It’s been two years since critically acclaimed chart-topping Australian singer/songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke released her last record, “Nightflight”. Now, after leaving Sony Music after seven years and independently releasing her fourth album in Australia in mid-March, “O Vertigo!” will be released in the US on October 28th. On the heels of the upcoming release of her completely fan-funded new offering, which broke records and achieved its target in three days, making it both the fastest and all-round most successful direct-to-fan campaign by an Australian artist to date, Kate is proud to announce that she will make her debut at NYC’s illustrious Metropolitan Opera in “The Death Of Klinghoffer”, reprising the role she performed in the production at the English National Opera in London in 2012. The much-buzzed about opera, directed by Tom Morris (War Horse), is scheduled for eight performances, and opens on October 20th, with shows on October 24th, 29th and November 1st, 5th, 8th, 11th, 15th.
You can check out details for the event here:
In addition to her performances at The Met, to support the release of “O Vertigo!”, she will be performing at West Virginia Public Radio’s “Mountain Stage” on October 26th and in NYC at Rockwood Music Hall on November 3rd.
Known for having some of the most gloriously elastic vocal chords in contemporary music, Kate’s unique vocal and performance dynamics was learnt through early operatic training. Over the last five years, Miller-Heidke has won over audiences with her operatic vocal flair across the world – from Australia to Asia, the US and UK, including highly praised performances at SXSW, Coachella and Lilith Fair in 2010 and standing ovations on the Ben Folds Five reunion tour in 2012 and Ben Folds solo tour in 2009/2010.
On her new record, “O Vertigo!”, which debuted at #4 on Australia’s national chart, Miller-Heidke playfully redefines the boundaries of pop music, while pushing her voice into uncharted vocal terrain. “Something I really wanted to embrace on this album, more than ever before, is exploiting the range and dynamics in my voice,” she says. The record has received an enthusiastic response from the Australian media, including “Rolling Stone Australia”‘s Matt Coyte who gave the album “4 Stars” and proclaimed, “…Miller-Heidke hits it out of the park, delivering the sort of indie-pop for adults you feel she was always trying to make….O Vertigo! is an album of smart, challenging and mature pop music.”
From the towering pop of the title track, to the arresting romantic ballads (“Share Your Air”, “What Was I To You?”) and electrifying barnyard-stompers (“Jimmy”, “Drama”), “O Vertigo!” is an album of many firsts. In addition to releasing it independently, this is Kate’s first album where she wrote the majority of songs solo, and the first that prominently features guest vocalists: UK folk sensation Passenger (“Share Your Air”); Australian hip-hop artist Drapht (“Drama”); and Kate’s long-time friend Megan Washington (“Ghost”).
Here’s a link to download/stream the track “Offer It Up”:
You can check out the video for “Share Your Air” (featuring Passenger) here:
Recorded with engineer and co-producer John Castle (Washington, Josh Pyke, Cub Sport, The Bamboos, The Cat Empire, Lior, The Drones), the recording of the album is where the music funding platform PledgeMusic played a major role. Part of the campaign’s success can be attributed to the scorchingly funny video Kate’s husband/collaborator Keir Nuttall directed, featuring horrible proposed fake cover-art concepts, Kate jokingly reading “Pro-Tools for Dummies”, and footage of an irate Amanda Palmer screaming at Kate to get out of her dressing room.
Here’s a link for the hilarious initial PledgeMusic video:
For the fund raising campaign, she invited her fans to contribute money towards recording costs in exchange for rewards, ranging from the modest (digital pre-orders of the album) to the exciting (having their names included in the liner notes) to the jaw-dropping (owning the Wurlitzer piano on which Kate wrote “O Vertigo!”). One of the most popular prizes was having Kate phone a person of their choice to sing a personal “Happy Birthday”. To date, Kate more than doubled her initial goal and five per cent of all the proceeds have also gone directly to the World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) efforts to preserve the Great Barrier Reef.
Kate’s innovative, sci-fi pop music first began to be known worldwide in 2009 as she developed an ever-growing hoard of devotees thanks to her viral hit, “Are You F*#king Kidding Me (The Facebook Song)”, which was followed by her irresistibly catchy track, “Are You Ready?” (from the record “Liberty Bell”, created by her electronic side project), which was used regularly for the NY Lottery campaigns. In her native Australia, her 2012 album “Nightflight” debuted at #2 and her 2010 much heralded US debut, “Curiouser”, went to #1 and reached double-platinum status.
She received US praise for “Curiouser” and her live shows, and the record featured the NPR “Song of the Day” honored single “Caught In The Crowd”, which addresses the serious subject of teenage bullying, and Kate was involved in a nationwide anti-bullying campaign in which schools created videos using the song. Also, with this song, Kate and Keir made history as the first Australians to win the Grand Prize in the prestigious International Songwriting Competition (based in Nashville). The song was handpicked from more than 17,000 entries to woo judges including Tom Waits, The Shins’ James Mercer, The Cure’s Robert Smith, Neil Finn and The Kinks’ Ray Davies.
Never afraid to take risks, Kate’s love of opera has inspired her to write a children’s opera, “The Rabbits”, based on the massively successful illustrated book by Shaun Tan and John Marsden. She will perform in the production, which will premiere at next year’s Perth International Arts Festival.
Whether it’s pop, theatre, or opera, Kate continues to mesmerize audiences worldwide. In the words of “The Beat.com”‘s Ali Birniem, “‘O Vertigo!’ delivers everything we have come to expect from a Kate Miller-Heidke album: impressive vocals, unique style and a willingness to push the musical boundaries to create a fun and quirky album.”
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