15 Feb Trading Tunes with Dorsal Fins

Melbourne-based joyous, big band Dorsal Fins are set to take on a national tour around their latest album Digital Zodiac. If you don’t know who the Dorsal Fins are, you may have heard of their lead singer Ella Thompson whose other musical project GL has been gracing festival stages all of 2016 and into 2017.

Seeing them live is where the magic of the Dorsal Fins really takes place, as all nine members bring their own unique energy to the live show. Their national tour is taking them to places less visited such as Ballarat, Byron Bay and even Fremantle – a logistical challenge at the very least coming from the east coast, but a fresh change and new time of exploration for the group.

While you wait for Dorsal Fins to tour hopefully near where you live, Jarrad Brown has sent in his choices for their edition of Trading Tunes.

Jarrad: “I love writing songs about “friends” and some of my favourite songs are “friend” songs. I’m gonna keep my friend-songs in check, whilst I’m are bustling around in a van with 8 of my Dorsal Fins mates. Here are five good ones.”


Pop Staples – ‘Friendship’

“The sweetest of the sweet. Released posthumously. A beautiful song.
‘If you’re on the street I’ll take you in / if you’re hungry I’ll give you food / If it’s money you need I’ve got some saved, if you’re sick… I’ll visit you / we got friendship’.”

Courtney Barnett – ‘Anonymous Club’

“Maybe my favourite Courtney song – it’s just so damn gentle, sways along and the lyrics are beautiful. I guess its a “hang out” song… a song about hanging out… hang-out songs will be my theme for next time. Love a good hang-out song.”

Unknown Mortal Orchestra- ‘Funny Ffrends’

“I gots no idea what UMO are saying in ‘Funny Ffrends‘, even after listening 1000 times… But I guess that is part of what makes this such a cool song. It is a dreamy homerun of a riff/vibe, and ‘vibe’ is a key ingredient for solid friendship.”

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.”



3rd March – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne 4th March – Karova, Ballarat
17th March – The Beach Hotel, Byron Bay 18th March – The Foundry, Brisbane
23rd March – The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle 24th March – Newtown Social Club, Sydney
31st March – Rocket Bar, Adelaide 1st April – Babushka, Perth
2nd April – Mojo’s Bar, Fremantle


Marcus Rimondini

Managing Editor & Music Editor - Follow on Twitter