If you didn’t know it already, Eskimo Joe’s new Wastelands is in stores today. And if you also didn’t know it, Eskimo Joe will hit the road next month to promote their self-produced, crowd-funded release.

The tour will be fans’ first chance to see Eskimo Joe playing the best cuts from their new synth-laden release. So it’s a good thing that the Western Australian trio will play plenty of shows around the country this October and November. Tickets are on sale now from the venues for the following gigs.

17 October 2013 – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine
18 October 2013 – Ferntree Gully Hotel, Ferntree Gully
19 October 2013 – Forum Theatre, Melbourne
24 October 2013 – Newcastle Panthers, Newcastle
25 October 2013 – Metro Theatre, Sydney
26 October 2013 – Waves, Wollongong
1 November 2013 – Sugarland, Bundaberg
2 November 2013 – Tank Arts, Cairns
9 November 2013 – Astor Theatre, Perth
23 November 2013 – Gorgeous Festival, Adelaide Hills

Image used with permission from Alpha Entertainment

Eskimo Joe smashed records when they appealed to their fans to fund their new album Wastelands through a crowd-funding campaign. Now those fans get a chance to see what their money’s bought with the release of the first single “Got What You Need”.

This synth-laden number is a real departure from the rock sound we’re used to. However Kav Temperley’s awesome vocals and the catchy melody should be enough to help fans embrace this new direction. Honestly I’m still making up my mind about “Got What You Need”, but I think it might be a bit of a grower.

When Eskimo Joe fans pre-order the Wastelands album, which hits stores on September 20, they’ll receive a free copy of “Got What You Need”. Alternatively the single is available as a standalone track.

Image used with permission from Alpha Entertainment

After smashing targets with their crowdfunding campaign last November, Eskimo Joe are keen to say thank you to their generous fans. They’ll do just that when they showcase some of the new material they’ve been working on as well as treat punters to old favourites on their Winter Warmer Tour.

Kav, Stu, and Joel know it takes something special to bring music lovers out on winter nights, so they’re performing acoustic sets at intimate venues around the country. The sets will also see them reinterpreting highlights from their career so far. Rest assured Eskimo Joe fans, these shows will be worthwhile.

There are still tickets available for the following performances.

26 June 2013 – Paddington Uniting Church, Sydney

28 June 2013 – Old Museum, Brisbane
9 & 10 July 2013 – Moore and Moore, Fremantle
12 July 2013 – Ormond Hall, Melbourne
13 July 2013 – Published Arthouse, Adelaide

Image used with permission from Alpha Entertainment

Eskimo Joe have enjoyed the support of major labels in recent years, but they’ve decided to do things a little differently for album number six. Rather than working with a record company, the Perth band decided to let fans fund the new record through Pozible.

Fans have been quick to embrace the initiative, pledging $54, 600 at last count, far exceeding the $40, 000 Eskimo Joe hoped to raise. With the fundraising drive running until February, they might even end up doubling their target.

Contributors will have the warm fuzzy feeling that comes with helping to support local talent, as well as a few extra perks. Depending on how much they give, people who pledge can earn bonuses like advance copies of the new single and even a barbeque with the band members.

If you’re feeling skint you can still join in on the fun. Eskimo Joe will engage with their fans through social media during the writing and recording process.

“We feel that involving all our supporters like this brings a real responsibility to us to make a fucking awesome record and to also make them feel a real part of it,” the band said in an official statement. “This feels like a new creative beginning for us.”

I must admit to feeling Eskimo Joe’s album was a little lacklustre. I really hope this new direction brings them the inspiration they need to create another Aussie classic!

Following on from The Vines’ appearance earlier this year, Eskimo Joe and PNAU will play the next Russian Standard Vodka Live at the Chapel show. The Aussie acts will rock St. Stephen’s Anglican Church in the Sydney suburb of Newtown on November 23.

This is the first time the Live at the Chapel series has delivered a double act, and it’s sure to be a great night with both acts enjoying great success with recent releases.

Eskimo Joe are at the top of their game, having just scored six ARIA Award nominations, they are the finest rock act in the country, and PNAU are smashing it overseas, they look destined for global success,” said MCM media’s chief exec Simon Joyce. “To be able to present them on the same stage is a defining moment for Live At The Chapel, we’re in for a very special evening.”

As always this Russian Standard Vodka Live at the Chapel show is only for competition winners. For your chance to be amongst them head to the Live at the Chapel website.

Image used with permission from Beam Inc.

I came to Eskimo Joe a bit later in the game. I was always aware of their music through the radio, but it wasn’t until the release of Inshalla that I really connected with the band. So I was pretty excited to see what they served up with their newie, Ghosts of the Past. The single “Love is a Drug” set the bar high, but sadly I’ve got mixed feelings about the disc.

It’s really hard to put my finger on exactly why I haven’t connected with this recording. It sounds gorgeous. Eskimo Joe are a talented trio, and they’re probably incapable of making bad, or even mediocre, music. This disc is really piano rich, and that gives the album an epic feel. It helps the music soar and elevates it beyond the guitar-rock the band used to deliver.

And there are some really great songs here. “Gave it All Away” is such a strong opener, with its big rock sounds and crashing drums. I loved the quirkyness of “Echo,” which has one of the most unusual and compelling melodies I’ve heard in some time. The title track seems destined to become a single. It’s got just the right combination of rocking riffs and melodic hooks to appeal to the MMM set.

A lot of the disc is quite big, but I prefer it when it’s less grandiose. The alt-country feel of “Just Don’t Feel,” with its acoustic guitars and rich strings, was like a breath of fresh air. And I was initially struck by the simplicity of the closer “Sky’s on Fire.” The initial portion feels like it was recorded on an eight-track in a bedroom. That lack of polish gave it a real truth, so I was disappointed when this track too became big.

Frankly I could listen to an album of the small stuff, and that might be where my problem with Ghosts of the Past lies. This album sounds incredible, but such refinement comes at the expense of some soul. The lyrics are really strong, but it’s difficult to focus on them with so much else going on. It’s interesting that Eskimo Joe gave fans a preview of this album with an acoustic tour. Personally I think that stripped back delivery would have made these songs much more compelling than the wall of sound the band’s offered here. Ghosts of the Past is far from a bad album, but it’s not quite the record it could have been.

Image source: Eskimo Joe website

Gotye has continued his reign at the top of the ARIA singles charts this week. “Somebody That I Used to Know” is still sitting pretty at the number one spot, despite strong competition from Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera’s “Moves Like Jagger.”

Jessica Mauboy is also holding steady at number four with her newie “Inescapable.” And it’s worth noting that we’ve even got a chart presence rounding out the top 10. David Guetta might take top billing on “Titanium,” but we all know it’s our Sia that makes it really special.

The albums charts still belong to Adele, but the Aussies are making their presence felt. Eskimo Joe have blasted into the number three spot with their fifth studio album Ghosts of the Past.

Boy & Bear have slipped to number four, but Moonfire is still performing well after last week’s number two debut.

And it’s great to see Jessica Mauboy’s Get ‘Em Girls back in the top 10. The album wasn’t even in the top 50 last week, but it’s zoomed back to number 9, no doubt buoyed by the success of “Inescapable.”

Click below for all the chart action.

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Eskimo Joe Love is a DrugEskimo Joe’s new single “Love is a Drug” hit radio today, and the album to match is hot on its heels. We’ll see Ghosts of the Past, the fifth studio album from the Western Australian powerhouse, in stores on August 12.

Rather than keeping your ear glued to the radio you can check it out at the Eskimo Joe website. It’s also available for digital download if you’re so inclined. Personally I’m digging this song. It starts out with the sort of broodiness we heard on “Black Fingernails, Red Wine” but then turns into this soaring, melodic rock song. I’m predicting it’s going to be all over radio by week’s end.

We should hear more hooky songs on Ghosts of the Past, as it was recorded with the same team who worked on the brilliant Inshalla album. Fans will get a bit of a taste of it at next month’s Splendour in the Grass festival. If you’ve missed out on tickets for that, don’t worry. Eskimo Joe will tour the album all around the country before year’s end.

Image source: Eskimo Joe website

Eskimo Joe will hone their act leading up to their Splendour in the Grass set with some special acoustic shows around the country. The When We Were Kids concerts will feature yet to be released songs and some old favorites stripped back.

The altruistic lads will donate a portion of the profits from all tickets sold to Close the Gap, an Oxfam initiative to improve indigenous health. You can do your bit and buy tickets to one of the following shows at the venues.

20 May 2011 – Fowlers Live, Adelaide
21 May 2011 – Fly By Night, Perth
26 May 2011 – The Zoo, Brisbane
27 May 2011 – East Brunswick Club, Melbourne
28 May 2011 – Gaelic Club, Sydney

Image source: Johan @ Wikipedia Commons

inshallaInshalla, the fourth album from Western Australian rockers Eskimo Joe, is sitting pretty at the top of the charts. Such a stunning debut is testimony to the band’s enduring popularity. The public’s faith hasn’t gone unrewarded, with the album delivering the goods from start to finish.

It kicks off with the current single, “Foreign Land,” a strong statement with its Eastern instrumentation and hook-laden chorus. The album doesn’t take its foot off the pedal, with the title track delivering another driving rock song. That’s what Eskimo does best, but this disc has its fair share of light and shade. “Don’t Let Me Down” is unexpectedly upbeat. “Please Elise” is another lighter slice, a love song with equal measures of desperation and cheek. “Childhood Behaviour” is earnest without being overblown, a completely convincing tale of a relationship moving from one phase to the next. Equally magnificent is the epic “Losing My Mind,” a breathtaking piece with pounding drums and relentless rhythms.

The world music influences are apparent throughout the album, adding texture without straying too far from Eskimo Joe’s reliable indie rock sensibility. The result is a disc that’s accessible on the first listen, yet a little richer with each subsequent spin.

A number one debut comes from hype and loyalty. But this is one album that deserves its dizzy ascent. Once word of mouth spreads, I’m sure it will maintain its place at the top of the charts for a few weeks yet.