Mama Kin Spender

Mama Kin Spender – I’m Listening

For Danielle Caruana, new collaborative project Mama Kin Spender, with long time friend Tommy Spender, is a chance to reconnect creatively and personally.

Spender, a multi instrumentalist and producer, and Caruana, AKA Mama Kin, birthed their most recent venture after feeling wrung out following hectic solo touring schedules.

“We’ve been friends longer than we’d like to admit and we were both in the middle of releasing and touring cycles of our solo projects and to be honest we were feeling a little bit lacklustre about feeling we could muster the energy to go out alone again and do it all again. Its quite a massive process” explains Danielle.

“The reality of doing that with families and the communities you leave behind, it was sort of wearing on us. We were talking as friends and as creators and we were missing the thing that we love about it, which is just to write. And soon enough we thought “do you want to do something together”

Following the release of their acclaimed debut album, Golden Magnetic, Mama Kin Spender have developed an ambitious and unique touring model that they’ve taken internationally with impressive results.

Receiving wide praise since its 2018 release, Golden Magnetic revels in the voice, with a vocal choir featuring heavily throughout the tracks.

From the ethereal lullaby Underground through pared back indie rock number Sweet Eddie and the quietly menacing Deep Below, the album flows with a steady under current of sweet choral backing and divine and gentle harmonies from Spender.

The backing choir is used creatively and to full effect throughout the album, consistently adding a unique style that evokes everything from 70s African funk to Southern Gospel.

To write the album Spender and Caruana joined an online song writing club as a writing experiment and soon found inspiration and ideas came together, with them pooling ideas and working collaboratively on the results.

Inspired by a thousand person strong choral rendition of Hallelujah by Rufus Wainwright, Caruana and Spender decided to work with local choirs and musicians in each of the towns they toured to. Not put off by the logistical headache of working with new groups in each location, they have now been using their unique model of performance for two years.

“There’s choral parts arranged for all the songs and where possible we perform with local choirs when we tour. Now that is a crazy idea. When you think about the actual amount of work that has to go into it.”

“Recently we were on stage with 65 people who had worked for eight weeks preparing for us to arrive. They learn the material with our choir master then we roll into town and we have this massive kind of love-in workshop rehearsal. Then we get on stage in their community and perform with them for their community.”

“We’ve toured and performed with choirs everywhere from Ireland; in County Cork, to Darwin Festival to all over Queensland and NSW and WA and Adelaide and New Zealand. Its just been incredible.

This spirit of connection, community and conversation continues to be the driving force behind Mama Kin Spender and is steering them into 2020 with big plans.

Not ones to rest on their laurels, and as if the tour schedule wasn’t keeping them busy enough, Mama Kin Spender just released a new single Whats Wrong With Me, with a second single due in February followed by an EP, in March.

Pressing forward Caruana is sparking more conversation with their fan base with an interactive crowd sourced social media campaign.

“We’re running a social media campaign called #imlistening. The EP we’re releasing is called Are You Listening? And each song on the EP relates to an aspect of listening, or being heard or the chaos that can erupt in the absence of being heard”

“The first song, Whats Wrong With Me? focuses on how disconnected we can become from our own voice, from our own knowledge.”

Inviting people to post personal “note to selves” on her Instagram with the hashtag #imlistening, either publicly or anonymously, Caruana is lighting a spark of honestly, kindness and self acceptance. With a flood of submissions from people all over the world, the conversation has already started

Speaking about their new single and social media campaign, Caruana is animated and evidently passionate about the project.

“Its been really exciting, just engaging in a more meaningful conversation via this platform of social media.”

“To actually ask whats actually going on with us? How are we listening to ourselves? Whats happening when we DON’T listen?”

With a specially formed 25 piece local choir featuring local musicians and performers, Mama Kin Spender will perform songs from their debut album Golden Magnetic at the Tanks Arts Centre November 9th.

Explore Mama Kin Spenders #imlistening social media campaign at

Stacey Brown

Tickets to The Tanks Show on Nov 9th available through Ticketlink

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