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The Immaculate Crows

Post-Punk Meets Desert Rock in The Immaculate Crows’ Spellbinding Single, School of Hard Knocks

Taken from their Light in Dark Rooms EP, The Immaculate Crows’ alt-indie rock single, School of Hard Knocks, is an 80s-nostalgia-swathed invitation to wear the scars you have amassed in your fight to survive as a badge of honour.

In recent years, there has been a heightened prevalence of the presumption that society is a mediocracy where everyone is granted the same opportunity, in complete disregard to the disparity in starting lines. The Immaculate Crows reached out to the disenfranchised with validation written into their spellbinding single, which bridges the gap between Siouxsie Siouxe and Echo and the Bunnymen while working in an extra slice of desert folk-rock glamour. The endlessly compelling female vocal lines pull you right into the centre of the dark yet radiantly mesmerising orchestration.

School of Hard Knocks is available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Immaculate Crows held a mirror to human-derived harrow in their psychedelic alt-indie single, Dolly

The Immaculate Crows never fail to strike all the right chords with their sympathetic sensitivity and superfluous arrangements; their single, Dolly, was no exception to the rule. With a Southern country folk twist to psychedelic new wave indie, they orchestrated the ultimate soundscape for profound reflection.

A tale of torment-driven suicide and domestic violence could have easily sat heavily on the soul, but with the rich tapestry of psych, folk, indie, pop and country rock, The Immaculate Crows efficaciously advocate for a reality that gravitates around compassion and kindness.

The sonic olive branch may be small, but sometimes, all it can take is one push in a more positive direction to create a ripple effect of change, and therein lies the beauty of The Immaculate Crows’ discography. It holds a mirror to human-derived harrow before melodiously illustrating the capacity for tenderness, which lies in us all.

Stream Dolly on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Immaculate Crows honoured the memory of a family lost to domestic violence with deep solemnity in ‘For Hannah’

For Hannah by The Immaculate Crows

In their latest single, For Hannah, The Immaculate Crows mourned the senseless loss of Hannah Clarke and her three children, Aaliyah, Laianah, and Trey, murdered by Hannah’s ex-partner in February 2020.

After a compassionately sombre instrumental prelude, deep in its solemnity, the lyrics are at a loss with the cruelty of trapping the family in a car and burning them to death. Passers-by who attempted to intervene were prevented from saving the family from the act of domestic violence that has scarred the history of humanity.

If this is life, I’d rather go away to where angels call out my name” is an all too efficacious exposition of the feelings that plague the people horrified by battered children and wives and broken lives. The soulful reprise “don’t let this happen again” reminds us that we all have a role to play in society to fill perpetrators with shame.

There is plenty to separate the culture of where I am in the UK and where the Immaculate Crows are in Australia. Yet, the statistic of one in four women being victims of domestic violence remains the same. Culturally stigmatising the prevalent phenomenon, as The Immaculate Crows did so gracefully in For Hannah, may save lives as mirrors are held to the insidious reflections of monsters who parade themselves as ordinary upstanding citizens. The single is one that I won’t get over easily. So, it is safe to say that The Immaculate Crows succeeded in what they set out to achieve.

For Hannah is now available to stream and purchase via Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Immaculate Crows Interview: And Then There Were Two

The A&R Factory Team recently sat down with the brave and humble Australian artist The Immaculate Crows. He tells us more about the latest release called And Then There Were Two and leads us deep into the history of the vibrant Brisbane music scene.

Thank you for chatting with us today, The Immaculate Crows. Please let everyone know where we can find you today and what did you consume for breakfast this morning?

The Immaculate Crows: I am sitting here at home in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. I am feeling lazy after having had Special K with sliced Banana and a Capucino for breakfast. Carolyn had soft-boiled eggs and toast with a Capucino.

What was it like back in the 80s music-wise?

The Immaculate Crows: I had had a pretty sheltered life due to being a chronic Asthmatic and didn’t leave home until I was 27. My influences up to this point were mostly sixties artists but I ended up living in a house with four girls who were younger and introduced me to the new music. I fell in love with New Wave and Punk. Carolyn had lived in a home where The Saints used to practice. This was before I met her. When I formed the original Immaculate Crows in late 1981 Brisbane had already had its first wave of Alternative bands such as The Saints, Riptides and The Go-Betweens. I really only started checking out the local scene once I started playing in bands myself. We weren’t the only band with an unusual name in Brisbane. There was ‘Ducks In Formation’, ‘The Psychotic Pigeons’, ‘The Toxic Garden Gnomes’ and ‘The Furious Turtles’, to name a few. I met Carolyn at a party some time after we had recorded ‘Dingo’ and ‘Psychedelic Girl’ in September 1982 and I played her a tape of the recording. There was a bit of a Mod music revival going on as well. There was a band called The 31rst who played obscure sixties covers. Unfortunately, there were a lot of skinheads around then who liked their own version of punk (Oi I think it was called) and ska who had some violent elements.

Please tell us more about your new release, And Then There Were Two.

The Immaculate Crows: I stopped playing in bands in early 1985. Carolyn and I were living together and were both sick of struggling financially, and I was sick of being sabotaged by other band members. I tried to suppress my creative instincts and rarely went out to watch live music. It wasn’t until 2019 that I eventually got around to releasing the few recordings we did in the 80’s. I reunited with former bandmate Mark Hocknell in 2019 and we had a brief partnership, which yielded 15 recordings before Mark decided to concentrate on his own music. I couldn’t afford to pay for recording time in a studio so Carolyn and I purchased home recording equipment and Carolyn started learning how to use a Studio One Artist DAW that came free with the interface. Mark had already been using Garage Band to record some instrumentals. He would come over and lay down the initial tracks on Garage Band and then send an MP4 to Carolyn, who transferred these tracks to her DAW. Singers were recorded by Carolyn and she did all the final mixes with final mastering done by Kagen Step. ‘And Then There Were Two’ refers to the fact that Mark and I were the only original band members who contributed to this album. I wrote the songs and song arrangements and played on all songs. Mark produced the initial tracks and also played on all songs except for ‘Bird In The Sky’ which had Roo Friend playing bass and drums and me playing everything else.

Singers were locally sourced Brisbane musicians with varying degrees of singing and recording experience. They consisted of buskers, writers, scientists, wardsmen, mums and public servants. The genres vary from Alternative Country, Country Folk, Psychedelic and Punk to Indie Rock and Folk Blues Fusion and song themes vary from Youth Suicide, Institutionalised Care Abuse to Unrequited Love and Sexual Frustration.

How would you describe your sound to someone who had never heard a song before?

The Immaculate Crows: Different listeners have commented that individual songs have reminded them of Black Sabbath, Santana, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Pink Floyd, Patti Smith, The Smiths, Jefferson Airplane or Stone Roses. All these artists are very different to each other so I would say our music is hard to categorise. However, it does have its own sound with both Retro and Modern elements.

Do you have plans to tour in the near future?

The Immaculate Crows: No! I am happy to just write and produce music.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

The Immaculate Crows: Not sure about good advice! I haven’t had the luxury of influential mentors giving me wise advice. If there is anyone at all, it would be Carolyn and my sons who encourage me to continue.

Last, what do you think the music industry needs to do in order for the scene to flourish?

The Immaculate Crows: Hard one to answer! My observation is that there is a great divide between Mainstream and Alternative and few outlets to showcase artists who are not firmly placed in one or the other camps.

Hear this top song on Spotify. See more moves on IG.

Interview by Llewelyn Screen

The 80s legends, The Immaculate Crows, exude pure soul in their psych-tinged indie single, Another Day Gone By

Surrender to the pure soul in The Immaculate Crows’ latest impeccably impassioned single, Another Day Gone By, which features Jessica Shipley on lead vocals and Daphne Mae as the backing harmonist.

The melodically caressing single was written by The Immaculate Crows founder, songwriter, guitarist and producer Bruce Neilsen, when he was priming for an eagerly anticipated comeback after their phenomenal success in the early 80s.

Sharing similar lyrical propensities as Lou Reed’s Perfect Day, the mellifluous indie single gives you a ravenous appetite for life by reminding you how sweet it can be when you embrace the most beautiful facets of existence, such as the incandescently sweet piano score against the psych-tinged guitars in Another Day Gone By. Remaining lucid while this perfectly poised score is in motion is easier said than done. You can’t help drifting away with the compassionate soul.

Another Day Gone By is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

In My Dreams: Brisbane’s The Immaculate Crows finds that courage to carry on with Too Much Time

After seizing our attention on their previous release, Broken Heart, The Immaculate Crows shows us the journey through life and all those frostily faded friendships you wish still existed on the solo-filled single with a punch called Too Much Time.

The Immaculate Crows is a Brisbane, Australia-based alternative collective who was formed by the underground legend Bruce Neilsen back in the early 80s.

Showing us yet again of a calming brilliance that was hidden from the world like a mysterious tomb awaiting discovery, The Immaculate Crows guides us into rarified air on a sumptuous single to delve nimbly into. There are guitar riffs to snack into here and an ambience of class poured over the layers and fibers that shall get us all thinking rather deeper than before.

Too Much Time from Brisbane, Australia-based alternative act The Immaculate Crows is a tremendously inviting single and shall live long in the memory of those who love that classic 80s feel to proceedings. Wrapped in a radiant glow of wonder, which is quite fantastic to witness, this is a dynamite packed experience to remember forever.

Swim into this new single on Spotify and see more on the IG music page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Like A Damaged Bird: The Immaculate Crows drifts down that lonesome road on Broken Heart

Broken Heart by The Immaculate Crows

Featuring Nicky Steel on vocals and taken from the upcoming and much-awaited debut album And Then There Were Two, The Immaculate Crows shows us into that anguish and pain that rumbles through the doomed sea of darkness on Broken Heart.

The Immaculate Crows is a Brisbane, Australia-based alternative collective who was formed by the prolific Bruce Neilsen back in the 80s.

”’Broken Heart’ is about breaking up, feeling despair and loss, but ends with a message about moving on, regardless. I think this will be a Country Classic in time.” ~ Bruce from The Immaculate Crows 

With a beautiful anthem featuring calmingly beautiful vocals and a soundtrack that has clearly been made with so much love, The Immaculate Crows guides us into a reflective story that shall induce a few tears down your cheeks. Filled with grace and elegance in droves, this is a special single that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster to remember forever.

Broken Heart from Brisbane, Australia-based alternative collective outfit The Immaculate Crows is a timeless track that will put you into a different mind frame altogether. There is a world class quality on offer that will stretch your heart and then somehow make it all better again. That is the power of music made with love, you see.

Tune into this excellent single on Bandcamp and follow their story on Bruce’s IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen