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Fraser A. Gorman shares his love for regional Victoria

This year will mark folk-rock artist Fraser A. Gorman’s third time appearing on the Queenscliff Music Festival lineup. 

However, having grown up just a bit further down the coast, the artist has a much deeper relationship with the festival than that.

“It’s close enough to Torquay that it makes me feel like a hometown gig in a weird way. I was 11 when I first went to Queenscliff Music Festival. I would have gone with mum to see my friends Casey and Monty Hartnett who, at the time, were in The Periscopes,” Gorman reveals.

But that Gorman is set to appear on the QMF lineup for the third time isn’t entirely true, as the artist reveals that he has, in fact, played the festival many times prior with other local bands. “When I was 16, I played in Queenscliff with a band called Revolving Sun,” Gorman explains. “That was me, Stu [Mackenzie] and Cookie [Cook Craig] from King Gizzard and Monty Hartnett from Sleep Decade.”

Gorman now contends that despite the Surf Coast being spread over an aggregate distance of hundreds of kilometres, those involved in the music sphere tend to band together. Gorman credits this scene with allowing he and his contemporaries the ability to develop to a level that would see them impact the entire Australian music scene. 

“Me, Stu, Craig and Ambrose [Kenny-Smith] from The Murlocs and Sam Cooper from Sagamore, Zak Olsen from Orb and The Frowning Clouds and Hollie Joyce as well, we all grew up together playing little gigs in Geelong and on the surf coast,” Gorman says.

“It’s something I think was weirdly special as well because we all write, perform and play music on a pretty consistent basis as well.” 

Having just returned from the States, Gorman is speaking from his home in Melbourne and admits that he’s enjoying a rare week at home after the release of his third album Easy Dazy in July. 

Easy Dazy is Gorman’s second album and the first to be released on his newly founded Brown Truck Records. His debut Slow Gum was released in 2015 on Milk! Records, co-run by fellow Melbourne singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett who is also set to appear at Queenscliff Music Festival this year. Whilst discussing Barnett, Gorman makes it very clear that his split from Milk! was totally amicable. 

“We’re still really good friends. We have been through a lot together. We actually went bowling in Oakland [California] about three weeks ago,” Gorman says. A major feature on Easy Dazy is the number of female vocalists that Gorman enlists, including album opener ‘My Own Sunshine’ which features an almost gospel vocal refrain. 

“I got this little vocal group called The Dusty Millers to sing on that song,” Gorman explains. “They’re a Melbourne crew: Lisa Miller, her niece Loretta who used to play in the Bangin’ Rackettes and is now in Jazz Party, and Loretta’s mum and Lisa’s sister Tracey who has been in lots of country bands.” 

Another guest vocalist on the album is Melbourne singer-songwriter Leah Senior, whose rich voice is highly impactful especially in the minor key. She contributes on ‘Wait For My Love’ and ‘Silence’, was a result of Gorman’s strong ties to the members of King Gizzard & The Wizard Lizard who run Senior’s label, Flightless.

“None of the collaborations were that pre-meditated. It just kinda came about naturally.”

Fraser A. Gorman plays Queenscliff Music Festival when it goes down from Friday November 23 until Sunday November 25. Check the website for playing times.