Adrian Whitehead: Nerd From The Suburbs

by Popboomerang

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about

Adrian Whitehead’s stunning songwriting lays bare the human condition and shines a light into the dark corners of our inner worlds. Channelling the likes of George Harrison, Elliott Smith, and Harry Nilsson, he creates a unique sound that reflects his extensive musical experiences. An accomplished multi-instrumentalist, Adrian has performed with some of Australia’s best known artists including The Badloves, Pollyanna, Even, Abby Dobson, and Liz Stringer.

Adrian’s long-awaited second album, Nerd from the Suburbs, weaves alt-pop and psychedelic influences into an elegantly constructed soundscape. Produced by Shane O’Mara (Paul Kelly, Tim Rogers, Lisa Miller) at Yikesville studio in Melbourne, Nerd from the Suburbs is the end result of a journey that started almost a decade ago. Not content to merely recreate the sonic mastery of his first album, One Small Stepping Man (2008), Adrian goes deeper with this new offering: delving into the web of human experience, getting tangled in the contradictions and paradoxes, and finally distilling a sound as beautiful and disgusting as the lives he writes about. A clinical Sigmund Freud gives in to schizophrenic psychedelia; expansive cinematic soundscapes contrast against a New Orleans bar scene, complete with drunken trombone and tack piano. Finally, in an attempt to find intimacy, the closing track thrusts the listener into the farthest reaches of the known universe, shadowed by reverb-drenched guitars and lofty vocals.

Though there’s plenty of humour and warmth, Nerd From The Suburbs is not afraid to stare into the abyss when the time comes. And there lies the true paradox: when we put ourselves under the microscope we are likely to find not only great pain and sadness, but also healing and comfort. When the long night is over, the darkness swirls into shades of grey.


Praise for Adrian Whitehead

“Whitehead has shown his utter mastery of 60s and 70s-influenced pop forms that all of us in the power pop community enjoy”
Absolute Powerpop

“Brilliantly written songs and perfectly catchy summer melodies fill the air wherever this is played and I am as giddy as a schoolgirl whenever I hear it”
The Rock And Roll Report

credits

released March 22, 2018

Adrian Whitehead – vocal, acoustic guitar, piano, drums (3), bass (3, 9)
Shane O’Mara – electric guitar (1, 3, 7, 8, 10), baritone guitar (2), solo (9)
Jacob Cole – electric guitar (1), solo (2), 12 string (7)
Jethro Pickett – electric guitar (8), backing vocals (1, 7, 9), wisdom (all)
Ursula Woods – backing vocals (1, 7, 9)
Tim Keegan – bass (1, 2, 4, 8)
Jak Housden – bass (7, 10)
Sam Young – drums (1, 2, 8, 9)
Terepia Richmond – drums (7, 10)
Joe Tobias – trumpet (2, 3)
Ellie Lamb– trombone (2, 3)
Amy Lowe – tuba (2, 3)

Music and lyrics by Adrian Whitehead ©&℗ 2017

Produced by Shane O’Mara (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9) and Jak Housden & Shane O’Mara (7, 10)
Recorded at HoneyBaby Sound, Pete’s Kitchen, Soundpark and Yikesville between 2011 and 2017
Mixed by Shane O’Mara 2017
Engineered by Lloyd Barrat, Shane O’Mara, Jak Housden, and Pete Hillman
Mastered by Mikey Young
Photos by Ursula Woods
Design by Billy Davenport

PB:113 Adrian Whitehead: Nerd From The Suburbs

This recording has been a long time in the making and many great people have helped and inspired along the way. Big special thanks to Jak Housden for getting this whole thing started many years ago, Pete Hillman for your encouraging words and bionic ears, Anna the Rock and Jethro Pickett the Oracle, Lloyd Barrat who literally is sound, all the musicians who played on the sessions, Scott Thurling from Popboomerang, Ursula Woods for artistic direction, and last but not least Shane O’Mara for weaving this whole thing into something special

www.adrianwhiteheadmusic.com
www.facebook.com/adrianwhiteheadmusic

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Popboomerang Australia

Australian music label founded by Scott Thurling and releasing its first CD in 2002 with over 80 recordings to date.

Specialising in melodic pop, jangle, folk and rock and predominantly working with Australian bands with the aim to building their careers locally & internationally.

Artists include Skipping Girl Vinegar, Georgia Fields, The Aerial Maps, Celadore, Bon Scotts, Tamas Wells & Tim Reid
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Track Name: Folie a Deux
I traded my life for a ride on a merry-go-round
Riding through the fairground
Once you taste the sugar floss
You wish this ride would never stop

But the clowns hide behind their hair
Painted up faces laughing like psychos
Not everyone is fair at the fair ground you know
Not everyone is who they claim to be

That’s the trouble with us
You give in and so I give up
Why I fell for you I’ll never know
It’s crazy hanging on this folie a deux

You see things that I will never see
But don’t let that stop you
And if my vision starts to end
Maybe I could just pretend?
To keep the truth from ruining

This fairytale of facts and figurines
Messed up like a bad dream
I couldn’t believe it but its true
The TV talks to you
Tells you all there is to know

That’s the trouble with us
You give in and so I give up

Why I fell for you I’ll never know
It’s crazy hanging on this folie a deux

Try to get you out of my head
Try to get you out I know I’m in there somewhere…
Track Name: Blaming The Snake
Adam and Eve didn’t need any leaves
They could do no wrong till the snake came along
A hiss in the ear and a fumble of fruit
The dirty old snake left his mark on the two
Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the snake
What else could they do with the fruit on their face?
God was pissed and they needed a case
But blaming the snake’s got a use by date

Blaming the snake’s got a use by date
And this one’s come along just a moment too late

Well me I’ve got this wandering mind
Illogical leaps through space and time
I sift through the ages looking for culprits
Was it the sandpit or down from the pulpit?
Lost in a soup of nature and nurture these
Yellow meals won’t last forever
Yeah I ate an apple and I swallowed a grape
But blaming the snake’s got a use by date

So how will you try and improve your fate?
Put your trouble in a bottle and drink it away
How you gonna straighten this mortal coil?
Make a valley in the sand so your blood don’t boil
Dot your eyes and paint your lips
Be a fake be a fraud be a counterfeit
Get on your knees its never too late
But blaming the snake’s got a use by date

Blaming the snake’s got a use by date
And this one’s come along just a moment too late
Track Name: Sigmund Freud
Say something, anything, everything will be analysed
Sigmund says if you don’t try you didn’t try much when you were a child
Hiding in the garden, sugar trees and make believe
Almost forgotten, pushed to the antipodes
Flash back to a photograph where everything seemed real

Do something, anything, everything is a compromise
Sigmund says if you’re depressed your mother cried when you were a child
Perfectly ordered, but somehow avoiding
The elephant in the corner that we don’t like to talk about
Shout it down and dance around the room but the elephant knows the truth
If you forgive then I’ll forgive too

These strings are vibrating all the way to Africa
She went sailing to stick it up Sigmund Freud

A wind blows from the inland to throw the sailors over board
Paralysed and sea sick and telling lies to find a cure
Swimming round in circles and dangerous seas
You make it look so easy but the sharks know the truth
If you forgive then I’ll forgive too

It’s just like you told me
A broken chicken lays a broken egg
A little shame a little sugar
This cake’s baked just the way you said
So that’s the way it goes
We pull each other down like dominos
Over and over and over and over again…

Plastic black backed soldiers lining up forever never stepping out of line each one with white dots familiar skin topple over and bring the next one down and so it goes over and over again…

This recurring dream, I’m lost in a garden
Pulling up flowers when a little black spider says
Where do we go from here? A spinner’s work is never over
Don’t the spider know the truth, and so it goes…
Track Name: Shades Of Grey
Now days I see the light
A checkered past of black and white
So the day turns into night
Try to move pieces to the other side
I’m working on shades of grey

Opinions flip and turn around
The earth is flat the earth is round
Glasses empty glasses fill
When I’m drunk I want you still
I’m working on shades of grey

I’m working on a place to slip into the water
Come out the other side
Those bright coloured clothes washed by the river tide
The waves rough and tumble the inks fade and dry
The long night is over
The darkness swirls onto shades of grey
Track Name: First World Solutions
It was good to see you I guess before you went away
I see you still worry about the everyday
You smile politely with a dagger in your teeth
Just like they taught you in those schools in the east
Fashion mistakes what a waste
You know there’s an app for than now
Social faux pas is a thing of the past thank the lord
By the way that’s French don’t you know?
Anyway I think its called first world solutions for third-rate problems

Overstated looks of overly concerned
Be bashful and blushing shy and reserved
I won’t be angry any more I’ve learnt
It used to get on my nerves
But now I find its just easier to drift away
God help us I used to pray
What were we thinking anyway?

No room to move when you’re so beautifully poised
Be seen and not heard, be forward but coy
I see you insist on saying sorry too much still
A lesson that you learned in your all girls school
I’m sorry for having the wrong change, I’m sorry for the time of day
I’m sorry for being good looking, I’m sorry for being a woman
I’m sorry for breathing out, I’m sorry you made me shout
I’m sorry I was late, I’m sorry I already ate
I’m sorry I came at all, I’m sorry I’m sorry
I’m always so terribly, terribly, terribly sorry

Gee it was sure nice to talk with you today
I want to tell you I’m happy now how things have gone my way
How I got right over you without your help
How you never understood, how you laid the blame on me
How you messed me up real good, how you couldn’t face the truth
There were places left in you, that you’d never let me through
How you were afraid of intimacy
How you said you’d never loved me
How I feel still feel bitter
How things are so much better
How I’m so glad we’re not together
Yeah maybe lets catch up again soon
If I’m not doing anything
Depending on the weather
Track Name: The Dream
Just because her eyes are closed doesn’t mean that she is sleeping
And don’t you suppose to understand anything
As the sleep comes to an end
Track Name: Gilded Cage
I saw the light and fell out of bed across the space where you slept when you slept
A step outside and its all on show this actor’s life is all I know yeah its all I know
And if I play my part well the world would never know
Just smile and hello they come and go without a question
A wink at my reflection those flattered imperfections
Just pretend just pretend just pretend

But then I woke up with wide eyes here in the sunrise I see right through you
The mirror’s made a gilded cage
And traded its old way to satisfy a reflection to make you happy
But the mirror lied again, thank god its over

She was always a little too smart a little too tall a little too far
But little by little with the grace of a shovel she gave me a part
And if I rehearsed and rehearsed my show and crept like a nurse not to steal her glow
I could bath in her light and take my place in the gallery row
And if I played my part well the girl would never know
Just smile and hello we come and go without a question
It takes a time to realise we’re not ourselves at all
We just pretend just pretend just pretend

But then I woke up with wide eyes here in the sunrise I see right through you
The mirror’s made a gilded cage
And traded its old ways to satisfy a reflection to make you happy
The mirror tried but could not change
And woke up with wide eyes here in the sunrise I see right through you
The mirror’s made a gilded cage
And traded its old way to satisfy a reflection to make you happy
But the mirror lied again, thank god its over
Track Name: Blank Page
There’s nothing worse than staring at a blank page
When there’s so many things you want to say
If you stare for long enough the page can suck you in
You might start believing you can’t win

There’s nothing worse than staring at a blank face
One that could never feel the same way
You can stare forever but they’ll never let you in
You might stop believing in anything
You might stop believing in yourself

You might seem to drift above your body
The world would keep on turning but it turns in slow motion
You might go so low you can’t control yourself
You never thought you’d see that day

There’s nothing worse than staring at a blank face
One that looks back at you the same way
You can stare forever but the mirror doesn’t lie
Maybe you could make a change this time
Track Name: Nerd From The Suburbs
I’m just a nerd from the suburbs
I think you might be like me actually
When I look into your eyes its like staring into a mirror
Sometimes I like what I see but sometimes I hate myself too
And I don’t wanna be me

I don’t just want you I actually wanna be you
I suppose that’s hard to understand
But remember I’m just a man
Trying to work out what this life is all about
The best he can with the limitations that he’s got

You’ve got your head on your shoulders so hold it up proud
You’ve got your beautiful head on your shoulders so shout it out loud

Sometimes you’d look away shy
I want you to know you’ve got nothing to hide
You couldn’t offend if you tried
You’re winning every time you open your eyes and smile
There’s something right with the world
When there’s a girl in it who’s made with your style

Try as we might we couldn’t get it right
I’m afraid its too late I don’t expect you to wait
You’ve been waiting so long you’re right to move on
You’ve got your whole life to live and I’ve got mine and this is it

You’ve got your head on your shoulders so hold it up proud
You’ve got your beautiful head on your shoulders so shout it out loud
'Cause the whole world needs to notice what you’re about

Now don’t get me wrong this is just a song
I’m not trying to bend the truth or trick or try it on
Its not a foolish invitation or a dirty pick up line
Its just a thing I’ve meant to do for a long time

You’ve got your head on your shoulders so hold it up proud
You’ve got your beautiful head on your shoulders so shout it out loud
Cause the whole world needs to notice what you’re about
Don’t be shy to show it what you’re about
You’ve got your beautiful head on your shoulders
You’re beautiful head on you’re shoulders
You’ve got your beautiful head on your shoulders
So shout it out
Track Name: True South
When I was nine you showed me how to read the stars
If you draw a line down from the southern cross
Should you ever get lost true south will guide you home

Camped in a dry river bed, I soaked up everything you said
The stars and the planets rolled out like blankets
I made a little map inside my head
All your wisdom but yeah, all your insecurities too
You don’t like to smile in photos
You don’t like to make mistakes

We’re just the same, I’ve got your nose I’ve got your name
You know we’re just the same, we don’t like to make mistakes

These days you’re still gazing at the stars
With your hubble eye fixed on far away ants cats and milk
The meaning of life is complex son beyond this system is a bigger one
That makes you and I seem like nothing at all
It must be great to reach so far to see dead light of exploding stars
But you see I still struggle with the planet I’m on
I don’t like to smile in photos, I don’t like to make mistakes

We’re just the same, I’ve got your nose I’ve got your name
You know we’re just the same, we don’t like to make mistakes

Black holes are heavy space from which there’s nothing that escapes
They make true south seem like nothing at all
All light’s absorbed without reflect
Its not easy its complex just like a father and son
We don’t like to smile in photos, we don’t like to make mistakes

We’re just the same, I’ve got your nose I’ve got your name
You know we’re just the same, we don’t like to make mistakes