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It’s been an interesting few years for Mia Dyson. She and her long time
partner called it quits, she parted ways with her band, fell out with her
management and lost a truck-load of cash . Then she decided to pull up
stumps and head to the USA to fulfill a lifelong dream of travelling across the
American heartland, g uitar in hand, singing up a storm. Let’s just say it’s been
a challenging time.
The sing er agrees, but to hear her tell it, she wouldn’t change a minute of
this at times trying experience: “It’s given me more courage to go after what
I want and not be influenced or swayed by the opinions of others,” she says.
“I make music for myself more than ever now, and yet, I ’m way more happy
putting it out there.”
Indeed Dyson had been putting it out there for close to a decade. She’s been
nominated for an ARIA several times (winning once for sophomore effort,
Parking Lots) and shared a stag e with the likes of Bonnie R aitt and Stevie
Nicks. Not bad for a girl from Victoria’s beachside suburb of Torquay, but
then she do es have music in her blood. Her father is legendar y guitar maker
Jim Dyson, who soon had her and her sister singing and playing instruments,
although Dyson was 14 before she picked up a g uitar. “I asked my Dad to
make me one for my birthday,” she recalls.
With Bonnie Raitt, B ob Dylan, Little Feat and Ry Cooder on high rotation
on her parent’s record player it was little wonder that Dyson would grow up
with an appreciation for the sounds of America’s mid west.
She describes the past few years, travelling and playing around the states as
“literally a dream come true. It lived up to and went beyond my expectations .
I got to experience the rich music culture and travel through the incredible
landscapes. I still have so much to discover.”
The result of these cross country wanderings is a new album, The Moment,
released this month via MGM. Dyson says that each song had its own creative
process . “Some start with just a
single lyric and develop around
that. Many more start with a riff
or chord pattern and I look for a
melody and then lyrics. The best
songs come fully formed with
the lyrics, guitar and melody all
evolving at once.
“ The evolution of this album
was pretty organic. I had been
searching high and low for the
right producer and just didn’t
click with anyone. Then when I
went touring with a band whose drummer and guitarist also happened to be
producers, we started talking about the possibility of working tog ether. O ver
the course of a tour, as we played some of my songs and had long car trips
talking about our favourite albums and what kind of album I wanted to make,
we realised we were the right match and from that point on, it felt really right.”
Listening to the album is quite a cathartic experience, probably more so for
Dyson, who laid herself bare for the tracks. Which begs the question how does
it feel to be so exposed?
“It feels really good. I’m much less concerned with how my music is received
than I used to be. And I am glad to be so direct and as you say ‘laying myself
bare’ on this record.”
The Moment is out now through MGM distribution.
ONCE UPON A TIME
Mia Dyson’s new album
The Moment delves into
I make music for
myself more than
ever now, and yet,
I’m way more happy
putting it out there.
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