MP3 Tim Oxley - It's All About Love
Gentle songs of true love and the longing for it, from Australia''s sweetest crooner. Acoustic ballads and enchanting laid back pop fill this exceptional album.
12 MP3 Songs
POP: Dream Pop, FOLK: Alternative Folk
Hailing from the far north coast of New South Wales,Australia,Tim Oxley is one of the youngest members of the undeniably talented Oxley offspring. Older brothers Peter and Jeremy had a mega dose of teenage fame with their band The Sunnyboys from 1980 till 1984 with their spiky yet melodic pop songs of adolescent angst. Their sister Melanie is a renowned vocalist in her own right, and has released 3 beautiful albums with her musical partner, Chris Abrahams who is also a member of the avant-garde trio, The Necks.
This bring us to Tim, singer, guitar player, drummer and songwriter of some of the most heartbreakingly beautiful songs you are ever likely to hear. With a voice that truly resonates with sweet magic and lyrics that are wise and innocent at once. Tim has been quietly working away at his craft since he left home at 17 years of age and has played with the cream of the Australian music world, subtly influencing many musicians along the way.
The Humdingers were Tim’s first serious band, a power pop force that firstmade music lovers aware of his gifts. After the demise of The Humdingers, The Verys emerged and enjoyed critical acclaim and many new fans, but Tim was becoming tired of amps turned up to 11 and ended the group to pursue his love of more layed back music.
Joining forces with Jodi Phillis of Clouds fame,The Dearhunters were born and their love of harmonies and melancholy moods entwined to record ”Red Wine and Blue”,a truly gorgeous album,released on the Candle Records Label,which many a critic gushed over rapturously. With The Dearhunters on hold Tim joined forces with Trent Macnamara to form “Grandview” an acoustic duo specialising in country pop. They released an album and toured the country for a year before Tim recorded his debut solo album”It’s all about Love”The album was given 4 stars by music critics in Australia and Tim played all major cities to enthusiastic audiences. It received album of the week on Melbounes RRR and gained many a fan from D.J’s around the country.
Tims second full length album entitled “Kitchen Songs”was given 4 stars by Sydney Morning Herald critic Bernard Zuel, “Kitchen Songs”
was recorded, mixed, produced and mastered by Tim.
Tim and his singing/songwriting wife, Jodi Phillis have most recently joined forces to form the group, Roger Loves Betty, a lush, laidback pop experience overflowing with smooth harmonies and irresistible melodies, due for release late 2007. They record all their albums in their home studio in coastal NSW, Australia.
''It''s All About Love'' Album Reviews
Review By Sophie Best - The Age, Melbourne
''It''s All About Love by Australian singer-songwriter Tim Oxley is an album which wholeheartedly lives up to its name. This is Oxley''s debut release as a solo artist - a dozen heartfelt ballads which are, indeed, all about love: the getting of it, the losing it, the longing for it, and the loneliness, weeping and reckless behaviour which generally goes along with it.
Tim Oxley was born into Oz-rock royalty. He''s the little brother of Jeremy and Peter Oxley of Sunnyboys fame, and their sister, Melanie Oxley, is an accomplished jazz vocalist. Tim did his time on the Australian live music circuit in the 90s with rock''n''roll bands such as The Verys. In the past few years, he''s been delving into quieter, more country- and folk-flavoured territory, with bands such as the Dearhunters and Four Horse Town, and most recently, Grandview, an acoustic harmony duo with a former Brisbane bandmate, Trent McNamara.
The opening track on It''s All About Love is titled House Husband and it''s a celebration of the domestic love and the joys to be found in your own kitchen. Oxley enjoys himself with some cute rhymes - "groceries" with "tasmanian cheese", for example. It''s a contented ode to the god of small things, and the happiness to be found in sharing and preparing dinner with his better half.
The innocence and plainspoken-ness of this song sets the tone for the whole album. Musically it''s very simple and pretty - it''s based around folky acoustic guitar and gently sung vocals, with an understated but suitably romantic string section.
As a songwriter, Oxley''s imagery and storytelling tends towards the kind of miniatures and parables that you might associate with children''s picture books, fairy tales or fables. His songs are almost naive in their simplicity, and this is in fact the measure of their charm. Love Desperado, for example, is a whimsical little story about a man in a forest, hunting down a grizzly bear. In anyone else''s hands this might be an archetypal symbol of the masculine search for identity, but Oxley is more interested in the man''s emotional needs - it turns out he''s only looking for the bear, because he needs a hug. Macho types may find this all a bit disconcerting, but the sincerity of the emotions save Oxley from coming across as gauche or overly twee, and in any event, this is not making music for tough guys. It''s not a men''s-movement manifesto either - Oxley has no barrow to push, but is on his own quietly resolute quest for the lost dreams and ideals of boyhood and male adolescence, wondering how they can possibly be fulfilled in the harsh adult world.
Most of the songs could be said to be "men''s songs", dealing in male stories and male dilemmas, with the except of Jezzabelle, a slow and dreamy ode about a mythical woman telling stories of her adventures and her thwarted dreams. There are some lovely arrangements on this track, with Oxley playing all instruments himself, apart from some Hammond organ by Darren Hanlon, a stablemate from Candle Records, and a very gifted and endearing songwriter himself.
Another guest on this recording is Oxley''s partner, Jodi Phillis, who has been making music since the late 80s with 90s alternative-pop band The Clouds, with Oxley in the Dearhunters, and now as a solo artist. The couple travelled to Toronto earlier this year at the invitation of Ron Sexsmith''s drummer, Don Kerr, after Phillis opened up for Sexsmith''s latest Australian tour. Two tracks were recorded at Kerr''s home studio in Lake Ontario, with Kerr sitting in on drums. Hey Watcha Doin Today sounds like it was a particularly relaxed and enjoyable session, with very sweet close harmonies between Oxley and Phillis, and even a whistling solo!
The rest of the recording sessions took place in Melbourne and Sydney with various friends helping out. The result is a mix of home studio and demo-style recordings, together with some slightly more polished studio sessions, but It''s All About Love is lo-fi and lo-budget all the way. Despite those small production values, though, the sound is fine quality; this may be thanks to the mixing skills of engineer Greg Wales, who was Oxley''s former bandmate in the Verys and has done some fine studio work with the Clouds, Tim Finn, Snout, Lazy Susan, and many other pop and roots-oriented Aussie bands.
Lucinda Williams fans will be surprised, and quite possibly moved, by the closing number on this CD. The song title is Lonely Boys, after Lucinda''s Lonely Girls, and Oxley is clearly in love with the original and its melancholy, minor-key melody. Whereas Lucinda sang sadly about heavy blankets, pretty hairdos and sparkling rhinestones, Oxley adapts the lyrics to the grubby, bachelor life of the unloved and lonely boy -- frozen dinners, dirty clothes, self-destruction, paranoia. When Oxley reaches the concluding line, "I oughta know about lonely boys", he touches on a truth about his own songwriting. Because he is at heart, an old-fashioned kind of songwriter - he sings about what he knows, speaking his own truths about life and love, without fear or pretension. And that kind of sincerity is not so easy to come by in this postmodern world - so for those more inclined to romance and sentiment than to irony and self-conscious cleverness, Tim Oxley can be cherished as a reminder that maybe it is all about love, and that lonely boys singing sweet sad songs is still a noble and worthwhile pursuit. **** out of 5
Review By Rachel Holmshaw - Relvolver Magazine, Sydney
''If ever there was ever a sweet record to calmingly dose to when the rest of the world whirls in it''s 9 -5, this has to be it. And the culprits? A continuous, coaxing collection of beautifully slow, and spacious unashamed love songs. Here and there Tim''s seamless and patiently earnest doubled lead vocal echoes the gentle matter-of-factness of Elliot Smith, and in ''Fishing Song'' he mimics the evolutionary melodic habits of Simon and Grafunkel. Tim''s eccentric conversational lyrics are deliciously harmonied by Jodi Phillis, and accompanied by Darren Hanlon on Hammond Organ. Recorded all over the place, by different people, ''It''s All About Love'' has emerged cohesive and bonded. Just like a nice love affair.'' 8/10
Review By Bronwyn Thompson - Juice Magazine
''This touching album of simply hearftfelt tunes is no surprise to those familiar with Oxley''s Dearhunters and Grandview pursuits. This solo set is sweetly affecting; the acoustic/keys atmospheres unfold intimately around Oxley''s versatile voice. From the John Lennon-esque piano ballad ''Love Desperado'' to the Elliott Smith-like ''Song Of Sorrow'', and at times accompanied by gentle strings, this is...lovely.'' 8 out of 10
Review By Anton Bouwer – Inpress Mag, Melbourne
‘In the tradition of many a Candle release before it, Tim Oxley’s debut solo record is not unlike a soundtrack to the life of your stereotypical North Fitzroy dweller. If you’re a sucker for catchy pop songs sung in a resolutely Australian accent, the imagery in which frequently includes things like vegetarian cooking or romantic meetings at the local band rotunda, It’s All Above Love will sit nicely alongside The Lucksmiths and Richard Easton LP’s in your collection. And with Oxley’s trademark heart melting close harmonies and folky instrumental sensibility as its most prominent features, the album is a fitting progression from the singer/songwriter’s fine work as one half of the now defunct acoustic duo, Grandview. Partly recorded in Sydney, Melbourne and Toronto with the likes of Don Kerr and Greg Wales at the production helm, the record features guest appearances from fellow Candle artist Darren Hanlon as well as ex-Dearhunters compadre and life partner Jodi Phillis.
More importantly though, the album also demonstrates Oxley’s own multi instrumental proficiency, seemingly with whatever he chooses to lay a hand on. The result is an auteur’s imaginative vision that allows sentimental ballads like ‘Weeping In Love’ and ‘Gypsy Boy’ to become movingly poetic evocations of loneliness and redemption. And love, of course – as the record’s title suggests – is the common thread and governing force throughout. More upbeat compositions like ‘Hey Watcha Doin’ Today’ and ‘Fishing Song’ recall the songs of Simon & Garfunkel in their use of folk finger-picking, vocal rounds and even a harmonised whistling solo. Lucinda Williams’ ‘Lonely Boys’ features as a slightly modified cover, and there’s a hint of melodic borrowing from the Jayhawks’ Blue in the chorus to ‘Love Desparado’. A whimsical song about hugging potentially ferocious bears (“At least I’d die in a pair of arms”), is nevertheless an endearing enough composition to be forgiven a little harmless stylistic indebtedness. Besides all’s fair in pop music after all ‘It’s All About Love’ is about as pleasant a pop record as they come.’
Review By Sandra Bridekirk - The Australian
''It has been a long time between Oxleys (siblings Jeremy and Peter shot to Sunnyboys fame in the 1980s: Melanie is a jazz scene stalwart) but 2002 may prove to be Tim''s turn on centre stage. Oxley has produced a solo debut that is sweet and intimate, from the cute cover graphics to the tales of love and innocent pleasures inside. It''s disconcerting to open with a track about cooking dinner (House Husband) followed by a gorgeuosly melancholic song about wanting a hug from a bear (Love Desperado.) ''Song Of Sorrow'', with its dramatic cello, is a more arresting diversion from the overall mellow, organic feel (the latter half of the album could have used another such moment). Oxley''s warm, melodic tones and songwriting style are reminiscent of Elliot Smith and Simon & Garfunkel - thoughtful, gentle and easy on the ear.'' ***1/2 out 5
Review By Jon - https://www.tradebit.com
''My previous exposure to the Australian label Candle had consisted entirely of the witty pop of the Lucksmiths and Darren Hanlon, so the last thing I expected from Tim Oxley was delicate acoustic folk-pop that recalls Crosby, Stills Nash and Young, Simon and Garfunkel, Elliott Smith and Teenage Fanclub, with not a cheeky pun of a model aeroplane in sight.
Wow. "It''s All About Love" is summer music at its most pure - built for picnics in the park or driving through the countryside with the windows down. Even the title suggest a sunny pastoral - "Fishing Song", "Gypsy Boy" and "Weeping in Love" amongst others - and the gentle, lazy backing is the perfect match to Oxley''s hushed vocals. He shifts easily from sublime slices of pop such as "Are You My Friend?" and "Hey Watcha Doin'' Today?" to more serious folk numbers like "Jive Dooli", but all the time holding the listener in the palm of his hand, whispering in their ear.
It''s criminal that this album isn''t widely available in the UK, only by mail order from Candle or from Rough Trade in London. If I knew anyone in Domino Records I''d be ringing them now and begging that they license this from Candle, as it would fit perfectly into their stable of (mostly American) alt-country and indie-folk artists. This record deserves to be more easy to get hold of.
Review By Adam Ford - The Scam Website
It''s one thing to sing about love and everyday life. Anyone can do that. It''s another thing entirely to sing about it and make it sound like the truth. Tim Oxley''s songs are wonderful observational things drawn from real life that are so much more touching for being truthful.
His tearful ballads are undeniably touching, but Tim is at his best when he moves beyond platitudes like angelic singing, mountain-climbing, lonely boys and weeping in love, with joyfully tinged and more idiosyncratic observational songs. Such a song is the wonderful "House Husband", a step-by-step litany of a day spent shopping and cooking dinner for a partner who''s had a rough day at work that comes across as a saner version of the Beach Boys'' "Busy Doing Nothing".
That''s not to say that the more downbeat songs aren''t appealing - there''s something about Tim''s lyrics that''s so honest and endearing that it''s frightening. Check this out:
"Where is that bear? ''Cos I need a hug real bad. I don''t care if it kills me. At least I''ll die in a pair of arms."
How about this:
"Are you my friend? ''Cos I''d like to think so."
"I''m happy as a rainbow, I''m sadder than an Eliot Smith melody."
Makes me want to go out and buy myself a bear suit, if you know what I mean.
Musically Tim is exploring folk-pop territory with uncluttered arrangements of acoustic guitar, cello, violin, bass and quiet drums, topped off with sweetly sung vocals that are occasionally double-tracked to allow lush self-harmonising on "Fishing Song", "Jezzabelle" and "Hey Watcha Doin Today". More driving rhythms and poppier melodies are evident on songs like "Song of Sorrow" and "To Watch the Earth from the Moon", but overall this is a gentle, contemplative album. Tim paints a picture of a man almost overwhelmed by the beauty and sadness of life, someone who doesn''t necessarily believe the two are different things.
The title says it all. The twelve songs on this album are all about love, but it''s a particular kind of love: a love laced for the most part with melancholy. According to Tim beauty is sadness, and sadness is beauty, but it''s not a maudlin sadness. It''s a pensive, still, quiet, reflective sadness that''s tinged with undeniable joy, hope and above all, love. __Review By Richard Bell - Comes With A Smile_Although this is ostensibly Tim Oxley''s solo album - you know him from the Dearhunters - the presence of his amour Jodi Phillis is everywhere, as a backing singer, as sleeve illustrator and more than anything as an inspiration. For this is a rare thing indeed, a sensitive, romantic and light (but not lightweight) collection of songs about being in love. Musically and lyrically it’s the polar opposite of the sludgy rock clogging up the landscape. It could only be on Candle, the small Melbourne label home to Darren Hanlon, The Lucksmiths and others, and whose boss Chris Crouch still runs the CD stall at gigs. Oxley''s often double-tracked and softly sung lead vocal is a delight, as is his acoustic strumming. Very much a vocalist''s record, the charm of the piece also stems from the DIY nature of the recording - engineering credits include Paul Thomas ‘at home’, although Don Kerr in Toronto - contributing some very subtle drumming - has also created a gentle but credible spirit.__Although it takes a few tracks to get going, at the centre of the album are four great songs that define the current Tim Oxley sound. Fishing Song is perhaps closest to the dreamy Norwegians Kings of Convenience, and Jezzabelle has an interesting low harmony vocal running through it. Hey Watcha Doin Today (allegedly a greeting popular in Adelaide) is surely a hit single. It’s got a lovely Simon and Garfunkel drumming shuffle, soft vocals and whistling (funny moment that) that would make the hardest authoritarian smile. Weeping in Love is simply a beautiful song, slow and gentle, Jodi''s harmonies to the fore, with a brilliant chord change going into the chorus; one of my songs of the year so far. Two weaker tracks - Jive Dooli and an unnecessary Lucinda Williams cover - break the consistency of the record, but the fuzz bass and sound effects on the To Watch the Earth from the Moon, and more quality writing in Gypsy Boy (Darren Hanlon on organ) stop the ending descending into tweeness. So before you reach for the hankies in sentimental sympathy, this is a genuine and touching record.