Here we have it … some forgotten masterpieces revisited and some fresh new sounds. You can file these songs somewhere between The Triffids and The Go-Betweens. It’s music for the backbar where the heartbroken sit uneasily soaking up Billie’s words and nursing their own grief and melancholic moods. But Billie is the antidote for their distress, for with a few simple words he gives voice to unspoken dreams, he rejoices in the passion of surrender whilst drinking from the poisoned chalice of love. Amen!
So here are his words. Some songs have a fresh voice with Wayne and Lily giving their interpretations. It really doesn’t matter who is singing because the song is there to be sung and perhaps also to be listened to. These are wonderful alternative versions that are respectful yet perhaps take a few more steps up in production values, showing just how under rated a songwriter Billie is.
You can find all of Billie’s lyrics here in the site.
My Love by Wayne Halifax
“Where did the sadness come from? It’s a moody moody collection of tunes, kind of introspective, a little sad, it’s a private tale of redemption, here are contemporary adult songs baring the soul. They are more than just the sum of their parts. ‘My Love’ sets the tone. It’s a little dark … it’s an unfolding melodrama. The land is in ruins, but it’s inconsequential. The passage of time passes, inescapably & the runes are cast. The sexual frisson is palpable. It’s a song from a long time ago. It’s a timeless theme. Wayne’s voice is never cloying or twee & he delivers a strong vocal on ‘In Dreams With You’. Cooler than a Coolgardie safe. Unpretentious & honest. Shards of country fused with plaintive mandolin. A timeless melody pulls you in. Then ‘Love Song 612’ takes this journey somewhere else. & so the dance of love begins. Distance brings a clarity. There’s an elegance that steers clear of saccharine clichés, it’s another great song. Someone’s got to pick this one up. It’s a master-class in songwriting. It’s all in a league of it’s own. Just the songs title is intriguing! Is the 612 a catalogue number? Or a hotel room number? Wayne’s vocal, neither cynical nor sad, explores the poignancy & hurt of love. We may not fully connect but we can feel some of the bittersweet hurt”
Ode To The Dudes by Billie Reid
“Billie Reid is one intriguing cat …. as in, on a hot tin roof, as in scalded. I’m hearing a rich hybrid telling me that he’s been absorbing & assimilating for a long time; that he understands the power of words, of poetry even. He’s plainly a rocker at heart but just as plainly there’s a lot going on in his heart & head – from skittering banjo to grinding blues to playful pop. There could even be some whirlygig jugband going on &, dare I say it, a nod or two to His Bobness [both Zimmerman & the acerbic Irish Knight – Geldof]. One gets the feeling that Billie’s not overly concerned with expectations or categories, that he’s having a whale of a time & if you want to come along for the ride that’s fine by him. How did The Hombres put it all those years ago? “Nobody knows what it’s all about. It’s too much man, let it all hang out.” ….”
Glenn A. Baker [Australian Rock Historian]
Dreamer by Lily
“If music can be just like putting on a dress and each one has a different style, shape, colour and texture, then Lily is currently wearing a soft and flowing wine-coloured dress with a fitted bodice. Short and just a little bit left of centre, it’s a perfect Fremantle dress and equally perfect attire for the two songs the dark-haired, creamy-featured singer has recently recorded.
The petite singer has always known that music was her destiny. With a father who continues to sing and drum in numerous bands and a mother who was also a singer, Lily has always been surrounded by music, so it really felt inevitable.“Unlike a lot of kids, I was quite proud of my parents’ musical taste. There were a real mix of styles and genres constantly in our ears. There was a lot of Motown. Growing up, my brothers and I were surrounded by Earth Wind & Fire, the Chi-Lites and Aretha Franklin. It didn’t take me long to get suckered in by the powerful emotional pull of women like Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. This music became a tradition in our household”
Now with music by her side – and an ever-evolving wardrobe – Fremantle is the perfect place for Lily to take a deep cleansing breath and open her musical heart to Billie Reid’s songs” Ara Jansen
Demon Street by Billie Reid
“Here is an alternative version with sneering ‘Clash’ inspired chords and snarling lyrics that bite. Tombstones and a cheating heart …. ‘I ain’t got no time for lies’ …. this isn’t trendy wank art but a dark reading on a timeless theme. There is darkness and a sense of desperation that pulls you in. ‘Demon Street’ don’t go there … but if you do … I wish you luck ’cause this song has no room for sensitive types, it’s a bitter tirade lamenting loss, yet there’s no sense of introspection or poignant reflection from the safety of distance. Self pity isn’t in Billie’s emotional vocabulary. ‘Demon Street’ is hard edged and short, it’s sharp and word perfect. Perhaps only those who have been hurt will connect”
“I’ve always found Billie’s lyrical style and melodies to have a ‘classic’ appeal. Lyrically, he proves to be very versatile and what seems to be his golden ticket, is the innate ability to speak his mind and knowing how to tell a story to keep the listener intrigued. As a vocalist, his impassioned voice is full, dynamic and has an energy that helps celebrate his passionate opinions on love and the World around him”
Ariel by Lily
“Sometimes I ask myself is it wrong to write a catchy tune? To write a song that just goes round and round your head the whole day! Cos that’s what ‘Ariel’ does. From nowhere you find yourself singing it and thinking… ‘where did I hear this?’ It’s catchy…catchy…catchy, but oh so classy. No messy diva moments, no melodramatic wannabe moments, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t got soul. This song has soul by the bucketload and I love the space. I just love the weighted dynamics and Lily’s voice. Not one weak word, not one wasted lyric and it’s super tight. Love it or loath it, just give it a listen and you’ll be hooked. Shades of Diana Ross mixed with Shania Twain and the production is understated yet so sympathetic to the song. It’s a classy timeless song. Just get it for the bass line (Roy Martinez) and listen to a great musician on top of his game and if world class pedal steel guitar is your cup of tea check out Lucky Oceans and his sensitive reading of the song. But for me it’s got to be the extended version of ‘Ariel’ that sounds so perfect, with it’s darker mix and moody introspective ending … no happy endings here … no fairytale chick flick sellout. It’s honest and soulful and worth the price of admission in itself”
John Young [Contemporary Musicologist]
I Can Hear Your Heartbeat by Quinlan Porteous
While the machine-gun delivery of his words recalls the lyrical fire and brimstone of Bob Dylan, as well as the acerbic energy of Johnny Cash. Resultantly, Quinlan Porteous’s music is a volatile hybrid, combining the purebred folk compulsions of bluegrass and rockabilly, infused with his own punk-influenced approach to songwriting.
My Love by Lily
“Easy listening is a tagline that’s often attached to artists of a sombre character, and songwriters who pen democratic pieces of love and loss. These musicians selflessly offer their material for listeners to adopt the world over. Their lyrics are captivating beasts that embody the fragile and complicated nature of society and, in particular, the way in which we engage with one another. Their words are usually pivotal to their music, not just because of their demanding nature, but because of the way they’re delivered – carefully, with control, but also with ample feeling. The description of ‘easy’ does little to reflect the soulful depths of these purveyors of heart. In fact, it can corrupt the representation
All that said, a standout aspect of Lily’s career to date is undoubtedly her vocal. The 28-year-old’s voice contains wisdom well beyond her years, calling out to the depths of time to expose an enduring and unforgettable quality. It’s the kind of soulful power that her peers crave and her seniors strive to get back. Lily can paint a thousand pictures with a simple croon, and we wouldn’t have it any other way” Tiffany Daniels
My Heart by Lily
“Australian singer Lily returns with a classic new song entitled “My Heart”, written by fellow Ode To The Dudes artist, Billie Reid. This backpacking yellow bird with Eurasian heritage has seen corners of the world that many musicians only dream of visiting, widely expanding her already versatile pallet by way of country, soul and acoustic music – picking up vocal tips and tricks learned along her path to success. A standing point of the music is Reid’s songwriting: thick with poetic references and tales of loss, on paper it looks like a beautiful love letter, but when sung by Lily the words transform into a powerful message. It’s the production of “My Heart” however that really brings the song alive, adding layers to Lily’s music that were previously missing and encouraging an overall epic atmosphere from someone who would normally be confined to the acoustic bracket. Lily’s talent has been woefully undiscovered so far, but if “My Heart” proves anything, it’s that those who find her music are in for a stunning surprise”