A firm favourite here at Backseat Mafia, the enigmatic Melbourne juggernaut Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird (CTBNF) have today announced the release of a new album entitled ‘Smiles of Earth’ for Friday, 26 August 2022 (out through Double Drummer), a nationwide tour of Australia with a new single ‘Red Dirt Angel’ released today. A surfeit of goodness, indeed.
Of course, CTBNF released my single of the year last year, the glorious antidote to the horrors of a locked down world, brimming with a golden optimism, ‘When This Is Over’ (see my review here). ‘Red Dirt Angel’ continues the band’s capacity for creating cinematic, expansive vistas that seemingly reflects the antipodean landscapes: wild, untamed and beautiful. This is a more restrained release: a crooner style in the vocals with a hint of alt country twang in the sky-scraping guitars, and an element of poignancy in the brilliant pop sheen.
Lachlan Rose (vocals, guitars and synths) eloquently and vividly says of the track:
An Australia dreamscape, ‘Red Dirt Angel’ was the first song that opened up the doors to ‘Smiles of Earth’ – the album it now belongs to. Somewhere during our lengthy Melbourne lockdowns I began dreaming constantly of the outback. The red dirt angel was a faceless usher who continuously led me through the arid, red-earth deserts of Australia. I longed to be behind the wheel of a filthy car with no real destination. For one reason or another, that visual represented ultimate freedom for me, which is the one thing none of us had. The song followed shortly. It’s unapologetically Australian, euphoric and a contribution to the wonderful world of road trip music.
Indeed, the track sparkles like the firmament over the red desert, with a backing chorus that is ethereal and angelic. CTBNF have cornered the market in sonic euphoria:
‘Red Dirt Angel’ is available to download and stream here.
CTBNF are taking their euphoric brand of music to the road in the coming months. The band says:
I think we’re the kind of band that wins people over one heart at a time. Playing shows is fundamental to who we are. The last few years have reminded us with absolute certainty that there is nothing quite like the live music experience, and we couldn’t be more excited or more grateful to be on the road again.
Tour dates and links to tickets below:
23-25 September – Wanderer’s Festival, NSW tickets
Friday 30 September – Mo’s Desert Clubhouse, Gold Coast, Qld tickets
Saturday 1 October – Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane, Qld tickets
Thursday 6 October – The Cambridge, Newcastle, NSW tickets
Friday 7 October – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW tickets
Saturday 8 October – La La La’s Wollongong, NSW tickets
Friday 14 October – The Eastern, Ballarat, VIC tickets
Saturday 15 October – The Lab, Adelaide, SA tickets
Friday 21 October – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC tickets
Saturday 5 November – Euroa Music Festival, Euroa VIC tickets
Saturday 12 November – Backyard Festival, VIC tickets
What untrammeled joy it will be to see this band in full flight.
Feature Photograph: James Guiney