15th September, 2014
There are nine new songs recorded on tape (slimmed down from 13 initial tracks), ‘Black Dog’, ‘Cha Cha Cha d’Amour’, ‘Black Coffee and Cigarettes’, ‘Broken Horses’, ‘Believer’, ‘Nothing Special’, ‘Damaged’, ‘I Walk Alone’ and ‘I Never Knew’. The album was recorded mostly at Space junk III and Studios 301 in Sydney between 2010 and 2013. Most of the songs were written in a burst in 2010/11 but a few had been sitting around on various multi-track tapes in various states of completion for years before that including one song ‘Believer’ first recorded in 1994.
The album was co-produced by Michael with timEbandit Powles (Tim Powles, of the Australian masters of guitar atmospherics, The Church). Five songs, ‘Black Dog’, ‘Cha Cha Cha d’Amour’, ‘Black Coffee and Cigarettes’, ‘Broken Horses’ and ‘Believer’ were mixed by Danton Supple (Morrisey, Coldplay) in his studio in London, Defintion Arts. The remaining tracks were mixed by Powles at his Spacejunk III studio and Studios 301 Sydney.
True Believer is a compelling and hypnotic listening experience -built around Michael Cullen’s resonant baritone, which is deeper and richer than ever before, the music draws from Stax, Mowtown, New Wave and 80s British pop as well as Michael’s often cited influences of Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Ian Curtis and Tom Waits.
True Believer – from the noir tinged, rain soaked Chandleresque entrance of ‘Black Dog’ and the desert canyon wanderings of ‘Believer’ to the alt country and finally classic rock stylings of ‘Black Coffee and Cigarettes’ and the Berlin studio feel of ‘Cha Cha Cha d’Amour’ to the cinemascope landscapes of ‘I Walk Alone’, this record delivers emphatically on the promise of Michael Cullen’s debut.