HELEN TOWNSEND MUSIC
APPROVED PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL - PRINT / WEB READY

About

AWARD NOMINATIONS

WAM 2019 Best Country Act

2019 ASA Songwriter TOP 4 - Ballad Category | Just One More Day (Song Title)

WAM 2017 Best Country Act

WAM 2017 Song Of The Year - Country Category

BBCMA 2017 Independent EP Of the Year

BBCMA 2016 Single of the Year

WAM 2016 Song of the Year - Country Category


Short BIO (85 Words)

Helen Townsends music is soulful, edgy and embraces Americana roots. Her story telling is transfixing, her voice timeless and her stage presence captivating. Her international performance in Nashville at the Sounds of Australia showcase in 2018 earned her widespread recognition and respect as an emerging Americana artist. Her latest Album “Little Lover” runs the gamut of roots rock, blues, country and folk and shows promise, already receiving 2017 WAM nominations for “Song of the Year” and a current nomination for WAM 2019 Best Country Act.


Medium BIO (151 Words)

Helen Townsend is one of those rare artists who genuinely lives music, understands it’s power and harnesses it to tell a story which gathers you up and sweeps you along. The Fremantle-based singer-songwriter’s style runs the gamut of roots rock, blues, country and folk – or what’s more commonly known as the genre of Americana.

Her music is soulful, edgy, her story telling is transfixing, her voice timeless and her stage presence is captivating - it’s a combination of this, her originality and authenticity that has garnered her widespread respectability. Her international performance in Nashville at the Sounds of Australia showcase in 2018 earned her widespread recognition and respect as an emerging Americana artist.

Her upcoming Album “Little Lover” shows promise already receiving 2017 WAM nomination for “Song of the Year”, Australian Songwriting Association TOP 30 Ballads for “Just One More Day’ and a current nomination for 2019 WAM Best Country Act.


Longer BIO (275 Words)

Helen Townsend is one of those artists who genuinely lives music, understands it’s power and knows how to harness it to tell a story which gathers you up and sweeps you along. Entwined through all of her songs is a sweet, sincere voice which simply glories in the telling of a story and injects just the right emotion into the words and an intimacy in her music which gently invites you in to share slices and snippets of life’s journeys.

The Fremantle-based singer-songwriter’s style runs the Americana gamut of roots rock, blues, country and folk.  With the release of her new debut Album, “Little Lover”, she moves into a more edgier, rockier and more diverse sound.

Her music is soulful, edgy, her story telling is transfixing, her voice timeless and her stage presence is captivating with a pure and concise delivery - it’s a combination of this, her originality and authenticity that has garnered her widespread respectability.

Helen has performed across the country and has more recently supported the likes of Mick Thomas and the Roving Commission. Her international performance in Nashville at the Sounds of Australia showcase in 2018, alongside Catherine Britt, Melody Moko and Montgomery Church, earned her widespread recognition and respect as an emerging Americana artist.

Nominated for multiple West Australian Music awards including 2017 “Best Country Act”, Helen Townsend has had a huge impact on the country/folk scene in the past few years. Her upcoming Album “Little Lover” shows promise already receiving 2017 WAM nomination for “Song of the Year”, Australian Songwriting Association TOP 30 Ballads for “Just One More Day’ and a current nomination for 2019 WAM Best Country Act.


Quotes / Reviews

“Helen Townsend took me on a beautiful journey through dark and light; night and day. It’s the kind of music that tells a story; that puts your imagination into overdrive. It’s the kind of music that sticks around in your mind, long after the CD ends”.

Karen Lowe | Review – Little Lover – Amplify Magazine | 15 Aug 2019

 

“When watching Townsend on stage as well as being struck by her talent as writer and singer there is is an utterly beguiling charm on display. There is always a sense that she just doesn’t know how good she is”.

Polly Coufos | Publication in Around the Sound | 15 Aug 2019

 

“There’s lots of flavours in the music of Helen Townsend – alt-country, Americana, folk, for starters – but all these simply become words when you realise that what you’re hearing is the essence of the artist herself. You just know there’s something special going on.”

Bob Gordon | Contributor to The West Australian & Editor, Around The Sound

 

“Helen Townsend may have been late in picking up the tools of her trade, but in a short time she has shown herself to be a master craftsman in a field too often crowded with cowboy-booted jacks and jills of all trades. Her sweet voice and tender picking rubs against songs that are filled with characters living with the costly results of impulsive choices and memories that just won't let go.”

Polly Coufos | Contributor to The Australian

 

"Helen Townsend plays and sings from the heart, and what a glorious heart it is.  A song writer who crafts big stories with her words and music, Helen is a truly original artist who never fails to draw her audience in close.  She’s irresistible, lights up every stage she graces".

Andrew Thompson | Big Squeeze Agency & Gig Sauce

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CONTACTS

Representative | Helen Townsend | WA | contact@helentownsendmusic.com

MUSIC

YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT

By
Polly Coufos
on
August 15, 2019

Sometimes it’s more important to know what you don’t want than what you do want.

Helen Townsend is an independent artist poised to release her debut album. It is actually the second one the flaxen haired singer songwriter has recorded. The recording sessions for the first, completely self funded, one ended with 12 tracks she put down with Australia’s wise old man of alt-country Bill Chambers. Only one of them, Promised Land, a duet that was co-written by the pair, has made the cut on Little Lover, the album Townsend will launch on Friday, August 23, at the Duke of George.

When watching Townsend on stage as well as being struck by her talent as writer and singer there is is an utterly beguiling charm on display. There is always a sense that she just doesn’t know how good she is.

A single mother with teenage children, Townsend had saved hard to finance this recording. She’d had a great time working with the seriously laid back Chambers but as she listened to the recordings she somehow wasn’t as excited as she thought she would be. The follow up to her very promising debut EP Wayward Heart was in her hands and as keen as she was to be releasing her album she had a feeling that refused to let go, a feeling that something was missing.

She recalled that when she worked with Chambers she was not well. She felt it was more than that though but she couldn’t put her finger on it. She took the recordings and played them for colleagues and friends whose opinions she trusted. One of them was veteran bass player John Wilson.

Wilson invited Townsend to his home studio. “I said that I wasn’t sure but there seems to be something missing from these recordings. He said, ‘listen to this,’ and he played a few songs off my album and then he said, ‘now listen to Norah Jones.’ I was like, ‘oh my God.’ He said, ‘you are not in love with your songs and you are not delivering it like you mean it. It’s actually your performance that is lacking.‘ I told him I loved him for being so honest.”
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Hearing what her heart knew, Townsend went back to saving for her debut album. Again. She ditched all but four of the songs she had recorded during the Chambers’ sessions as well as writing another batch – which she considers far superior – as she searched for the sound she heard in her head. Her instinct proved right. With support from her production team of Belle Harvey, James Vinciullo and James Newhouse Little Lover sparkles and shines as it announces the emergence of a fully formed talent.

Townsend describes herself as something of a musical primitive and felt she needed to team with like minded but much more musically gifted souls who got her and would help her make her album her way. Principally this was Harvey, but there was also strong input from guitarist Newhouse as well as Vinciullo, the bass player from Harvey’s band. Multi instrumentalist Lee Jones was brought in to help with the arrangements.

Towards the end of the process Drummer Elliott Smith came on board to guide Townsend as she further refined what she had captured. “He said, ‘let’s look at this like a stage play. You can introduce all these characters but they have to fit.’ Lee set those characters up in each of them. I have the feeling that I set the stage and they placed the people. I don’t know music enough to do that. And to some degree the fact that I don’t know gives it space.”

“My EP focussed on the folkie/bluegrass side of what I do with Ian Simpson and Bluegrass Parkway. Those acoustic instruments made the EP the way it was. I didn’t walk into that EP thinking I want this sound and this kind of thing. I just walked in ignorantly and had no idea. I walked in with a song and because of my voice and the way I play a guitar they said you fit in with this genre and we will surround you with these instruments to enhance that. I heard that and thought that was great but it has taken me a while to appreciate what they all did. But it was what they all did that created the sound and not me.

“When I was at home playing them solo, in my brain I am hearing something kind of different, maybe a different vibe or something more bluesy or jazzy and I couldn’t get that across. It all kept coming out folkie and I explained that to Belle and she said we need to get references. We were looking at Sheryl Crow and Lucinda Williams for eference.”
Their influence can be heard but the now more confident Townsend is happy to keep working on a song until until she feels it is how it should be.

Townsend has travelled to Nashville for the Americana music festival the past two years. Both trips have played their part in the evolution of Little Lover. The first trip had her paying attention to the rhythm sections and she was struck by how each of the bands she saw that had impressed her had a concise, dynamic foundation. The result was that when she returned home she and Harvey chose musicians who were not principally country pickers and gave clear direction to not simply play a country shuffle on any of the songs unless instructed to do so.

In 2018 Townsend returned to Nashville and Americana. This time she landed a slot at the famed Bluebird Cafe. A representative of one of our national country music bodies confided that by far the most feedback he received following the showcase was about Townsend. Typically, when I had asked how the Bluebird showcase went, she said simply that is was “ok.”
Listen to title track, ‘Little Lover’, only on Around The Sound

This is no false modesty. When watching Townsend on stage as well as being struck by her talent as writer and singer there is is an utterly beguiling charm on display. There is always a sense that she just doesn’t know how good she is.

Another thing also happened on that last Nashville trek. While there she went to see the famed Time Jumpers at their legendary Third and Lindsley Monday night residency. There in the dark watching some of country music’s biggest pickers she realised she wanted to change something she had previously thought was perfect.

The beautiful piano ballad Just One More Day was always going to be the centrepiece of the album, a song that shows Townsend’s talents stripped bare. Jones had created a piano part and recorded it but as Townsend watched blind pianist Gordon Mote in this bar in Nashville she knew she wanted to start over. Mote has a beautiful style that just has an ache and an edge that goes straight to the heart. She felt it was perfect for her song.

“Even though Lee had spent time figuring out a part on the piano and recording it, I came back from Nashville and said I want to redo it. He got it and went back and reworked it.” The results are simply stunning.

There is one song on the album that did not have anywhere near that much thought put into it. If Just One More Day shows where Townsend is now, her cover of Merle Haggard’s Big City takes her back to the beginning of her performing career. “It was the only song I knew all the way through when I came to Perth nine years ago.”

There was an open mic night at the Hilton Park Bowling Club. The MC asked her companion if he would sing a song. He declined and instead volunteered Townsend.“I told him I only know one song. He said, ‘that’s ok, sing that.’ So I did. I came back again later and he asked me again. I said, ‘I still only know one song.’ He said, ‘that’s ok, sing it again.’”

She sang Big City again last weekend at the Hilton Park Bowling Club. Of course this time she had a bunch of her own remarkable songs to go with it.