The Millers Tale
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The Millers Tale

Band Folk Pop


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"Rhythms Magazine - Review Sep 2004"

The Millers Tale - Rebecca Quade and John Maclean - peddles a superior brand of folk and country infused pop. At their chirpiest, as in the first half of Wish It Away, their first full-length album, they bring to mind fellow Melburnians Frente, who vanished without trace after topping the charts briefly back in the late 90's. But the overall mood is melancholic, even if the edge is dissolved to a degree by a combination of warm acoustic melodies, sweet vocals and magical harmonies.

Utilising just acoustic guitar, accordion and vocals, augmented by the occasional rhythm section and folk-based additions such as mandolin, violin and accordion, The Millers Tale have created a lush, layered sound that highlights the quality of their excellent songs. The production skills of veteran Jackie Orszaczky, who also contributes some piano tracks as well as his trademark bass, and some masterful mixing by Chris Thompson, who has worked wonders with Augie March and the Waifs, has served the duo well.

Although sweet voiced Rebecca Quade does sterling work on lead vocals, her partner, Maclean, does such a good job on track 10, 'Alberta', that you wonder why he didn't step forward more often.

by Tony Hillier - Rhythms Magazine

"db Magazine (Adel) - Article Sep 2004"

The Millers Tale are possibly one of country's best-kept secrets - but as whispers about the band grow so will their inevitable popularity in the acoustic folk music scene. I caught up with one half of the duo, John Maclean while Rebecca Quade, the other half, listened in.

"We met at a party about six years ago," Maclean explains of the band's inception. "We got talking about music and figured we were on the same wavelength. Bec hadn't sung much before and I wanted to play more acoustic stuff."

The music is a sweet infusion of well blended harmonies with thoughtful lyrics. "When we're writing we try to find good melodies so I guess the structure of the songs is a bit more pop but presented in that acoustic way. It's a bit more folky, a bit more rootsy," Maclean explains.

"A lot of it is observational but some of it is just story. Bec always takes snippets from her friends' lives and a lot of her songs come out of that. I write more story-like but with Bec she writes more phrases capturing the emotion of what someone is going through."

The pair sing about a wide range of topics but concentrate on personal growth and healing. "The song that comes to mind there is Rolling Home which is about moving on. That's a healthy thing in life generally, if you have those experiences and push through regardless. It's an easy way out for people if they can avoid the tough work of growing as a person.

"Music generally is just a good way of making sense of things in my life. Sometimes I find a song that means something or connects in a certain way and it makes something in my life a bit easier to deal with or understand. So I guess it's nice to think that our songs were able to do that for people."

They are also currently enjoying their first taste of touring. "It's very bare bones and stripped back because as a duo, unless we start playing drums with our feet, there's not a lot we can do!" he laughs. "A lot of it is acoustic guitar and Bec does a bit of accordion and bass just to vary the tone of it a bit. It's just stripping back the songs as they are recorded and presenting them in that acoustic fashion. We just see what songs we come up with and see where that takes us."

After a break from their first album and two years in the studio for 'Wish It Away' The Millers Tale have produced one very fine album. Their easy-going attitude enabled them to get it 'just right' and perhaps allowed word to spread about the Melbourne duo?

"There was no point in rushing it because as a friend said to us about a year and a half ago 'who's waiting?'"

by Kelly Parish - db Magazine (Adelaide)

"MX Magazine (Melb) - Review Aug 2004"

The Millers Tale
Wish It Away

* * * *

Melbourne duo John Maclean and Rebecca Quade have nailed it with this album. The follow-up to their 2001 debut, this is a finely woven selection of accomplished guitar work and heart-stirring melodies. The legendary Jackie Orszaczky has helped out with some emotive string arrangements. A treasure.

by Megan Breen - MX Magazine (Melbourne)

"The Age (Melb) - Review Aug 2004"

The Millers Tale
Wish It Away

Chaucer fans might remember The Millers Tale as a crude serve of scatological slapstick, but fear not. The naughty carpenter and his wife are reincarnated here as a disarmingly gentle chamber-pop duo, John Maclean and Rebecca Quade. Her unaffected voice is all effortless pitch and sleepy conversational Australian-English that neatly serves their kitchen table subject matter: the melancholy of the long-distance pay phone, the innocence of a child, dedications to the weather and absent friends and daydreams of flying. It might become a little vapid were it not for the rich production details of Sydney-based Jazz bassist Jackie Orszaczky. He diverts the trickling acoustic guitars and soft harmonies with strings and muted brass arrangements. He knocks Smile off balance with angular trumpet and trombone and gives Where She Lives a spot of George Martin nostalgia. With its filtered sunlight mood, this is a Sunday morning record of tiny, precious moments: the three-note xylophone chime of Emily, the earthy hand drums and mandolin of July, the crack in Maclean's voice that makes Alberta sound like it must have really happened, at least to someone. Wish It Away is the polished tip of an advancing iceberg of hushed, heart-felt home recordings.

by Michael Dwyer - The Age (Melbourne)

"Inpress (Melb) - Review Sep 2004"

The Millers Tale
Wish It Away

In late 1998, two young musicians grouped together to create music. Genres and goals were never spoken about, but both knew that they wanted the same thing, to make, and perform their own music. After kicking around the gig scene for a few years, The Millers Tale released their debut mini-album, The Millers Tale. After some more gigs, a smidgen of national airplay and the support of the Aussie music press, Rebecca Quade and John Maclean travelled to the other side of the globe for a little bit of inspiration. The Millers Tale's first full-length album, Wish It Away, is the result of living in three cities and all that comes with it.

Wish It Away was arranged/produced by Jackie Orszaczky (You Am I) and mixed by Chris Thompson (Augie March and The Waifs). While the music is not a reflection of Thompson and Orszaczky's past pursuits, the vibe is. There is a relaxed Australianness to the colour, texture and feel. Wish It Away is cafe folk. Starting out with 'Smile', The Millers Tale take rich melodies, ruff cut acoustics and hum harmonics, to create a relaxed mood. 'Lavender' is single material, the slightly heavier instruments are catchy, melody driven and 'Dawson's Creek' soundtrack-like. 'Wheelbarrow' is probably the standout, the soft twang of instruments discreetly accompany the emotive lyrics perfectly.

Wish It Away is more of a full album, than a bunch of standouts. There are few tracks that stand out from the rest, not for any other reason than the tracks are engineered to be played one after each other. Each note holds a chapter of the story and while the story would probably make sense without some chapters in it, it isn't nearly as beatiful. Carefully created music, best listened to with a bottle of (mildly expensive) red, a bubble bath and a readiness to be relaxed.

by Catherine Hogan - Inpress (Melbourne)


The Millers Tale (self-titled) - mini album - 2001 (Vitamin)
Wish It Away - album - 2004 (Vitamin)



The rustic folk-pop of Australia’s The Millers Tale is infectious and addictive. Both band members were raised in rural Australia, and the music they create reflects this spacious and dreamy landscape.

Adelaide’s DB Magazine once described them as “possibly one of the country’s best kept secrets”. Although the band exists well under the mainstream radar, they continue to find an appreciative, loyal and always growing audience.

"The Miller's Tale", a self-titled 8-song collection was released in January 2001 through Sydney's Vitamin Records. It was recorded over a 12 month period, partly in New York and partly in Sydney. The acoustic, harmony driven style of the band live was enhanced in recorded form through the occasional use of a rhythm section and the addition of some mainly folk based instrumentation.

- "Bec Quade and John Maclean write exceptional songs to tug at the heart even as the toes tap on the floor." John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald

- "These guys have that ability at times to give you a shiver up your back which is no small feat for an acoustic duo." Sebastian Skeet, Drum Media

- "Overall, an incredible debut release that just gets better with every listen." Craig New, Revolver

Next, a full length album "Wish It Away" was released on Vitamin Records in July 2004. With co-production and arrangements from Sydney’s Hungarian born jazz musician Jackie Orszaczky, the album contained an array of tasteful musical enhancements built on the foundation of the Millers Tale's typically engaging and finely crafted songs.

- "... a delicate, perfectly balanced piece of melody and emotion." The Single Guy, Brag Magazine

- “The Millers Tale peddles a superior brand of folk and country infused pop” Tony Hillier, Rhythms Magazine (Australia) - Album Review, September 2004

- “Wish It Away is a near perfect album that is a must listen for lovers of music” Sam Loy, Tsunami Magazine (Brisbane, Australia) - Album Review, August 2004

- “A Sunday morning record of tiny, precious moments.” Michael Dwyer, The Age (Melbourne, Australia) - Album Review, August 2004

The release of ‘Wish It Away’ saw an 18 month period of national touring and festival appearances for the band. The album received rotation airplay on Australia’s national youth radio network (TripleJ), as well as airplay on the national broadcaster (ABC / Radio National) and various public and student radio stations all around the country. The album has also received attention from Canadian radio.

Early in 2005, the opening track ‘Smile’ was awarded a runner-up (honourable mention) prize in the International Song Competition after reaching the final 12 in the AAA/Roots category.

Things were quieter on the gigging front during 2006 as Bec and John finished off new songs for a third release. They are currently half way through recording the album with producer Wayne Connolly.