Vorn Doolette
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Vorn Doolette

Band Alternative Folk


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"Album Reviews"

Some artists try very hard to be relevant and often fall short. Doolette is the direct opposite with a deep and natural, chocolaty voice that is only complemented further by his personality and a natural wit displayed right up front in song titles like ‘Happy Birthday Jesus’, ‘The Fantastic Four Is Not So Fantastic Anymore’ and ‘Friendship Is My Sword’.
Ben Preece, Time Off Mag, May 2009


'Vorn Doolette is the folk discovery of the year, with a honey sweet voice to die for'

The Adelaide Magazine, April 2009


'The first time I heard 'The Rodeo' it cut a swathe straight through my soul. It's the bare bones aesthetic of Vorn Doolette's song that gets to you: nothing but a beautiful, cyclical acoustic guitar and Vorn's honey-dipped voice.'

Dom Alessio,'Home and Hosed' Triple J


It’s a case of how long before Adelaide-based alternative-folk singer/songwriter Vorn Doolette is considered in the same ilk as Australia’s other premier folk artists... Aside from his velvet-like unwavering earthy tone, his lyrical and musical arrangement shows a strength rarely seen in a performer of his age. It’s easy to see why his debut long-player is so highly anticipated. Orange Dress delicately meanders through the dense scrub on a gentle spring afternoon. It definitely wouldn’t feel out of place in a line with Tom Waits balladry (asides from the obvious differences in vocal textures). Happy Birthday Jesus revisits that uniquely Australian sound of the colonial years. With violin and cello offering support for this wondering waltz, Vorn is at his best, showing that he has a knack for poetic like melody and verse. 9 Songs is a simple delight that will have you singing along in moments. It’s makes you wish you wrote it for you girlfriend...Perhaps this is just the start of something much bigger. In which case, get on board right now!

Chris Wood, The Dwarf, March 2009


'Doolette's album looks set to carve an important space in the local music scene. Melencholy in its most romantic and beautiful sense, there is a majesty in his music which brings a whole new level of respect to the young performer.It is considered yet free flowing, confident without pretence and comfortable in its own sound...irrespective of its commercial success this album demonstrates application to music rarely found in such a young artist.'

Ryan Winter, DB Magazine, April 2009


In some moments, his voice feels so weakened by old pains, he might blow away with a gust of wind – and that takes some craft.

No matter how wistful or heavy hearted, the music is written and played with such thought and conviction that one can’t fail to be impressed. And above all, the gifted Doolette proves his chops as a songwriter to watch over and over.

Paul Nassari, The Sunday Mail, April 2009


'it seems his two-year devotion to the creation of the album has resulted in a splendid anthology of sincerely emotive confessions. Distinctly melancholy in nature, Vorn’s track record with such heartfelt tunes inspires a sense of emotional exploration. '

Kerry Loyson, Rip It Up, April 2009

'He is hard to compare with other singers. He has a ``stop-and-listen'' quality which is swiftly bringing him a strong fan base. He is different and makes no apologies if his songs are moody.'

Samela Harris, Adelaide Now, March 2009
- various

"Nicky Bomba tour"

'He's supported Lior and it's easy to see and hear why that would prove a good fit. I can well imagine whiling away hours, drinking in his personality, stamped distinctively and indelibly on his poetic, if slightly inscrutable work. He falls comfortably into the reinvigorating 'and now for somebody and something completely different' category, in the best possible sense. One to watch, but, moreover, really listen to, which is no effort, given his velvety voice. Lovely guitarist, too!' - Lloyd Bradford, Australian Stage Online

"Lior Support"

'Supporting Lior on this leg of his jaunt was local eccentric Vorn Doolette. Battling against the sort of apathy unknown supporting artists can usually expect, Doolette made a low key start before emptying his bag of attention seeking tricks on an audience that was slowly but surely won over by his sense of humour and brash observations.

Accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, Doolette has a bit of the Arlo Guthries about him, weaving elaborate and amusing stories into a quirky folkie tapestry. A bold and entertaining performer' - FasterLouder.com

"Review From Sarah Howells"

A gorgeous tune, catchy lyrics, and I LOVE that deep folky voice!
(9 Songs a Problem) - Triple J

"Quote from Mihirangi"

"Vorn Doolette is a young man whose talent is going to take him around the world, his voice and presence are captivating, an absolutely gorgeous voice and a genuine artist, one that isn't afraid of allowing you to see his essence" - Mihirangi, Australian Musician

"Rolling Stone Mag (Aus)"

'Storytelling is an age-old craft, and one in which Vorn Doolette seems pretty well-versed...This troubadour stands at the forefront of a new wave of Australian folk with a mature approach to songwriting [and] a voice to rival the sorrowful crooning of Rufus Wainwright and Bonny "Prince" Billy'

Rolling Stone, Aug 09


Vorn's song 'Orange Dress' named in the July issue 'hot list' alongside Eminem and Iggy Pop! - Rolling Stone

"Long album review by Susie Keyne's (formerly of 'Fruit')"

Reviewed by Susie Keynes

Posted 18 June 2009

Vorn Doolette’s debut album opens with the most stunning and sensual ‘Orange Dress’. I don’t know too much about this guy, but as I listen, the image is profoundly strong: It’s as if he approaches me from a faded distance, slouched over his battle weary horse, bearing the wounds of someone who has seen far too much. I am wondering ‘Where could this young man have been to reach such deep, dark tones?’ Believe it or not, this track has a swagger that rocks his sorrow and shows, from the get-go, a talent that hits the heart of his audience.

I have met Vorn a couple of times and seen him sing actually only the once – just a few tunes at ‘the local’, but it was enough for me to notice immediately that Vorn carries a strong and haunting presence – a gentle yet terribly self-assured air that seems to belie his years and experience. I don’t mean to sound patronising at all – it’s just that he sings and seems like someone much older and much more worn. This is the battle that I have had in describing his music – the push and pull of how glorious he sounds and how sweetly he writes against a nagging niggle wondering if it can really be so: A juxtaposition – if you will.

Vorn has certainly crafted his image. He comes across as a delightful relic of yesteryear –hat-on-head, just the right tilt, 1940’sesque. His album cover portrays the double-breasted traveller.. a sepia-set troubadour and his album launch carried on the idea, being themed on the roaring 40’s. The imagery certainly works and practically frames his art. Nice set-up, because once we open the CD and play the album we are taken on a journey of tale-telling minuets – life as seen by Vorn Doolette; heart-broken, humorous, wry, odd and then downright tragic – a little bit of everything sprung forth from his guitar so easily and simply I again am left a little stunned.

He’s a clever songwriter and I don’t think he really has to try because his chosen images feel unedited and spontaneous. He follows crazy ideas at times – Under the Waves describes an ‘Octopuses Garden’ full of strange underwater creatures that he encounters as he wrestles with his grief. He writes about oddities or rather strangers to songwriting subject matter – The Rodeo for example – so light it trotts along but points out how evil and cruel rodeos are. And then come the stunners – the songs that are so heavy with emotion they drip and my heart too drags. Orange Dress and The Hidden Track are these standouts for me.

Vorn the musician shows that he and his guitar are a team. He writes songs that put his dark and velvety voice front and centre and that is exactly where it should be. His guitaring is uncluttered and perfect in its simplicity. That in itself takes skill – be it a heavy, lazy strum or a light and breezy pick. Nice. The accompanying musical arrangements felt superbly appropriate with the inclusion of strings and a tonking piano again reinforcing the aged approach to Vorn’s music. And then of course there’s the voice, echoing the tones of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison: Rich and easy. And this is a new voice, it’s a young voice and it makes me excited to think that there is so much yet to come.

If I was to suggest anything it would be that perhaps the 60 minutes of tunes was just a bit long and I found my ear beginning the trail off by the last 2 songs. Like putting together the perfect set in a live setting it can be a tricky thing to get the flow of an album just right and perhaps I just felt I had completed the journey a couple of songs earlier. But that’s me and some may find it quite easy to stay onboard to the end.

There are artists that feel that to survive the music business they need to catch or anticipate the next wave and the art that results eventually shows the signs of being premeditated or driven by the need to succeed… and then there are those that write because they have to. It’s not an option not to. I have decided that Vorn is in-fact one of this kind and that he is showing us something that has a purity that is almost unbelievable. He is truly a deep deep well and I really look forward to seeing how he grows.

Imagine - what more? - as he gets road weary, time rolls and he collects scars and wrinkles. He aint no new-born baby but I cant help but think that we are just seeing the tip of an undiscovered gem. Like the line in his impeccable hidden track – ‘Old, like the willows in Spring?’ I for one look forward to that time. Keep it coming, Vorn. - Music SA


2009: Self titled album out April 4 through MGM. Tracks available to listen to on myspace (www.myspace.com/vorndoolette).

2008: '9 Songs A Problem' Single (demo copy) release, received significant airplay on Adelaide and National community radio and on Triple J; popular among listeners on Triple J Unearthed (reaching #1 in 'Roots' chart and top 10 overall); won Triple J Top Song Competition for SA



“Storytelling is an age-old craft, and one in which Vorn Doolette seems pretty well-versed...This troubadour stands at the forefront of a new wave of Australian folk with a mature approach to songwriting [and] a voice to rival the sorrowful crooning of Rufus Wainwright and Bonny ‘Prince’ Billy”.

Rolling Stone, July 2009

In an age when finding a moment for music is increasingly difficult singer-songwriter Vorn Doolette offers a splendid anthology of intimate and enveloping alt-folk that is worth reshuffling the schedule for.

Based in South Australia, this "original talent" (Peter Goers, ABC) performs captivating, intimate and often eccentric live shows, which have made him a popular act on the Australian music festival scene. In his element in front of a festival audience, Vorn has played to crowds at the Queenscliff Music Festival (VIC), Music at the Creek (NSW) and the National Folk Festival (ACT) where in 2005 he became one of the youngest ever recipients of the Lis Johnston Award for Vocal Excellence. Vorn has just been announced as part of the line-up for international music festival WOMADelaide and will feature at a world famous venue (TBA!) during the 2010 Adelaide Fringe.

Two years in the making, his independently produced, self-titled album was released in early 2009. His single ‘9 songs a Problem’ won Vorn the Triple J Top Song Competition for SA and was a listener favourite on Triple J Unearthed. Following this, his debut album received a widespread positive response, with airplay on Triple J and major community stations around the country including Radio Adelaide, PBS, FBI, 2SER, Triple R and ABC.

As one of Australia's premier emerging artists in 2009, Vorn was selected to participate in the Western Australian Music Industry's 'Bill Me' music pitch showcase as well as being chosen as South Australia's only representative on the official Big Sound music showcase - one of the country's biggest industry events - alongside artists such as Bertie Blackman, Bob Evans, the Hungry Kids of Hungry and The Middle East! On the back of this album release, Vorn was also named among Rolling Stone’s 15 Artists to Watch in 2009 and compared to the likes of Tom Waits, Rufus Wainwright and Johnny Cash.

Vorn has also opened for acts such as Lior, Kate Miller Heidke, Mihirangi and Nicky Bomba where his velvety voice and quirky on-stage presence have seen him dubbed as a musician who is “leading the wave of new folk artists in Australia”. Most recently he opened for acclaimed Australian singer/songwriter Paul Kelly.

Vorn’s debut displays a striking vocal and musical dexterity and maturity seldom seen among young artists. Further enriching his acoustic guitar and deep, chocolate voice is the velvet-like cello, violin and piano from some of Australia’s most talented young musicians including Grahame Thompson (The Andi and George Band, ACT), Emma Luker (The Fiddle Chicks, SA) and Richard Coates (the Huckleberry Swedes, SA). Lyrics are central to the listeners’ experience of this album and you will find that Vorn is unafraid to confront complex and sometimes arduous subject matter – love, pain, depression and friendship – in an intelligent, imaginative and markedly honest manner.

Armed with an acoustic guitar and voice richer than chocolate, Vorn Doolette lures his listeners in close, rendering them vulnerable to his raw emotion and sometimes shocking wit. With subject matter ranging from robot cars and dolphins with hands to the oceans of sadness experienced by one with a broken heart, the honesty expressed through his music is uncompromising and is winning this young troubadour the attention of audiences across the country.