“ […] folk-based Americana music tinged with shades of bluegrass and gospel. For an Australian band, they have a great handle on the Americana sound and could quite easily compete with American bands in this genre. […] We would love to see them tour the States, and believe they would be quite successful.” – Bob Leggett (Indie Voice Blog)
There’s a buzz about Great Aunt: theirs is a strange and joyous approach to making sometimes-sorrowful music.
Raw and austere, simple and bold; full of stomping feet and clapping hands, chants and harmonies, whispered words and soulful lament – that’s the music of Great Aunt. Listen, and you’ll hear tales of joy and grief, whiskey and wine, gratitude and purpose-seeking.
Formed in 2016, the duo is a collaboration between songwriter/instrumentalists Megan Bird (mandolin, guitar, vocals) and Chelsea Allen (double bass, vocals, percussion), and draws inspiration from the traditions of old time, bluegrass, and gospel music, with loving and subtle homage to the pair’s diverse background in punk, jazz, roots, and folk music. The instrumentation and arrangements are bare and bold: using only various combinations of mandolin, guitar or resonator, with double bass and percussion, and the sonorous voices of Bird and Allen in harmony.
In 2020, Great Aunt released two new singles, ‘Oh, Won’t You Save Me’ and ‘Rock Paper Neighbour’, which were featured in respected US roots music publications, No Depression and Country Queer, respectively. Although COVID-19 has denied the duo an opportunity to tour locally or internationally this year, they were invited to showcase for Bluegrass Pride for the online edition of IBMA’s World of Bluegrass Conference.
The duo are currently busy in their home studio, producing and recording their debut full-length album, ‘It’s All Downhill From Here’ – due for release in 2020.