The Yarra Sessions, Episode 8: Girl Friday @ Oh! Jean Records

276 Nicholson Street, Fitzroy
HER SONG: What Fools We’ve Been
(jump to song info)
MANDY’S SONG: August Moon
(jump to song info)

COVER: Jesse Younan’s Queenie
(jump to song info)

Shot at Oh! Jean Records in Fitzroy, this episode features Girl Friday as the final guest for our very first season of An Otherwise Quiet Room.

The Yarra Sessions has been the most joyous experience, and I can’t tell you how proud I am to have hosted a collaborative series of such good quality.

The songs chosen by our featured artists and the opportunity to interpret the songs with them for a recording has been an incredible honour. It gave me shivers to hear the words of my own songs in the voice of artists like Girl Friday, Sarah Carroll, and Matt Glass.

Girl Friday won the Roddy Read Memorial award in 2016 for her songwriting. Held at Maldon Folk Festival, the award offers a Maton Guitar and a headline position. Well-known in the Melbourne songwriting scene, Girl Friday has featured with Kris Schroeder (The Basics), If You See Her Say Hello with Hat Fitz and Cara, and with Joyce Prescher who is set to feature in Season 2: The Moreland Sessions. Her upcoming album Sepia Tones is due out in 2018. Her influences are many and varied, ranging from 1920’s Blues to 1990’s Riot Grrrrl (Check out Girl Friday’s Riot Girl (Punk) Recordings from 1997 here).

With her pearls and her smooth alto jazz tones, Girl Friday is completely at home amongst the obscure and extensive vinyl collection at Oh Jean. The coffee machine is warmed up, the stage is always ready for action, and the two owners are both interested, curious and welcoming. They are both guys, and big nerds (I mean this in the best way) who are hugely into independent vinyl recordings, and it was overwhelmingly cool that they responded to us with interest and support. It can be very intimidating as a solo female artist to approach a venue – especially a record shop full of boy geeks. The whole crew at Oh Jean Records were actively curious and interested in what we were doing, and instantly behind the idea of mutual support via social media and word of mouth.

This is especially great because Oh Jean Records was recommended to us in spirit by Little Andorra, our venue for Episode 7, located just down the road. Luke at Little Andorra also suggested the song choice for our cover, based on the timbre of Girl Friday’s voice, and the incredible community demonstrated at a Jesse Younan tribute he had attended previously. More about Jessie Younan’s song “Queenie” below.

Her Song:  What Fools We’ve Been (top)

“Inspired by blues/country greats such as Patsy Cline, this song is written for someone who was once a big part of my life, and who I still count as a great friend. The lyrics are an expression of nostalgia, respect for that relationship, and contain a hint of hope that contact might be reestablished in the future. I know most of us have relationships such as these, and that our ability to reflect on them with generosity of spirit and an ability to claim our part in our history is the key to meeting again happily.”

Mandy’s Song: August Moon(top)

Written about the chalk pathways worn into the grass of the amphitheatre in front of the main stage at Nannup Music Festival,  this song is about nostalgia and the moment. Inspired by dancing barefoot to a live set by the incredible Lior, the song is set amongst music at a magical venue nestled in the remote bush beneath the unmistakeable skies of Western Australia, where Loren Kate offered a performance of her first album, Dan Sultan owned the night, and Tinpan Orange fell in love with a huge new audience.

Cover: Jesse Younan’s Queenie(top)

Jesse Younan’s song Queenie speaks for itself, written as a lullaby and a calming support for his daughter in future years. The song is often covered lovingly by musicians in Melbourne and will be covered live again at the Bella Union on October 14th 2017 by Connell and Girl Friday, at the request of the organisers having heard about An Otherwise Quiet Room. This event is an annual tribute to Jesse Younan who sadly passed away from acute Myeloid Leukaemia in 2008.

Read more about his story here.