“Some Artists are Born” | Contemporary music by Australian Crooner Wayne A Halifax

“… all that I could do was try to say, that you were beautiful, that you stole my heart away and to ask you. Are you a dreamer too I wanna spend my life in dreams with you …

“Wayne’s simultaneously laid-back and resigned croon creates a juxtaposition of emotions, a majestic wall of sadness that’s comfortable within its inner solemnity, adding to the richness of his recordings”

Wayne A Halifax. Where to begin? Well, as per the style of most career retrospectives, ideally at the beginning. Simply put in a single sentence, Wayne is a man of many talents, and his talents come in many different shades. In a sense, you may already know him, as his rich vocal timbres have served to enhance a plethora of ad campaigns across Australia, and he’s also scored several cameo roles in films, including ‘Thunderstruck’ (Sam Worthington), ‘Windrider’ (Nicole Kidman).

You see, Wayne is on an ongoing quest to invade the consciousness of Australian citizens and, it follows, the world at large. Hijacked by his own compulsions to create, to star in and now to sing, it turns out that Wayne just can’t contain the extroverted nature of his multi-faceted talents.

A resident of Perth, he is something of a local celebrity in his native home, and it’s no surprise as to why. As judged by his vocal talents and his suave sense of charisma, Wayne could read the Fremantle telephone directory with an unrivalled sense of class and pizazz, if only accompanied by a jazz waltz tempo and a few rhythmic clicks of a finger. Accordingly, Wayne branched out into the music world, offering his slick and magisterial croon to Western Australia’s finest session musicians and songwriting talent.

Wayne’s ‘My Love’ EP is a showcase of what he has to offer as a recording artist, capturing his charisma as a starlet and acting talent onto tape. Wayne brings to the mic a Chris Isaak-like sense of cool, undercut with the sadness and tragedy apparent in his voice. His is a voice of experience, and it will be clear to listeners that he’s sincere about what he sings. Wayne’s simultaneously laid-back and resigned croon creates a juxtaposition of emotions, a majestic wall of sadness that’s comfortable within its inner solemnity, adding to the richness of his recordings. He has all the markings of a nuanced singer.

Is there anything more staid in the music scene than “adult contemporary”? Whilst Wayne is indeed both a responsible “adult” he owns a driving license after all and a contemporary-of-these-times kinda guy, these tunes artfully aim to turn the tables on the safe preconceptions that we tend to associate with the easy listening genre. Specifically, we have three Celtic-tinctured tunes, featuring the melancholy sound of the cello, along with the pastoral sounds of the mandolin, mixed with Wayne’s own pure dose of Americana. Or perhaps we should say “Australicana” a genre, it appears that Wayne currently holds all to himself with his own unique form of country and Western Australian style.

These rootsy instrumental touches turn the previously non-threatening “adult contemporary” label into a form of art music which contains a real and defined edge. On the other hand, these songs are anything but self-conscious and pretentious, and we’re left with simple raw emotions and a solid sense of song-craft. Lyrically, ‘My Love’ is a weary travelogue of the heart, documenting Wayne’s own inner journey through a gamut of worldly obstacles, including heartbreak and self-doubt. When we’re told that we’re going on an emotional “journey” we may reflexively think of tacky X-Factor-style sob stories, full of gauche anecdotes and trivial pitter-patter, but instead Wayne relays a completely relatable stroll through the recesses of a troubled mind, articulated with more beauty and ease than most can muster.

As listeners and fans, we should thank artists like Wayne for providing a voice to those of us who aren’t so readily able to articulate the momentous tidings of the everyday, and it’s credit to his sense of style that Wayne is able to articulate these fragile topics through his own unique voice, set to the swinging rhythms of 4/4 time. Some artists are born, others are nurtured. Wayne A Halifax most certainly belongs to the former camp.

Liam Allen

Wayne A Halifax | My Love (Official Music Video) | Ode To The Dudes | Youtube

* With his EP, ‘My Love’, Wayne Andrew Halifax is eager to freshen up what some may see as the staid and over-approximated genre of “easy listening” music, choosing to infuse the genre with a range of interesting musical accompaniments and overlaying them with the dripping charisma of his voice. At a cursory glance, Wayne’s vocal delivery may seem laid-back and casual, although the emotional turmoil tucked beneath his stately sense of phrasing is palpable to the listener. Some may favourably compare his nuanced vocal style to the American crooner Chris Isaak; however, such comparisons will ultimately prove futile, as it’s clear that Wayne is his own man who can only follow his own unique compulsions as an artist.

The songs take the crooner genre into uncharted territory, and we have here a collection which are more atmospheric than your typical easy listening fare. Specifically, the EP features the distinct Celtic sounds of mandolins and cello accompaniments which provide a pastoral dimension, masterfully subverting the slick associations of the genre and providing something unique. With Wayne’s deep set drawl, slick is most certainly the word, although these folky musical touches add a further edge to the proceedings, re-contextualising Wayne’s voice in the process. While there are no traces of a distinct Irish or Scottish lilt imbued within his voice, a sincere love of world music shines through on these eclectic recordings.

‘My Love’ opens the EP, featuring some clever lyrics which probe the poles between sexual lust and romantic love. Wayne questions his feelings with the clarity of an existentialist poet, as he sings “do I really need to be with you?, or is it just a sex attraction?”. Despite these intellectual themes, the music, on the other hand, is deeply affecting, aiming straight for the heart. Aided by the lyrical prowess of punk poet Billie Reid, who provided the words and much of the direction for the EP, Wayne carries the show with his stately voice and grand sense of melancholy. Have you ever heard sadness sound so rich, so aristocratically powerful, yet simultaneous so resigned? The emotional juxtapositions of these songs is jarring.

‘Love Song 612’ is a slowly unwinding travelogue which traces a weary journey of the heart through the form of an affecting love song. Mournful cellos meld with Wayne’s sombre vocals as he documents a lonely stroll through a world of romantic contemplation. The song opens with a refreshingly honest lyrical couplet, typifying a love which proves difficult to purely encapsulate through words alone: “… I’ve tired a thousand times to write a song for you, but I can never seem to find the perfect words …”. There’s a sense of threat in the song, of a sense that the love that Wayne so poetically describes could indeed one day slip away through the sheer overwhelming feeling of the emotion itself, and of the blissful passivity that true love can only deign to inspire. The title track closes the EP, reinforcing the stylistic quirks of the previous two songs while providing a perfect summary as a lyrical end game. “… are you a dreamer too? …”, Wayne wistfully sings, wonderfully encapsulating the dream-world-made-reality that every idealistic artist seeks to find.

These are thoughtful, introspective songs carried out with real class and panache. These songs are quietly emotional, choosing to smoulder away at the listener by degrees, rather than relying on increased dynamics and tacky musical turns of phrase. With his vocal talent and emotional intuitiveness as an artist, Wayne A Halifax has interpreted them perfectly. Liam Allen.

“As a dude, Wayne A Halifax walks between worlds” | Charlie Reynolds

There’s a touch of Chris Isaak to Wayne A Halifax, and it’s about more than the kind of songs he favours and the way he delivers them. Doing that requires anything but the life well lived anodyne self-help books urge us to make our aspiration.

That road less travelled is one where there are burned-out cars and the howling of an unknown crittur somewhere close. Judging by the smell the wind carries it could be a bunyip, and is that a warning sign or an invitation to check out what happens next? Most men wouldn’t get to a place where they’re faced with such choices. Wayne, like our other Soundscape artists, is a dude.

As a dude, Wayne walks between worlds. He’s been involved in and around film and television, sometimes popping up as a cameo actor in movies including Thunderstruck (Sam Worthington), Windrider (Nicole Kidman) – other times delivering the vocals for commercials. A man has to pay his way, after all.

Wayne has range, and his take on adult contemporary sounds draws on instrumentation including mandolin. Something about it connects him and many of us to country – not just the music style, but the landscapes it brings to mind. And he’s sure enough of himself to open up and bring himself to a song in ways a younger Wayne would have been intimidated by. Now, he’s at the “bring it on” stage where such vulnerability is concerned. Which might sound like a paradox – but creativity grows out of those tensions, and we’re here to nurture it and share the results.

“… and so the dance of love begins” | ‘My Love’ | Wayne A Halifax

Where did the sadness come from? Wayne’s EP ‘My Love’ includes 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, and the runes are cast, the sexual frisson is palpable. It’s a song from a long time ago … a timeless theme.

Wayne’s voice is neither cloying nor twee and he delivers a strong vocal on ‘In Dreams With You’ cooler than a Coolgardie safe, unpretentious and honest. Shards of country fused with plaintive mandolin. A timeless melody pulls you in. It’s a killer adult contemporary pop song waiting to be discovered. Perhaps it is stating the obvious, but the understated production values just let this song breathe. It’s a sign of confidence and artistic maturity.

Then ‘Love Song 612’ takes this journey somewhere else …and 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 masterclass in songwriting. Just the songs title is intriguing! Is 612 a catalogue number? Or a hotel room number? This is the kind of detail that intrigues me.

Wayne’s vocal, neither cynical nor sad, explores the poignancy and hurt of love. We may not fully connect, but we can feel some of the bittersweet hurt.

“… the golden thread that links these wonderful artists is Billie Reid and his songs”

Billie is a dusty troubadour, a poet and songwriter and activist whose music is steeped in concepts and images that echo down the centuries. Here and now they wear the clothes of rootsy Americana, Celtic seers, and the holy ghost of rock and roll. His words spill through the mouths of some of our other artists, new light pouring through glass stained with red wine, raised to toast victories, remember the fallen, and curse those whose fall we ache for.

Sometimes Billie writes stripped-down, just a few words capturing the core of a moment, an emotion, that listeners can connect with. Other times he packs syllables with density that warps space and time. Even across the course of a couplet he can go from what feels like a classic folk song in words and delivery before a collision with Dorothy Parker’s acerbic wit: “They won’t let us live on the beaches ‘n’ trees, while they breakfast at Maximes, and brunch at Los Angeles”. In a flash Billie does with 19 words something akin to what Kubrick did with his classic cut from a neanderthal throwing a bone at the sky to a spaceship floating above the Earth in ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’.

Something of that process applies to Billie’s way with constructing a song. Or you could hop and skip to science fiction writer Samuel R Delany, author of books including ‘The Einstein Intersection’, and as a musician part of the ‘Greenwich Village’ scene that spawned Dylan. The angle he had on those years as a queer black guy is fresh like the eye Billie brings to the world we’re accelerating into now, and may be heading away from at lightspeed assuming things work out the way they could. Whether the impact of that counts as better or worse is the kind of judgement call that Billie’s around to chronicle.

* Somewhere in the embers of last century, the work of songwriter, poet, shaman Billie Reid started to exert a pull on other independent-minded Australian talents. Stories can, and maybe will, be read about those adventures. At this point, the vessel for that work has, since 2020, been our music production biz Soundscape Media.

Billie Reid’s talents are the molten core of what we do. To those who’ve come across him, Billie’s an irascible generational talent. And we want the number of those who share that impression to grow.

Sharing the load, and bringing a canny female take on Billie’s words, is versatile Fremantle-based singer and classy piano player Lily – who’s also writing impressive material of her own.

Our artist collaboration list also includes in-house stormcrow Quinlan Porteous – a man who’s weathered years of industry bs and continues to find redemption in music regardless. As do we all.

Let’s hear it too for Wayne A Halifax, the man whose vibe Chris Isaak channelled. And never mind which came first – sometimes those who follow get it right, and Wayne has the advantage of Billie’s lyrics. As does Alfredo Malabello, cursed by Universal Music Australia describing him as the country’s “Voice of Romance”. He’s more content, and rightly, with the tag “Australia’s Leonard Cohen”.

Soundscape sounds dip in and out of alt-rock, Americana, and smart pop. Our production styles range from roots-raw to Netflix-friendly rock with splashes and squeals of electronica. We can do polished, but we’re a fan of loose edges and first take magic too. And we look forward to hearing from you – about what we’ve done, what we’re doing now, and what we could perhaps do together. Soundscape Media.

Billie Reid | Single Tachyon Extrapolation of Existence | Ode To The Dudes | Youtube

“the subconscious mind of Eternity” | “… this may be metaphorically considered as the consciousness of creation, the mind” | Billie Reid

“…. this is the lightspeed and below universe of our physical senses, the single-particle-theory tachyon soup created as the single tachyon intersects with itself in different places at the same time, and the same place at different times; this may be metaphorically considered as the consciousness of creation, the mind ….

Just as the cosmos in its physical sense is a totally inter-related manifestation of its component attributes of gravitational and electromagnetic coincidence, so the events/consciousness’s within that cosmos may be seen to be dependent on/connected to everything else that occurs within that same instant (i.e, synchronicity). Accepting this, and being that we can have no real concept of (or existence in) an instantaneous universe, we may extrapolate that for all our intents and purposes a combined continuity of time and space is a prerequisite of our conscious awareness of the reality that we appear to occupy and that therefore, all events throughout time and space are influenced by and influencing all other events within that continuum in a coherent and instantaneous manner regardless of temporal and/or spatial remoteness. This is the lightspeed and below universe of our physical senses, the single-particle-theory tachyon soup created as the single “tachyon” (4want’v betr word, i.e, instantaneous particle/wave “pixel/bit/packet” … no mass, no volume, “just” infinite velocity) intersects with itself in different places at the same time, and the same place at different times; this may be metaphorically considered as the consciousness of creation, the mind. The faster than light realm of the uninterrupted tachyon may be thought of as the subconscious mind of Eternity (as above, so below etc). We have the potential (in our role as an interface between rational/instinctive/emotional consciousness, between physical/spiritual, matter and energy) to challenge the apparent boundaries of our existence, to examine the walls of our cell for loose stones, to grab a can of spray paint and try to tag the invisible as it moves amongst us. Some try…. this is their Lounge … Welcome to the Dawn … “The game is afoot” … Eternity Beware, Oblivion is at hand. LOL.