A hot air balloon cruises over the Yarra Valley. In Far North Queensland, a cane toad jumps out from behind a jaboticaba fruit tree. Cheeky mountain birds swoop overhead, keen for cars to attack. Born in two hemispheres, the album was first conceived on a GEM Rodeo 49 combo organ in the village of Mooloolah during a spring spent traveling in and around Australia, and recorded for keeps months later in Durham, North Carolina.
Featuring Josephine McRobbie (Tammar, Thee Tsunamis) and Joe O’Connell (Elephant Micah), the maiden-named duo chose their moniker to pay tribute to two loved ones who fervently consumed American roots music from their respective perches in Texas and Queensland. While digging into these cultural and family memories, the duo struck the earthy tangle of inter-hemispheric inspiration that equated the Far North with the Deep South. Call it Australian Americana or American Australiana, that freaky root ball is on full display, and never more obvious than when a cowboy refrain merges with the name of an iconic Aussie truck to become the mutation “yippie-ki-yay-ute-ute-ute.”
Sourcing inspiration from Talking Heads, Slim Dusty, early Beck, Clifton Chenier, and Coloured Stone, the songs are titled after rockabilly lyrics written by McRobbie’s late uncle. Like a Skype call as dialed from a cockatoo, Gibson & Toutant present their references through a pretty wacky compression algorithm. A nod to Neil Young’s Ditch Trilogy sounds more like an homage to Trans. A Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out solo is backed with a drum machine that only sounds slightly more reined-in than Charlie Watts. Like the disco ball and carpet python glimpsed on the cover, it’s sparkly, spooky, and slinky.
released July 19, 2019
Gibson & Toutant is Josephine McRobbie on vocals, bass guitar, and percussion, and Joseph O’Connell on vocals, electric guitar, drum loops, and keyboard.
"Ute Ute Ute" co-written with Kalo Fainu
The album also features Jake Xerxes Fussell on backing vocals, Libby Rodenbough and Carol Catherine on fiddles, and Matthew O’Connell on synth.
Additional psychic support by Vern Gibson and Ed Toutant.
Recorded at home in Durham, North Carolina, with additional tracks engineered by Gregory McIntosh at Chez Greg Gatsby.