After collaborating with Vietnamese indie musician Mademoiselle on 2020’s album of bilingual duets The South Lands, Australian artist Floyd Thursby is releasing his first recording sung entirely in the Vietnamese language. The track is a truly international collaboration, recorded in Melbourne, Australia, produced and mixed in Los Angeles by Rob Kleiner, with translated lyrics by Vietnamese poet Yen, and dialect coaching from Hanoi-based beatboxer TuanSS.
The mysterious and dream-like lyrics to the song describe feelings of love and obsession and are translated from a still unreleased song that Floyd wrote in English. Floyd says, “working with Yen on the translation of the song was a fascinating process that taught me a lot about Vietnamese culture and particularly about the “Thơ Mới” poetry movement of 1930s Vietnam, which influenced the style Yen used for the translation. Working with TuanSS on my pronunciation, and on fitting the melody of the song to the tones of the Vietnamese language was also a very rewarding and challenging experience.”
Melbourne musician Floyd Thursby and Hanoi singer-songwriter Mademoiselle have written, recorded and released a new album of duets. Featuring nine tracks sung in both English and Vietnamese, The South Lands is a story of the shared secrets of daily life in Australia and Vietnam. Why ‘The South Lands’? Both the word ‘Australia’ and the word ‘Nam’ in ‘Việt Nam’ originally mean ‘south’, so both countries have the common bond of being literally ‘South Lands’.
The folk/rock album incorporates both European instruments like guitar and keyboards, as well as Vietnamese instruments such as the one-string đàn bầu and the tuned gongs cồng chiêng. The contemplative lyrics explore romance, caring for others, unrequited love, dreaming of far away places and people, hope and happiness.
The two musicians have both performed many times at the Hanoi Social Club, one of Vietnam’s best indie music venues, and were introduced online by the Club’s owner John Kis. They met in person for the first time in August 2019, only hours before their debut performance at a state banquet in Hanoi hosted by Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.
The South Lands was recorded and produced in Melbourne by Marty Brown (Art of Fighting, Clare Bowditch) with support from the Australian Embassy in Vietnam and is available on all streaming platforms and also for download at floydthursby.bandcamp.com.
Praise for 2019’s “To those in flames”
ALBUM OF THE WEEK: The Age, ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Brisbane Times; ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Sydney Morning Herald
“a heartfelt collection of tracks, honed with the sweetest of attention to detail in the studio. While lyrically there’s much to enjoy here, Thursby’s guitar playing, on the title track in particular, are quite simply moments to savour. 3.5/5” The Ag
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Melbourne singer-songwriter Floyd Thursby has released his album To those in flames, available through Ang Fang Industries on Spotify, Apple Music and other digital platforms, and on CD through Bandcamp.
A collection of deeply personal songs written during a five month journey from Iceland to Iran, the album explores love and longing, spiritual peace and togetherness, the freedom of leaving an office job to pursue one’s dreams, and the tragic loss of close friend and film-maker Cris Jones at the age of 37 in 2017.
The album was produced by Marty Brown (Art of Fighting, Clare Bowditch) and features Harry Lye (Ang Fang Quartet, The Unusual Suspects, Dr Decadence) on vibraphone and Andrew Tanner (Vulgargrad, Zulya & the Children of the Underground) on double bass.
The lead single and title track ‘To those in flames’ was composed in Portugal and first performed in the Caucasian republic of Georgia and is a meditation on mania and a troubled love affair. ‘Cupid calls it quits’ and ‘Everyone can see the stars’ are songs of peace and contentment inspired by leaving behind a 9-to-5 office job and pursuing life as a full-time musician. ‘Tigers’ was written in London and inspired by a near car accident on Iceland’s slippery winter roads.
‘The day my best friend died’ is dedicated to Floyd’s close friend and film-maker Cris Jones, who passed away in 2017. Three other tracks on the album are related to Jones, for whose film The Death & Life of Otto Bloom the tracks ‘Time on our hands’ and ‘Forget the future’ were written. ‘All that we’ll ever need’ was written in France especially for Cris’ brother’s wedding, and first performed in Iran.
‘To those in flames’: ALBUM OF THE WEEK: The Age; ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Brisbane Times; ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Sydney Morning Herald
“A heartfelt collection of tracks, honed with the sweetest of attention to detail in the studio. While lyrically there’s much to enjoy here, Thursby’s guitar playing, on the title track in particular, are quite simply moments to savour. 3.5/5” The Age
‘Emotive folk dandelions of soulful admiration for the living in poetic restitutions and visceral attentions. It succeeds in this title track, as you crumble to your knees of emotions. Whatever memories you may deem.’ comeherefloyd.com
‘In our world of screaming colorful aggression this CD album is like a small island of peace…very much recommended.’ Lord Litter
‘Such a genuine, raw emotion that I can think of a number of millionaire singer-songwriters who would do well to study Floyd Thursby for some tips on writing and performing honestly.’ Listen with Monger on ‘Only Rivers Understand’
‘A very powerful 21st Century song that, beautifully, soars beyond the years. Right up there with the very best.’ Steve Clarke, Strange Brew, Cuillin FM on ‘Only Rivers Understand’
‘A great home-grown musical talent.’ Dudley Chamberlain, Golden Days Radio
‘Evocative lyrics and moody atmospherics drive home the message of the title track from the To Those In Flames album, confidently executed.’ Christie Eliezer, The Music Network/Beat/Pollstar/Tone Deaf
‘A multi-layered intelligent narrative, irresistible musical backdrops and a totally convincing vocal performance.’ Billy Pinnell, 3AW on ‘Only Rivers Understand’
‘A Thief’s Journal’: ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Radio Adelaide; ALBUM OF THE WEEK: PBS FM; RRR TOP TEN
‘Finally, a folk/country record where you can tell one song from another… Thursby writes with just enough ornament to trigger your imagination, never straying into pretension…This album is hard to fault.’ Forte Magazine
‘Floyd Thursby has a fascinating voice… But of course, all that would be insignificant without great songs as vehicles for that voice. Thursby has armfuls of them. There’s not an uninteresting moment on this debut LP…. an endlessly rewarding recording.’ Rhythms magazine
‘An intriguing sketch of brilliant songwriting… the band has delivered a masterpiece…. A Thief’s Journal goes straight to the poolroom.’ Rave Magazine (BRIS)
‘Lyrics from Bob Dylan’s new album? No, from Floyd Thursby’s debut self-titled 5-track CD. Go see him and hear for yourself. A powerful new addition to Australia’s most original singer/songwriters.’ Billy Pinnell
‘Babylon Gate is one of the best songs, lyrically, that I’ve heard all year.’ Claire Stuchbery, PBS FM
‘Overall, the sound is something like anyone from the Candle Records stable trying to cover Tim Rogers’ solo stuff…the standout track is the impressive Babylon Gate. Thursby whittles his own version of the classic country-style epic of bloodshed and revenge.’ Beat