‘Crafting a sense of yearning that stings
like lemon juice to an open wound, A Trophy
is a tour-de-force that shakes with
unexpected conviction. A magnificent
storyteller. One of the best releases this
year, surely.’ - whotthehell.net.
Tobias Cummings returns with a completely new
band and his second album, A Trophy.
Bold and ambitious without apology, it is not an album which reveals its secrets
easily. Rather, it aims to
reward those who seek – and those who have
hope enough left to find.
‘The biggest mystery is why Cummings is
not already a star... He deserves to snare millions of fans.’
- JB Hi-Fi Mag.
A graduate of history and literature, Cummings
travelled widely before recording his debut
EP, You Incomplete Me, with David McCluney in
2004. Shortly after, he was signed to Bruce
Milne’s revered In-Fidelity Recordings, birthplace
of musical luminaries The Devastations, Dan
Kelly, and The Drones.
In 2006, Tobias and his then band, The Long
Way Home, recorded and released Join The
Dots, a lauded debut album which marked
Tobias as an artist of depth and significance.
Earning a nomination for the Australian Music
Prize and four stars from Rolling Stone, it was
described by Mess and Noise Magazine as
‘one of the best albums of this year’.
‘[he has] established further his deserved
position as one of the country’s finest
singer-songwriters.’ - Beat Magazine.
Now, four years later, A Trophy strikes off in
the direction indicated by these first recordings,
but moves much further into the intriguing
half-light of that terrain.
Recorded by Tim Whitten (The Go-Betweens), Scott
Horscroft (Sleepy Jackson) and mixed by Wez
Prictor (Mick Harvey), the opening tracks, ‘Goldmine' and ‘Exegesis’, find Cummings effortlessly blending
electronica with acoustic instruments to create
polar moods: the first, dark and weighted by dream-like slow motion; the second, light and full of wild abandon.
That both of these tracks lead to the glorious,
blue-eyed soul of ‘The Sweetest Poetry’ is
testament to Cummings’ seamless blending of
style and genre into a sound entirely his own.
The remaining tracks oscillate from epic and
wide (‘Busy Bees’, ‘Wasteland’), to the intensely
intimate, ‘You’ve Always Had That Insight’, to the
beautiful sparsity of ‘The Judge’ or ‘A Golden
What prevents this album from becoming a
mere exercise in genre-blending though are
Cummings’ voice and lyrics. Rather than a
torrent of words to convey his message, he
communicates ideas and emotion with masterful
restraint. Delivering the result in a voice
which moves effortlessly from gentle to gruff,
always rich with emotion, but without the
histrionics so often associated with singersongwriterdom.
A Trophy is an album primarily concerned with
the journey, and not with the destination. Close
your eyes as it sweeps you into its certain
embrace - where a new dawn blinks faintly on
the horizon, and hope is your only cargo.
A Trophy is out now on digital, CD and vinyl
formats through new Melbourne label,
Departed Sounds (distribution through
A Trophy . 10 songs. Produced by Tobias Cummings, Wez Prictor, Tim Whitten, Scott Horscroft. Recorded at BJB Studios, Ibis Way, Sing Sing South & other places. Mastered by Adam Dempsey at Deluxe Mastering.
Join The Dots . 11 songs, 47 mins. Produced by Tim Whitten, Tobias Cummings & The Long Way Home. Recorded at Atlantis Sound. Mastered by Don Bartley at 301.
You Incomplete Me . 6 songs, 23 mins. Produced by Dave McCluney and Tobias Cummings. Recorded at Atlantis Studios. Mastered by Wez Prictor at The Finishing Post.
Tobias Cummings has shared stages with the likes of Cat Power, Feist, Beth Orton, The Phoenix Foundation, Dappled Cities Fly, Menomena, Fionn Regan. He has performed at festivals including The Laneway Festival, Apollo Bay, Queenscliff, High Vibes, St Kilda Festival. Email management [at] tobiascummings [dot] com for bookings.
'Join The Dots was no doubt a solid debut, but Cummings has definitely found his home on this album. Crafting a sense of yearning that stings like lemon juice to an open wound, A Trophy is a tour-de-force that shakes with unexpected conviction. A magnificent storyteller. One of the best releases this year, surely. - Melissa Tan,whotthehell.net
'...A Trophy is an album that betrays Cummings’ humbleness, and formidable skill as a vocalist...With a voice that can only be described as blessed...it’s an evocative album that grows in quality with repeated listens.' - Andy Hazel, Mess & Noise.
'...it’s the overriding sense of restraint and subtlety that impresses most here, as well as the excellent production by Scott Horscroft and Tim Whitten, making A Trophy a very strong second album from Cummings that’s well worth exploration.' - Chris Downton, Cyclic Defrost.
'Cummings possesses a voice indie singer-songwriters the world over would smash their acoustic guitar for. Equally comfortable in soft-focus baritone or soaring above the chords' - Ben Birchall, The Age.
'A Trophy is the sort of well-executed, beautifully crafted record that sounds like it should have long been circling on radios nationwide.' - The Weekly Review.
'Cummings remains a unique songwriter, following his own mysterious whims at every turn, and yet his new record is more accessible than it first seems. In the end, it could appeal to fans of everyone from Coldplay to Grizzly Bear to Bill Callahan.' - Doug Wallen, Citysearch.
'A Trophy is a record that glides meticulously from that of the suffocatingly intense to the tranquil, the gloriously epic to the grippingly sparse...and establishe(s) further his deserved position as one of the country's finest singer/songwriters.' - Christine Lan, Beat Magazine.
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