13 Jan Trading Tunes with Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird

Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird have been oozing synth-rock all over Melbourne and abroad since singer Lachlan Rose and guitarist Kieran Christopherson founded the band in 2014. Their most recent EP, Melbourne Bitter, has a truly exciting mix of impeccable songwriting and engaging, evocative tracks — while maintaining pop sensibilities and a high level of danceability.

We’ve heard rumours that they’re busy writing and recording new songs at the moment, but while we wait for those you can catch them live at The Toff on Saturday night, with support from six-piece Frida and Scott Candlish and his band. Find more details on the Facebook event, or jump right on board and buy tickets.

A big part of the depth (pun intended, no shame) of CTBNF’s sound is the deep baritone of lead singer/songwriter Lachlan Rose on tracks like ‘Make It‘, and the melancholic title track ‘Melbourne Bitter‘. For this addition of Trading Tunes he has very kindly sent us a selection of songs from artists with beautiful baritones who have inspired his vocal stylings.


Blur – ‘The Universal’

“Life is hard etc. But occasionally we are blessed with these little moments where the path ahead seems clear and you feel so deeply excited to be alive. This song has always scored those moments for me. The lush orchestration underneath Damon Albarn‘s wonderful lyricism instils so much hope in the listener.”

Barry White – ‘Hard to Believe I Found You’

Barry always seemed like a caricature of himself to kids like me who really only knew him from the Simpsons or any remotely sexual film scene. But musically, this entire album changed my life. The orchestration is absolutely gorgeous and Barry exhibits such mastery over his voice and how to use it.”

Roxy Music – ‘Mother of Pearl’

“They say in country music all you need is “3 chords and the truth”. This absolute gem from Roxy Music certainly isn’t country, but adheres to this simple rule. The band stir up a wild, playful groove while Brian Ferry spits some of the most colourful, poetic and poignant lyrics I’ve ever heard. (Recommended listening from 1:20 onwards).”

Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin – ’69 Annee Erotique’

Serge is my favourite example of someone who understands the texture of their own voice. When the sound palette is as sexy as it is on this album, Serge’s smoky French is all the song needs to create a seriously sensual mood. And of course Jane Birkin’s chorus line juxtaposes the husky texture of his voice so wonderfully.”

Frank Zappa – ‘Camarillo Brillo’

Zappa’s singing voice isn’t often spoken about due to his legendary approach to the guitar and to composition in general, but I always loved the low, almost fatherly sound of his voice. His lyrics are so colourful and while they never take themselves too seriously, they seem to function so nicely with the music itself.”


Georgia Hamilton-Myers

Writer & Line Editor - Follow on Twitter