|Dimensions||22 × 16 × .50 cm|
Debut Album Growing Up Stupid Available Now!
ONNkm Hannah Gillespie
‘There is no greater source of inspiration for a songwriter than a broken heart, a lost soul, a shit party or a bad day at the races and that is Growing Up Stupid, the debut album of singer/songwriter Hannah Gillespie from Majors Creek, NSW. The album encompasses a vast array of musical styles and influences in a collection of beautifully crafted songs brought to life by some of Canberra’s finest players.
Small as it may be, Majors Creek is firmly embedded on the Australian musical map as the township that hosts the Music at the Creek festival, a much loved event born 16 years ago & brainchild of Hannah’s father Pete Gillespie, of legendary 80s folk/jug band Patterson’s Curse. Music was an everyday occurrence in the Gillespie household, with never a tune too far from the kitchen table so it was only a matter of time before Hannah picked up a guitar and started to write.
Although by her own admission her first compositions (with fellow singer/songwriter and best friend Nel Staite from Daylesford Vic) culminated in some of the worst teenage angst songs ever written! Despite these musical atrocities Hannah has matured into a seasoned lyricist, singer, guitarist & performer. She maintains that pursuing song writing was never the plan, and instead went on to study music business in Melbourne and gained some experience band, stage and tour managing some of Melbourne’s up and coming acts of the late 90s including ex-Canberra band Three.
But creativity is a powerful force & the urge to write returned and Hannah began working on her own musical projects again. In 2000 she completed formal studies in performance and composition and went on to form the band August with a staple crew of Jane Williams (Moruya/Melbourne singer/songwriter) and Tom Jones on bass (The Re-mains). Various other players contributed to what was becoming The August Collective who played many memorable gigs in their local region including the National Folk Festival.
After a quiet period Hannah is back with her debut album Growing up Stupid which she recorded under the watchful production eyes of Duncan Lowe and Kevin Nicol (Noiseworks). The album features the playing talents of Matt Nightingale – Bass (The Wedded Bliss), Munro Melano – Keys (Casual Projects), Kevin Nicol – Drums (Noiseworks), Ben Gillespie – Trombone (The Band Who Knew Too Much, The Snappers) to mention a few. The final mastering magic touches where added by Canberra’s Kimmo Vennonen.
This project is a testament to Hannah’s journey in writing and as she says ‘There is no greater source of inspiration for a songwriter than a broken heart, a lost soul, a shit party or a bad day at the races and that is Growing Up Stupid.
‘Hannah Gillespie is adding twists of cabaret, jazzy far-out-ness, and more to her countrified roots. Here we find her in exploration mode, growing and taking in new elements. An indication of talent acquired, with further indications of great things to come.’ Ken Stringfellow- The Posies, REM, Snow Patrol, The Disciplines
‘ luverly stuff’. Ruth Hazleton- Kate and Ruth, Dev’lish Mary
CD REVIEW – by Chris Spencer
Hannah Gillespie, originally
from Majors Creek, near
Canberra, has come via a
convoluted route to being a
After studying music and
performance, she headed for a
career in management, managing
bands, before deciding to write and
record her own material.
I enjoyed this album a lot.
It’s not what I call folk by any
stretch of the imagination, more pop
and rock, with good arrangements
I particularly enjoyed the
trombone playing in the solos in
“BKFI”, “Lips Only Sing”, “My Man”
and “Missing from Your Heart”.
Other songs feature violins (“Just
Talking to You”) and piano (“Lips
Somewhere there’s ukulele
and mandolin but they weren’t as
prominent as the trombone.
Gillespie has a voice that is
gravely, grainy, gritty.
It’s not one of those sweet pretty
voices and that’s a strength of the
The songs, all written by Gillespie,
are well suited to her voice.
They range in tempo from upbeat,
rocky songs “Just Talking to You”
and the closing “Missing from Your
Heart” which sounds as if it was
recorded live to slower songs which
include “BKFI” and “A Song About
Most of the songs are about love,
love lost, missed opportunities (“My
Man”) and possible opportunities
(“A Song About a Barman”).
I found the title song “Growing
Up Stupid” a bit baffl ing.
On one level it seems to be
about the singer emphasising with
a younger girl who is experiencing
problems while growing up, but the
title tends to suggest that the girl or
singer has an inferiority complex.
It’s not a throwaway song or lighthearted,
so perhaps the problems
are much deeper.
On a more positive note, I found
“My Man” the best song on the
recording, followed by “Lips Only
7 in stock (can be backordered)