiently crafting their new record Turn You Love Up. The result is a stunning 10 track album brimming with the duo's haunting yet gritty alt/country sound.
?From the ballad turn 3/4 rocking opener Love Is A Devil to the dreamy closer I Saw, Laneway have built on the song writing strengths showcased in their previous release. The band has added colour through an array of instruments and clever arrangements. The Turbine solidifies this, drifting away from the standard time signature. The song combines an outro of harmonies, slide guitar and harmonica married with acoustic guitar, drums and bass, creating a beautifully sequenced track. The guitanjo (banjo style guitar) is given its debut in the ditty Simple Life, breaking up the album with its diverseness and quirkiness.
?Louise's strong yet delicate vocal is the driving force of the songs, but it is when she duets with Paul that Laneway's uniqueness comes to fruition. Waiting For An Avalanche is a great example: the pair blending their vocals perfectly with Paul providing the low grittiness underneath Louise's soft airy voice. A good portion of the album replicates this vocal depth when duo-ing while generating space when Louise soloes. The vocals are thoughtfully written for the benefit of each individual track.
?The title of the record stabs mercifully at the love theme, but the lyrics tell a different story and delve deeper into the emotion. The juxtaposition of the single Love Is A Devil supports the thoughts tendered in Fading Away "We are fading away to nothing," and in The Past Is Furious "I still got bones in my pocket from pre-history." Mine Eye reiterates the pain with "Mine is a heart longs to stray, mine are the feet always stay," and thoughts of desperation come to mind in Listen Up: "Something inside of me died and I don't know why."
?The album pick for me is the indelible Mine Eye. The intro of organ, acoustic guitar and Louise's floating vocal, builds into a dirty yet absorbing rock song. The culmination of washy drums, warm double bass, and electric guitar take the song to its peak, before Louise reclaims the reigns and concludes the song with a halo of soft "oooohs".
?In short this is an extremely impressive record, tastefully splashed with lead guitar licks and acoustic guitars rounded off by a solid backing band and endearing vocals. It's no surprise that Turn Up Your Love won Laneway the Grant McLennan Memorial Fellowship, which will see the band jet off to spend some time writing and performing in Berlin early next year.
?Turn Up Your Love is out now.
- Australian Music Network

"Live Review - Laneway @ Fitzroy Workers Club 16 September 2012"

Along their recent national tour, Laneway dropped by the Fitzroy Workers Club for a gig and as soon as the band started playing the venue filled with eager listeners.
Louise and Paul's balanced vocals open the set and instantly you could see the musicianship amongst the group. Paul's guitar licks called to Louise's tones and the outcome was perfectly formed ballads.
As the set went on it progressed to big country pop, which bellowed as whispered vocals enticed over the rise and fall of the songs. The acoustics in the room were really pushed by the bands performance and this resulted in a full dynamic sound.
Louise and Paul dipped and swayed with their guitars as they sung, the bands bassist walked through grooves with ease and the group’s drummer was tight and kept the beats stylish.
I just loved the feeling Laneway created on the day, it was like a private party in a back yard shed and each song had me awaiting the next, it was very well programmed. The spacious instrumentation played by the band, paired with the whimsical tales was an apt soundtrack for one of Melbourne’s well-known overcast days. What a perfect Sunday! - Scott Gollan

"Album Review ‘Laneway - Turn Your Love Up’"

Ahhh Laneway, one of the most standout pop / country bands in Australia. Big call I know, but I think that after you listen to Turn Your Love Up you’ll too agree as it’s such an elegant album!!

Opening song Love is a Devil is the kind of track that could easily fit into a David Lynch film. The word play is exceptional and with lines like ‘Getting to know you was quite a battle, Trying to loose you is another matter’ and ‘Getting over you was quite a battle, Taking you back is another matter’ Laneway show you that they can’t put a pen stroke wrong when it comes to their songwriting!

With a slight tempo shift comes Bleeding Heart which has all the sweetness of a 50's ballad and lyrically it talks of love feelings that have gone astray.

Now for one of the most beautiful songs I’ve heard all year, Fading Away. This song’s music progression is divine, it pierces the soul and does a great job of gently easing the listener into Mine Eye where Louise’s lead vocals and Paul’s subtle tones create a delicate flow that makes you follow the story right to the end.

Simple Life brings a jump up country flavour to the album that’s complete with a little bit of guitar/banjo and follow that with The Past Is Furious and you have further swaying tracks that add to the classy country vibe that we hear throughout.

The end of the album takes it back to the start as far as programming. The songs slowly shift down tempo with Listen Up and I Saw which finish the wonderful journey that the band have taken you on.

The imagery that you get from Paul and Louise’s story telling is breathtaking and all the players on the album including Paul and Louise have such a maturity with their instrumentation that the result is faultless.

Turn Your Love Up will have you singing along, it will make you reflect and you also may shed a tear or two.
- Little Boom Music


- Laneway are a pair of Melburnians who had a little too much dust on their boots for that big smoke. A few years ago Louise O'Reilly and Paul Hannan upped stakes and headed for the comparative serenity of Natural Bridge on Queensland's Gold Coast. They kicked back, pulled out a guitar, harmonica maybe some drums, too, and laid on some sorrowful country tunes. It's been about two years since that bittersweet sound started drifting our way, in the form of their first album If You Don't Need It Let It Go. Second album, Turn Your Love Up, might sound, just as a title, a little less forlorn than before, but there's still plenty of country's gothic emptiness here to swallow up your soul. You may have already heard the first single off this new album, The Turbine, it appeared a year ago. To read the lyrics it seems like a tribute to country ingenuity and, as Laneway said themselves, an ode to green power. "Rain will fall and the creek will flow / Water will make the turbine go." This is no upbeat, inspirational John Williamson ballad, though. In the hands of Laneway, Turbine is melancholy in the extreme, and no wonder, they wrote and recorded it as the rains washed the country and it's people away in the devestating floods at the beginning of 2011. The combination of those lyrics and the sorrowful music makes it seem like there's some sadness lurking, so painful that it can't be spoken, which is a curious effect, but one of undeniable power. The album's second single, Love Is A Devil, turned up a month ago and ... I believe that Laneway have now showcased all the most depressing moments of their repertoire; maybe they just want us to buy more drinks at the bar? The song is a sparse litany on the broken-ness of love, so cast down that is almost sapped of the will to live, until, in a final, fiendish surge it whips up a hair-raising waltz, spinning like some kind of possessed carnival merrygoround. In serious need of a pick-me-up, I was very glad to hear the song Bleeding Heart, which, though the love about which it sings is hardly the kind you'd find in church, is nonetheless full of warmth and matched to a retro-pop melody that is genuinely uplifting. Laneway are quite capable of cracking a smile: take, despite it's title, the positively upbeat country-pop (it even has a synthesiser) of Waiting For An Avalanche. Whichever way they go, Laneway can infuse their songcraft with genuine beauty. O'Reilly's pure and gentle vocal for Mine Eye tugs at the heartstrings till it becomes almost unbearable. Quite a large credit must also go to whichever it was of the handful of producers that worked on the album got their hands on this one. With a warm echo that has the sound nearly fading into indistinctness, it still manages to find the perfect amount of clarity. I feel I should just list all of those guys: Matt Redlich, Jordan Power, Fingers Malone and Steve Fraser; you're none of you bad, but one of you has done his-self proud, here. Laneway really surprised me on the back half of this record, they just keep changing the pace and doing a good job of it. There's the rough, trad-country twang of Simple Life, the simple pedal-steel and perfect Carpenters-style heartbreak of Listen Up; so much to like here! Laneway were narrowly pipped for the Grant Mclennan Fellowship a while back and I remember now why I felt so aggrieved about it at the time. When Laneway drift in on a breath of country air, dusty and bittersweet, no matter how sad it might seem, it is a herald of good times to come.

- Chris Cobcroft.

PS Here I thought I kept my ear to the ground! Louise mailed me shortly after hearing this review to let me know Laneway won the Grant Mclennan this year (a couple of weeks ago, I think). They'll be taking the proceeds and heading to Berlin, the, um, home of country music (?) Congrats ;)
- Chris Cobcroft - 4ZZZ Music Coordinator

"New to The Scene"

It started with a guitar, a little waltz like beat and the words “…getting to know you was quite a battle, trying to lose you is another matter, love is a devil…and the devil wants more” and I knew I was hooked. There's something I just love about falling in love with a song, not knowing who it's by and conducting an intense search to find its owner, creator/s and performer/s. It's a sense of intense emotion, the feeling of needing to know immediately so the moment isn't lost and the love doesn't fade. Luckily, I didn't have to search far to find the owners of the delicious little song ‘Love Is A Devil’, and what I found was a cute little duo called Laneway.

Think a little bit country, a little bit indie pop, a little bit folksy; Paul Hannan and Louise O'Reilly have been making sweet music together since releasing their first album 'If You Don't Need It Let It Go' three years ago. That was a beautiful eclectic collection of acoustic guitars, drums and sweet gently swinging melodies but it was only a taste of what this duo had to offer. Their latest release, ‘Turn Your Love Up’ is ten songs of absolute loveliness, a journey of heartbreak and observations of love, life and a little fun thrown in as well. The track I first heard, ‘Love Is A Devil’ is just perfect, ‘Fading Away’ is a swinging indie pop gem and if you don’t feel the need to tap your toes at ‘Simple Life’ you may possibly need to check your heartbeat (still alive, yes?).

This isn’t the type of music or album that is going to grab you by the neck and force you to listen, love it for a while and then replace it next month. What this album does is much more sinister and fabulous than that. It will seep into your system slowly; a little gentle reminder of how amazing it is as each song unfolds. You’ll hear the heartbreaking lyrics every now and then; “If you’re feeling sorrow, please don’t catch my eye, instead let’s turn our heads and pass each other by….I’ll never see you again, but I saw right into you just then”, you’ll find yourself stopping and listening, getting lost in the moment, somewhere far away from wherever you are, you’ll feel uncomfortably comfortable and warm and then when it’s over you’ll put it on again and again until you know it back to front but can’t quite work out how. ‘Turn Your Love Up’ is beautiful, sweet, simple and such a pleasure to listen to.

Thankfully I’m not alone in my love for Laneway, as earlier this month they won the coveted Grant McLennan Fellowship which gives them the opportunity to travel to Berlin to write and record some more and let Europe experience some of their talent. Before they go, they’ll be embarking on a national tour through September and October. Until then, you need to support amazing independent artists and go to their website, buy their album or download a digital copy and visit their bandcamp, facebook, twitter, youtube; you know, all the usual pages so you can seem like a cool kid that liked them before the rest of the world does. I did. Go on, you know you want to. - My Kind of Scene - Jo Michelmore

"Single Of The Week - The Turbine"

Ex-Melbournites Louise O’Reilly and Paul Hannan (now south east Queenlanders) wrote and recorded this stunning alt-country lament during the flooding January rains. With ghostly slide guitars and a quiet, slapping rhythm behind them, they build a powerful image of the natural world; the howling wind and the river pushing through the turbines, churning power for the people in the valley below. Gorgeous, mytho-poetic songwriting. - Beat Mag

"New Music: Laneway"

Not the Australian indie music festival, but a folk duo from Natural Bridge, Queensland via Melbourne. Paul Hannan and Louise O'Reilly released their debut album If You Don't Need It Let It Go in 2010, and I came across it earlier this year when writing a review of it. For some reason, their record stood out in the list of albums available for review - perhaps it was something to do with poetic title.
On If You Don't Need It Let It Go, Hannan and O'Reilly's voices melt perfectly together; combined with jangly electric and acoustic guitar, the album creates an overall dreamy sound. Having recently caught a Laneway performance, I can say that their music translates perfectly to the live stage.
If You Don't Need It Let It Go has a very seamless feel to it; all of the songs are different enough to hold my interest for the duration of the album, but similar enough to create a very cohesive sound. It's an album I can easily listen to several times in a row. - Tangerine Photography

"John Beesley"

Paul Kelly writing songs for Mazzy Star - Former manager The Alley Bar & Lantanaland Blog

"Maddy Mac"

The opening track, Woody Allen’s Nephew, sets down the rocking folk mood, topped with such fine harmonies. Can’t wait for the follow up! - PBS Radio - Homebrew

"Mary-Lou Stevens"

Exquisite and haunting, Laneway's songs float with a delicious melancholy, like the last days of summer. - ABC Local Radio - Coast FM

"Reg Mombassa"

I enjoyed [the] album of gently rolling folk/pop/alternate country. Great singing and harmonies and a nice guitar sound. The songs are lyrical , wistful and sometimes sad, with some touches of wry humour. I particularly like Button Undone and The Quail.” - Musician/Artist

"Andrew Crockett"

The harmonies are soulful, the songs reflective, country/folky... Overall a moving debut that leaves you hoping for more from this talented duo - Low Pressure Productions

"Ken Eavel"

A gorgeous piece of work combining luscious, sweet vocals and haunting, roomy guitar lines, portraying the pictures of these well written, laid-back, soulful country folk songs, with a sense of belief and ease. A perfect soothing Sunday morning hangover cure CD." - Ken Eavel (Go For Broke, PBS FM)

"If You Don't Need It Let It Go Review, by Chelsea McIntyre"

Laneway is composed of Louise O'Reilly and Paul Hannan, who formed as a duo in Melbourne but have since moved out to the forest in Natural Bridge, Queensland. If You Don't Need It Let It Go is their debut album released through their own label, Crawler Records.

If You Don't Need It Let It Go is an album of delicate folk pop, drenched in beautiful harmonies. Laneway seem to have taken heed of the message in their album title, recording the album live to tape with only the necessary instruments, allowing O'Reilly and Hannan's stunning voices to shine through.

While listening to Laneway I can't help but think of two of my favourite bands, She & Him and Jenny Johnny. This is mostly because all three possess the same male/female duo, creating music layered with guitars and harmonies. However, Laneway have a much more stripped back sound than the other two.

The first impression that If You Don't Need It Let It Go gives is of a very laid-back album, when it kicks off with 'Woody Allen's Nephew', a hazy, nonchalant country riff. But as the album continues, quite a bit of diversity starts to show. With its lo-fi fuzzy guitar tone 'Restless Vagabonds' has an almost 90s alternative-rock sound to it, and 'The Quail' is a quirky little song with O'Reilly repeating its lyrics in a continuous toe-tapping rhythm.

If You Don't Need It Let It Go is an album that rewards those who listen to it with its charming harmonies woven with smooth guitar riffs, while also throwing in a few surprises, making it much more than just another folk-pop album.
- The Dwarf

"Discovery: Laneway"

Laneway play a thoughtful, melodic style of folksy music featuring harmonies that could rival Simon and Garfunkel with main singer Louise possessing a voice comparable to Judith Durham of the Seekers fame. There is much to be enjoyed here. - Only Australian Music

"Robyn Chalklen (Testimonial)"

I first heard of Laneway through a mutual musician friend two years ago and was immediately struck by their unique style and finesse. After seeing them perform at a festival where they captured the entire audience with their infectious blend of folk, country & pop, I was totally smitten. - Musician (The Yearlings)


Turn Your Love Up (2012) - LP

Love is a Devil (2012) - single

The Turbine (2011) - single

If You Don't Need It Let It Go (2009) - LP



Exquisite and haunting, Laneway's songs float with a delicious melancholy, like the last days of summer,"
Mary-Lou Stevens (ABC Radio)

“Gorgeous mytho-poetic songwriting.”
Street Press Australia

Deep in the forested hills of the Natural Bridge, on the edge of an extinct volcano, amidst the speckled light of glowworms, tucked beneath damp and heavy air, hushed by the ripple of the spring fed creek is a cabin with a stone floor that is the home of Louise O’Reilly and Paul Hannan. Herein is the space where flowers in the hair, tapping of the boots, a swaying of the hips has been translated into the sound of the death of 1000 summers. The sounds of Laneway.

In the hills they have written, mourned, fixed pipes and chopped wood. Collected tales. Of places. Journeys. Home. Of seeking and finding and misplacing once more. Donkeys. Turning on lights. Death. And love (whatever that may be).

They ventured down last year with Turn Your Love Up, their second album offering following 2009’s If You Don’t Need It Let It Go. The new album was pieced together through recording sessions in spaces inspired and as diverse as their eclectic musical appreciations, and extends their dreamy landscape of country-tinged folk-surf. Tracked in their own home in the hills and in beautiful studios around Australia it is a superb collection of wonderfully composed songs.

It displays the gorgeous vocal and guitar melding we’ve come to expect from Laneway: instantly familiar and distinctly unique.

Hypnotic. Haunted. Drifting.

Wild. Lonsome. And free.

It is this diversity and quality in their work that has seen such a strong and growing response to the act and had them tour Australia playing in bars, barns, backyards and big festivals.

O’Reilly and Hannan recently received Queensland’s most prestigious songwriting award, The Grant McLennan Memorial Fellowship. Awarded by Robert Forster along with members of seminal Australian band, The Go-Betweens, the prize is for songwriting excellence. It will see them travel to Europe in 2013 to write, perform, tour and record.

Turn Your Love Up was released through Crawler Records in August 2012 followed by a limited-edition vinyl pressing in December 2012.

Laneway are based in Berlin from April 2013.

“One of the most standout pop/country bands in Australia. Turn Your Love Up will have you singing along, it will make you reflect and you also may shed a tear or two.
Scott Gollan (Little Boom Music)