Jen Cloher - “I feel like it’s a very real and honest expression of what I want to be doing in music.“By Kimberley Price
Jen Cloher’s entrance into the music world may not have officially happened until she was 32, but music has always been a major player in her life.
Taking to the Riverboat Music Festival’s stage at sunset on Saturday night, expect to rock out to Cloher’s music.
‘‘I always loved singing, it was always there in my life. But I never looked at it from a song writing perspective,’’ she said.
‘‘I bought a guitar when I was 20 and learnt a few basic chords and started writing and then it kind of took over and became my number one passion.
‘‘I made a decision and I let my acting agent know I didn’t want to pursue any more acting auditions and I moved to Melbourne.
‘‘It was a really new world for me and I didn’t walk in there feeling hugely confident.
‘‘I’ve had to learn slowly over time about the music industry and improve as a musician and songwriter.
‘‘Perhaps there was a sense of knowing myself better because I was older, but it’s been a journey.’’
Throughout Cloher’s music, she shares her life experiences. And in her lyrics, many issues are raised which have added to massive conversations currently being discussed throughout the industry. From a woman’s place in the music world to identity, politics and the difficulties of being an artist in Australia, Cloher tackles all these topics and many more.
‘‘I don’t think it’s important for music to be used in any particular way. For me, when I write songs, it’s an extension of what matters to me the most at the time and what’s going through my thoughts and things in my life or what I’m learning or what I’ve learnt or what I still have to learn.
‘‘I think it comes back to a life worth commenting on. I think you need to live a real, full, honest life in order to write songs or anything.
‘‘There seems to be more women participating in music across performance, the business side and technical side as well.
‘‘Perhaps people are listening more to those artists.
‘‘It feels like around the world in the last few years that women and their voices and their places in the world of music are being taken more seriously at a commercial levels where I think it really matters — that women are paid as much as their male counterparts and given the same opportunities, that they are billed at the top of festivals and that they’re recognised for being great artists.’’
Aside from her music, Cloher is co-founder of Milk! records with her partner and fellow musician Courtney Barnett. Founded in 2012 the record label is independent and has signed many up-and-coming alternative musicians. Whilst she’s proud of her achievements outside of her music, Cloher is currently focussing her energy on producing new music. Her Riverboats performance will predominantly showcase the music from her past two albums which are more rock-driven than her first two releases.
With a strong and authentic sound, Cloher delivers a performance the same as catching her on your radio or stereo.
‘‘I feel very connected to the work that I’m creating and I feel like it’s a very real and honest expression of what I want to be doing in music.’’
Jen Cloher - Regional Echo - YouTube
Jen Cloher - Strong Woman - YouTube
Interviewed by: Kimberley Price.
Voice: Vivienne Duck.
Produced by: Kimberley Price and Vivienne Duck.
A Riverine Herald production.