In 2013, Jen Cloher, Mia Dyson and Liz Stringer came together in the spirit of collaboration and experimentation to release an all-too-brief 3-track EP. They took their music deep into the heart of the country, playing more than 40 shows across every state and territory, as well as festival performances at Byron Bay Bluesfest and Queenscliff Music Festival.
That project, named Dyson Stringer Cloher, was a moment in time that showed extraordinary promise. In the intervening six years each of these artists pursued solo careers – releasing a combined 6 studio albums, winning multiple awards and touring globally – but the flipside was that their band became a fond memory and a series of tantalising unanswered questions. What would happen if they wrote a full album together? What could these incredible musicians achieve if they dedicated more time to this project?
In 2019 the band is back together and we have our answer. Dyson Stringer Cloher’s self titled debut album is out through Milk! Records this October. With Dyson based in L.A and Stringer in Toronto, the band chose to meet halfway to make a record at Jeff Tweedy’s ‘The Loft’ in Chicago. Taking on production duties themselves, they asked Wilco’s Glenn Kotche to join them on drums and Grammy Award winner Tom Schick to engineer. The results are what you might expect - inspired guitar playing and exceptional songwriting - warm, heartfelt and real.
It’s an interesting time for women in the music industry, especially those closer to their 40’s. Trailblazers like Dyson Stringer Cloher have inspired the new wave of women and gender non conforming artists who are now finding an international audience. “You kicked the door wide open so I could walk onto that stage”, reminisces Cloher in Falling Clouds, a song about seeing The Clouds and Falling Joys at an underage gig in her hometown of Adelaide in the early 90’s. In the same song she questions the absence of Australia’s female poet laureate, “Nothing against Paul or Nick, but if you want to be remembered then you better have a dick.”
Times are changing for women in Australian music, there have been casualties along the way. We can be thankful then, that Dyson Stringer Cloher have chosen to stay.