Best known as the frontman of the Australian rock n roll luminaires, Eskimo Joe, acclaimed songwriter Kav Temperley is stepping out solo. The first taste of his upcoming album dropped today in the form of new single, Pollyanna – an ominous reflection on the relativity of happiness – the single will be received instantly with all digital album pre-orders. Pollyanna precedes Kav Temperley’s highly anticipated debut solo album All Your Devotion, a collection of ruminating, thoughtful, and effecting songs from one of this country’s greatest talents, set for release digitally and on vinyl on September 28. To celebrate what is the culmination of years of hard work, Kav will be hitting the road in October and November this year, kicking off on October 5 at The Milk Factory in Brisbane, and moving through the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Belgrave, Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle, Fremantle, Margaret River, before wrapping up in Bunbury at Prince of Wales on November 3.
Jen got the chance to chat to Kav to find out more.
Hi Kav, Amazing to hear that you have stepped out on your own, however…..it got my wondering when you actually have the time! Eskimo Joe re-released their 4th album Inshalla only last week. Does this bring back some great memories and can you tell us one of them?
Yes, it’s a busy time, but an exciting time. I have so many memories of writing the Inshalla album, we were on the road for three years touring Black Fingernails Red Wine, and during a lot of that time I spent on the road overseas, some major life changing events occurred.
I was really struggling with touring the states, some cities were wonderful like Portland, Austin, New York to name a few, but it was just such a vast country, there was a lot of time traveling and a lot of bad food. by the time I was eating my fifth burger for the week and playing to three people in a strip mall in Phoenix Arizona, I was done, I was exhausted and tired and everyone was partying all the time so it felt like things were spinning out of control.
One morning in Boston I woke up early with a hangover to a phone call from Australia, it was my girlfriend letting me know that she was pregnant with our first child. I was ecstatic and despite the fact that we had another 3 weeks of our north American tour left I couldn’t wait to get home and start a family. Becoming a father was important to me, I didn’t want to be an absent dad always away, so when I did get home I just stopped and didn’t go back out on the road again until the next album was completed.
During that time a lot of the songs were written, but the song Childhood Behavior probably best describes that transition, from being a band on the road enjoying the highs and lows of success, to realizing that there are other things in life that are more important.
Great answer! I am listening to you singing Black Fingernails Red Wine at the surprise concert at the Herald Sun. I was thinking that everyone will expect you to sing it on your tour. Do you feel that this song is the song you are associated with rather than anything else from you career? And do you mind?
I think to be associated with any song is an honor and a privilege, but we are lucky enough in Eskimo Joe to have had a few songs that people associate with us.
I remember listening to the radio one year on Australia Day, and one of our songs had made it on to the the 96fm sky show (our Perth fireworks show) it was nestled in there right between In The Air Tonight and Every Breath You Take. I remember thinking ‘This is it we’ve made it!! It was quite an addictive feeling, but once you get to the top that mountain the next mountain range looms ahead and you can’t help yourself but keep on climbing.
I liked the way you have incorporated one of my favourite fictional characters when I was a kid into this song. I have not thought about Pollyanna and her attitude for a long time. About time I did! Was this song written about how making a choice to be happy is and better than being down in the dumps?
When I sing the words “come on Pollyanna I’m going to give you everything” I’m really singing to myself to always remember to look on the bright side of things.
I think everyone has a moment in their day, month or year when you have to physically tell yourself to get up and get on with your day.
I had been going through a really tough time and I was having to give myself pep talks in the mirror saying things like “come on buddy you can do this”
I think when you go through these things you’re given the opportunity to evolve as a person, and unfortunately its always a little painful, and often you loose a few friends along the way.
Pollyanna is the lead single from your new album ‘All Your Devotion’ is there a reason why it is?
Every song on the album are like my children, I love them all equally. Pollyanna felt like a good starting point as far as the story of this record goes.
Kav, when you are touring is it just going to be you and your trustworthy guitar?
I’ll be touring through October November and yes it will just be me and a guitar, it feels like a nice place to start. When you play a song just by yourself on the acoustic guitar, the stories come through really clear.
I want everyone who comes along to feel like they’ve been on the same journey as me with the record.
I love the image for the tour poster with the mug shot. You actually have the appropriate expression, if that was me I would have taken loads of shots with me smiling, how was that for you?
I was meant to be Sargent Kav, reporting for my tour of duty…
Your album that is due out on September the 28th which is actually not that far away. This album is based on a new relationship of yours. Listening to it I can hear that in the songs. I adore the song ‘This is the Love’. I had a pretty bad marriage breakup 15 or so years ago and when I started feeling myself I met or actually re-met the love I was waiting for all my life. Can you take us through the writing process of this song?
I wrote the song out in the desert in Western Australia, I was in a 100 year old school house in the historic town of Cossack with only two ginormous lizards who lived the the ceiling to keep me company and a family of hawks who lived just outside the window.
it was so echoey in the room that I had to drag my microphone out into the desert to record my vocals, I had make sure I got the job done early enough in the day before the sun got too hot.
The song is about the pre conceived notion of love that one day you’ll find your soul mate, then sadly enough some time in your 20’s you end up saying to yourself “this is as good its going to get”
I was married and my marriage broke down, then just as I had given up I fell in love with my best friend and pow there it was, lightening bolt love, I had found my soul mate. Most of this record is a love letter to her.
That is beautiful! Timing wise how long did it take to write the entire album?
Its been brewing for about four years, but mainly two years of constant work.
I actually am quite moved by the entire album Kav, some of the lyrics I could have put on paper. (if I had the talent) I mean I feel your emotions and can relate. This is the 3rd album this week that I have felt connected to. Do you write because you feel its healing or do you write to connect with others or both?
I write for myself mainly, when I sing and write whatever demons that are floating around my ribcage are kept bay for a little while. But I love that after I put a song out, it’s no longer about me anymore, everyone gets their own stories from the songs like some kind of magical mirror.
I am really hoping to catch up with you at one of your gigs. I think it could be an emotional journey. Are you playing any Eskimo Joe’s songs as well?
Yes, I’ll play a few Eskys songs on my solo tour as well as a bunch of songs from my new record.
I am also hoping to see you at under the Southern Stars. What a line up!
I believe there will be Hoodoo Gurus, You Am I, ourselves and a bunch of other great bands.
Thanks for your time Kav.
thanks for your time, cheers Kav
ALL YOUR DEVOTION NATIONAL ALBUM TOUR
FRI 5 OCT | THE MILK FACTORY, BRISBANE QLD | 18+
SAT 6 OCT | VILLA NOOSA HOTEL, SUNSHINE COAST QLD | 18+
SUN 7 OCT | PUBLIC BAR @ COOLANGATTA HOTEL, GOLD COAST QLD | 18+ | Free show
THU 11 OCT | GRACE EMILY, ADELAIDE SA | 18+
FRI 12 OCT | SOOKI LOUNGE, BELGRAVE VIC | 18+
SAT 13 OCT | THE TOFF IN TOWN, MELBOURNE VIC | 18+
FRI 19 OCT | LEADBELLY, SYDNEY NSW | 18+
SAT 20 OCT | LIZOTTES, NEWCASTLE NSW | 18+
SAT 27 OCT | MOJOS, FREMANTLE WA | 18+
FRI 2 NOV | RIVER HOTEL, MARGARET RIVER WA | 18+
SAT 3 NOV | PRINCE OF WALES, BUNBURY WA | 18+
Pollyanna is not quite as happy-go-lucky as its namesake, but despite a moody demeanour, there is a tenacious, almost stubborn sense of positivity that lurks throughout. With careful, considered instrumentation and an arrangement that allows deep strings, plucky piano and sparkling guitar to each complement the other, Pollyanna is a deeply effecting piece of music, made even more so with Kav’s idiosyncratic, expressive vocal delivery and lyricism. Kav reflects on the inspiration behind the track, saying, “A friend once told me that our happiness is always relative, whether we live in a war zone or paradise – our happiness always swings back to the same place. I had just lost my marriage and the band had decided to take a break, all of these things that defined me were now no longer around. It was one of the first times in my life I felt like a stranger just rolling along, but I realised that amongst all of this I was a Pollyanna, someone despite the bad news always looks on the bright side. This was a song I was singing to myself to remember to stay light.”
All Your Devotion is, quite simply, a daring testament of renewal. Produced alongside Pip Norman (Troye Sivan, Jarryd James, Urthboy) and John Castle (Megan Washington, Vance Joy, Bertie Blackman), the album delicately outlines the arc of newfound romance; the rapture, with Pollyannaand Queen Of My Heart, the hesitation, with This Is The Love and Devotion, and the surrender, with High and When You Run. All Your Devotion explores new sonic territory for Kav, as sparse and uncluttered production, reminiscent of pop and folk conventions, takes precendence over rock n roll ways. Kav reflects on some of the inspiration behind the album, saying, “We spend our lives building barricades to protect us, both physical and emotional. But, as well as protect, these barricades can also isolate and suffocate. All Your Devotion is about tearing those down and starting over, through all the fears and hope…It’s about growing up and moving on. It’s being courageous enough to live and to love again.”
Kav Templerley is set to perform tracks from All Your Devotion live to audiences across the country come October and November this year, as Eskimo Joe also prepare to hit the stage for the Under The Southern Stars festival run. It’s going to be a busy few months for the skilled musician, but anticipation is high, as Kav says, “(For the All Your Devotion tour,) it’s just going to be me with an acoustic guitar and kick drum strapped to my back. I want these shows to be raw and real so people feel like they’ve been there right next to me through the writing of this record.”