With a modern take on folk-blues based rock, Andrew Barnum is an Australian singer-songwriter who's been recording and releasing his own compositions since the 1990s.
Alongside his long-term collaborator, composer-producer Boris Hunt, Andrew's latest record 'Dear Ancestor' is a personal letter to our past about the future.
"'Dear Ancestor' was inspired by old folk-blues artists like Leadbelly, Son House, or the great ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax," he says. "It's a minor-key lament, asking a trusted sage, or zen master, for help to get out of a rut of self-delusion.
"It's a confession, talking to someone from the past about directions for the future. The singer is asking for a blow of awakening from the Ancestor's 'encouragement stick'."
In the mid '80s, Andrew had a national hit with 'Boom Box', a song written and recorded with his wife Lissa as the rock group Vitabeats.
His current sound is a blend of the acoustic and electronic arcane – forgotten analogue technologies, merging with digital interfaces and an array of musicians, including vocals from Lissa and Cayenne Barnum.
"The lyrics are inspired by a sense of distance from the necessary truth of our self-absorbed condition," Andrew says, discussing the album's title track. "Allusions of ditches, prisons, flypaper, and finally the wake-up: 'I saw you pouring water on that witch'."
Ahead of the release of 'Dear Ancestor' as a single tomorrow (31 July), scenestr is amped to premiere the accompanying music video for the song today. Enjoy.
"The video clip was a collaboration with students from Billy Blue College (Andy Marsh, Christine Kemeny, Bailey Sii, and Tony Taulaga)," Andrew says, "where all the footage was shot in two isolated locations, Sydney and the South Coast, then edited.
"The creative direction was based on the silhouette style of Indonesian shadow puppetry. The team set out to create the smoky, burnt atmosphere of the recent bushfires – the spirit of the Ancestor is represented by Australian birds. Special thanks to Christine Kemeny for the final production."