Jean.Laura - Amateurs - White
Revered Sydney songwriterLaura Jeanreturns with new albumAmateurs, her first record since the much-celebratedDevotionin 2018. Amateursis a stunning, string-laden album, set at a mystical midway pointbetween the deep synth-pop ofDevotionand the folkier sounds of Laura'searlier work. The album features backing vocals from Aldous Harding andMarlon Williams on three songs (Teenager Again, AmateursandFolkFestival). Laura worked with producer Tim Bruniges around Sydney's long 2020-2021 lockdowns. Erkki Veltheim (Gurrumul, Cat Power) arrangedgorgeous strings for the album, which were recorded in Melbourne byDevotionproducer John Lee. Amateursis an album about anti-art and anti-intellectual culture inAustralia (but applies equally to other parts of the world). It sees Lauraquestioning her role as a songwriter and examining the reality of herchoices toprioritise art over other parts of her life. It is also awarmhearted, humorous and sonically breathtaking album. "Amateurs means to do something for love, not money, and somehow it's become a dirtyword, shorthand for a failure, "says Laura. "These songs arise from my acceptancethat I will always be an 'amateur'. "2018 albumDevotionhad superlative reviews from Pitchfork, Gorilla VsBear and elsewhere, and made it into end of year lists for Spin, Idolator, Apple Music and more. Laura also acquired some high-profile fans such asLorde and actor Brie Larson. She did two UK/Europe tours in 2018-19with Courtney Barnett and Aldous Harding. Laura has twice been shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize and hasrecorded with Jenny Hval as well as Aussie icons Paul Kelly, The Drones, and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever.