Watch the video for Barney McAll’s strange, nostalgic and uplifting new work


Barney McAll’s 2022 album Precious Energy was a revelation, an upbeat funky vocally driven work of good vibes and killer grooves. It was audacious and ostentatious, featuring some incredible vocals from the likes of Laneous, Rita Satch, Jace XL, and Belle Bangard as well as contributions from the likes of Julian Wilson and Gary Bartz alongside numerous other Melbourne players. You can read our interview with Barney about the album here.

It came as something of a departure after the previous year’s Transitive Cycles, a live album from the Melbourne International Jazz Festival which featured interactive improvisation between the Federation Bells and an ensemble comprising of some of the best musicians in the country. You can read our review here. As you can see we were pretty blown away. We even asked him to do a Cyclic Selects at the time, which you can read here.

The good news is that Barney is back with a new album that continues his journey into a jazzy, soulful funk laden sugary world of good times and positive messages, that is not just cheeky and inventive, but features a stellar lineup of guests including Gary Bartz, Rita Satch, Natalie Slade, Belle Bangard, Greta Gertler, Gian Slater, and Amethyst Jane.

‘If Every Wave is Unique’, is unique in itself, its the second single from the forthcoming Emerald Hands, and features some nostalgic reflective and frankly inspiring spoken word from McAll himself, and vocals from Gian Slater. There’s something about his vocals that gives us Leyland Brothers vibes – but maybe that’s just us.

This is what Barney has to say about it:

“This track originated from a poem I wrote, which Gian Slater orchestrated into a chorale. I recorded myself reciting the poem and shared it with Gian. She said that she began sound painting to the audio, which lead to numerous serendipitous musical moments, and in a short time, the song was complete. The text speaks about non-duality I suppose ? The connectedness of things- but also about how my love of nature is so entwined with my music-making, and as I get older, I have realise that I’m striving to be like nature . When I explained to my son that. I was trying to recreate the warm currents with sound he said , “but dad, maybe it was pee”? I said, “It’s worth it!”

Emerald Hands will be released on the 20th of December 23. You can find it here.


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.