Tag Archives: Tullara Connors

Siskin River – The Hours They Keep

The Hours They Keep (released 15 August) is the debut album from festival favourites Siskin River, featuring a haunting collection of original tracks lying somewhere between the realms of fairy tale folk and dirty rock.

Following their hugely successful first single Up, (accompanied by a stunning music video by renowned film-maker Clayton Jacobson), this highly anticipated album from the sister duo was achieved via crowd-funding. The album features both co- production and guest appearances from Nicky Bomba (Melbourne Ska Orchestra, John Butler Trio, Bustamento), as well as an edgy Tim Burton-esque adaptation of My Favourite Things from The Sound of Music.

No strangers to North QLD, I originally saw Siskin River play at Mission Beach festival a few years ago when they played after my band, and was immediately impressed with the duo. I caught up with Shalane and Tullara Connors ahead of the launch of “The Hours They Keep” at Townsville Cultural Festival (13 – 17 Aug) where they share the bill with Ash Grunwald, Dubmarine, Katie Noonan, Kingfisha and more.

TM:- Where was your new album recorded, and can you tell our readers a bit about your recording experience?

Shalane Connors:- We recorded the album with Nicky Bomba and Robin Mai (sound engineer) in Nickys studio in the beautiful northern VIC region near Bright. It was a fantastic experience. They really know their stuff, Nicky is an inspiration, and on breaks we went swimming in mountain fed rivers, knife throwing (for real), and bike riding through acacia forests. Not bad at all!

TM:- How did the collaboration with Nicky come about?

Shalane Connors:- Haha! Nicky was actually my partner at the time, and has a passion and ear for everything music, so the whole thing occurred pretty naturally.

TM:- Tullara, You have a great two handed tapping technique on the guitar, where did that come from?

Tullara Connors:- Newton Faulkner is the first artist I came across that often uses the tapping technique, he’s amazing. I learnt a lot from watching youtube videos of him. There’s a few other artists that do the tapping e.g. Andy Mckee, Erik Mongrain. I did a lot of youtube watching, listening, interpreting, and creating in my early guitar days, so my technique was developed from that.

TM:- Your gig at Townsville cultural fest is going to be the last gig till October, given your popularity on the festival circuit, I can’t imagine taking a break is due to lack of offers, why take a break when the CD is just being released?

Shalane Connors:- Tullara is going overseas for a month to broaden her world knowledge – It’s a good thing. We both need a bit of a break before the album tour in October. Touring, booking, managing, and releasing an album completely independently is a massive task, and it’ll be good to take a break to re-coop. Essentially we’ll be launching our album at Townsville Cultural Fest, which makes a lot of sense because we love it there. Townsville is really good to us. Like a second home.

TM:- The two of you get an impressively big sound for two people, but given I have seen Tullara employing “vocal percussion” effects live and your recent collaboration with Nicky Bomba, have you thought about expanding the lineup?

Shalane Connors:- Not really.. We really love collaborating with other musicians at festivals, or supports, but as far as a permanent member goes… well, the van (The Siskimobile!) only has two seats!

TM:- You partly financed the production of the album via crowd funding (via Pozible), how did that pan out?

Shalane Connors:- It was an incredible act of trust and generosity from people who have seen us play over the last two years, and although we took forever making the album due to some delays, and family tragedy (our Dad passed away in January), we can now finally make good on the deal we made last year with our supporters!

TM:- Whats next for Siskin River?

Shalane Connors:- Get this album out there, shoot another music video and then hit the road in October! We want to venture abroad next year, so that’ll be exciting! We can’t take the Siskimobile, but we’ll figure something out.

Todd Macalpine

The Hours They Keep CD can be pre-ordered from – www.siskinriver.com, then come Friday 15th, pretty much everywhere.. AND the girls with have them at Townsville Cultural Fest!

The download of the album can be pre ordered in all formats (and purchased on the 15th of Aug) HERE