Black & amber

TJ Eckleberg releases his 7th studio album Black & Amber in August 2016.

Eckleberg returns to Australia briefly from Japan, launching his new album with a solo performance at Colbourne Ave (Glebe) on Thursday 11 August.

The album is released independently on Akimbo records.

tje b&A leaves2.3 drop3

Following three adrenalin-fuelled years in Berlin, the Australian singer-songwriter’s 7th album finds him in the calm of Kyoto, Japan, delivering his most focused album to date. Black & Amber marries the rush of new adventures with the loneliness and loss of leaving things behind – offering darkness and beauty in equal measure.

On Black & Amber, Eckleberg explores what it is to trade a world you know for one you don’t. In Someone I’m becoming, he asks ‘Was it something I was becoming? Something I’ve become? Someone coming undone?’. It’s a soulful, lush guitar-based album of sparkling tremolo, ragged radio speaker vocals, rippling sunshine delay lines and Eckleberg’s knack of balancing world weary whisper with fragile wail. From the disorientation of I swallowed the ocean to the sweet nostalgia of Mini Moke, the album merges a lost sixties garage soul with an off kilter indie aesthetic – magnifying small details into glimpses of what it is to make it through the day.

“Berlin was a crazy endless summer, but Kyoto is a different world – I’m walking past centuries old temples and sculpted gardens by the river, past Maiko and priests catching bullet trains. The silence, the detachment, the confusion throws a curious light on who I was, and who I could be…” – TJ Eckleberg

What can possibly go wrong? Featuring Maki pole dance

The second film clip from This might feel like home – directed by Finton Mahoney, featuring pole dancer Maki.

Filmed in Berlin, the clip is a tribute in part to the movies of Hal Hartley, and the track itself is a blues stomp come dance floor groove in the spirit of John Lee Hooker and Howling Wolf.

Enjoy.

O Henry

O Henry

TJ Eckleberg (This might feel like home – 2014)

Directed by Michael Mortlock – Mortlock Photography & Media
tjeckleberg.com

O Henry is the first single from This might feel like home – TJ Eckleberg’s sixth independent release. It’s a song about how love catches us wide eyed, gets us listening for the unexpected and sometimes finds us even when we run away from it.
tjeckleberg.com
tjeckleberg.bandcamp.com
soundcloud.com/eckleberg/this-might-feel-like-home

This might feel like home: Interview part 2

TJ discusses the ideas, themes, collaborators and spaces that gave the album its unique vibe.

This might feel like home – April 7

Finally the album is on it’s way. it’s been finished a while, but in between moving countries and trying to survive as a musician, it’s taken it’s own sweet time.

But below is the first of a two part interview with Michael and Melly Mortlock about the album.

Enjoy.

 

Even Jesus baby, loves Japanese poledancers

Despite the bravado, it’s hard for most guys to talk about sexuality. About sex? Well, for sure they can go on and on about pimps, ho’s and bitches; they might wax lyrical about banging someone or nailing it… But sexuality? The idea of being confused, vulnerable, open, undone?

Well it’s not straightforward for me, anyhow. Even Jesus, baby names the yearning and desire that often seems so trangressive, so un-nameable to me. It’s a song in the tradition of Robert Johnson’s Won’t you come on in my kitchen – embracing the recklessness, helplessness, joy and confusion of desiring another.

Sure. Robin Thicke might be shouting ‘You know you want it…’ but actually, the blurred line – the ‘emasculating’ force that pushes him toward panic, dehumanisation, objectification – is that desire is what terrifies him. The blurred line is that he is not – in the face of the other – certain. Desire is most fully, most deeply, yearning for someone who desires you back.

And maybe I oughtta let you go
maybe I oughtta let you know
maybe I would if I could
but even Jesus baby, couldn’t be that good

Yep. Jesus. Friend of sinners, companion of prostitutes. I reckon he too knew a thing or two about desire and the salvation it can offer. And the human-ness and masculinity of embracing uncertainty. And sexuality is by it’s nature transgressive. It quite literally strips us naked. Or at least, when it all goes well.

The original track was recorded in the basement of a church – The slightly left field café church in Glebe, which hosts the amazing Colbourne Ave music club. It was written around mid 2004, and appeared on When you get down to it in 2008. Its most recent live outing saw me improvise the track around beautiful Japanese poledancer – Makiko Hara, at Neukolln’s Ma Thilda bar. It certainly helped me see the song in a new light.

Even Jesus, baby

[When you get down to it, 2008]

You drip like honey, drip like honey
you drip like honey in my soul
and taste as warm as sunshine
you burn me brightly
burn me bright
You burn me bright your eyes like coal
As warm and rich as red wine

And maybe I oughta let you go
and maybe I oughta let you know
maybe I would if I could

but even Jesus, baby
couldn’t be that good
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Love and how it finds us? Nothing to do with me…

kyoto screen
 

I’m a little weary lately
less inclined to run from what runs after me

Nothing to do with me chronicles – in snapshots – a pretty transitional part of my life – and I guess to some extent one that continues now. In my early thirties I went through a major break up, and the ensuing chaos of my life took me in a multitude of unexpected directions. Many of these directions were deceptively and heartbreakingly unhelpful, others became steadfast and enduring friendships.
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Nothing to do with me

[This might feel like home, 2013]

I wake up in the morning
stumble to the sink and wash my face
make myself a cup of coffee
brace myself for the day
I’m a little weary lately
less inclined to run from what runs after me

Love found me on the telephone
when I couldn’t stop crying
a gentle friend listened in silence
drove to Maroubra to sit beside me

Whatever I did it had nothing to do with me
whatever I did, love found me
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