Compiled from the collections of Mikey Young (Eddie Current Suppression Ring) and Keith Abrahamsson (founder of Anthology Recordings), Follow the Sun sheds light on a period of musical history which badly needed it. When most of us think of the music of the 70s, we will recall a decade dominated largely by American exports so it is refreshing to examine what other countries were producing at this time.
The album is particularly focused on psyche, folk and soft rock with a sunburnt vibe. The end result is twenty tracks of abstract, nostalgic sounds which expose little nuances which separate them from contemporary American offerings. It’s a surprisingly laid-back listen, ideal for a lazy day or a journey.
The mission of Follow the Sun is beautifully summarised by the following description,
Follow The Sun does not represent those Australian acts who produced a number one single leading to international fame and fortune. Some of the artists on the compilation never even made the local hit parade. But the fact that many of these artists didn’t enjoy chart success is secondary; these artists represent the consciousness of their time. As radio perpetrated pop fodder trodding the middle ground to ensure maximum advertising, the artists on this album chronicled the times in their own unique ways.
Beyond sharing a penchant for pop and its many shades, creating common ideals or setting a narrative around the artists featured on Follow The Sun is a tall task and tale. After all, Australia is a huge country, nay continent. The scuffed shuffle of Mata Hari’s “Easy” drastically contrasts the loner vibes of Gary Shearston’s “Witnessing,” while Megan Sue Hicks “Hey, Can You Come Out And Play” hypnotizes a la Shocking Blue and Trevor McNamara’s “Country Corn” spins out like a rural Skip Spence tune. Hailing from distant, disparate cities across the wide Australian map, each of these artists represent distinct, different forms of pop music.
Follow the Sun is out now. You can purchase it from Anthology Recordings and it is also available on streaming services.
Essential Tracks: ‘Kill My World’ by Autumn, ‘Easy’ by Mata Hari and ‘Hey, Can You Come Out and Play’ by Megan Sue Hicks.
1. Dave Douglas – Follow The Sun
2. Andy Armstrong – Riverboat
3. Mata Hari – Easy
4. Marian Henderson – First Boy I Loved
5. Flock – Spirit Move Within Me
6. Megan Sue Hicks – Hey, Can You Come Out And Play
7. Autumn – Kill My World
8. Australia – Knowing That You’re There
9. Moonlight – Am I Really Here
10. Gary Shearston – Witnessing
11. Tidewater – Wild Horse Plains
12. Shepherd – Whispering Pines
13. Cathie O’Sullivan – The Orange Tree
14. Steve Warner – Cement River
15. Paul Adolphus – Good Morning
16. Doug Ashdown – Something Strange
17. Trevor McNamara – Country Corn
18. Billy Green – This Must Be The End
19. Catmando – Today’s The First Day of Your Life