Whilst Andrew Kidman is known widely for his visual pursuits - creating films inspired by the ocean, he has also always written and performed their soundtracks. His legendary film Litmus, released in 1995, was a turning point in Australian surf filmmaking, depicting the culture with an open mindedness largely foreign to the genre. In that same language his films Glass Love (2005) & Last Hope (2010) documented surfing in a new light - behind each film was its own striking score.
Following a string of solo albums, in 2005 Kidman formed The Brown Birds from Windy Hill and in a weekend they recorded and released their first album Three Sails to the Wind with producer Mick Wordley. At the time, Kidman’s most recent filmic project Last Hope was taking flight: a collaboration between Kidman and musicians Mogwai, Smog, Holly Throsby, My Morning Jacket, The Dirty Three, Machine Translations and The Windy Hills.
Last Hope was a success and Kidman was requested by festival promoters around the world to bring it to life with his band. Shortening their name to The Windy Hills, they accompanied Last Hope as it featured on film festivals internationally - traveling to the East Coast of America to perform at the New York Surf Film Festival & Monster Island before returning home to perform at the Perth International Arts Festival & The Brisbane Powerhouse, along with Holly Throsby & Greg Walker (Machine Translations).
Kidman’s own home, nestled on a rural property near the town of Uki, 40 minutes inland from Byron Bay, would provide a backdrop for the conception of their second album. Recorded over three years by Jay Kruegner in a small studio in nearby Mullumbimby, Friend From Another Star is more muscular, varied and considered than previous releases – some songs wilder, some cleaner, some soft with acoustics and warm with Americana. While not directly inspired by the ocean, it possesses a fluidity and escapist quality that echoes the band’s shared passion and connection with the sea.
Featuring Kidman (songwriter, guitarist & vocalist), bassist Paul Brewer, drummer Jay Kruegner & multi-instrumentalist Joe Jones, in recent years The Windy Hills have performed the Apollo Bay Music Festival, Splendour In The Grass, The Mullum Music Festival & played support shows for Dinosaur Jr, Bonnie Prince Billy, Evan Dando, Smog, Justin Townes Earl & Kelley Stoltz. Friend From Another Star will be released internationally on January 28, available through digital stores only.
Download the full album here - itunes.apple.com/au/artist/the-windy-hills/id413828621
released 28 January 2011