By Stevie Connor.
A new track from the artist, composer, and producer Steve Balbi – Extraordinary Ordinary Life – was released on Friday December 15th.
‘Extraordinary Ordinary Life’ is yet another stylistic departure for Balbi, which consecrates his body of work throughout 2023. Evocative and inspirational yet melancholic and intoxicating, ‘Extraordinary Ordinary Life’ reflects upon the avoidance of truth, and casts light upon the honesty, spirit, and value of an ordinary life – it’s good to be alive!
Recorded and produced by Balbi in his Sydney studio and mixed by Electric Hippies’ Justin Stanley, ‘Extraordinary Ordinary Life’ was mastered by Paul Gomersall.
Speaking from his Sydney studio, which he affectionately calls his happy place, Balbi reflects upon his latest release, “After getting clean, I was uncertain about my future… who was I? I found a job as a builder’s labourer to buy some time. It blew my mind watching this plasterer named Charlie. He’d turn-up for work, as he had done for 30 years or more, wear a big smile from ear-to-ear while working his arse-off until 3pm each day. He’d go home, eat, sleep, then do it all again the very next day.
I have immense admiration for Charlie, although I did wonder whether he had a choice. Did he simply get stuck in the grind? Was it fear that prevented him from trying something new? Why not dream bigger? Or was it simply that he loved plastering?
I found it fascinating how Charlie managed to smile, to feel contentment in his own path, regardless of how he got there. Nobody applauds when you knock-up a dry wall yourself, in record time, with integrity, and perfection. Yet this is an extraordinary ordinary life, so this song is for all the Charlie’s of the world”
Reflecting upon his journey as composer and producer, Balbi’s eclectic catalogue of production credits transcend genres, akin to his odyssey as a musician and performer. For the dynamic assemblage of artists that he’s produced includes Noiseworks, Electric Hippies, Glenn Shorrock, Juice, Jenny Morris, Pearls & Swine, Toe to Toe, Vincent Stone, Fyre Byrd, Moon, and Christine Anu, among numerous others. And in 1999, Balbi sat in on vocals and guitar for David Bowie’s Hours sessions with Marius de Vries too.
The world became a very different place for millions of Australians when Dr Jordan Nguyen and his extraordinary team of dreamers at Psykinetic launched Atmosphere – eye-controlled technology that enables people living with high-level physical disability to use only their eyes to make music. Celebrating yet another world first, Balbi traversed new ground alongside Jessica Irwin to release the single ‘Winners (Psykinetic Mix)’, which was recorded with Psykinetic’s eye-controlled music software.
Reflecting a renaissance in Test Cricket, Balbi composed and produced the new Fox Cricket Theme. Orchestrated by George Ellis and recorded with members of the Sydney Symphony, the Theme promises to become profoundly entrenched within the Australian consciousness, just as the Channel Nine Theme song has been an iconic symbol of the Australian summer for 40 years. Balbi has since composed the Themes for ‘The Big Break’ and ‘Cricket Tragic’ programs also, meanwhile a hip hop and rock version of the Test Theme featuring Brett Lee on bass will be launched this summer.
Yet it is Balbi’s debut solo LP, Black Rainbow (2013), and its subsequent surreal reprise, Rainbow Black (2016), which appears to have set a point of departure for his enigmatic artistry, and manifestation into a new solo LP due toward the end of 2019 – Humans. Inspired by ten photographs from Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York series, Balbi’s third solo endeavour is an eclectic collection of words and music that navigates a wistful path from melancholy through madness.
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