Never being afraid to embrace the unconventional, Songs from Northam Ave is Toby Martin’s (Youth Group) rich and imaginative sophomore solo Record.
The challenge was to set up shop in people’s front yards and on nature strips in the Sydney suburb of Bankstown, one of Sydney’s most culturally diverse cities in which 55% of its population speaks a language other than English.
Having come to Bankstown as a bit of an outsider, Toby’s Dad and his family lived there for a few years when they first moved to Australia from Europe in 1948, but he never had. Every day Toby would set up in the front yard of an unused house on Northam Ave and write, drawing inspiration from the every day happenings such as olive trees in front-yards, a van driving past, comments from passers-by.
Toby collaborated with local musicians including a Vietnamese sitar player and Arabic Qanun player.
While culturally rich, Songs From Northam Ave is not a world music record. It is a record that reflects the music, culture and some of the stories of Sydney, and particularly southwest Sydney, written by one of the country’s most revered songwriters.
Songs From Northam Avenue tracklist:
- Chapel And Dellwood
- Central City Plaza
- Correctional Complex
- Dreams In German
- Olive Tree
- Lim’s Song
- Minto Mall
- Spring Feeling
- Bankstown Airport
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