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DAN SULTAN
‘DROVER (FEAT. DAVE LE’AUPEPE)’
(taken from Killer Under A Blood Moon EP out Friday 18 May through Liberation Records)

Four songs, four days in a timber-clad studio set in the sweeping Macedon Ranges, northwest of Melbourne. Dan Sultan arrived with his guitar each morning not knowing how the selected tracks from his ARIA Award-nominated fourth album, Killer, would be reinterpreted by the brightest names in Australian music: A.B. Original, Camp Cope, Meg Mac, and Gang of Youths frontman Dave Le’aupepe.

Nor did Sultan want to know. The concept behind his new collaborative EP, Killer Under A Blood Moon, was to give his songs new bodies, new ways of being, and to have a good time doing it.

“We were really just hanging out and having a bit of fun together,” Sultan says of handing his songs over to his friends, who also happen to be some of his favourite musicians. “I’m really proud of Killer and of the writing on the album, and this is another way to show these songs from a different perspective.”

Sultan has been a singular musical presence since the release of his first album, 2006’s Homemade Biscuits, straddling genres and celebrating the diversity of his audiences. All the while, he’s also become one of the country’s most revered songwriters. Sultan’s 2014 album, Blackbird, was certified Gold. Just months after it debuted in the top five of the ARIA Albums Chart, Killer was nominated for Best Rock Album and Best Independent Release at the 2017 ARIA Awards. Sultan was nominated for Best Male Artist, not for the first time.

Killer Under A Blood Moon, recorded at Red Moon Studios with producer Jan Skubiszewski, is testament to the respect Sultan garners in his peers. It also speaks to a growing camaraderie amongst those musicians unafraid to forge new cultural ground and to challenge the status quo, onstage and off. To hear Camp Cope’s Georgia Maq sing “I won’t tell you twice” on ‘Killer’, or Dave Le’aupepe resolve to “keep on pushing till I see the light” on ‘Drover’, is to find new wisdom in the songs. Theirs is a shared power channelled in vital performances.

To kick off the EP project, Sultan approached A.B. Original to rework Killer’s album single, ‘Kingdom’. Sultan previously sang on the hip-hop group’s smash, ‘January 26’. “I’ve been along for the ride a couple of times with those guys, so I thought it would be good to have them along for the ride with me,” Sultan says. “I gave the track to Trials and just said to him, “Bro, just go for it; whatever you come up with is going to be sick”. And what they did with it is beautiful. It’s a pretty sad song, but it’s beautiful.”

While Sultan counts A.B. Original, Camp Cope and Le’aupepe as close friends – “There are some people you meet and just go, “Yep, we’re brothers”,” he says of the Gang Of Youths singer – Meg Mac was less familiar. The pair had previously met backstage at festivals and in airport lounges, and Sultan was a fan, asking Mac to lend her sleek swagger to ‘Reaction’. “She’s just awesome and super professional, of course. She knew the song almost better than I did,” he laughs.

The EP rounds off with two glam-bent bonus tracks, ‘Coming Back’ and ‘Pitchfork’, both offcuts from Killer. Produced by Skubiszewski, like the four songs they join on Killer Under A Blood Moon, they’ve also been given a new lease on life.

KILLER UNDER A BLOOD MOON TRACKLISTING

  1. Drover (Feat. Dave Le’aupepe)
  2. My Kingdom (Feat. A.B. Original)
  3. Reaction (Feat. Meg Mac)
  4. Killer (Feat. Camp Cope)
  5. Pitchfork (Bonus Track)
  6. Coming Back (Bonus Track)

KILLER UNDER A BLOOD MOON IS OUT FRIDAY 18 MAY 2018 VIA LIBERATION RECORDS

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