Revered Sydney songwriter Laura Jean returns with new album Amateurs, her first record since 2018's much-celebrated Devotion. Amateurs is a stunning, string-laden album, set at a mystical midway point between the deep synth-pop of Devotion and the folkier sounds of Jean’s earlier work. The album features backing vocals from Aldous Harding and Marlon Williams on three songs ('Teenager Again', 'Amateurs' and 'Folk Festival'). The songwriter worked with producer Tim Bruniges around Sydney’s long 2020-2021 lockdowns. Erkki Veltheim (Gurrumul, Cat Power) arranged gorgeous strings for the album, which were recorded in Melbourne by Devotion producer John Lee.
Amateurs is an album about anti-art and anti-intellectual culture in Australia (but applies equally to other parts of the world). It sees Laura questioning her role as a songwriter and examining the reality of her choices to prioritise art over other parts of her life. It is also a warmhearted, humorous and sonically breathtaking album. “Amateurs means to do something for love, not money, and somehow it’s become a dirty word, shorthand for a failure,” says Laura. “These songs arise from my acceptance that I will always be an ‘amateur’.”
Devotion received superlative reviews from Pitchfork, Gorilla vs. Bear and elsewhere, and made it into end-of-year lists for Spin, Idolator, Apple Music and more. Jean also acquired some high-profile fans, including Lorde and actor Brie Larson. She did two UK/Europe tours in 2018-19 with Courtney Barnett and Aldous Harding. The artist has twice been shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize and has recorded with Jenny Hval as well as Aussie icons Paul Kelly, The Drones, and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever.
“Maybe the sharpest communication of the spooky, all-consuming nature of feminine love.” – Lorde
- Teenager Again
- Too Much To Do
- Folk Festival
- Market On The Sand
- Rainbow Club
- Rockn’Roll Holiday
- A Funny Thing Happened
- Something To Look Forward To Forever