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Melbourne’s Alt-Country Tunesmiths Release New EP
Grace Radio

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Low RentMelbourne alt-country champions Low Rent are set to burn their way into the hearts of the nation following the release of their third EP Grace Radio. Having amassed a legion of fans in their home city on the back of their debut effort Waiting to Fall and long-player Words on the Wind, admiration for the six-piece is poised to stretch beyond state-lines. Grace Radio draws on the band’s life experiences and explorations to produce a maturity of sound sharpened by over six years recording and performing live.

The mood of the five-track record is one of heavy reflection on what singer-songwriter Dan Swan calls ‘the protagonists life’ and includes beautifully melodic tones. Mixed by Shane Nicholson and mastered by Jeff McCormack, the calibre of names involved in the EP’s production are a testament to the respect this band has garnered. They enhance the distinctive alt-country sound that’s had Melbourne talking for years by the use of trumpets and horns throughout much of the EP, while Dan’s vocals and country twang suit the arrangement effortlessly.

“The record is a great snap shot of a band that has really fine-tuned its craft,” Dan explains. “There is a natural progression and maturity going on in the themes of the songwriting and in the performances of the group. As we all get older and hopefully wiser, in turn the music follows this path.”

Low Rent started out in 2007 as a country roots three-piece of acoustic guitar, mandolin and bass guitar made up of Dan, his father Mike, and family friend Mike Landells. Back then the guys were cutting their musical teeth plucking covers of Neil Young and The Rolling Stones along with folk inspired originals. It quickly dawned the family project had scope to flourish into something more powerful and after a year performing they added a drummer. This transformed their sound from folk into a more dynamic country rock and the band went on to add a second female lead singer and lead guitarist – the standard line-up today (Tim Swan on bass, Regan Wood on drums and Cynthia Gallie supporting vocals).

“It has a huge effect on the songwriting when you have more players because you can spread out the melody ideas across the group,” Dan says. “With the full rock sound it has meant we can play songs that really move as well as slower folk songs that keep things slow and somber. Our catalogue these days means we can assemble one full set of slow folk ballads and then come back out for an upbeat booming set! It's like being in two different bands sometimes and we love being able to build up a show that way.”

Already well-known and highly respected in the Melbourne country rock and folk scene, the national release of Grace Radio will allow Low Rent’s interwoven harmonies, melodies, and at times tortured lyrics to be experienced by a new audience. The band’s maturing sound and Dan’s impressive songwriting collide to create a perfect storm on this record. It’s a concept album that’s lonesome and sullen yet speaks of the infinite power of hope and the many forms it takes.

“We decided early on to revisit the classic concept record approach that was big in the 70’s and as a group were able to stick to the plan without distraction” Dan says. “Often when you set out to record a new album the target changes as soon as you lay down your first drum bed tracks and it's a whole other thing. We were able to avoid those temptations to go in a different direction than we planned. I think it all means we are comfortable and much more focused than we have ever been before. There's nothing quite like achieving what you set out to achieve, especially with six musicians to manage through the process.”

Low Rent are one of those bands that just can’t stop working. After penning structures and lyrics together for Grace Radio, Dan took the new songs out for a ‘road test’ on the live circuit before the recording process began. Six months later they had a record that’s set to open doors for them.

Grace Radio will be released on Tuesday 1st July 2014 by Hit 66 Records. For more information please visit

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