Penelope Swales

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New album from Penelope Swales

TN161 Feb 24

After a long hiatus from solo recording, Penelope Swales explodes back into musical life with ‘Captains of Industry’.

This punchy and gutfelt album features long time musical collaborator Mal Webb on bass, backing vocals, beatbox and brass and the consummate ex-Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Kylie Morrigan on violin and backing vocals.

Swales’s songwriting has lost none of its power.

As always, she delivers compassionate insight and withering commentary in equal measure.

‘Captains of Industry’ cracks open the modern zeitgeist tackling issues such as the fossil fuel lobby’s drag on climate action, the impact of disinformation on democracy and race relations in a deeply divided Australia.

She also addresses themes of love, sex, ageing and confidence.

About the songs:

‘Captains of Industry’, the title track, deals with the machinations of big business and their impact on climate change action.

‘Cambridge Analytica’ is about disinformation in social media and the rise of the neo far-right.

It won the Alistair Hulett Songs for Social Justice competition a couple of years ago.

Disinformation is a theme throughout the album and is referenced in several songs.

‘Always Will Be’ talks about the fallout from the failed Voice to Parliament Referendum.

‘The Ides of March in Christchurch’ addresses the Christchurch Massacre and contrasts the New Zealanders’ support for their Muslim community with the harder attitudes fostered by two decades of conservative-sanctioned xenophobia in Australia.

‘Passionflower’ is about love, sex and ageing.

‘Redemption’ is about the dubious way romantic love can become almost like a religion if you’re not careful.

‘The Mist-Covered Mountains of Home/Hush’ is a clearance lullaby, talking about when the Scots Highlanders were pushed off their land during the Industrial Revolution by Lairds who decided that sheep farming was more profitable than having tenants.

It’s a sister song to ‘Always Will Be’, as many of those people came to Australia and ironically helped push Indigenous Australians off their land.


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